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The Softest Pumpkin Rolls Dinner Roll Recipe

24 Reviews

I don’t even know how to talk about these dinner rolls without drooling all over my computer. They are the softest pumpkin rolls dinner roll recipe ever! 

soft and fluffy pumpkin rolls on a white dish

I LOVE bread, rolls and anything categorized as a carb, but these are the softest pumpkin rolls dinner rolls I’ve ever had. I’m officially obsessed with a new dinner roll recipe. 

The best part is, not only do they taste fantastic, but they look a little more festive too. It seems like we all are trying to make the holidays a little more special, aren’t we?

But special doesn’t have to mean pinterest exhaustion. You all know exactly what I’m talking about. 

Pinterest Holiday Stress

When pinterest first came out we all went crazy with all of the amazing ideas we had never thought of!

Birthday parties and holiday celebrations BLEW UP.

And then we all fell apart in utter exhaustion and half of us decided that we would rather connect with guests and let our kids run free than stress over decorations no one even noticed. 

Festive Pumpkin Rolls  Without Extra Work

That’s where smarter recipe development comes in. 

What could we do that would look festive, turn out delicious and not make you want to cry in the shower and scream at your kids?

NOT that I’ve ever lost it under the stress of a party. Cue awkward face emoji…😬

Have You Made Our FAMOUS Potato Rolls?

That’s why these pumpkin dinner rolls based off of our FAMOUS Potato Rolls recipe are going wild online, they are so easy to make, no kneading at all, they turn out amazing and they LOOK like fall. 

a cookie sheet full of soft pumpkin dinner rolls with buttered tops


The Softest Pumpkin Rolls Dinner Roll Recipe

To make pumpkin dinner rolls you just need a few basic ingredients:

  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Instant Yeast
  • Flour
  • Sugar

a soft pumpkin dinner roll being lifted out of a pan

How to Make No Knead Dinner Rolls- 

See FAQ for lots of useful information.

  1. Scald whole milk for more flavor and better texture.
  2. Add butter, sugar, salt and pumpkin puree.
  3. Allow to cool to warm temperature, not hot. 
  4. Add the eggs and INSTANT yeast, not dry active. (see FAQ)
  5. Stir into flour and set aside, covered to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled. 
  6. Cut in four pieces and roll each into a circle. 
  7. Butter two of the 4 circles, and place the 3rd and 4th circle on #1 and #2 buttered circles like a cake. 
  8. Cut into wedges and roll like a crescent roll. (see below for 3 options)
  9. Allow to rise on a cookie sheet. 
  10. Bake. 
  11. Brush with butter and serve.

a pumpkin dinner roll being brushed with butter


How to Shape Dinner Rolls

Dough Knots

One of our favorite, and easiest ways to get rolls made is by tying the roll dough into knots

  1. Cut the dough in half and roll into a square on a floured surface. 
  2. Butter half of the dough and fold over like a sandwich, pressing slightly to seal. 
  3. Cut the dough into strips (if they are very long cut them in half).
  4. Make an “o” with two ends hanging over like tying your shoe. Tuck one end through the hole and gently pull. 
  5. Tuck the ends under the dough on a pan.


Traditional Shaped Rolled Rolls

Want just a normal looking roll like in the photo?

  1. Pinch off a ping pong ball sized dough ball and flatten in your hand.
  2. Place a dab of butter in the center and pinch the dough closed around the butter, turning and pinching the dough in the palm of your hand. 
  3. Place on a cookie sheet to rise.

How to Make Crescent Roll Shaped Rolls

  1. Roll out 4 circles, buttering two of the circles. 
  2. Place the unbuttered circles on each of the buttered circles, creating two circles.
  3. Cut into wedges.
  4. Starting at the fat end, roll until you get to the point and place on a baking sheet with the point underneath.

a pumpkin roll for dinner on a wood table

a pumpkin roll for dinner on a wood table

What Can I use Instead of Butter?

You can use shortening or butter in this roll recipe, or if you’re short on both a combination works too!

Do I have to Scald Milk?

Scalding milk is essential to making fluffy rolls. 

Testing has shown that heating milk to a certain point, never a boil, chemically changes the structure which results in a lighter, fluffier, softer roll. 

So, I guess it’s up to you, want to take a few minutes to have the best, squishiest rolls, or skip it and they will turn out pretty good.

How to Scald Milk

Scalding milk is easy. 

  1. Pour milk into a saucepan or a glass measuring cup.
  2. Heat milk over medium heat until foam appears around the edges of the pot and a thin skin of milk begins to form on top when you touch it with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Alternatively, heat the milk until steaming but not boiling in the microwave. About 2 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat.

Can Roll Dough be Frozen

Yes, just shape and freeze on a pan before placing in a sealed freezer bag.

Freezing in the bag first can cause the rolls to get stuck together.

What’s the Difference Between Instant Yeast and Dry Active Yeast?

There’s active yeast, bread machine or rapid rise yeast and instant yeast. Are bread machine, rapid rise and instant yeast all the same? Let’s go through it.

Active Yeast: Active dry yeast has a larger granule and needs to be dissolved in water with a little sugar before using. This activates the yeast and the step CANNOT be left out.

