Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting.

Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting

Oh hello, lovely. Yeah I’m talking to you, Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns. I apologize for your being so delicious that I kept eating  you during your photoshoot. I couldn’t help myself. Alex saw me afterwards and said I had lemon cream cheese frosting all over my mouth. But I didn’t care, because you were worth it.

I unknowingly made these on Saturday, National Sticky Bun Day. It seemed v. appropriate and a welcomed coincidence. Beyond that, I felt it time to make a spring-inspired recipe. With all this cold and snow going around, the scent of lemon baking coming from our oven was refreshing and happy-making. 

Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting

I used my go-to sweet bread recipe for these babies, and they turned out mouthwateringly soft.

I’ve always had a thing for sticky buns. I think it’s because I’ve been eating them my whole life. My family has a summer house in Nova Scotia, and it’s a short 15 minute drive to the best bakery I’ve ever been to.

It’s situated between the bank of a river that leads into the ocean and a coastal road. The building is an old fish-processing plant that they converted into a bakery, crafts coop, and ship chandlery. And the baked goods are second to none.

Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting

It is a welcomed family tradition to go to the bakery for sticky buns each summer. My sister and I talk about it for months before. Just two years ago my dad bought their sticky buns, froze them, and brought them home as presents for my sister and me. They’re that good.

So any time I get to make sticky buns, I feel a deeper sense of connection. I’m making something that I’ve been eating for years; something that is tied to happy memories and the joy of eating. There’s something about slowly peeling into the swirl of a hot sticky bun that gets me all giddy inside. It nourishes my stomach and my soul.

Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting

Though the bakery’s recipe is for cinnamon sugar sticky buns, my lemon poppyseed version packs in all the deliciousness with a bright, citrusy flavor. So without further introduction, please enjoy my Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns! Let me know what you think, and happy baking!

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Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting


Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns

Sticky-sweet Lemon Poppyseed Sticky Buns with a lemon cream cheese frosting
  • Author: Sarah Fennel
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 mins
  • Yield: 9+ buns 1x


For the bread

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant active yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup sugar

For the frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened


  1. In a small bowl, microwave the milk and sugar for 45 seconds, until it is warm but not hot. Add in yeast and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should foam, signaling that the yeast is active. Then, stir in melted butter, oil, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt.
  2. Pour mixture into a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowly add the flour 1 cup at a time. Toss in poppyseeds. Let the dough knead for 5 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky, but firm enough to hold together in a ball.
  3. Coat a large bowl with oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area to proof for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Line an 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  5. Flour a large work surface. Roll the dough out into a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle. Smear the butter over the dough, coating it evenly. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon zest on top. Make sure to spread everything evenly to the edges.
  6. Roll the dough into a log, pinching the ends so it stays together. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into 3/4 inch rolls/buns. Place 9 buns into the pan. You can still bake your leftover buns (you should have 2-3) by putting them into a large ramekin or muffin tin. They’re extras!
  7. Allow dough to rise a second time. Cover the pan with a cloth and let rest in a warm place for 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the top is nicely golden brown. You’ll want a deep golden color, as the outside of the loaf can be cooked and the inside still doughy. Use your discretion.
  9. While the buns are baking, mix all frosting ingredients together. The consistency should be thick. Once out of the oven, allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes, then top with frosting.




I don’t blame you for not being able to stop munching on the sticky buns during the photo shoot! And lemon cream cheese frosting!! This is just pure deliciousness 🙂

Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

Sarah, I love these sticky buns!!! Citrus + poppy seeds make me happy! and I love it when the act of baking or foods tie us to something or make us remember or reflect on things. . I can’t think of a better way to spend National Sticky Bun Day!! love!!

Christina @ Bake with Christina

Yum, those look SO delicious!! And I’m loving the flavor, lemon poppyseed is my fav!! Pinned 🙂

Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits

One of the first things I’ve ever baked was sticky buns in my home economics class (yea, back in the day when that class still existed!). They were made ala Pillsbury, of course. I was so proud that I got a good grade on them because my oatmeal raisin cookies earlier in the semester did not fare as well. These sticky buns look so delicious and totally bring me back to my teenage years.

P.S. CONGRATS on being a Rodelle Ambassador!! (Sorry, been away all weekend, and just catching up on my food blogger friends!)

Andrea @ Chocolate & Sea Salt

I love anything lemon poppyseed and I love that couldn’t make it through the photoshoot without taste-testing. That’s always my biggest problem LOL. Pinning now – YUM! 🙂

Mariah @ Mariah's Pleasing Plates

Yummy!!!! These are right up my ally! Love lemon sticky buns! Pinned!

Renee @ Awesome on $20

These are lovely. I love lemon, and winter is the perfect time to bring this happiest of fruits into your kitchen.


Oh my god, these are so good. I love how the lemon makes this recipe seem lighter and fresher than the traditional, heavy sticky bun. Heaven!



I grew up near the home of sticky buns (which are just called cinnamon buns there, but I digress) and my family and I love them, split and grilled in some butter.
The only thing that could possibly top that cinnamon-y goodness, would be these lemon-y goodness ones! Love the creative twist.
I’m guessing I’ll have to double the recipe 😉

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Heck yes. Your friends and family will thank you.


Hi, I don’t have a mixer or a dough hook. Is there anything I could use instead so I can make these delish treats? Thanks

Sarah | Broma Bakery

Yes, you can knead the dough by hand. It should take around 15 minutes– use those arm muscles! 🙂

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