Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

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Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls — Big, soft pumpkin bread rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

Other than warm, fresh chocolate chip cookies, very little can top warm, fresh, homemade rolls. And rolls made with pumpkin and honey butter are even better.

The pumpkin bread rolls are easy to make and are ready from start to finish in under 2 hours. Not bad at all for a yeast recipe.

They’re soft, slightly chewy, and the pumpkin keeps them moist and adds just enough tooth-sinking density.

The scents of pumpkin, spices, honey, and bread baking that waft thorough the house are positively intoxicating. Sure beats lighting a pumpkin-scented candle! 

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

I purposely designed this easy dinner roll recipe for singles, smaller families, or for the average weeknight dinner when you don’t need dozens and dozens of rolls. I cringe when I see 4 to 7 cup of flour recipes.

This pumpkin dinner roll recipe has just over 2 cups and serves a family, not an army. Any extras freeze nicely. Not that I think you’ll have any.

I’m sure you can double the recipe if you need more, although I haven’t tried. The entire batch fits on the plates shown below.

Normally I don’t do step-by-step photos because frankly, they’re a pain. Stop, start, wash hands, pick up camera. Do the next step, get dirty, wash hands, pick up camera; repeat. Then edit all the photos.

But I was feeling generous and I want the photos to convince you that these pumpkin dinner rolls are do-able, even if you’ve never worked with yeast.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

They’re soft, fluffy, and just chewy enough.

The pumpkin flavor, while present, is not overly strong. If you know someone who’s on the fence about pumpkin or have a family where some people love it, but others are just so-so, these are the perfect compromise.

They give the pumpkin lovers a taste of their favorite orange-colored food group, while not alienating those who don’t love in-your-face pumpkin flavor.

I’d like to call them ‘Honey Butter Gently-Flavored-With-Pumpkin Dinner Rolls’.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

In the recipe section, I built in a make-ahead/overnight option. However, they’re so fast to make, I don’t know if you’ll need the make-ahead option, but it can save an hour on baking day.

I haven’t tried freezing unbaked dough, but most baked bread freezes beautifully.

I hope the recipe comes in handy for your fall baking, Thanksgiving dinner table, and holiday parties. Or for soft dinner rolls any old night of the week just because.

It’s my new go-to pumpkin dinner roll recipe after playing around with many others over the years. Enjoy.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

What’s in the Pumpkin Dinner Rolls? 

To make this easy dinner roll recipe, you’ll need: 

  • Milk
  • Unsalted butter
  • Egg
  • Pumpkin puree
  • All-purpose flour
  • Instant dry yeast
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Salt

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

How to Make Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Add milk and 2 tablespoons of butter to a measuring cup. Zap it for about 45 seconds in the microwave and stir until the butter melts.

Top it off with pumpkin puree, 1 egg, and whisk together.

In muffin making, this would be the wet ingredients that you’d pour over the dry. Same concept here.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Heat it for another 15 seconds, just to get it nice and toasty. This doesn’t make the mixture hot, but ensures the mixture is warm enough to activate the yeast.

This is a rare yeast recipe that I never even took out my thermometer. In general with yeast and liquid, if it’s ever too hot that you can’t comfortably stick your finger in it, wait a minute or two until you can or you’ll kill the yeast.

Set mixture aside.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Get out your flour and yeast. I only bake with King Arthur All-Purpose and sometimes King Arthur Bread Flour. Bread flour will lend a chewier, thicker, denser result, more like a bagel. I wanted to keep these rolls softer and fluffier and opted for all-purpose.

I strongly recommend King Arthur flour because the protein levels are generally slightly higher than in other brands. In baking, this lends more structure, translating to puffier cookies, stronger cakes, and better rising bread.  

Cheap flour is cheap flour. Spend an extra two bucks for good flour. The results are worth it.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

I only bake with Red Star Platinum Yeast. It’s the best yeast I’ve ever tried and it never lets me down.

If you’re new to bread-making or working with yeast, consider this yeast your insurance against goofs because it’s very forgiving.

Since it’s an instant yeast, you don’t have to proof it (let it stand with warm liquids for 10 minutes or until foamy). You simply add it with the rest of your dry ingredients.

If you are an experienced bread maker, you’re going to love the extra puff and oven-spring you get with the Platinum. Your baked goods will rise higher and faster than you’re used to. So well worth the extra buck compared to other yeasts.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

In a mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar (must-have, it’s the yeast’s food source), 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Sounds like a lot of spices, but it’s not.

Pumpkin puree and flour are both insanely bland and need to be jazzed up with spices.

I did not add salt because I am very sodium-sensitive but if you’d like to add a pinch, feel free.