Instant Yeast or Bread Machine Yeast: Instant yeast has a more fine texture and can be mixed right into dry ingredients. We have much better luck with instant yeast and do not buy active at all.

*However, bread machine and rapid rise may include ascorbic acid, a dough conditioner, so while they are pretty much the same I have to note that small addition but you can use them interchangeably.

Can I Use Active Yeast Instead of Instant Yeast

  1. 1 teaspoon instant (bread machine) yeast = 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast.
  2. 1 teaspoon active dry yeast = 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  3. 1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons per package) = 1 1/4 package active dry yeast (2 4/5 teaspoons).

Can You Make Pumpkin Rolls Ahead of Time

Yes! You can make pumpkin rolls ahead of time!

  1. Method 1 is making the dough, covering it in a bowl with plastic wrap and allowing it to sit in the fridge over night. The next day, set the bowl until no longer chilly and proceed as normal. 
  2. Method 2 is to allow the dough to rise, roll out the dough on a cookie sheet and then cover in plastic wrap and rest in the fridge overnight. Place on the counter to take the chill off for an hour or two and then bake. 

Is Pumpkin Pie Filling the Same as Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin pie filling has additional ingredients added allowing you to make a pie while pumpkin puree is just what it says, pureed pumpkin. 

You don’t want to use the pumpkin pie filling! Only use puree!

Can I Use Bread Flour?

Bread flour has a different makeup than regular, all-purpose flour. I’ve had better results with all-purpose flour, but technically you could use bread flour.

soft and fluffy pumpkin rolls on a white dish with plum jam

Our friend, Janelle gave us some plum jam and I have to tell you, there’s rolls with jam and then there’s rolls with JAM! This stuff was the most amazing, perfect accompaniment to these rolls. Find plum jam… love it!

a cookie sheet full of soft pumpkin dinner rolls with buttered tops

a pumpkin dinner roll being brushed with butter

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The Softest Pumpkin Rolls

3.96 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 32


  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Sticks 3/4 Cup Land O'Lakes Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Cups Milk Scalded * instructions below
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Yeast Instant, or 2 Tablespoons Regular Yeast. We use instant
  • 8-10 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Butter softened, for rolling out rolls.


  • Heat a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the milk.
  • Cook until the edges begin to foam and froth, but do not allow it to boil. There will be a little layer of the milk "skin" on top.
  • Remove from heat and add the sugar, butter, pumpkin, cinnamon and salt.
  • Stir thoroughly and allow to cool to luke warm.
  • Add the yeast, stir and then add the eggs, stirring until they are mixed in.
  • Place the flour in a large bowl.
  • Pour the milk mixture in and stir until the dough has come together, but is still soft. Sometimes we only use like 8 cups of flour and use remaining flour when rolling out the rolls. This is not like a bread dough. It is a slightly sticky dough.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel or saran wrap.
  • Let dough rise for one hour.
  • Push down and divide dough into 2 parts. Heavily flour your work surface using the remaining 1-2 cups of flour and turn the dough out onto the flour. Turn it over so that the flour coats all sides and the dough is no longer sticky.
  • Roll out one portion at a time to 1/2" thick and butter 1/2 of dough with a few pats of butter. Fold the unbuttered dough over the buttered dough and press to seal. Cut into 1" wide strips. Pick up one strip at a time and tie into knots.
    Or divide into 4 and roll each piece in a circle, butter 2/4 circles and place the unbuttered on top of each one, creating two different buttered, sealed circles. Press down gently and cut into wedges. Starting at the fat end, tightly roll into crescent rolls.
    Third Option: Cut dough balls, and press each flat. Add a dot of butter and pinch up all of the sides and roll into balls.
    Place on lightly greased cookie sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise for 1-2 hours more or until doubled in size. Bake at 350 until golden brown, 18-20 min


Butter can be replaced by butter flavored shortening if you're ever in a pinch.
Scalding milk does not have to be scary. Just heat on med-low heat, watch for the foamy bubbles around the sides of the pan and use a wooden spoon to occasionally touch the top of the milk to see if a slight skin has formed.
The dough will look shaggy. Don't worry. Just place the towel over the bowl and let it rise anyway.
These can be made a day ahead, let the dough rest in the fridge with plastic over the bowl, bring it back to room temp, roll it out and proceed as normal.
Or roll the rolls out on the cookie sheet, cover with plastic and then bring to room temp before baking.
Nutrition Facts
The Softest Pumpkin Rolls
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 188 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 34mg11%
Sodium 266mg12%
Potassium 96mg3%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1349IU27%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 37mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

soft and fluffy pumpkin rolls on a white dish

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Recipe Rating


  • I am going to make these this weekend. If they are as good as they look, they will be on my Thanksgiving table! I was thinking about how some of your readers had issue with the dough being too “batter like”. I am wondering if they are in more humid environments and needed to add more flour than the recipe calls for? I know when I make cinnamon rolls, the amount of flour I need varies depending on the humidity level of my kitchen at the moment. Maybe add a note that they should slowly add flour until it’s a stick dough. Not batter consistency. Just my two cents. I can’t image what else would create that issue. I will be back on to let you know how these turned out!

