Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls“Don’t play with your food!”

I tell my kids all the time when they show not much interest in eating their food but playing with it. Well, I find myself today that playing with food is quite entertaining and I did have a great time making these Pumpkin Dinner Rolls. The best part? You get to eat them at the end!

Pumpkins are delicious and nutritious. So why not add some in the dinner rolls to join the harvest season and celebrate the bounty of mother nature?

These rolls even look like mini pumpkins. They are quite easy to make from scratch and will look so gorgeous on your Thanksgiving dinner table.


Pumpkin Dinner RollsThe dough recipe is from Delicious Dishes. They were soft and tender with a hint of sweetness. But you can use any of your favorite dinner roll recipe to shape these cute minis.

They didn’t take as much time as I thought it would. The whole process went really fast and I had nice warm rolls ready for my lunch.


pumpkin dinner rollsHeat milk to scalding hot, add butter to melt and pumpkin to mix in. Add the salt and stir everything well.


pumpkin dinner rollsCombine yeast, sugar and warm water and let them bubble up. Add to the pumpkin mixture. Add an egg and mix well.


pumpkin dinner rollsAdd the flour gradually and stir with a wooden spoon.


Time to knead! I used my mixer to do the job. Knead until the dough pull itself from the side of the bowl, about 5 minutes.


Dump the dough on the lightly floured surface and knead with your hand for 1 minute.


Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise in a warm place until they get double in volume.


Here is the beautifully risen dough. Love the deep yellow color!


Give it a punch to deflate. The moment I’ve been waiting for…


Divide the dough in half. Roll each half to make a log and cut each log in 15 pieces or more if you prefer smaller rolls.


Form each piece into a ball by pulling it together…


pumpkin dinner rollsPress down a little with your hand.


pumpkin dinner rollsUsing a knife,  give 8 segments of cut on the edge but leave the center uncut.  Looks like a flower…


pumpkin dinner rollsPoke deeply on the center of pedal with your pinkie.


pumpkin dinner rollsLet them rise again. The center indentation somehow disappeared but you can always poke them again. You gotta love poking!


pumpkin dinner rollsBrush with egg wash to give the golden look…


pumpkin dinner rollsBake them in the 350F oven for 9-12 minutes. Don’t over-bake.


pumpkin dinner rollsBrush with melted butter to give them a little shine. …And the final touch? The sliced pecan pieces as stems! Cute… aren’t they?

In a couple of weeks I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner at my house for about 20 guests. Thank God…, it will be a potluck!

Imagine the turkey adorned with all the bells and whistles, the scrumptious & glorious fall side dishes flowing around the Thanksgiving table…, and think of these mini pumpkin rolls being passed around, I bet you will see some smiles on people’s face.

There are so much to thank for. Family, friends, the laughter, and even the tears of life through rain or shine, thick or thin.

I have been loved… tons!

And YOU! my blog readers who have shown a great amount of support and encouragement…, Thank you!


With love,




Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Yield: 30 rolls

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls


  • 3/4 cup whole milk, scalded
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages active dry yeast (1/2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 15-20 pecan halves, sliced into 3 vertical sections
  • 1/4 cup melted butter, optional


  1. Pour hot milk in a mixing bowl, add butter and stir to melt. Add sugars, pumpkin puree, salt to the milk and combine well.
  2. In a small bowl proof yeast in a lukewarm water with a teaspoon sugar. When it gets foamy add to the pumpkin mixture, and add the egg, mix well.
  3. Add in flour gradually and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. The dough will be sticky.
  4. If using electric mixer, attach a dough hook and beat the mixture until the dough itself pulls from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn the dough out to a wooden board dusted with a little flour. Knead with hand for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball shape, place in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth. Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hr.
  6. Punch the dough to deflate and knead it for a few seconds on a wooden board. Cut the dough in half. Cut each half into about 15 pieces.
  7. Roll each piece into a ball shape with your hand. Flatten the piece with palm of your hand a little. Using a knife, give 8 cuts on the edge to mimic flower pedals but the leave center uncut.
  8. Poke the center with your finger to give a deep indentation, and repeat the same procedure to all the other pieces.
  9. Place them, 2" apart, on a baking pan lined with parchment paper or baking mat, and let them rise again to be doubled, about 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven 350ºF for 20 minutes.
  11. If the center indentation is not obvious on the rolls, poke them again with your finger.
  12. Brush with egg wash, if you wish, and bake for 9-12 minutes until the top gets slightly golden.
  13. Brush the rolls with melted butter or a little honey diluted with water to make it shine if you wish.
  14. Insert pecan slices on top to mimic pumpkin stem.