Knead the dough for 5 to 8 minutes. I used my stand mixer, but you can do it by hand.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

You really want to develop the gluten. Pumpkin is dense and heavy and will weigh down the dough and by kneading it thoroughly, you create gluten formation, which helps the bread rise better and not stay dense.

I could have gotten away with 2 cups flour, but I used 2 1/4 cups. Over-flouring the dough is a no-no because it creates dense, thick bread that’s not light and fluffy. But for the sake of knowing that without a doubt this recipe will work in other climates, I went up to 2 1/4 cups.

You can see this dough is not sticky or gloppy at all. It’s a dream dough to work with. Nice and smooth.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Put it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm, draft-free place until it nearly doubles in size. For me, this is the inside of my oven (powered off) and took 45 minutes.

Do not go by the clock. Go by how your dough looks.

If it takes longer, it means your house is cold or the yeast is just being pokey. That’s life. Wait until your dough has nearly doubled  before moving on.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

45 minutes later, we’ve doubled in size.

Look at that big puffball. When I punched it down, it sounded like air being let out of a helium balloon. I love that sound. Means the yeast worked and the dough is alive.

Shape it into rolls. I made 8. I could have made 9 or 1o because 8 made very hearty-sized rolls

Put them in a pan and wait until they’ve nearly doubled in size, likely about 30 to 45 minutes.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Before baking, brush them with equal parts melted butter and honey. Whatever is left over, reserve to brush on after baking. They’re little sponges and will happily absorb it.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Look at these big, golden, glistening buns.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Can The Rolls Be Made in Advance? 

Yes! If you would like to use an overnight or make-ahead option, after you get the rolls into the pan and covered with foil, place the pan in the fridge.

When ready to bake, pick up with the next step below, making sure to allow the dough to come to room temp and rise nicely; it could take longer than the 45 minutes indicated below since dough is coming right out of a cold fridge.

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Big, soft rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Can Dinner Rolls Be Frozen? 

Definitely! Let them cool completely, then seal in a freezer bag for up to three months. 

When ready to enjoy, thaw them on your counter or gently reheat in the oven. 

What to Serve with Soft Dinner Rolls

Since this recipe contains pumpkin, it’s the perfect Thanksgiving dinner roll recipe! Here are some holiday favorites to serve alongside the rolls: 

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls — Big, soft pumpkin bread rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Pin This Recipe

Yield: 10

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Honey Butter Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Big, soft pumpkin bread rolls brushed with honey butter are the best! Everyone loves them and they disappear so fast!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 29 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour may be substituted; rolls will be firmer and chewier rather than softer and fluffier; you may only need 2 cups bread flour)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin  pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Honey Butter

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Tip: Combine equal parts softened butter (not melted) and honey, and whisk together until fluffy and combined for serving with the rolls

Instructions

Dough:

  1. Add milk to a 2-cup microwave-safe measuring cup, or microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add butter and heat on high power to melt butter, about 45 seconds. Stir until butter has melted smoothly into the milk.
  3. Add the egg, pumpkin puree, and whisk to combine.
  4. Return measuring cup to microwave and heat for about 15 seconds to warm mixture up. This will help to activate the yeast; set aside briefly.
  5. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or large mixing bowl for hand kneading, add the remaining dough ingredients, thorough optional salt.
  6. Pour wet pumpkin-milk mixture over the dry ingredients.
  7. Turn mixer to low speed, and knead for 5 to 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and has come together. This is not a sticky dough and if your dough is sticky, tacky, or gloppy, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is no longer sticky. I doubt you will need to add any, because I could have made this recipe with 2 cups flour, but went up to 2 1/4. Don’t over-flour your dough because it creates rolls that are dense and heavy.
  8. Turn dough out into a mixing bowl that’s been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Flip dough over once so both sides are lightly greased, and cover bowl with plasticwrap.
  9. Place bowl in a warm, draft-free environment until dough has nearly doubled in bulk, about 45 to 60 minutes. Do not go by time elapsed on the clock. Wait until dough has nearly doubled in size, and if it takes longer than an hour, that’s fine.
  10. Punch dough down and turn it out onto a nonstick surface. I spray my counter with cooking spray and don’t even need to add flour.
  11. Divide dough into 8 to 12 equally-sized portions, rolling each portion into a ball. I made 8 rolls and they were very generously sized. I would aim for 9 to 10 rolls. They may look skimp now but don’t worry, they rise and swell very nicely.
  12. Place dough balls into a foil-lined and cooking sprayed 9-inch square pan. If you would like to use an overnight or make-ahead option, after you get the rolls into the pan and covered with foil, place pan in fridge. When ready to bake, pick up with the next step below, making sure to allow the dough to come to room temp and rise nicely; it could take longer than the 45 minutes indicated below since dough is coming right out of a cold fridge.
  13. Cover pan with a sheet of foil, place pan in a warm, draft-free environment until dough has nearly doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. In the last minutes of rising, preheat oven to 375F.

