Home » Vegan Lemon Sweet Rolls

Vegan Lemon Sweet Rolls

These vegan lemon sweet rolls are quite possibly the best summers treat. They’re bright, refreshing, lemony and full of zesty citrus flavour, with a fluffy lemon roll, homemade lemon curd and topped with lemon icing.

This recipe has been made in collaboration with Renshaw. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. (For more information along with affiliated links, check out my disclosure policy.)

Lemon rolls in a white dish with lemon icing on top

Vegan Lemon Sweet Rolls

These are the BEST lemon sweet rolls! They’re soft, light and fluffy lemon rolls, with a gooey lemon curd filling and lemon icing. The flavour bursts in your mouth and is the perfect summer dessert (or zesty treat for breakfast). Nothing beats the smell of fresh, homemade dough, especially when it’s paired with fresh lemon. It’s a delicious and winning combination!

Close up of lemon sweet roll with icing

Why these are the best lemon sweet rolls

  • They’re full of lemon flavour : The sweet dough is flavoured with fresh lemon zest and the rolls are filled with the most amazing homemade vegan lemon curd. They’re topped with a generous swirl of lemon Sicilian icing making them super gooey and delicious. After baking, lemon cream cheese frosting is spread on top of the rolls to add extra zing.
  • Filled with lemon curd : The lemon curd takes minutes to make and makes the rolls irresistible! It’s creamy, citrusy, and perfectly sweet. It also helps to keep the rolls moist!
  • They are extremely soft : They are seriously like lemon clouds. The dough is proved to perfection and they are ultra light!
  • They’re fun to make : Dough / rolls take a little time to make but it’s well worth it ( it’s also half the fun!). Watching the yeast activate to kneading the dough and watching it rise while its proving is super fun. I love how ‘hands on’ making sweet rolls & cinnamon rolls are! Once they have baked, you can decorate the rolls how ever you wish. Its really fun to dollop on the icing and swirl it around. You’ll have so much fun making these rolls.
Close up of iced lemon rolls

Layers of a lemon sweet roll

There are a few layers to this recipe and all are super easy to follow, meaning you will be making THE BEST EVER lemon rolls each and every time!

Rolls: The rolls are a light and fluffy dough. The dough contains active yeast which helps to give the rolls as much rise and lightness as possible. They also contain lemon zest which gives them a delicious fragrant flavour.

Lemon curd: This lemon curd has become super popular on my website for good reason! It’s quick and easy to make and taste identical to ‘classic’ lemon curd! Honestly, whoever ever you serve this to won’t be able to tell it’s vegan! To give them that gorgeous bright ‘sunshine lemon’ colour, you can use turmeric or a yellow food gel. The BEST food gels are the Rainbow Dust Colours Pro Gels. All of their food gels are vegan friendly, extremely high pigment and the best I’ve ever used. I swear by their food colours, they work amazing in cakes, cookies and more!

Icing: You can’t have a sweet roll without some delicious icing swirled on top. I used the Renshaw ‘Sicilian Lemon Icing’. This icing is absolutely delicious! It’s thick, creamy and filled with lemon flavour! Best of all, its vegan friendly and perfect for topping off these rolls, also great for filling layer cakes, piping on cupcakes and even spreading on loaf cakes. Its so versatile! Renshaw also have a great range of delicious baking products on their website.

Decorations: To decorate the rolls, I served them with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest and a lemon slice making them look even more irresistible!

vegan lemon sweet rolls

Ingredients for vegan lemon sweet rolls

  • Dairy-free butter – Use a vegan block butter, such as Naturli or Flora Plant Butter.
  • Dairy-free milk – You can use any dairy-free milk such as oat, almond or cashew, but soya milk works best in baking.
  • Caster sugar – Used in the dough and curd for added sweetness.
  • Active dry yeast – This is a crucial ingredient for these rolls to rise properly.
  • Plain flour – Plain flour / all purpose flour is used for the rolls.
  • Lemons – Make sure to use unwaxed lemons otherwise they wont be vegan!
  • Coconut Milk – Use the thick white cream out of a can of coconut milk. Best to use a can of full fat coconut milk.
  • Cornflour / cornstarch – Added to thicken the lemon curd.
  • Turmeric / yellow food gel – Use to colour the lemon curd.
  • Lemon icing – Swirled on top of the rolls for a sweet topping.
Un iced lemon rolls

