CAKE MIX LEMON SWEET ROLLS — These super soft sweet rolls start with a lemon cake mix for great citrus flavor. Perfect for any spring breakfast or brunch!
It may sound crazy, but using a cake mix as the basis for sweet breakfast rolls is my favorite way to make these delicious breakfast treats. And really, why just eat them for breakfast?
And these Cake Mix Lemon Sweet Rolls are perfect any time of day–including for dessert or late night sugar cravings. Let’s just say they’re pretty irresistible.
I don’t know what it is about using a cake mix (probably all the preservatives) but these sweet rolls stay soft for days. Of course, they probably won’t last that long.
At least not if your family loves them as much as mine did!
If you’re planning an Easter brunch, these lemon sweet rolls would be a perfect addition to the menu. And since the recipe makes up to 2 dozen rolls, its perfect for feeding a crowd.
Not only are the rolls themselves bursting with delicious lemon flavor, they’re topped off with a fabulous lemon cream cheese glaze.
And if you’re not up for eating two dozen pastries, these sweet rolls freeze beautifully.
I like to freeze them on a baking sheet, uncovered, then transfer them to zip top freezer bags. That way you don’t smoosh all the delicious frosting!
Once you try these amazing sweet rolls, you’ll be dreaming about what other delicious breakfast treats you can make with a box of cake mix!
Be sure to save this Cake Mix Lemon Sweet Rolls recipe to your favorite Pinterest board for later.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Cake Mix Lemon Sweet Rolls
- Lemon cake mix
- Brown sugar
- Cream cheese
- Powdered sugar
Cake Mix Lemon Sweet Rolls
These super soft sweet rolls start with a lemon cake mix for great citrus flavor. Perfect for any spring breakfast or brunch!
For the rolls:
- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 1/2 to 5 cups flour
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup butter, very soft
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons lemon zest
For the frosting:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Pinch of salt
- In a medium bowl, stir yeast into warm water; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine cake mix, salt and 4 cups of the flour. Stir in the yeast and water. Gradually add the last cup of flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and a soft but slightly sticky dough forms.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough is doubled in size, about 60 minutes.
- Turn dough onto a large, floured surface and knead once or twice. Roll dough into a rectangle about 12 inches wide, 28 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread soft butter evenly over dough. Combine sugars and lemon zest and sprinkle over butter.
- Once you have spread the butter and sugar mixture over the dough, cut the large rectangle in half to form two smaller rectangles. Starting with a long end, roll each rectangle into a log. Slice the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces.
- Place the rolls into 2 greased 9x13 pans (or a 9x13 and a 9x9, depending on how many rolls you have). Cover the rolls and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
- While rolls cook, beat the cream cheese and butter for the frosting with an electric mixer until creamy. Mix in the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and salt, mixing until smooth. Add more lemon juice, if needed, until frosting reaches desired consistency. Spread frosting over hot rolls.
Total time includes rising.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 442mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 5g
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Who Dished it Up First: This is an original recipe
Can I prepare these the night before and bake them in the morning?
I haven’t tried that, but I think it could work if you refrigerated them. Then you may need to let them sit at room temperature for a bit to finish rising.
Freezing question- do I bake them then freeze? Also how long do you think the rolls would last prepared and left in the fridge
Yes, I would bake, then freeze. Left in the fridge, you would probably need to bake them within 24-48 hours, although I haven’t tried that. They will continue to rise (slowly though) so at some point they will need to be baked before they rise too much.
These sound awesome . Do you have other recipes using cake mix? Whenever I make things like this they are dry the next day. If these stay moist I would love it.
I believe they are going to turn out so delicious that I am alone going to eat all two dozen of this yummy lemon rolls. Trying them out this weekend. Thank you for the recipe. 🙂
Thank you so much for this recipe. Is it, in fact, a no-knead dough? Or if not, how long do you need to mix it?
There is a bit of kneading required, but not much. All of the instructions for mixing and kneading are covered in the recipe instructions section.
The cake mixes in our area are a little over 14 Oz. You’re ipe calls for one 16 Oz. Will the 14 Oz size work?
It should still work just fine.
Could you use a white cake mix, instead of lemon?
You can use any cake mix depending on what flavor of sweet rolls you want. If you don’t want lemon frosting, you can just make a regular cream cheese frosting.
I used butter pecan cake mix and sprinkled toasted pecans in the middle with the sugars!. Yummy!
I am in the process of making this. No eggs or oil?
WHAT TYPE OF FLOUR TO USE
Do you use plain flour or self rising flour?
I used all-purpose.
Do you bake both pans of rolls at the same time? Or two separate baking cycles? Also can I halve the recipe with the same results?
Yes, you can bake both pans at the same time. I haven’t halved the recipe, but it should work just fine.
Not a lemon zest fan…can I leave it out, or substitute? They look awesome!
Not a lemon zest fan. Can I leave it out or substitute? They look awesome!
You can leave it out, but they won’t be as lemony!
Wondering if I can halve all the ingredients, and put them in my breadmakers?
I honestly don’t know, but I’d love to know how it goes if you try it.
I tried making these for Easter and my dough was so sticky I could barely roll it into a rectangle and roll it up to cut. Could I add more flour if this happens again?
I tried making these for Easter and my dough was so sticky I could barely roll it into a rectangle and roll it up to cut. Can I add more flour if this happens?
I found this recipe a couple of days ago and made them for the first time today. These are the best lemon rolls I’ve ever eaten! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. It’s a definite hit! I’ll be making these again for Easter.
Happy Easter! I am not a baker but i give you all the credit! These turned out amazing! They take a lot of time but they are worth it!
Hi can I use lemon curd for the filling?
I haven’t try that, but I think it work.
I haven’t tried these yet but they look wonderful! You show these early in your post in a muffin tin. Can these be made this way or do you prefer the 9×13 in the directions? It would be nice to have them separated for freezing.
I honestly don’t have a preference, but the muffin tin is great if you want to freeze them individually, or really like them to be all the same size.