Honey Butter:

  1. Melt butter in small microwave-safe bowl, about 45 seconds on high power.
  2. Add the honey and stir to combine.
  3. Before baking, generously brush dough with honey butter; reserve any extra and brush it on after baking.
  4. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until puffed, golden, domed, cooked through, and when tapped, the rolls should sound hollow.
  5. Allow rolls to cool in pan until they’re cool enough to handle before serving. 

Notes

Storage: Rolls will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 4 days. Heat in microwave for 5 to 10 seconds as necessary to recreate the just-baked taste and to soften.

Finished (baked) rolls will keep airtight in the freezer for up to 6 months. I have not tried freezing this dough in the unbaked state but you could likely freeze it after step 12 and upon thawing, pick up with step 13; however I haven’t tried.

Doubling the recipe: I have not tried doubling the recipe, but I imagine that would be fine. Bake in a 9×13-inch pan or similar.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 197Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g

More Homemade Bread Recipes: 

ALL OF MY BREAD RECIPES! 

Soft & Fluffy Sweet Dinner Rolls — Lightly sweetened from the honey in the dough and brushed with honey-butter prior to baking!! These dinner rolls are made from scratch and are baked to golden brown perfection! 

Honey Dinner Rolls

No-Knead Rolls with Honey Butter — These soft, light, fluffy yeast dinner rolls are so easy to make! They’re practically work-free because there’s no-kneading involved.

No-Knead Make-Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls — These 100% whole wheat dinner rolls are soft, light, fluffy, and so easy. They’re practically work-free because there’s no kneading. 

100% Whole Wheat No-Knead Make Ahead Dinner Rolls with Honey Butter - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Parker House Rolls – The BEST homemade dinner rolls because they’re so light, airy, fluffy and practically melt in your mouth!

Parker House Rolls - The BEST homemade dinner rolls because they're so light, airy, fluffy and practically melt in your mouth! They have a wonderful buttery flavor that will make them an instant family favorite at your next holiday gathering or make them for a special meal! 

Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread {Copycat Recipe} — A very short ingredient list, no mixer, and nothing fancy is required. Served with homemade honey butter, this brings restaurant-style bread to your house.

Outback Steakhouse Wheat Bread {Copycat Recipe} (vegan)

30-Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread — Skillet breads bake quicker than bread in loaf pans, so you get to enjoy this bread sooner rather than later.

30 Minute Honey Whole Wheat Skillet Bread (no-knead, no yeast)



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Comments

  1. I made this recipe and for some reason it went all wrong and I’m not sure what I did. The dough stayed tacky, even after 4-5extra tablespoons of flour. They would up have a weird taste, probably because of the flour. I’m new to baking bread and am going to try this again today. Hopefully it will turn out better today. Any tips or suggestions? 

    1. Excessively sticky dough means you need more flour. Bread baking is not an exact science and it will really depend on your dough, climate, brands/types of ingredients used, etc.

      I would say add sufficient flour so the dough is manageable and not too sticky. Use King Arthur brand flour, it’s the best, especially for new bakers, you will get far superior results. Change your brand of yeast too. I recommend Red Star but do something different than what you already did since that too could have been part of the problem.

  2. HI, Averie! I am sooooo excited to make these because I want to get the nutritional benefits and love the taste of pumpkin, but sugars and desserts make me sick which makes me so sad during the holiday season. I cannot WAIT to try these! I want to make them this weekend and was wondering how far ahead you can make the dough? Would two days be much too long? Thank you for sharing your recipe! They look amazing.

    1. I never have made the dough that far in advance so I really can’t say. Overnight is the longest I’ve tried.

  3. I made these yesterday and they are amazing with butternut squash puree. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Has anyone tried freezing them before the second rise? Do they still turn out? It would help a lot for Thanksgiving if I could make serval batches to keep in the freezer

    Rating: 5
    1. Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad they turned out amazing with butternut squash puree! I haven’t tried freezing them before the second rise so can’t give you any advice there.

      Personally…bread freezes quite well and if you’re just looking to batch cook in advance, I’d make them straight through and then let them come up to room temp and right before serving put warm them momentarily in the oven if you’re looking for warm rolls. However test this with one batch before the big day!

  4. 4 years running and I still make YOUR honey pumpkin yeast rolls EVERY year at the holidays!! At least 3-4 dozen for all of our Thansgiving gatherings because they are perfect unique and WONDERFUL in every way.

    Rating: 5
  5. Is this a recipe that you could make without a stand mixer? It sounds delicious, however, I don’t own one of those as of yet.

