Go Back
+ servings
A lemon poppy seed roll on a plate.

High Altitude Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Heather Smoke
Soft and fluffy lemon poppy seed rolls filled with creamy lemon curd and drizzled with tart and sweet lemon icing.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rising and Chill Time 3 hrs 50 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American


  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook



  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk or whole milk
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 packet) instant/rapid rise yeast or active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 ¼ cups bread flour, spooned and leveled, divided
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract or lemon paste


  • ½ cup lemon curd (plus extra for serving)
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds


  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp lemon juice



  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the buttermilk and stir. Warm the mixture just until it reaches between 110-115 degrees F.
    If it gets too hot, let it sit for a few minutes until it cools down to the correct temperature. It's important that you check the temperature - if it's too cold, it won't activate the yeast, and if it's too hot, it will kill the yeast.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes until it begins to foam and bubble; this will let you know that the yeast is active.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir together 3 cups of the flour (reserve 1/4 cup for rolling out the dough later) with the warm milk mixture, the sugar, salt, poppy seeds, eggs and extracts into a rough shaggy dough. With the dough hook, knead on medium/low speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be soft, sticky and loose, but don't add more flour. Even though the dough is soft, when you scrape it out of the bowl with a spatula, you should still be able to gather it into a ball with your hands.
  • Lightly spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
    If your oven has a bread-proofing setting, you can use that to proof your dough. If not, let your oven preheat to the lowest setting, turn the oven off, and then set your dough inside to rise.
  • Set the bowl of dough, still covered, in the refrigerator to chill for 1-2 hours, or overnight.
    The chill time allows the gluten to rest and the dough to develop flavor. It's also much easier to work with the dough when it's cold, since this is a soft dough.


  • Line a 9x13 pan with a sheet of parchment paper, or spray with non-stick spray.
  • Turn the cold dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (using the last remaining 1/4 cup of flour to keep the dough from sticking). Roll your dough out into a rectangle measuring approximately 12x18 inches.
  • Spread the lemon curd over the dough, and sprinkle with the 1 teaspoon of poppy seeds.
  • Roll up the dough (starting on one of the long sides) into a log, keeping it as tight as you can, and trying not to squish out the lemon curd.
  • Very carefully, cut the dough into 12 equal portions. This can be difficult with a knife, which will squish the dough, and you may find it easier to use a piece of unflavored dental floss. Just slide the floss under the dough, then cross the floss over the top to cut the rolls.
    This step is pretty messy, since the lemon curd is extremely slippery. Don't worry if your rolls get a little misshapen as you cut them.
  • Place the rolls, cut side up, in the pan. Cover the pan with a towel, and set in a warm place for 20 minutes to puff up a little, just until the rolls are touching.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Bake the rolls on the center oven rack for about 25 minutes, until they appear done in the middle, and the top is a pale golden brown.


  • In a bowl, stir together all the icing ingredients until smooth. Immediately drizzle over the hot rolls.
  • Let the rolls cool for about 10 minutes and serve warm.
  • The lemon curd filling absorbs into the dough as the rolls bake, so if you like, serve some more lemon curd on the side with each roll.


  • Yeast:  This recipe calls for instant or rapid-rise yeast, which does not require any proofing first, so you can just mix it right into the dough.  If you only have regular active dry yeast, you should proof it first, before adding to the dough.  To do this, heat your butter and buttermilk as instructed, then sprinkle the yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar, over the liquid.  Stir in and let sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes.  Add to your dough and mix as instructed.
  • Eggs:  Your eggs will be too cold if you use them straight from the fridge, and the chill could prevent your dough from rising.  Let them sit out for about an hour (or place the eggs in a glass of hot water) to warm up to room temperature before adding to your dough.
  • 110-115 Degrees:  It's very important that you check the temperature of your melted butter and warmed buttermilk.  The amount noted here is not a suggestion; it's essential to correctly activating your yeast.  Too cold, and the yeast won't be activated.  Too hot, and it will kill the yeast.
  • Overnight Cinnamon Rolls:  To get a jump-start on breakfast prep, you can make and proof the dough, then roll and shape the rolls the night before.  Place the cut rolls in your baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, take them out of the refrigerator, and set in a warm place to take the chill off, which will take about an hour, then let them puff up a bit.  Bake as instructed.
Keyword Lemon, Lemon Poppy Seed, Yeast Rolls
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!