Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

Posted on 02/12/2013 by layers_of_eli
I could've just made lemon buns, sure, but something about rolling lemon cheesecake up in them seemed more appealing :)

These morning buns could easily double as dessert. They are fluffy, gooey, tangy, buttery, and beyond delicious. I hope you'll find a space for these rolls on your breakfast or brunch table. They definitely belong in the spotlight.

Lemon Cheesecake Morning Buns

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 24 buns

Roll Ingredients:
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees F)
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups milk minus 2 tablespoons, room temperature
2/3 cup cold shortening
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
5 cups flour
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for after baking

Filling Ingredients:
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
zest of 1 lemon (reserve a little for topping)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 egg, room temperature
1 stick salted butter (or 1 stick unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt), melted

Glaze Ingredients:
2 cups powdered sugar
1 table lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
about 1/4 cup milk
extra lemon zest

Note: This yeast dough proofs for a couple of hours after you mix it up, and then the assembled rolls proof in the fridge overnight, so allow for this when planning to make this recipe. I don’t recommend halving yeast recipes; instead, if you don’t want 24 rolls at once, consider freezing some for later. To freeze some of the unbaked rolls, just wrap them well before the second rise and freeze them. Once frozen, pop them out of the pan all together and store in the freezer, wrapped in plastic wrap and in a zip top bag or wrapped in foil. When you want to bake them, stick them back in a greased pan, thaw them in the fridge overnight, proof for the instructed amount of time, and bake like usual.

Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam for about 10 minutes. Put 2 tablespoons white vinegar in a measuring cup and then add milk up to the 2 cup line. Set this aside. In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas. Stir yeast mixture and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns. Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and proof in a warm, draft-free place (such as a closed, turned-off oven), for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.

After proofing the dough, lightly spray two 9 x 13-inch baking dishes with cooking spray. Cream the softened cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy before adding lemon zest, sugar, lemon juice, and the egg. Mix together until well combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll). Spread the melted butter over the surface of the rolled dough and then dollop the cream cheese mixture all across the surface, spreading gently to create an even layer. Gently roll the dough up into a spiral (I find using a bench scraper to encourage the dough to roll up during this process incredibly helpful) and cut it into 2-inch rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dishes (at this point, you could wrap and freeze the rolls for later if you wanted).

Cover the rolls let them rise in the fridge overnight (they will have nearly doubled.) When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, letting the rolls rise on top of the preheating oven covered by a clean dish towel. Bake them for about 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned on top (don't underbake or they'll still be doughy in the center). Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter and return to the oven for 1 more minute. Whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls. Sprinkle with reserved zest and serve immediately.

To read about dressing for the weather you want and not the weather you have (this is not a thing and you should not do it.), see my very un-foodie confession, and see more photos, please head over to Willow Bird Baking!

x-posted to food_porn, picturing_food, bakebakebake, cooking
layers_of_eli 12th-Feb-2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)
el_hombre 12th-Feb-2013 10:02 pm (UTC)
The humanity!!!
layers_of_eli 12th-Feb-2013 10:06 pm (UTC)
spracker 12th-Feb-2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
I want these, but...I am sooo tired! And I love lemon! (And I'm actually pretty sure I don't have all the ingredients on hand either. Darn it.)

If I said it was my birthday would you just mail me some of these instead? ;)
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
LOL, sure! They might arrive kind of... um, tangy.
hycaliber 12th-Feb-2013 10:24 pm (UTC)
You're killing me smalls! These look perfect!
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
:D Thanks!
ladyelysium 13th-Feb-2013 03:46 am (UTC)
Get. In. My. Mouth.

I don't think I should look up the calorie content per roll, should I? Ugh, I sooooooo want to make these..
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:42 pm (UTC)
Oh my gosh, DON'T LOOK IT UP. I don't even wanna know. LOL.
pixiepilot 13th-Feb-2013 05:48 am (UTC)
*drooling* You guys are going to make me so fat. Totally worth it, though.
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks :)
superbadgirl 13th-Feb-2013 06:43 am (UTC)
I really don't know if I should love you or hate you. Yum.

/adds lemons to grocery list
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
_giulietta_ 13th-Feb-2013 08:33 am (UTC)
This sounds awesome! Definitely adding to my soon-to-bake list :)
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 12:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Hope you enjoy :)
gailsedotes 13th-Feb-2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
you are evil and the devil... there goes my diet.
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
Mwahahaha :)
gailsedotes 13th-Feb-2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
oh and what if you blended 1/4 lemon curd instead of 1/4 of the cream cheese?

My soul is lost!
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
It would be fantastic!! I might cut out a tablespoon of the lemon juice in that case :)
hayakobrown 13th-Feb-2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
This looks yummy!
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 08:20 pm (UTC)
thank you :)
electric_too 13th-Feb-2013 09:23 pm (UTC)
these look beautiful!! just a question, would it be possible to substitute butter for the shortening in the dough? or would that do something to the texture? :)
layers_of_eli 13th-Feb-2013 09:26 pm (UTC)
It might change the texture, but I'm not sure! I say try it with ice cold butter. If you do, let me know!!
electric_too 13th-Feb-2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
I might do, thank you!!
smittenlilly 15th-Feb-2013 06:04 pm (UTC)
Oh my Gosh, they look sooooo good! I HAVE to make them. Soon!
layers_of_eli 15th-Feb-2013 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Hope you love them :)
libsrevenge shortening substitute?26th-Feb-2013 04:48 am (UTC)
These look wonderful but I have a question. I dont cook with shortening, is butter an acceptable substitute for the dough? :-)
layers_of_eli Re: shortening substitute?26th-Feb-2013 04:50 am (UTC)
It might affect the texture, but I think it should work to use ice cold butter in place of shortening. Let me know how it goes!
blue_cassette 3rd-Apr-2013 02:14 pm (UTC)
My mouth is watering just looking at it...
layers_of_eli 3rd-Apr-2013 06:08 pm (UTC)
thank you :)
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