The thing about waking up in the morning once to the smell of lemon and rosemary and deliciously sweet dough baking in your oven.

Is that it’s habit forming.

All of a sudden, you can’t sleep because you know that you’re going to arise to boring old stale air.

You can’t dream, because you’re just completely preoccupied with the thought of all that stale air infiltrating your lungs and pervading your mind and blowing away the memory of the lemon-rosemary-heaven scent.

And you can’t wake up because what is there to live for, really, if these sticky buns aren’t going to be waiting for you on your counter in all their lemony-sweet glory?


Dilemmas.  We’re wading in ’em.


But not to fear! I’ve thought long and hard about this.  And we have options.

Not very good or sensible options.  But options nonetheless.


(a) We could buy out our grocery store’s supply of Meyer lemons and then use half of them to bake sticky buns every other day and the other half to squeeze juice around our apartment on the other days so that we can fake out our smell receptors and still be able to wear our skinny jeans.  Plus we’ll appease our aching hearts because they’ll know that, even if we can’t have a sticky bun today, our next one is just a mere 24 hours away.  Expensive.  But doable.

(b) Get all of our friends and family addicted to Meyer lemon rosemary sticky buns.  (Easy.)  Then convince them to join MLRSBEA with us.

MLRSBEA = Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Bun Eaters Anonymous


(c) Replace our Meyer lemon rosemary sticky bun habit with a drug addiction.  Preferably not marijuana because I don’t think that’s going to help with the skinny jean problem.  And may lead us to make even more sticky buns.

(d) Allow aliens to infiltrate our minds and brainwash us into thinking we actually don’t like the smell of Meyer lemon rosemary heaven emanating from our ovens.  Then lead a sad and lonely Meyer lemon rosemary-less existence for the rest of our lives.  (Not optimal.)


So these are our options.

I leave it to you to figure out which of these you’re going to pursue once you make these and realize your life will never be the same again and you find yourself quitting your job, abandoning your children at daycare, leaving your husband just so that you don’t have to share a single sticky bun with him, and doing all sorts of crazy things just to get your fix.

As for me.  I’m just going to keep baking sticky buns.

Meyer lemon season just started, after all.  And I’m not quite ready to throw in the towel on ’em just yet.

For more Eats Well With Others deliciousness, check out my guest post on Vanilla Sugar!  Trust me…this is a recipe you DON’T want to miss.


Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns
Makes 12-16, adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures


For the Dough


    • 1 tbsp active yeast or 1 packet
    • 3/4 cup warm milk, divided
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
    • 3 1/2-4 cups AP flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 2 meyer lemons, zested
    • 2 eggs, room temperature

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of 2 meyer lemons
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 tbsp meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature


For the Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 4 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • Juice of one meyer lemon
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar



  1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast with 1/4 cup warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes. If it foams, then you’re good to go.  If not, the yeast is probably dead and your dough will not likely rise.  Mix the yeast/milk mixture, the remaining milk, butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, nutmeg, lemon zest, and one cup of the flour and mix briefly to combine.  Add the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough.  Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  (Alternatively, you could turn the soft dough out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 7-10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.)
  2. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray.  Add the dough and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm spot.  Let the dough rise until nearly doubled, about an hour.
  3. To make the filling, mix the sugar with the nutmeg, then work in the lemon zest and rosemary with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles wet, soft sand. Stir in two tablespoons of lemon juice.
  4. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a rectangle that is approximately 10×15 inches.  Spread the dough evenly with the softened butter, then spread the lemon-sugar filling mixture over top.  Starting with a long end facing you, roll the dough up tightly.  Pinch the dough at the end to seal the seam.  Cut the dough into 12 or 16 even rolls (I like to halve the roll, then halve each piece and finally, cut each piece into thirds or foruths), and place them, cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.
  5. Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled.  (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour.
  6. Heat the oven to 350 F.  Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly browned and a thermometer inserted into the center of a roll reads 190 F.
  7. While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze.  Whip the cream cheese (using a mixer or even by hand with a whisk) until light and fluffy.  Add the lemon juice and blend until well combined.  Mix in the powdered sugar until the glaze is smooth and creamy.
  8. When the rolls finish baking, smear them with the cream cheese glaze.  Serve warm.