    1. Use the “stretch and fold” method. It works just as well as kneading or a standing mixer … and much easier.

  6. Very nice recipe!! I had cooked down about 10 free pie pumpkins,so I felt like Bubba and his shrimp, coming up with pureed pumpkin recipes!

    Made for Thanksgiving but did a 4x between 2 mixers. Oven could’t keep up so some overproofed but the flavor is there for sure. Love that it’s not a sweet roll…a delicious bite while drinking sweeter apple cider sangria with the meal! literally making a single batch right now. Cold rainy day snack…. Thanks for sharing a new go- to for me!

    1. Glad you loved the rolls and I agree, not too sweet, and glad you were able to make use of all your pureed pumpkin!

  7. I have a stupid question – do you buy pumpkin puree? If not, do I just puree raw pumpkin or do I need to cook it first and then puree it? Thanks!!

  8. Lovely blog Averie, should I dare to make this with milk and butter substitutes for my allergic-to-dairy husband? Would you recommend against it?

    1. I think you’d be able to use a soy, almond, or cashewmilk without much problem. Then there’s the butter…maybe Earth Balance would work? Andt then there’s the egg. That is something that I don’t know how you’d work around in this situation if you have to remove that too. LMK if you end up trying and how things go!

      1. might I suggest coconut oil to replace butter for dairy allergies? Eggs are not dairy, they are only an issue for vegans.

  9. I didn’t have pumpkin spice or nutmeg I added some cinnamon and mixed dried herbs it came out perfect.
    thanks.

    1. Curious about what dried herbs you used. I’m worried that the rolls will be to pie-like in taste due to the pumpkin pie seasoning. I was thinking about sage and/or thyme. Thoughts?

      1. They’re not overly pumpkin-ey at all but if you want to mask any pumpkin flavor (but then what’s the point…) you could always add whatever other dried herbs you want. Sage/thyme are very overpowering and will mask just about anything IMO.

    2. I think the sage and rosemary suggestions sounds amazing.  Averie, I think you misunderstood the question:  She did not want to mask the pumpkin flavor, but add some nice savory herbs rather than pumpkin pie spice, which would make me nervous as well.

      1. I didn’t actually misunderstand – they are pumpkin dinner rolls which is why I use pumpkin pie spice.

        The other herbs sound lovely but that’s not what I would call a pumpkin dinner roll at that point. It’s more of a ‘fall-flavored dinner roll’. Let me know if you try it.

  10. These look delicious! Do you think I could sub margarine and almond milk to make them dairy-free? My family doesn’t mix milk and meat and I’d love to make these for thanksgiving!

    1. Probably would be okay in this recipe, although I haven’t tried, so cannot say for sure. (Try a dry-run with it before the big day and event just so you know!)

  11. Hi!

    I tried out the recipe today & made them gluten free they were amazing! Thank you for the recipe! I used cup4cup gluten free flour & coconut almond milk.
    They were not hollow but moist and fluffy!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! I am SUPER IMPRESSED that they worked with Cup4Cup and were still moist and fluffy! Great to know! And I bet the coconut almond milk is a nice touch with the honey butter!

  12. Wonder if this dough would freeze well? Also, would doubling it mean also doubling the amount of yeast? These look yummy! Cannot wait to try!

    1. I know that you can make the rolls from start to finish, THEN freeze them, and thaw the rolls as you need them; warm in a very low oven or a quick few seconds in the micro if you want them warm. But I haven’t tried freezing this dough in the unbaked state. LMK if you do!

  13. Is there a link where I can sign up to follow you by email? I am very hopeful about this possibility.

    Thank you!

  14. I made these with a roast chicken and they were OUTSTANDING! very good when also slathered with homemade apple butter for breakfast. I had a few leftover so I made them into croutons too! thank you for the wonderful recipe!

    1. very good when also slathered with homemade apple butter for breakfast. <--- I think almost anything would be amazing with homemade apple butter on it! :) And glad you loved these rolls and that you even were able to use the leftovers for croutons!

  15. I plan to make these for Thanksgiving so I practiced last weekend. Always intimidated using yeast! Your step-by-step instructions were perfect. So easy. Surprisingly, I did have to use a bit more flour because my dough was tacky, but only 2T if I correctly recall. They came out so delicious. I know there won’t be leftovers at Thanksgiving, but we had a few left this weekend so I stored in an airtight container. When we went to eat them the next day, they were really damp/moist on top (presumably due to the honey/butter). I’m afraid had I let them go one more day they would’ve gotten moldy. Are you just using a regular airtight container and then letting the container sit on counter? Or do you store them in the fridge? Thanks again for the lovely recipe!

