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Lemon Sticky Buns

Sticky buns with a fresh lemon twist: it's just such a delicious tea time treat (or for whatever time of day, I mean, you make the rules of course). These buns are a little more effort and do take some time to make but they are definitely worth it. You can even make the filled and rolled dough in advance and freeze it for future cravings. These buns have been rolled with a lemon and brown sugar filling and topped with sweet lemon and cream cheese icing. So, instead of teasing your taste buds, without further ado, I hope you enjoy this zesty take on sticky buns.

In this post:

lemon sticky buns

Can I use a different citrus fruit?

Of course! you can switch up the type of citrus zest in the filling. You can do the same for the icing as well but just make sure that you use less juice for larger fruits. For example, if you wanted to make an orange icing, because an orange is larger than a lemon, you cannot swap out the juice of 1 lemon for the juice of 1 orange. You could use the juice of half an orange instead. And, similarly, with lime juice, you may need to use 1 and a half limes to replace the juice of 1 lemon. It doesn't need to be an exact science so don't worry about being precise.


How do I store the buns?

These buns are definitely best eaten on the same day they are baked but if you cannot get through them quick enough you keep the un-iced buns in an airtight container. Keep the icing in the fridge and then when you want a bun you can drizzle icing some on top. You can also freeze the filled and rolled un-baked dough for a month if you wanted to bake half of the buns at a time.


Lemon Sticky Buns

Prep time


Cook time


Total time

3 hours




For the Dough

In this dough I have just stated 'milk'. This is because it is best to use whole milk but if you don't have it to hand, you can just use semi-skimmed milk as well.

lemon sticky buns ingredients

225g Strong white bread flour

225g Plain flour

50g Caster sugar

85g Salted butter, cut into small pieces

7g Fast-action dried yeast (usually 1 sachet)

2 Eggs, beaten

150ml Milk

Vegetable oil, for greasing


Making the dough

Place the flours and sugar in a mixing bowl and then rub in the butter until the mix has a breadcrumb texture.

Tip in the yeast, eggs. and milk and mix well until you get a soft dough (you might need to add an extra dash of milk). Knead the dough in a mixer with a dough hook for 7 minutes or you can knead it by hand for about 15 minutes until the dough is smooth, soft and springy. Tip the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film or a clean tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.


For the filling

lemon sticky buns- lemon butter filling ingredients

150g Light brown sugar

125g Unsalted Butter, softened

Zest of 2 lemons


Making the filling

While the dough is rising, make the filling. Beat the sugar, butter and lemon zest together until smooth (there is no need to beat it until it is fluffy). Set the filling aside for later and keep it at room temperature to stay soft.


Rolling the dough

After the dough has doubled in size punch it down and knead it to knock the air out. Split the dough in two and roll each piece to roughly create two 25 x 35cm rectangles

Evenly spread half of the filling over each rectangle and then tightly roll each rectangle up from one of the long ends to get a long log. Pinch the ends together to seal and then cut each log into 8 pieces. Each log can be frozen for up to a month if you don't want to bake it all now.


Baking the buns

Brush a deep 8-inch by 10-inch baking dish with melted butter. Place the rolls on the tray with about a 2cm gap in between each roll. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and then keep in a warm place for around 30 minutes until lightly risen.

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan. Remove the cling film from the buns and bake for 30 minutes until the buns are lightly browned and feel firm.


For the glaze and icing

lemon sticky buns- glaze ingredients

2 tbsp Golden syrup

180g Cream cheese

100g Icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon

1/2tsp Vanilla extract


Glazing the buns

As soon as buns come out of the oven mix the golden syrup with 2 tbsp boiling water. Brush this mixture over the buns while they are still hot and then allow them to cool. When the buns have cooled for a little while but are still warm, lift them out of the tin after and leave to cool on a wire rack.

glazing lemon sticky buns

Making the icing

To make the icing, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until thick but drizzly. I usually find it to be the right texture when you can make ribbons on the surface of the icing without them disappearing quickly.


Icing the buns

Drizzle over the buns when they are completely cool, glazed side up. Or, you can warm the buns and then pour over the icing if you prefer to eat them warm.


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lemon sticky buns

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About Me


Hi and welcome to Baking with Sally. I am a food scientist, chocolatier and baker and it is

my passion to promote mindful nutrition and food waste reduction through EXCITING and DELICIOUS recipes.

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