These knotted lemon poppy seed rolls are lovely, light sweet rolls, filled with lemon sugar and topped with a tart and sweet lemon glaze.

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Knots

If you are a lemon lover, these knotted lemon poppy seed rolls are a fun and delicious bake.

These pretty lemon sweet rolls are filled with lemon sugar and poppy seeds, baked up in moist, light dough, tied into pretty knots and topped with a lemon glaze.

Cook’s Notes

  • Note that this recipe calls for a “starter dough”, that is a small amount of dough that is mixed up and allowed to sit for a few hours. So you’ll want to plan for this and prepare the starter dough early in the day, then you’re ready to shape and bake in the afternoon. This process develops great flavour in the dough.
  • You can make these ahead and freeze them, if you like. I would probably freeze them without the glaze, then glaze before serving.
  • If you prefer, you can skip the glaze and dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar, instead.

Shaping the Knots

Don’t be intimidated by the shape. It’s super easy and I’ve included some shaping photos below for you, as well to show just how easy it is!

Shaping Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Knots

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Knots

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lemon poppy seed knots on baking sheet with lemon wedges

Get the Recipe: Knotted Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Delicious knotted lemon sweet rolls, filled with lemon sugar and topped with a tart sweet lemon glaze. 
5 stars from 3 ratings
Prep Time: 5 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 12 rolls


Starter dough:

  • 1 cup (125 g) flour
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast


  • All of the Starter Dough
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (57 g) butter, softened
  • 3 cups (400 g) flour, plus more as needed


  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds

For brushing dough:

  • 4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 cup confectioners’/icing sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  • For the starter dough: Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 4-5 hours.
  • For the final dough: Add the starter dough to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook. Add the yeast, milk, sugar, salt, egg and butter to the bowl. Mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix to combine. Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until you have a smooth, moist dough. Remove dough to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine sugar and lemon zest for filling in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Prepare a large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Remove dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle 12x16 inches. Brush dough with melted butter, then scatter sugar/zest mixture evenly overtop. Sprinkle poppy seed over-top. With the short edge of the dough closest to you, fold the top half of the dough down and over the bottom half, making an 12x8-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into twelve 1-inch wide strips.
  • Take one strip of dough and holding both ends, twist 5 or 6 times. Tie your twisted strip into a knot, then take the two loose ends and tuck them underneath, pushing one end up through the centre of the knot to secure. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips of dough. Cover baking sheet with a tea towel and let rise until puffy, 30-40 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). When buns are puffy, bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • For the glaze: Stir together icing sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Add additional juice/sugar as needed, to make a glaze that will easily fall off a spoon. Drizzle over cooled buns and allow to set.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert, Snack
Serving: 1roll, Calories: 334kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 245mg, Potassium: 100mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 310IU, Vitamin C: 5.7mg, Calcium: 46mg, Iron: 2mg
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