For more Meyer lemon inspiration, check out these recipes:
Meyer Lemon Curd
Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Meyer Lemon Bars

I am submitting these to Bake with Bizzy. They have been yeastspotted!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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108 Responses to Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns

  1. Pam says:

    I have finally hit my target weight for two weigh-ins in a row. This is not going to help.

  2. April says:

    Cinnamon scrolls no more! Here comes the lemon rosemary sticky buns, what a lovely morning tea

    xx April

  3. Simply Life says:

    I’ve never seen lemons look so appetizing! I’m still trying to stop mourning the loss of all my cinnamon rolls. Hubby ate 2…that means I ate 10. I still want more. Trying to find company to come over so I’m not left with another dozen 🙂

  4. grace says:

    this is the second lemon-rosemary sweet treat i’ve seen in all of five minutes. did i miss something? these are terrific little, nay, big buns, joanne!

  5. yum! these are so fancy – no cinnabuns here 😉

  6. Lemon and rosemary is a fabulous combo! I honestly don’t know how you have the time to always create such amazing looking recipes! I just tried reaching into the screen to grab one of these but sadly, I failed. 🙁

  7. Suzi says:

    This is enough to get me baking and or addictied to sticky buns. Beautiful, I can smell them now.

  8. well apparently I have no creativity in the world of sticky buns, and I would have never thought of this! I am making these ASAP

  9. Oh yes. This is what I need in my life. Every morning.
    See what you can do about sending some of those lemons up here – I have still never seen them in Canada.

  10. Patsyk says:

    Joanne – you are killing me with those sticky buns! Can I just come over to your place and enjoy yours? If they enter my house, I’ll eat them before anyone else wakes up… which is not a good thing with the whole Eat. Live. Be. commitment!

  11. What a fantastic & fresh take on sticky buns! I can only imagine how delectable they are.

  12. Barbara says:

    I wouldn’t dare. I’d eat them all day long. How divine!

  13. Mary says:

    These sound amazing. I have no doubt that I’d be joining the support group with you, if I dared make them!

  14. Amy says:

    “A”…definitely choice A. And btw, I’m up…showered. Ready to start my day. There was no amazing smell wafting through the house and certainly no damn sticky buns waiting for me when I cam downstairs. I’d say this Friday is already a disappointment.

  15. Katerina says:

    Sticky buns are my last couple of years discovery and I love them. I am bookmarking this to make since my husband loves lemon so we will both have something to rave about!

  16. a fresh lemony type of “cinnamon roll” is like a match made in heaven. Since it tastes so fresh with the lemon does that mean it is kinda healthy and therefore I can eat as many as i want? just wondering

  17. Dam Joanne, this looks Muah! I need one of these sticky buns! Do you think you could make the rolls in the evening and bake in the morning? I would love to bring these to work on Monday! Review time is coming and I need to bribe with good food!

  18. Danielle says:

    These sound great I love the addition of rosemary.

  19. Caitlin says:

    Joanne, reading this has ruined my day. Meaning that I cannot stop: 1. wishing these would magically appear in front of me. 2 wishing it was the weekend so I could make these. Sigh!! Thank you for sharing delicious goodness with the world. <3

  20. Want. BADLY! Yummmmmm. ‘Nuff said? 😉

  21. Shawnda says:

    Will you be serving sticky buns at MLRSBEA meetings? I’m in if you do 🙂

  22. I have a rosemary plant growing right outside my kitchen door. I use it in potatoes, focaccia, shortbread…I would have never thought I could incorporate it into a sticky bun! I’m sold.

  23. Lora says:

    I love sticky buns – any flavor but this meyer lemon and rosemary duo is most definitely a winning combo.

