I have some seriously amazingly delicious sweet rolls to share with you guys, BUT FIRST —

A wee bit of news.

baby announcement

Yes sir, yes ma’am, me and the mister are expecting a little one next May! We are beyond excited (and a little terrified), but mostly just really, really ridiculously excited.

I’m also very excited about chocolate milk right now. And orange juice. And green olives. And McDonald’s cheeseburgers. And pretzels. But sadly, NOT. AT. ALL. about fall produce like sweet potatoes (unless they’re pureed and doused in butter and/or sugar) and butternut squash. Or chickpeas. Yeeesh. No can do.

meyer lemon poppy seed sweet rolls

I’ll be 13 weeks along on Sunday, and I’m hoping that will also be the day that I kick this dang nausea and constant exhaustion. Mayhaps you’ve noticed, mayhaps you haven’t, but I feel like my work has taken a hit in quality in the last few weeks because it takes all the energies to make and shoot a recipe, and by the time I’m taking the final photos I’m basically asleep standing up. It’s been fun. On opposite day.

Anyway, all that to say we are very excited. And trying to enjoy our sleep. We hear rumors that we won’t be sleeping next spring.

All of this news also comes during a week when we found out my aunt Evy passed away suddenly, leaving behind my two teenage cousins and my uncle. It’s been a bittersweet week, to be sure. It has made us ever more aware of how precious life is, whether remembered or celebrated. And I know my aunt was excited about our little bun, too.

meyer lemon poppy seed sweet rolls

There’s really no way to not awkwardly segue to talking about these sweet rolls, so let’s just get to it. I have a confession about them: They are my first-ever experience with Meyer lemons. I KNOW. Frankly I don’t know why I was so daft to wait this long to try them because hello, they’re tasty. That sweet-tart flavor? I can’t get enough of it. Especially when it’s rolled up into a sweet roll with some crunchy poppy seeds, sugar and butter.

The rolls take a little time to make, I’ll admit, but you spend most of that time sleeping (my favorite hobby as of late) so I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing. The best part is half of the work is done by morning, so you have less time to wait to get these into your tummy for breakfast or brunch. Plus, you don’t have to wait for them to fully cool before you eat them — just drizzle them with some glaze, pull them apart and dig in.

meyer lemon poppy seed sweet rolls

And I mean really, there is nothing much better than a warm, fresh-baked sweet roll straight from the oven, am I right? Well, except maybe chocolate milk. Gosh that stuff is good.

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meyer lemon poppy seed sweet rolls

Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Sweet Rolls

  • Author: Adapted from Simmer Boston
  • Prep Time: 11 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 11 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 12 rolls 1x



For the dough:

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest (from about 3 small lemons)
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until butter is just melted. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together flour, sugar and yeast.
  3. Whisk water, eggs and vanilla into milk mixture until combined. Pour over flour mixture in bowl. Add salt. Stir until a dough forms.
  4. Knead dough by hand on a lightly floured surface 5 to 6 minutes, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic; OR, knead dough with dough hook attachment in stand mixer 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour as needed until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl; turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place 1 to 2 hours until doubled. Punch down dough; chill in fridge overnight, covered.
  6. The next morning, make the filling: Combine sugar, lemon zest, orange zest and poppy seeds in a small bowl. Grease a 9-inch springform pan; line the bottom with parchment paper.
  7. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a 20-by-10-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, then sprinkle filling on top. Roll up from the long end tightly into a log. Slice the log into 12 equal rolls.
  8. Place the rolls evenly, cut-side up, in prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled.
  9. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake rolls 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack; cool 10 minutes. Whisk together glaze ingredients and drizzle over warm rolls. Serve rolls warm or room temperature.