Wild Blueberry & Lemon Overnight Buns

These Wild Blueberry & Lemon Overnight Buns were along time coming. For over a year now, a rough outline of the recipe has been scribbled down on a piece of crumpled up paper, and stashed in my recipe notebook, on my kitchen counter. The remaining details of the recipe have been stashed in my brain and for months I’ve been meaning to find time to sit down and write it out to share on the blog. There have been many requests for this recipe, but it’s not until now that the stars have aligned for me to carve out some time to formally put pen to paper.

So, here they are: Big (very big), fluffy, sweet, tangy, and fruity buns. I created them as overnight buns out of necessity, right after my daughter was born. There was no time for sleeping, let alone baking, so this was a way to squeeze out some more time in order to have a special breakfast treat. The dough and filling were made the evening before going to bed, rested in the refrigerator overnight, and in the morning were baked off for fresh buns. They were glorious after a night of no sleep. My recommendation: Enjoy them while they’re still warm and the glaze has just set. The sticky lemon glaze will have seeped into the fluffy buns and the wild blueberry filling will still be fresh, warm, and gooey.

Helpful Tips for This Recipe

*This dough is based off my Baby Pecan & Cara Cara Orange Caramel Sticky Buns ; which are not overnight buns. Which means these Wild Blueberry & Lemon buns don’t have to be made overnight either. Feel free to make and bake them all in one day. Overnighting is simply a time-convenient way to allow the dough to rest to be baked in the morning.

*In the recipe, both options of frozen wild blueberries and fresh blueberries are listed. Both taste fantastic, but I’m partial to wild blueberries for their intense tangy-sweetness and fragrant aroma. During non-blueberry season, this variety can be found in the frozen section of most supermarkets.

*Glaze the buns while they are still hot from the oven. This way the first portion of glaze will seep deep into the baked buns; helping to add even more moisture and flavor throughout the entire dough.

Wild Blueberry & Lemon Overnight Buns

Makes 8 large buns


2/3 cup (170ml)  whole milk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast, 1 packet
4 1/4 cup (596g)  all-purpose flour
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons (57g)  cornstarch
1/3 cup (70g)  sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons  kosher salt
1 tablespoon  freshly grated lemon zest, about 1 lemon
3 (159g)  large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (140g)  unsalted butter, room temperature soft

In a small heatproof bowl, heat the milk in the microwave until warm to the touch (around 110F/43C), about 30-45 seconds. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk, gently stir to combine, and let rest for 5-10 minutes to activate the yeast.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. With the mixer on low speed, add the warm milk mixture and eggs. Mix until dough is formed, about 1-2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and add soft butter, in 1 tablespoon sized pieces at a time, and mix until thoroughly combined. Once all the butter has been added, continue to mix dough for 8-10 minutes. Final dough should feel tacky to the touch, not sticky. If dough feels too firm, add 1-2 tablespoons of warm milk to soften and mix until combined. Transfer dough to a large bowl and cover the bowl surface with plastic wrap. Set in a warm spot to rise for about 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until dough has doubled in size. 

Meanwhile, line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Prepare wild blueberry filling.

Once dough has doubled in size, transfer it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a 14 x 24-inch rectangle. Spread the wild blueberry filling evenly all over the surface of the dough. Starting with the dough edge nearest to you, begin rolling up the dough into a thick log. Pinch the seam lightly to seal in the filling. Cut the dough log into eight even pieces (Tip: Cut the log in half first, then cut each half into half, and so on). Transfer pieces, cut side up, into the prepared baking pan (two rows of four evenly spaced). Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to rest overnight, 8-12 hours.

The next morning, remove baking pan from the refrigerator and set on counter to rise for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).

Remove the plastic wrap from the baking pan and bake buns for 35-40 minutes or until golden and skewer inserted in center of buns comes out clean. Remove from oven and set on cooling rack. Meanwhile, prepare lemon glaze.

Pour about half of the lemon glaze evenly over the wild blueberry buns while the buns are still hot, using a spoon to help coat each bun. Once buns have cooled slightly and glaze has set, pour on the remaining glaze. Buns are best served while still slightly warm and enjoyed on the day they’re made.