    • Reply
    • Hi Jennifer! I think you are 100% right! The amount of flour can vary so much depending on the day. That’s why we give such a big range on the flour measurement. I can’t wait to hear how they turn out for you!

      • Reply
  • This recipe sounds deliscious but the instructions are complicated. Guess I won’t be making this. Don’t understand what she means in some of the instructions

    • Reply
    • Hi Hope! I apologize for the confusion! Which part is confusing? I’d love to try and help clear anything up if I can.

      • Reply
  • Hi there! I’m a bit confused on the butter amount! Is it 1 1/2 sticks and 3/4 cup or is it 1 1/2 sticks=3/4 cups? I don’t have land o lakes because I’m dairy free and use a vegan butter so it confused me a bit

    • Reply
    • Hey Bre! It’s 1 1/2 sticks which equals 3/4 cup of butter. So you’ll want 3/4 cup of vegan butter. Enjoy!

      • Reply
      • Thank you so much! 🤗

  • I just made these for our dinner tonight and they turned out great!Thanks for the recipe, it is definitely my new go to.

    • Reply
    • Yay! Love to hear that! Thank you Carmen!

      • Reply
  • Hi! So my son wants me to make these for his 19th Bday (19 in the quarantine) but I only have active yeast. What would the rise process be since I won’t be using instant??

    Thanks and hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe!!

    • Reply
    • Thank you Monica, same to you! It will just need some extra time to rise. Keep your eye on it until it doubles. Happy birthday so your son!

      • Reply
  • I made these for Thanksgiving, and they were amazing! Everyone was raving about them.
    I didn’t make any changes to the recipe as written – and I didn’t have the dough issues that some on here mentioned.

    • Reply
    • Thank you for the feedback, Anita! So glad these were a hit!!

      • Reply
  • Round 2 went a little better, but the dough after the first rise and 8 cups of flour needed 2 more cups but was still not rollable. I ended up putting the dough in the fridge and then pulled off chunks and rolled into balls. I brushed with butter. The exterior was more crunchy than soft. A video would really help. The potato roll video is not on the video site, but is listed there. Perhaps I better stick to other recipes. Two tries, two afternoons and a lot of wasted ingredients. The rolls are edible but they are not the texture of soft potato rolls.

    • Reply
    • Hi Deborah! I’m so sorry that these aren’t working out for you. I did an Instagram stories showing all the steps last week. Did you catch that? It looks like the video for the potato rolls was removed accidentally. I’m adding it back in right now. I hope that helps! I have made this recipe exactly as written 3 times in the last week for neighbors, and it has worked perfectly every time.

      • Reply
  • After the rise, the dough was still very wet. Not sure if I should add more flour or chill. The dough is unworkable as is. I did use 8 cups of flour. Also, the cinnamon is not listed in the directions and I forgot it. What did I do wrong — besides forgetting the cinnamon?

    • Reply
    • Yes. I baked them today also and the dough was impossible to work with. I made half a recipe. Did not mind the cinnamon and had to ad 2 more cups of the supposed 3 and a half cups of flour. They turned out marvelous.

      • Reply
      • It is a very sticky dough when you let it rise the first time. In step 10 is when you add enough flour to make it no longer sticky. From there you should be able to form the rolls and let them rise the second time.

    • It is a very sticky dough when you let it rise the first time. In step 10 is when you add enough flour to make it no longer sticky. From there you should be able to form the rolls and let them rise the second time.
      I added the cinnamon into the instruction, sorry about that!

      • Reply
  • Just tried to make them. Th edough was to soft. almost lile cake batter. Impossibe to form anything… 🙁

    • Reply
    • It is a very sticky dough when you let it rise the first time. In step 10 is when you add enough flour to make it no longer sticky. From there you should be able to form the rolls and let them rise the second time.

      • Reply
      • Impossible. I had to ad more than 1 1/2 cup extra of flour to get some consistency. With original recipe we get something like cake batter. It would never get enough consistency to mould anything whatsoever.

      • Hmmmm, this is the same recipe I’ve been using all my life and the same as our potato rolls with hundreds of reviews but this time with more flour. May I ask how much you added? I actually did the rolls yesterday on instagram live, did you catch that? Maybe there’s something we are missing in how you made them versus how I did. I added 8 cups of flour, stirred into a thick, sticky dough (which no, you cannot handle), allowed them to rise as per instructions and then halved, turned out onto a heavily floured work surface using the remaining 1 cup at a time of flour and turned the dough over once so both sides were floured. With that much flour there really cannot be any possible way for the dough to be like cake batter, so I’m wondered if there’s any way you added less?

  • These look Fantastic. What a great treat to have on our table this Thanksgiving.
    Thank You.

    • Reply
    • Yes!! So perfect for Thanksgiving!

      • Reply
  • Do you think these would freeze well

    • Reply
    • Yes, the freeze great! Allow them to cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap and then stick them in a ziplock bag and squeeze as much air out as you can. Allow them to come to room temperature or better yet, warm them up in the oven before serving!

      • Reply

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