Back to Baking

Is the coast clear yet? Has the holiday sugar overload and palate fatigue worn off? Have the chronic dieters lost their New Year’s resolve? I sure hope so, because I’ve got one killer dessert recipe burning a hole in my archives and I don’t think I can’t wait to share it much longer. Never mind the terrible picture, because this one has inner beauty hidden within every fold.

Singing out with the depth and soul that only dark, sticky molasses can bring to the table, these are not your average cinnamon rolls. Boldly spiced with ginger taking the clear lead, cinnamon is still invited to the party of course, but no longer the sole center of attention. It’s finally time for the rest of the well-seasoned entourage to shine, with all their lively, distinctive degrees of warmth on full display. Gingerbread may be most closely associated with the holidays, but if you ask me, that flavor bomb of a spice blend never goes out of style.

With all that goodness contained within the very foundation of the buns, what more could one possibly think of rolling up inside? All it takes is a simple combination of lemon and sugar to really push each yeasted spiral over the top. Brightening up breakfast, dessert, or snack time with a zesty contrast to those darker, richer tastes, any citrus fruit could make for an equally irresistible addition. Don’t stop at dabbling with just orange or lime zest- Tangerine, grapefruit, or even finely chopped kumquats sound pretty tempting, too.

Yield: Makes 9 – 12 Buns

Gingerbread Lemon Buns

Gingerbread Lemon Buns

Boldly spiced with ginger and cinnamon, warm molasses balances out the bright and zest lemon filling. Gingerbread may be most closely associated with the holidays, but this treat never goes out of style.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours 3 seconds
Total Time 3 hours 3 seconds


Gingerbread Dough:

  • 1 Cup Plain Non-Dairy Milk
  • 1 Cube Fresh Yeast or 1 (1/4-Ounce) Packet Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
  • Pinch Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • 3 – 3 1/2 Cups All-Purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Vital Wheat Gluten (Optional)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Lemon-Sugar Filling:

  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter, Melted
  • 1 Cup Granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 Lemon


  1. Heat the non-dairy milk of your choice in a microwave safe bowl for just a minute to warm, but do not bring it to a boil. Stir in the yeast and let is sit for about 5 minutes until frothy and active. Once re-awakened, pour the yeast mixture into your stand mixer, along with the sugar, oil, and molasses. Mix to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the first 3 cups of flour, spices, wheat gluten (if using), plus the salt. Make sure that all the dry goods are thoroughly distributed and there are no large pockets of unblended spices remaining. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet, and beginning at the lowest speed, use the dough hook to slowly combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to keep everything incorporated, until the dough forms a cohesive ball. If it still seems excessively wet, add up to 1/2 cup of flour.
  3. Let the mixer continue to knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. You could also knead it by hand; just take 15 minutes to do so instead. Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rest in a warm area for about 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  4. Punch down the dough and turn it out on to a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a rectangle of about 14 x 18 inches. Brush generously with the melted vegan butter.
  5. Combine the sugar and zest in a small bowl before sprinkling the mixture evenly over the entire surface. Starting from one of the shorter ends, roll the rectangle up as tightly as possible, pinching the seam shut when you reach the other end.
  6. Use a very sharp knife to cut the roll into approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces. Fit them into a lightly grease 9 x 9-inch pan, spacing them as evenly as possible. Begin preheating your oven at this point to 350 degrees, and allow the rolls to rise for 45 – 60 minutes before sliding them into the hot oven.
  7. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until golden brown all over. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 591Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 114gFiber: 4gSugar: 29gProtein: 13g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

27 thoughts on “Back to Baking

  1. Yum-o!! I’m going to have to try this one this week! I’ll try it as is first, then try with some whole wheat pastry flour as part of the flour and see how that works. Thanks, Hannah. Have a wonderful Monday.


  2. A gorgeous combination and one that I think I am just about going to have to assuage now that you have reminded me of it. Not sure I will be baking at the moment with the covered bbq as my only oven at the moment but I might make some buckwheat cereal focussing on ginger and lemon. Cheers for the flavour combo reminder :)

  3. Ginger is one of my favourites.. Love Gingerbread and Lemon brilliant combination… .. :-) You have to stop posting such deliciousness LOL as i drool over your photo. ;-)

  4. Oh my! I don’t think I could ever turn down a chewy yeasted bun like these.
    I adore gingerbread and lemon together. I made a gingerbread cake with a lemon cashew cream during the holiday season which was super delish.

  5. Hannah, not sure it’s possible for you to take a bad picture. THANKFULLY I didn’t give up sweets for the new year, so I don’t mind trying these out… :) I love ginger and all gingery flavored baked goods and recently had a crazing for cinnamon rolls. Yes, this will do quite nicely! Great idea.

  6. You convinced me…. That looks like a combination made in heaven! Never mind the photo (which still does the ‘I want this’ job quite nicely… ) I’m so gonna be making these!

  7. I’m pretty sure if anyone still had sweet treat fatigue this would cure it in an instant. I’m particularly intrigued about the grapefruit addition – I’m definitely going to have to give these buns a go!

  8. Whoa! You had me at buns, but gingerbread and lemon? My eyes are popping out of my head, and my tongue is hanging out of my mouth. (Not a pretty sight, I might add.)

    1. I haven’t tried to change the flour in this particular recipe, but I think that idea has a lot of potential and I’d be very curious to hear about the outcome! I would only recommend that the optional vital wheat gluten become mandatory (as long as it needn’t be fully gluten-free) to keep it structurally sound.

  9. Stunning photos, Hannah, they are making me drool right now! I love the ginger + lemon flavor combinations! I need some gingerbread cinnamon rolls, please!

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