    1. 2 tbsp of extra flour is nothing in a big batch of rolls! Glad my step shots and details helped you get over your yeast fears! I don’t store them in the fridge (I never store bread in the fridge!) and possibly because of the honey butter they became extra moist for you on top…maybe scale it back slightly or after baking, just add it to the ones you know you’re having, then as you eat the rest over the next few days, apply it as necessary.

  16. Hi Averie!
    These are amazing. I love, love, love making bread of any kind and
    this was easy and they are delicious. My daughter came home from school and asked ” How did you make these?!” Baking bread is kind of magical, in my opinion :)
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. It’s totally magical, I agree! And I love baking bread too. I was on a rampage this weekend in fact :)

      Glad you and your daughter loved the rolls!

  17. I just wanted to say thank you for this recipe and all of the work you did to post step-by-step photos and instructions for these rolls. I made them today, and they turned out perfectly! I just can’t believe it. They look and taste amazing. I have always stayed away from recipes with yeast as it seemed like a lot of work with little chance of success. Your instructions gave me the courage to try making the rolls. I am just so happy right now! I already want to try making more things with yeast in them. Thank you so much for helping me to overcome my fear!:)

    1. Oh wow, this is awesome. Love comments like these, love that my instructions and step shots helped you overcome your fear of yeast and that you want to make more stuff now! That is wonderful and makes all those pics and typing on my end worth it :) I am so glad you’re happy and you have a whole new baking world ahead of you now!

  18. I was excited to find this recipe. My excitement turned to disappointment when tasting them. The rolls themselves don’t have a lot of sweetness. In fact, I thought they tasted pretty horrid if I didn’t get any honey butter in the bite. To infuse more flavor, I would have liked for the honey to be added into the dough rather than slathered on top.

    1. No, these are not ‘sweet rolls’. They are dinner rolls with a hint of sweetness and pumpkin, and if you do brush on more honey-butter or just straight honey, you can of course make them sweeter. If you are looking for sweet pumpkin rolls, make these! https://www.averiecooks.com/2014/09/the-best-pumpkin-cinnamon-rolls.html

      When working with yeast in general, if you add too much honey or sugar to dough, it will kill the yeast. They need some sugar to activate and therefore help the dough to rise, but too much and you kill the yeast. It can be a delicate balance. I found that this was the maximum amount of honey I could add into the dough before it became either too wet, too sloppy, or didn’t work.

  19. To Erika and anyone else who wanted to try these gf: tried them today and they were a miserable fail! Didn’t rise at all and didn’t turn out fluffy. I’m sure with gluten they would have been delicious, but sadly not a recipe that translates well with gluten free flour.

    1. There’s ZERO available gluten in GF flour and this recipe absolutely needs gluten to work. I would not have advised you even bothered trying with a GF flour blend. In order to bake yeast-based items using GF flours, you need to make tons of alterations and generally use all kinds of specialty flours and specialty ingredients. There are entire books, websites, etc. devoted to just this topic b/c it’s quite tricky. But simply swapping GF flour for regular in a recipe like this, nope, won’t ever work.

  20. Love the step-by-step-photos!

    My husband brought some beautiful pumpkin home from the farmer’s market so I roasted and pureed it for this. We loved these so much, we ate two rolls each with dinner tonight! I already told my mom about them because I want to add them to the Thanksgiving table this year. My husband is lactose intolerant so we drink almond milk instead of cow milk – it worked just fine in this recipe.

    I was reading some other comments – I get frustrated with halving recipes for our small family, too. Sometimes I just make a big batch and freeze. Other times, when I really only want a small batch and it calls for an odd number of eggs (like 3), I’ll separate one egg and use only the white or only the yolk and save the other half of the egg for breakfast or another recipe. Hope that makes sense. It’s not a perfect solution, but it has worked ok for me.

    1. Totally makes sense about the eggs and I do that too. Glad these rolls were a hit with you guys and you had a couple rolls each and are putting the recipe on your Thanksgiving menu – how wonderful to hear that! :)

  21. I would love to make these. Can I use gluten free flour? I have Celiac disease. These look like they would be awesome any night of the week.

    1. Since GF flour has no gluten, a key component in helping dough rise, this recipe would not likely work with GF flour. Now, there are GF flours and GF bread recipes that DO work, but I am not an expert on GF flour + yeasted bread baking. It’s very specialized and ‘picky’ and you have to get everything just right or recipes tend to fail, which is why most people complain about GF bread not tasting right. It’s hard to perfect!

  22. These sound wonderful. I currently only have active dry yeast on hand. Do you know of any way to make that work for this? (I’d love to make them for dinner tomorrow!) if not, I’ll have to wait to make them til after the grocery trip. :)

    1. I would say you could try proofing the yeast with the warmed milk and I’d toss 1 tsp sugar in that. Let it stand for 10 mins to get foamy and then carry on with the rest of the recipe. Haven’t tried but that’s probably how you could overcome it with decent luck. LMK how it goes!