  24. Pierce says:

    Lemon and chocolate top my list as the favorite ingredients for dessert. Love both…not together but I do love both. That’s a good recipe you shared here. I will surely link back to you when I make them. AFTER I solve my own skinny jeans problem 🙂

  25. Jenna says:

    Of all the options, I think I’d have to go with spritzing lemon scent around every other day to fool my senses. That’s just got to be better than letting myself be brainwashed by aliens . . . right?

  26. Not a big rosemary fan, so I’d skip that bit. But I LOOOOVE a good zesty pastry. I tend to opt for tart, citrus desserts after a meal. Never thought of it for breakfast though!

  27. Wow, these look incredible 😀

  28. polwig says:

    I can see your addiction problem, not only does it look like an amazing taste combo but it also makes your place smell like the cleaning lady (preferably a hired one not you or I) just left. Devilish things those sticky bunz !!!

  29. Oh meh gosh!! Words cannot described how awesome these sticky buns look! I can almost spell them through my computer! Save some for me! 🙂

    Have a fabulous weekend & stay warm!

    Tammy <3

  30. wow we should have featured these. LOVE that combo of flavors. Flavor flay!

  31. this looks delicious! I would love to be a better baker but for now I just eat a bunch of goods lol

  32. Claudia says:

    Not fair that you entice like that and they don’t magically appear. I need some abra-ca-dabra thing to happen.

  33. MS2 says:

    Oh man, I LOVE cooking with rosemary in EVERYTHING, and this may just be the next recipe I try. Thanks!!!!

  34. I’m sold, this does sound truly amazing. Now I need to find some meyers, which might be a bit of a mission

  35. I’ve been waiting for you to post this ever since you mentioned it in the comment section! They look freakin’ amazing.

  36. Nicole says:

    ok, these look amazing, but… I have made cinnamon rolls/sticky buns – once – yes once in my life. It was for a man, a man who disappointed me, and that day the neighbors rejoiced in the joy that was cinnamon rolls/sticky buns and he had none. Perhaps it’s a story for my blog, but alas, i will never make cinnamon rolls/sticky buns again.

  37. I had to laugh at your options list 🙂 These really do look amazing, Joanne! I’d love to smell some baking in my kitchen right now.

  38. Natalie says:

    Holy smokes. I’ve been craving some kind of sticky bun/cinnamon roll thing for weeks. This might just push me over the edge.

    Option for me: Eat it because “the baby wants it”. Deal with the consequences later. 🙂

  39. Your pictures are always stunning, but I am almost positive I can reach through my screen and touch those beautiful lemons!

  40. Beth says:

    Yes to the buns and no to sharing them!

  41. My refrigerator is already stocked with Meyer lemons. 🙂 These sticky buns are calling my name!

  42. You had me at lemon! Yum! I cant wait to try these. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Megan says:

    Sounds like an absolutely wonderful savory-sweet combo.

  44. Claudia says:

    OMG. the title alone and I am addicted. When does your group meet? But first I need to make some.

  45. Norma Chang says:

    What a lovely and delicious way to start the day.

  46. Candace says:

    IF ONLY I had one or 3 of these right now. Must have dessert and these would definitely work. They are beautiful, Joanne. Have a wonderful weekend!

  47. Amy says:

    I have been buying up bags of Meyer lemons every time I go grocery shopping lately for fear that the next time I go they will be gone! I have never thought of using them in a sticky bun though and I think it is a terrific one!

  48. OohLookBel says:

    What a winning recipe – the tartness of the lemons would complement the sweet icing so well. Brilliant!

  49. Um, AMAZING! Why aren’t lemons and rosemary paired more frequently. I feel like the fresh flavors here would convince me that these were healthy!

  50. Reeni says:

    I’m going to hate waking up tomorrow! I need to smell these wafting through the house! Absolutely divine.

  51. Maureen says:

    I was ready to sign on with the rosemary and lemon. Wow, what a great recipe.

  52. jacqui says:

    I love the combination of lemon and rosemary! They work so well together. Love that you’ve added them to cinnamon buns, I can see why they’d be so addictive!

