Soft and tender sweet rolls, filled with lemon curd and dried cranberries, topped off with a sweet lemon glaze. Sure to brighten any day, these buns also freeze well!

cranberry lemon buns on cooling rack
  • Lemon and cranberry is a fabulous flavour combination and when the lemon flavour comes from lemon curd and a lemon glaze, even better!
  • These lemon buns are wonderfully light and tender and easy to make.
  • The lemon glaze is the perfect finish to these pretty and delicious sweet rolls.

Ingredients and Substitutions

Dried Cranberries – I have only ever made these rolls with dried cranberries. I haven’t tried this recipe with fresh (or frozen cranberries). It should work, though I suspect you’d need to at least cut it in half in order to roll the dough efficiently. The resulting rolls would also be less sweet.

Lemon Curd – I have included a link to my Easy Homemade Lemon Curd Recipe in the Recipe Card below. If making, make it ahead and refrigerate. You can also use store-bought lemon curd. In a pinch, you could replace the lemon curd with a brushing of butter and some lemon zest.

Step-by-Step Photos

  1. Roll the dough into a roughly 9 to 10-inches wide by 12 to 13-inches long rectangle. Spread with lemon curd and scatter the dried cranberries over top.
  2. Starting from the short (10-inch wide) end, roll up jelly-roll style and pinch the seam together.
  3. Adjust the roll to 9-inches long (pat the ends inward if longer). Using a measure, mark out six slices, 1 1/2-inches apart.
  4. Cut slices and place onto a baking sheet, cut side down. Cover and let rise, then bake.
  5. Place baked rolls on a cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Place a baking sheet under the cooling rack (to catch the drips) and drizzle lemon glaze over-top of the buns. Top with a dried cranberry, if you like.
cranberry lemon buns on cooling rack

Recipe Tips

  • For best results, use your kitchen scale and the weight measurements.
  • You may need to add a little more flour if the dough is sticky and your rising times may be different from mine. Expect some variation from kitchen to kitchen.
  • Don’t skip plumping the dried cranberries. When dried fruit is rolled in yeast dough, the fruit can rob the dough of moisture, making for dry buns. And nobody likes dry buns!
  • These lemon buns will freeze well, but are best frozen without the glaze, if possible.
  • I’ve included more tips in the Recipe Card instructions, as well.

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cranberry lemon buns on cooling rack

Get the Recipe: Cranberry Lemon Buns

Soft and tender sweet buns, filled with lemon curd and dried cranberries, topped off with a sweet glaze.
5 stars from 1 rating
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Rising Time:: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Yield: 6 buns


  • 1 3/4 cup (225 g) all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Instant yeast
  • Pinch salt, add 1/4 teaspoon if using unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk, warmed to lukewarm, about 105F
  • 1/2 large egg, *See Note 1 below


  • 4 Tablespoons lemon curd Recipe Here, or store bought *see Note 2 below
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, plumped


  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) icing/confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • hot water, to thin, as needed


  • IMPORTANT! If you are using Active Dry Yeast, you will need to proof the yeast in the warm milk before adding to the dough. It is not recommended to add Active Yeast directly to the flour. For best results, use standard Instant Yeast, such as SAF. If using Quick or Rapid Rise Instant Yeast, check the instructions on the package, as the rising times might be different than stated here. Some quick rise yeast replaces the first rise with a 10-minute rest.
  • Plump the dried cranberries: Place dried cranberries in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let stand for 15 minutes, then drain and dry well. Set aside until needed.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the kneading hook, add the flour, Instant yeast, salt and sugar. Mix briefly to combine. Add the butter, milk and egg and mix on low speed (speed 1) until combined, then increase to speed 2 and knead for 8 minutes. (If mixing by hand, knead for 10-12 minutes).
  • Remove dough to a work surface and knead briefly, adding a bit more flour if dough is really sticky. Don't add too much. The dough should be moist. Form the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 70-90 minutes.
  • Remove dough to a lightly floured work surface and gently deflate. Roll dough into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Place dollops of lemon curd on dough and spread to evenly cover. Scatter dried cranberries over-top. Starting with the short 10-inch wide end, roll up the dough jelly-roll style, then pinch the seams together.
  • Rotate the dough so the seam is down. Using a measure, adjust the dough log to 9-inches long (pat in from the ends if too long). Measure out slices 1 1/2-inches wide, then cut, making 6 slices.
  • Place slices onto a baking sheet several inches apart. Cover with a clean tea towel and set to rise until puffy, about 45 minutes. **Before baking, tuck the loose end underneath the bun so the buns don't unravel as they bake.
  • When buns are nearing ready, preheat the oven to 400F (regular bake/not fan assisted. Bake for 13-18 minutes, or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped. (If you have an instant read thermometer, internal temperature should be 190F at least).
  • Remove from oven and immediately remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Glaze: Slide a baking sheet under the cooling rack (to catch drips). Mix the glaze by adding the lemon juice to the confectioners' sugar. Stir, then add a bit of hot water in very small increments, if needed, to thin the glaze. Use a spoon to put the glaze overtop of the cooled buns, then allow to stand until the glaze sets.


Note 1: To get 1/2 an egg, crack an egg into a small bowl and use a fork to mix together the white and yolk. Use half of the egg mixture in the dough, reserving the remaining egg for another purpose (you could use it to brush the buns before baking, if you like).
Note 2: You can use store-bought lemon curd or try my easy homemade lemon curd recipe. If making your own lemon curd, make ahead and refrigerate until needed. Use what you need, then package up the remainder to refrigerate for another use or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Be sure to read the information above this Recipe Card, where you’ll find baking tips and step-by-step photos that you might find helpful.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Serving: 1bun, Calories: 317kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 115mg, Potassium: 111mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 292IU, Vitamin C: 0.03mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 2mg
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