      1. That’s what I did! And it worked out so well! It was well liked by all. Thanks or the recipe and your advice! :)

  23. Hello Averie! I made these today and they are delicious! I had to make my homemade pumpkin puree as you can’t find it tinned here in the UK, so I had to add more flour to the dough as my puree was probably more liquid than the tinned one. I love the smell they leave around the house and I love how soft they are!!! Thanks for the recipe! :)

    1. Glad to hear they worked out well for you and yes, homemade puree is probably runnier than storebought so adding extra flour was probably necessary. Good job :) And they do make the house smell wonderfully, don’t they!

  24. I made these rolls tonight. I only have one word to say “divine”! I made them to have with our homemade chicken soup. Well, the Hubby and I ate hardly any of the soup (which was super yummy btw) because we each had two of these lovelies slathered with butter. Then we uttered in unison “let’s have these with our coffee in the morning!” These were truly wonderful. I wanted to give them a trial run before Thanksgiving. They would be perfect on Turkey day with all of the other sweet/savory foods on the table. Thanks for a great recipe.

    1. I am so glad you tried them (always good to do a trial run of any recipe before an event – love the stories I get with people who try cakes the day before they’re bringing a cake to their mother in law’s 75th bday party and they’ve never made the cake or things like that..ha!) but anyway, glad you loved them. Two each, plus a couple for breakfast, and batch is about done. Thanks so much for the high praise – calling them divine. Thank you :) If you serve them at Thanksgiving, LMK what others say!

  25. Very helpful step by step photos – thank you! Maybe I can reintroduce myself to yeast after all…

    Smaller yield amount too, that’s’ awesome!!

  26. Wow, these look good. Especially with the honey butter. I could see myself eating these with a big bowl of hot turkey chili!

    1. I want your milkshake. I just saw it on the top row of FG. Beautiful image and just want to reach thru the screen and guzzle!

  27. Does anyone know how the dough recipe would translate in a bread machine? I know to use your machines usual order of ingredients (mine is liquids, flour them yeast) but has anyone attempted it in theirs?

    1. Just make it by hand/as written. It’s so easy!! You don’t need a bread machine for this one! I promise :) Everyone’s who’s made them is so pleased with the recipe and I know you’ll love them too!

  28. This is the first time I’ve heard about pumpkin rolls. This is just a perfect timing recipe, since our groceries are overflowing with pumpkin. Thanks for sharing.

  29. Averie- I’m sure these rolls will be served at a lot of dinner tables this fall! Love all the photos of the rolls, and also ones showing the process. Very helpful to those who are new to baking.

    1. So happy you like these! That means a ton and glad the commenting glitch was resolved. Sorry about that, Linda! I hope that newer bakers, like you said, like the step shots – and thanks so much for liking the rolls!

    1. And I even had to tone them down – they are a crazy shade of orange! So pretty in person…on camera, meh, well :)

      1. You’re welcome Averie. Thank you for posting them. I have made them again since I posted the first time. I will definitely be making these for the holiday’s.

  30. Love these. Had some extra pumpkin to use. Thank you for step by step photos. These are sweet and super yummy rolls. Used K. A. Bread flour and they are still light and fluffy.

    1. Thanks for trying them, Shannon! Glad to know you made them and that the KA Bread Flour worked out well for you. Thanks for the field report!

  31. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and have loved every recipe/photo you’ve shared!
    This recipe really caught my eye, in the UK its quite taboo to pair dinner rolls with sweetness unless its a mildly sweet brioche burger bun.
    Anyway I have a tin of pumpkin in the back of my draw since last autumn and nothing has inspired me to wipe the dust off that one until now. Thank you!
    I would love to know which camera lens you use, all of your pictures are so flawless :)

    1. Thanks for the compliments and for following me! I have a photography page here https://www.averiecooks.com/photography

      I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III body and either a 24-70mm lens or the 50mm 1.2

      And these rolls aren’t really sweet per se…they are sweet-ish? I would put them on par with the mildly sweet brioche burger bun you describe but softer and fluffier :)

  32. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now and have loved every recipe/photo you’ve shared!
    This recipe really caught my eye, in the UK its quite taboo to pair dinner rolls with sweetness unless its a mildly sweet brioche burger bun.
    Anyway I have a tin of pumpkin in the back of my draw since last autumn and nothing has inspired me to wipe the dust off that one until now. Thank you!
    I would love to know which camera lens you use, all of your pictures are so flawless :)

  33. I couldn’t agree more with your first sentence – homemade chocolate chip cookies and warm, soft dinner rolls are just about as delicious and comforting as food can get. I love all things pumpkin and can never say no to honey butter, so these are right up my alley!