How to make vegan lemon sweet rolls

These sweet rolls are assembled like classic cinnamon rolls but are slightly messier due to the gooey citrus filling. If you haven’t made cinnamon rolls before (or need a little refresher), the process is VERY simple, so keep reading to learn how it’s done! Find the full written method and ingredients list in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Roll out the dough

    Once you have kneaded all the ingredients together into a smooth dough, allowed the dough to have it’s first prove, lightly dust a clean work surface with some flour and place your dough on top. Dust a rolling pin with flour then roll out the dough roughly into a large rectangle shape.

  2. Spread over the filling

    Use a spoon or spatula to spread over the lemon curd filling, making sure it’s evenly spread out. Leave an inch border around the edge of the dough.

  3. Roll up the dough

    Roll and cut the dough. Then lay the rolls, swirl facing upwards, in a lightly greased ceramic dish, cover and allow to rest in a warm place until puffed up, not quite doubled in size.

  4. Bake

    Bake in the oven until puffed up, delicious and golden in colour.

  5. Icing and decorating

    Wait until the rolls cool down, then spread over the icing and decorate with fresh lemon zest and lemon wedges. Serve and enjoy!

Single lemon roll on a white plate

Lemon sweet roll FAQ :

Is this recipe vegan?

  • YES! This recipe is 100% vegan friendly and doesn’t use any animal ingredients!

What size dish do I need?

  • You want to use a rectangular or round dish. I use an 11 x 9 inch white ceramic dish and it works perfectly!

What does the dough taste like?

  • The dough is a simple plain cinnamon roll dough. The only difference being that it’s filled with fresh lemon zest, and of course you fill the rolls with lemon curd (no cinnamon in this recipe)! If you wanted to colour the dough yellow (to match the lemon theme), you can use a drop of yellow food gel. Include this when you add the melted dairy-free butter and warm milk mixture.

Why did my icing melt when I added it to the rolls?

  • The main reason is you rushed and spread the frosting over the rolls when they were still warm. You need to allow your lemon rolls to cool completely in the dish before you frost them. Frosting them too early will melt the frosting and you will end up with super sticky and gooey rolls, not what you want!

How to prevent the dough from sticking?

  • Make sure to flour your work surface and rolling pin with flour before kneading or rolling out. The dough will be slightly sticky. Don’t add too much flour through, as if you do add too much, you risk getting tough and chewy dough / rolls.

How to store the lemon sweet rolls?

  • Make sure to store the rolls in a sealed / air tight container in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature before enjoying. You can store un-frosted rolls in a sealed container at room temperature. Eat within 2 days of making, but best enjoyed fresh day of making.

Can I make the lemon curd ahead of time?

  • You sure can. Just make sure it’s stored in an airtight / sealed container in the fridge. You may need to give it a vigorously whisk to loosen it and make it creamy again. You can even add in a splash more lemon juice to get it to the right consistency.
Pinterest pin of vegan lemon sweet rolls

If you make, and love this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating below. Thank you & happy baking! Make sure to tag me in your photos on Instagram and Facebook! And if you want to pin this recipe for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, above or below this post, or on any of the photos. Happy baking all!

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Lemon sweet rolls with lemon curd and lemon icing

Vegan Lemon Sweet Rolls

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews


Soft and fluffy Vegan Lemon Sweet Rolls are filled with a homemade lemon curd, topped with lemon icing. They’re zesty, sweet and delicious.