  53. beti says:

    mmmm the sticky buns sound really good with lemon, what a great combination of sweet bread with rosemary I do need to try some recipes like this ones

  54. That Girl says:

    I love buns in the morning. And my husband’s coworker did give him a bunch of meyers from their tree…

  55. tinytearoom says:

    gorgeous! I could do with a tray of these right now.

  56. Shannon says:

    Wow! Those sticky buns look so so delicious!

  57. You’ve brought sticky buns to new heights. Meyer Lemons are the best. They look amazing!

  58. Hannah says:

    Nice buns. 😉 I’ve gone into no-holds-barred citrus-craving season over here, so I’m thrilled at the sound of these! Love the fact that you can even see the zest right in the dough… The photos really look luscious.

  59. Why oh why do I not wake up to that smell every morning?! Heaven!

  60. geni says:

    I adore sweets with herbs and lemon and rosemary are my all-time favorite herby/sweet pairing. Those buns looks amazing! Such soft,squishy buns to booth. 😉 Have a great weekend my friend. Glad you are back at the gym and back to running. I know how happy that makes you. Strange to me, but I am happy for your. I go to the gym because I must. Like brushing my teeth or changing my sheets.

  61. This recipe tops the list of one of the best you have posted. I would have never thought of such a combination, and it’s totally genius. Luckily, I have a big hedge of rosemary in my front yard, and a Meyer lemon tree in my back yard. What a coincidence. I opt to make them. I don’t care what the consequences are. Seriously, thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s queued up high on my “must make” list. My husband adores lemon, and I adore him. But, you already know that.

  62. i’ve never hated my oven more than i do in this moment (it’s tiny and demonic). but i am going to put these on the list of things to try when i go back to akron next month i.e. be around normal sized/behaving ovens.

    xo alison

  63. Hotly Spiced says:

    Oh Joanne, what a fabulous recipe and such a great start to the day. Your images are beautiful and I just love the icing on top of these buns.

  64. Simply amazing and love the addition of lemon zest and juice in this beautiful buns!

  65. Johanna GGG says:

    we have a meyer lemon tree in the backyard and just crumpling a leaf in our hand makes the world smell better – I am watching my little lemon babies in hope with a swag of bookmarks to welcome them into the world – I am sure they would do themselves proud in this recipe if it is weather for the oven

  66. Wait, rosemary? In a sweet roll? This is strange yet somehow intriguing. The Meyer lemon hasn’t hit my usual grocery store yet this season, but perhaps lime and cilantro (a constant combination in this apartment) will work, too.

  67. Deborah says:

    A couple of years ago we were in Oregon, and a relative of my husband had a Meyer lemon tree in her yard. We went home with a big bag full, and my life hasn’t been the same since. I wish I could find them here more often! (BTW – I’m loving the addition of rosemary!!)

  68. Chris says:

    The problem with this option:

    “Allow aliens to infiltrate our minds and brainwash us into thinking we actually don’t like the smell of Meyer lemon rosemary heaven emanating from our ovens.”

    Is how they infiltrate our minds, you know those aliens, it’s always with the anal probe. (It’s true…I saw it on South Park once:

    I’ve only had Meyer lemons once and honestly couldn’t tell that much of a difference.

  69. peachkins says:

    Oh sticky buns, come to me!

  70. These look (and I think I can even smell them from here) unreal. Definitely going to have to make these – at least once. Maybe twice. Your photos are stunning, how can we not try them out!

  71. I think this sounds like the perfect sticky bun! Lemon and rosemary???? ohmy.

  72. Hahaha you are so amazing. I can’t believe how insanely delicious these look and how amaaaaazing they must smell! I’d gladly join MLRSBEA if it means sniffin’ these babies every morning.

  73. Mary says:

    These look temptingly delicious and I so love the flavor of Meyer lemons I find the recipe hard to resist. It’s been bookmarked. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings…Mary

  74. Julie says:

    I have Meyer Lemons and Rosemary! I wish I’d seen this before breakfast this morning! Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  75. kyleen says:

    Mhmm, I love sticky buns. Rosemary and lemon? Sounds delicious. When I mentioned to my little brother that I might be going away for a couple weeks this summer, the first thing he said was: “I’ll miss waking up to the smell of cinnamon rolls and pancakes.” I bet he’d add these meyer lemon and rosemary sticky buns to the end of that list once I make them 😀

  76. daphne says:

    Oh man, I can see sticky fingers and it will be all worth it!!