    1. Thanks Alexandra and I seem to recall you have some sweet potato rolls I remember seeing last year? Need to check your archives!

  34. Woweeeeee! Man, do these look amazing! Pinning!
    These would be a fabulous addition to the Thanksgiving table this year :)

  35. Thank you for the step by step pics! I totally agree they can be a pain ;) Those look delish and I absolutely LOVE anything with pumpkin! I will totally be trying these rolls at my next dinner!! Mmmm….

    1. Glad you like the pics (yes, total pain…ha!) but glad they worked and you want to make these. LMK how it goes!

  36. Omg, pumpkin rolls! I might have to go make these right now! Your recipes always come out perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me!

  37. You are SO right – a warm roll and cookies – can’t live without them. These…these are amazing. I love your step by step photos, and I appreciate what a pain they are!

    1. Girl. I hate them. I don’t know how Pioneer Woman does them. She does like 20+! Then again, she may not exactly personally be doing them. But any blogger who routinely does them – my hat is off!

      Thanks for pinning these!

  38. Oh Averie…these look so so amazing! Honey butter is absolutely amazing, and on pumpkin rolls?! Mm..drooling just thinking about it! These sound like the ultimate fall comfort food. Pinned!

  39. Ooh! I finally got a KA mixer (I call it the sexy beast), and initiated it with the ATK soft pretzel recipe, but am now bookmarking the heck out of recipes I can use it for. These look perfect.

    1. I have a 1 hour soft pretzel recipe that I love too! Super easy! And congrats on your new sexy beast. You will put it through thousands of recipes, no doubt!

  40. Your dinner roll recipes are my favorites–always easy and they never fail! I think bread making season has arrived and pumpkin is a great idea for rolls. They are a beautiful color and perfect for fall! These could go with something savory for my husband, and I love the honey butter idea–maybe with a little cinnamon too. Nut butter (or your white choc butterscotch SFSB )would be great on these for a quick snack….and I’m starting to think about having them with butternut squash soup or roasted root veggies too!

    1. Like I just told someone else, from a smear of butter to frosting to a sandwich base to dunked in soup. Wide open! I love the cinnamon idea or white choc butterscotch SFSB or PB would be amazing here :) But with soup or roasted root veggies – mmm, so good. I can see something balsamic-ey working well. Really cannot go wrong with fluffy warm carbs, right! And thanks for saying my dinner roll recipes are your faves. Nice to know!

  41. The smell of homemade bread does me in every time. These look so light and fluffy. I love the pumpkin addition for Fall.

  42. Oh Averie – these rolls are PERFECTION! Carbs and pumpkin goodness is just my weakness, I’m still trying to bake more breads at home but I just haven’t made it happen yet – even though I finally have the time now. I think some baking will have to be in order next week!

    1. Thanks for your awesome compliments! Appreciate it! and of course, all your pins. I have been pinning your stuff but commenting less. Just trying to streamline. I want that soup of yours with one of these rolls!

  43. These are perfect for my little family of two! I too cringe when I see recipes that call for 5, 6, 7 cups of flour! That’s way too much for me so I always have to cut it in half and hope it still turns out good.

    I love these dinner rolls, Averie! I can see them getting eaten up pretty fast at my house. Dinner rolls are so darn good but add the pumpkin and complimenting spices and you have one delicious, amazing dinner roll!

    1. So glad you enjoy the recipe and like you, I try to mentally halve big recipes but sometimes they call for…3 eggs! (cookie-baking) And with bread baking or any baking, sometimes halving just isn’t easy. Like it will be 3 eggs and 2 1/4 sticks of butter so while you can halve it, the mental math gets to be a bit much and then…I just move on and never attempt.

  44. These rolls look wonderful! I’m so happy to see a recipe for a smaller yield too. It’s just the Hubby and me so this perfect. I too only use King Arthur flour; there truly is a difference. My go to yeast is SAF Instant Yeast. I do a lot of baking and I can buy the SAF by the pound and keep it in the freezer ready to go. I buy it at our grocery store or King Arthur Flour if I can’t find it locally.

    Thanks for a great holiday recipe!
    ~Peggy

    1. If you’ve never tried Platinum, I know ounce for ounce (or recipe for recipe), it’s going to be more expensive than what you’re doing now (SAF is really nice yeast) but you will be blown away by the Platinum. Try it as a ‘special treat’ to yourself and I bet you’re going to be so happy :) Glad to hear you like the yield and are a devoted KAF user, too!