Units Scale

Ingredients for the rolls

  • 115g of dairy-free butter
  • 400ml of dairy-free milk (room temperature)
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1 pack active dry yeast (approx 7g)
  • 500g of plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 2 lemons (zest only)

Ingredients for the lemon curd

  • 80g of lemon juice (from fresh lemons)
  • 125g of coconut milk (cream only)
  • 125g of caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cornflour / cornstarch
  • Pinch of turmeric (or yellow food gel) optional

Ingredients for the topping


Method (lemon curd)

  1. Drain the clear liquid from a can of coconut milk, as you only want to use the thick white cream. Add all of the lemon curd ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. Stir to combine.
  2. Heat over a medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens (this will take around 5 minutes). Stirring with a heat proof spatula or whisk will prevent any sticking and burning, and will remove any clumps.
  3. Once the mixture is thick and glossy, remove from the heat. Once cool, give it a vigorous stir and transfer into a piping bag. If the curd thickens too much, add a squeeze more lemon juice and whisk vigorously until creamy.

Method (rolls)

  1. In a small saucepan melt the butter on medium heat.
  2. Add the warm melted butter into a mixing bowl and add in the room temperature milk, sugar and active dry yeast. Whisk to combine, then cover with a tea towel and set aside somewhere warm for 10 minutes. I like to place mine in my conservatory, near a heater or near a pre-heated oven. Just somewhere where the bowl can warm up, but not in the oven as this will kill the yeast. The mixture will froth up, as the yeast actives. You’ll know it’s activating as you’ll be able to smell the yeast.
  3. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, pour in the activated yeast mixture along with the lemon zest.
  4. Knead the dough until its smooth and when you press it, it bounces back. The dough should smooth out and become less tacky. You can use a stand mixer with a dough hook or you can do this with your hands on a clean floured surface. Don’t over knead or the rolls will be tough. If you need to add some more flour, add a little bit at a time to get it to a smooth, bouncy dough.
  5. Form the dough into a neat and smooth ball and place into a bowl which has been lightly greased with some oil (I like to use sunflower oil, or a neutral flavoured oil.) Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave to prove in a warm area for 1 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Assemble the rolls

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, grease an 11 x 9 inch square or similar sized round dish with oil and set aside.
  2. Turn the risen dough out on to a floured surface. Use a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 16” x 24” rectangle. The thinner the dough, the more swirls you’ll get.
  3. Using a spatula or spoon, spread the lemon curd over the entire rectangle of dough, making sure to leave an inch border around the edge. Sprinkle over some lemon zest (optional).
  4. Using a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut the dough into strips then roll up to form the roll (watch the tutorial here). Place the rolls into the greased dish, leaving a tiny bit of space between the rolls as they will puff up when they prove and bake!
  5. Cover the dish again with a tea towel and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place for a further 40 minutes – 1 hour. During this second prove, they will be very puffed up and fluffy.
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 180° C fan. When the rolls are puffed up, brush the edges of the rolls with some dairy-free milk and place into the middle of the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until risen and golden in colour. You can test they are baked by inserting a toothpick/skewer into the rolls. If it comes out clean, they’re ready but if the toothpick has some dough or batter on, they need more time in the oven to bake.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully in the dish before frosting.

Method (icing)

  1. Spoon the icing over each lemon roll and spread / swirl over using a off set spatula or the back of a spoon. You want each roll to be covered with icing.
  2. Decorate the rolls by zesting some lemon zest over the rolls and serve with a lemon wedge.
  3. Tuck in and enjoy! 


To store: Store the rolls in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Best eaten on day of making.

What dairy-free butter to use? My favourite vegan block butters to use are Naturli Vegan Block, Flora Plant Butter and Violife VioBlock. For the frosting, I would suggest a thick vegan butter as opposed to margarine.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: cinnamon rolls
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Swiss


  1. June 20, 2023 / 5:42 pm

    This looks absolutely amazing!!! can this be made gluten free?

    • June 20, 2023 / 6:54 pm

      Hello Nancy, Aw thank you so much! I am yet to make these gluten free, ill recipe test and come back xx

  2. Elaine Benda
    June 30, 2023 / 7:00 pm

    I hope so much you can get these to be gluten free!!! I can’t have gluten or eggs and I miss rolls like this so much!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

As seen in