  77. These are absolutely wonderful! Rosemary is one of my most favorite scents, maybe my favorite, and paired with meyer lemon is just heavenly!

  78. Pam says:

    I want to like rosemary, I really do. I love the smell but the flavor just doesn’t do it for me. This recipe makes me want to give it another try. They look irresistible!

  79. Carolyn Jung says:

    I need a fix of these. NOW! 😉
    Look what you’ve done to me. I’m getting the shakes just thinking about how much I want to sink my teeth into one, warm out of the oven.

  80. Esi says:

    I’ve made these before, but I LOVE your addition of rosemary. May have to try them again soon.

  81. Natalie says:

    MUST find meyer lemons!!!!!

  82. Gwen says:

    I’ve been missing your writing so much. Girl, you need to think about a career in writing…. maybe on the side after saving lives.

  83. Holy. Crap. AMAZING. Rarely do I drool (and admit it) but dude. I’m in love. YUM!

  84. Miriam says:

    Love the options of how to cope…I’m gonna join that annonymous club, myself. They look awesome!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  85. vianney says:

    these buns rock!! I am loving meyer lemons, with my pasta..rico!

  86. Michele says:

    That is one gorgeous pan of buns! They sound amazing. They LOOK amazing!

  87. Nicole says:

    I’m pretty sure that if I could wake up to the smell of lemon and rosemary and know that there was a pan of these sticky buns waiting for me, I’d never have another cranky morning again. There are definitely worse addictions to have than this one! 🙂

  88. These look juuuuust incredible. I love the twist (hee) on the usual sticky buns, and pairing the lemon with rosemary? Inspired. Will definitely, definitely be trying these next time life hands me lemons.

  89. Elizabeth says:

    Very interesting take on the bun. I could stare at those photos for hours.

  90. sally says:

    Doesn’t get much better than these rolls! I think I’ll be joining MLRSBEA.

  91. Mo 'Betta says:

    YES! They look fabulous!

  92. Juliana says:

    These buns are absolutely gorgeous…lemon and rosemary…fantastic!

  93. I couldn’t resist this and featured it at Bake with Bizzy. Thanks Joanne for sharing with us.

  94. These are gorgeous and have such beautiful Flavour! I used some dough Ih ad in the fridge from the Artisan Bread in 5 recipe and thiey turned out so fabulous! love love love lemon and rosemary!

  95. I have actually never tried Meyer lemons! I must rectify that. I love sticky buns and loved the sound of these lemon ones though I would definitely have to eat the whole pan.

  96. sticky buns are one of the best things ever created. and i LOVE meyer lemons. match made in heaven

  97. I bet these do smell like a little bit of heaven in the oven and I can only imagine how they taste. I so love the combination of lemon and rosemary. 😉

  98. Shannon says:

    holy hell, joanne those are amazing!! i was intrigued when you mentioned it, and now i’m totally sold 🙂 need to get me some meyer lemons!!

  99. Eliana says:

    I just have one word for these Joanna – GLORIOUS!

  100. Emily says:

    Just finished making these wonderful things. Thank you so much for sharing! They’re delicious!

  101. […] sweet treats, check out these recipes: Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil Buttercream Frosting Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns Blueberry, Lime and Thyme Pound Cake Muffins Thai Basil Ice Cream Strawberry Shortcakes with […]

  102. […] Plus these are kinda sorta perfect for Easter.  As are these recipes: Carrot Cake Pancakes Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes Italian Easter Bread Asparagus and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Lasagna Pasta Super Salad Bulgur and Kale Casserole with Yogurt Topping Spring Pesto Panzanella Carrot, Dill and White Bean Salad New York Cheesecake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Topping Pink Lady Cupcakes Carrot Cake Cookies Meyer Lemon Bars Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns […]

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