Meyer Lemon Morning Buns

Meyer lemon morning buns

Inspired by the orange-infused morning buns available at Tartine in San Francisco, California, we decided to imbue our sunny version with the reigning star of winter citrus: Meyer lemon. Packing just a hint of warm cardamom within its tight spiral, we like to finish off our Meyer Lemon Morning Buns with a bright Blueberry Sugar coating. 

Before you get to baking, check out our step-by-step tutorial on how to shape your Meyer Lemon Morning Buns like a pro!

Meyer Lemon Morning Buns
Makes 14 to 18 buns
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • Granulated sugar, for dusting
  • Danish Dough (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) Meyer Lemon Sugar (recipe follows)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • Desired sugar (see this post)
  1. Brush muffin cups with 2 tablespoons (28 grams) melted butter. Dust with granulated sugar, tapping out excess.
  2. Freeze Danish Dough for 15 to 30 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle.
  3. In a small bowl, combine Meyer Lemon Sugar and cardamom.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush remaining ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 grams) melted butter onto dough. Sprinkle lemon sugar mixture over butter, leaving a ½-inch border along one long edge. Starting at long side oposite border, roll up dough, jelly roll style. Trim edges, if needed, and cut into 1-inch rolls. Place rolls, cut side up, in prepared muffin cups, gently pressing down until dough fills mold. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  6. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 210°F (99°C), 20 to 25 minutes, covering with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pans until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and toss in desired sugar. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Danish Dough
Makes dough for 14 to 18 buns
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk, room temperature (70°F/21°C)
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk (19 grams), room temperature
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • 4 cups plus 1½ tablespoons (520 grams) bread flour, plus more for dusting
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup plus 4½ tablespoons (290 grams) unsalted butter, softened and divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together milk, egg, egg yolk, and yeast by hand. Using the dough hook attachment, add flour, sugar, 3 tablespoons (42 grams) butter, and salt, and beat at low speed until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Continue beating until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and is smooth when a small amount is pinched off, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth ball. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  3. Using a pencil, draw a 12x8-inch rectangle on a sheet of parchment paper; turn parchment over. Place remaining 1 cup plus 1½ tablespoons (248 grams) butter on parchment. Cover with a second sheet of parchment, and shape to fit inside drawn rectangle, keeping edges straight and even. (If butter gets too soft to work with, refrigerate for 5 minutes before continuing.) Keep wrapped in parchment paper, and refrigerate overnight.
  4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly dust with flour.
  5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a 10x8-inch rectangle. Place on prepared pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (to ensure dough does not dry out), and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Place dough in freezer for 15 to 30 minutes. Let butter block stand at room temperature until pliable, 10 to 15 minutes.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Unwrap butter block, and place in center of dough. Fold dough over butter block, meeting in the middle, and press lightly to seal dough around butter block. Turn dough 90 degrees, and immediately roll dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle. Fold into thirds, like a letter; turn 90 degrees, and roll out again. Fold into thirds again, like a letter. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and freeze for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll and fold, letter-style, one more time. Wrap dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1½ hours. (Alternatively, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to use, let thaw in refrigerator overnight.)
*We used Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Instant Yeast.

Meyer Lemon Sugar
Makes about 1 cup
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (6 grams) Meyer lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
  1. In the work bowl of a food processor, place sugar and Meyer lemon zest. Process until combined and uniform in color.


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