Wild Blueberry Filling

4 cups (539g) frozen wild blueberries or 3 1/2 cups (539g) fresh blueberries
1/3 cup (70g) sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (16g) cornstarch
2 tablespoons (30ml) cold water

In a medium-sized saucepan, combine wild blueberries, sugar, vanilla bean seeds with scraped pod, and lemon juice. Heat over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Cook berries for 2-3 minutes until soft (if using fresh blueberries, lightly smash them as they cook to help them break down into smaller pieces). Stir together the cornstarch and cold water, then add mixture to the berries. Stirring constantly, cook for 1 minute more until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and pour filling into a shallow container to cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

1 1/2 cups (180g) powdered sugar
1/4 cup (58g) fresh lemon juice
Pinch of kosher salt

In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.

12 thoughts on “Wild Blueberry & Lemon Overnight Buns

  • Do you think this recipe is possible with a gluten free flour exchange?
    I can get good results for non yeast baked goods with a good 1 to 1 substitute, but yeast based baked goods are sometimes different. Would love any thoughts.

    • Hi Joanne! That’s a great question. I haven’t tried making this gluten-free before, but my guess is that it would not work very well. Cornstarch is used in this dough, in order to tenderize the dough a bit by limiting gluten development from using all-purpose flour (which has a higher protein content). Using gluten-free flour might not allow enough structural support to the dough during baking. My recommendation would be to use your favorite gluten-free brioche-style dough recipe; one that you know works and tastes great. Then, use the wild blueberry filling and lemon glaze from this recipe to finish it. Best of luck and let me know how it goes!

  • I did these to the point where you would normally just put them in the fridge but instead I froze them…because I was doing too batches for an event….so the night before I took them out of the freezer and put them in the fridge and then let them rise in a warm oven before cooking them. They turned out beautiful

  • Hello Hello 🙂

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’m gonna modify the ingredients a bit but wanted to ask the need for the overnight rest? I’m thinking if I let them rest for an hour after assembly then they could go straight into an oven? Do they need to marinate or does this have something to do with the gluten or the temperature before baking?

    Thank you for your time, Terra

    • Hi, Terra! No need to rest the dough overnight if you’d like to make them all in one day. This recipe was adapted from my Baby Pecan & Cara Cara Orange Caramel Sticky Buns (see the Helpful Tips section of this blog post). Overnighting is simply a time-convenient way to allow the dough to rest to be baked in the morning. Hope you enjoy them!

      • Do you ever wish people read the whole of your recipe before asking questions? HAHAHHA
        Thanks again and I look forward to trying out your sticky buns too!

  • Tip of the hat to you, Ma’am… I’m no baker but this recipe got me interested… I’ve looked at it for a few months before I got the “huevos” to make them… Knowing I was going to make mistakes,,, I do the right thing after everything else has been tried. Anyway, they turned out very close to great. Next time I’ll reduce the amount of wild blueberries… I had 20oz and used all of them… also, I checked at 35 minutes and made the decision to go to 40 but pulled them at 39.5 minutes. Knowing every oven is different,,,, next time I’ll go to 42 minutes. At 39.5 they were “perfect” but I like mine a little more crusty (touch over done)… and the center just a touch more done. I’ve done a few recipes you’ve posted… All have been great (when I follow the instructions). I’m always happy when I see your post come through on email.. Please don’t stop… Again, thank you.

    • Thank you for the kind words and for the excellent notes! I always enjoy reading how bakers adapt a recipe of mine to their personal taste. That’s part of what makes baking exciting and how we become great bakers (which it sounds like you are!). Thank you for sharing your experience. 🙂

  • I would like to use raspberries instead of blueberries and want to put it through a sieve in order to get the seeds out. Maybe just warming raspberries alone put that through the sieve and then follow the directions as written? What are your thoughts?

    • Raspberries sound delicious! You’ll need to alter the filling recipe if you’d like to use them. Raspberries are much more tart than wild blueberries, so the sugar amount would need to be increased and straining the mixture would alter the amount of the raspberries needed. To make things simpler, you could always use a high quality pre-made raspberry jam as the filling. If you try it, let me know how it goes! Best of luck!

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