      1. Okay, you convinced me lol! I’ll definitely give it a try. I’m assuming I should just be able to find it at the local grocery store? I never really look for yeast in the stores since I usually buy it in bulk.

        I just can’t wait to make these rolls :)

      2. Yes they sell the yeast in the baking aisle right next to other brands of yeast, in a 3-pack strip. Enjoy!

  45. What a fun green bowl that is! Love it. This flavor combination looks delicious and I love that it’s a small batch. This single girl over here can’t be eating 20 rolls at once! :)

    1. And the thing with bread, is even if you do have a big family, bread is so much better same-day or next-day, that making just-enough is nice I think!

  46. Gorgeous! I just started baking with yeast and I am so hooked — it is SO much fun! Adding this to my list of things to try. Thanks for the step-by-step tutorial (beginners like me certainly need it!)

      1. Haha I feel the SAME way! They are such a hassle. I’ve gotten so much flour and batter and who knows what else on my camera… so your shots are very much appreciated, I know they’re not fun to get!

  47. Love these, Averie! Last year I made some similar rolls but with sweet potato for Thanksgiving. Going to have to give these a try this year!!

    1. I have made sweet potato quickbreads (muffins and loaves) but never used sweet potato in a yeasted dough. I want to! I imagine it’s quite similar to pumpkin in terms of how it behaves. I have made cinn rolls with pumpkin but want to try with sweet potatoes too!

    2. Really, you can make rolls with sweet potato as well? Oh my, thanks guys, I learned so much reading this blog.

  48. These look so comforting! Just what I need on this rainy day! I’m with you on the step by step pics. It’s too much work and way too much hand washing.

  49. Oh. My. Word. These sound wonderful!!! Mmmm!! Oh my! Now, I’m wondering what shall accompany them?

  50. I find the oven spring is all to do with the kneading for me. For my doughs I would knead for a good 25 minutes by hand, that way they are always airy and light. Love the colour of pumpkin when it dyes breads. I also made some pumpkin bagels this weekend (we never get flavour bagels in Australia); now I know why you guys love this combo so much!
    Love your rolls! Give me 9 any day!

    1. 25 mins of hand-kneading, well that’s one way to work off the carbs before you eat them – you go girl! :)

      Your bagels sound great! Flavored bagels are fairly common in the stores here, but dinner rolls, not as much. But homemade is always better anyway!

  51. Those rolls are gorgeous. THere is nothing like fresh bread and pumpkin roll on a sunday morning, perfect. Pinning. Love your recipes.

  52. The first thing that popped into my head was to use these to make pulled pork sandwiches. I feel like that would be amazing….looks like I have some experimenting to do :)

    1. What I love about blogging and sharing recipes is never in my life have, or will I, eat pulled pork (just not my thing). And it would never dawn on me to put it on one of these. I was thinking like…some cinnamon-sugar buttercream with a smear of jelly :). And you’re thinking pulled pork. The same recipe can be so versatile for so many people. Thanks for reminding me of that! And if you do try them, with pulled pork or otherwise, please LMK. Thanks, Eric!

    1. Mixing bowls – oh gosh, they are like 5-6 yrs old and I get so many compliments on them. They are by Zak. If you google or Amazon it, it will come up. They come 4 in a nested set, cheap.

  53. I so want to make these tomorrow! The honey butter part sold me before I even read the recipe :) We have a local flour mill where I buy all my flour from and it is so true that better flour makes a difference.

    1. LMK if you try them, Jenn! I bet your crew will take down the batch, in one sitting :) And yes to good flour! Especially in bread-making. Thanks for saying you notice a difference as well!

  54. Yum Averie! These dinner rolls sound perfect!! Love that it can be for pumpkin lovers or non-pumpkin lovers!! I can see these pairing with my beef stew!

  55. Averie, these rolls are gorgeous!! The pumpkin and honey butter combo sounds so good and you are right, almost nothing beast fresh homemade dinner rolls! Pinning, like I do with each and every recipe of yours!

    Oh and thanks for taking the time to do step by step photos. I know first hand what a pain they are, but yours are all stunning!

    1. Thanks for pinning each and every :) I pin 100% of your sweets and most of your dips & spreads.

      And yes, you know how step by step shots are so time consuming. Both while making the item, then the editing. It’s like doing 2 posts in one, for me at least :) Thanks for saying they’re appreciated!

  56. I love this small batch recipe – that’s much appreciated. I know the feeling when seeing 4 c. of flour, so unnecessary for one meal! These dinner rolls look so yummy, I want t grab them right out of the screen.

    1. I know, 4c of flour is like 1600 calories, or more. Just in flour. Not to mention the other ingredients. Unless you’re feeding an army or have a super sonic metabolism, it’s overkill for me as well :)