Get Free Email Updates!

Signup now and receive an email once I publish new content.

I will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.



  1. 2

    kate says

    those are about as cute as a cute dinner roll gets. I will make some to take to our Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my youngest son and his family. This is such a good time of year for edible crafts! Thanks

  2. 4


    Oh, these little pumpkin rolls are so beautiful, Holly! If I am doing this, I don’t think it will turn out as beautifully like yours. Ive browsed all your posts and I think you are an excellent cook!

    • 11

      Holly says

      I tried these rolls on the next day and they were still good. However they are best on the day they are made. I slightly under-baked my second batch and put them in the freezer to eat next week. Just thaw them out and reheat them in the oven to enjoy fresh baked rolls.

        • 13

          chelsea says

          like cupcakes or anything you bake, just keep testing them. take a tooth pick and stick it in and if dough comes off on the tooth pick then they aren’t done. Also, when bread starts turning slightly golden, it usually means it’s done. By “not over baking” them she means to watch for them and make sure they don’t burn. Like with anything you bake, the time that it says to bake it at is not always right.

  3. 14

    Jean says

    I have made these today! The dough went together beautifully and was very easy to work with…they are totally adorable. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I think they will be a hit at my dinner party this evening.

    • 21

      Holly says

      I don’t think adding coconut milk will change the look of these rolls but it might alter the flavor. I think it will still be delicious.

  4. 24

    Beth radford says

    Love them!! I have a few packages of pumpkin bread mix (I’m a cheater, I know!), do you think I could form little balls and get the same effect?

    • 30

      Holly says

      Hi Harmonity, I haven’t tried this recipe with the real pumpkin. However, I have tried making pies with real pumpkin. It contained more liquid than canned one and my pie was quite loose. So I think you might have to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe.

      • 31

        Sanchai says


        Thanks for this adorable recipe Holly! I made this with real pumpkin and its still awesome. Just baked and scooped out the pie pumpkin and used it in place of the canned pumpkin…

        • 32

          Holly says

          That’s great, Sanchai. Thanks for your tip on using fresh pumpkin to make these rolls! Glad to hear that they turned out great.

  5. 40


    Hi Holly! I’ve been meaning to stop by to take a closer look again on the blog but haven’t had the chance till now. I am in love with your pumpkin dinner rolls and one day I want to serve on our Thanksgiving dinner! So pretty and so adorable…. I’m in love with these. I love the picture of dough so round and cute!!! I need to be more comfortable with yeast. I’ve never seen mine like that. Got to learn and practice more!

  6. 45

    dcs says

    Do you think these could be partially made on Wednesday for Thursday service? Where would you stop and refrigerate? Thanks for any suggestions!

    • 46

      Holly says

      I am going to make these rolls again for Thanksgiving dinner. I will make them a couple of days ahead only up to the shaping the dough part.

      Two ways to prep ahead of time.
      1) Shape the dough, then freeze. Then on the T-day, you take them out to thaw and let them rise, and then bake. But that will take a couple of hours to complete.
      2) If you only have less than 1 hour to finish off, I would bake up to a little over half way through (about 6-7 minutes of baking time), then freeze, take out to thaw and finish baking until golden brown on top. I would insert the pecan pieces at last.

      I personally prefer not to stop in the middle of baking for the better texture. But, in time crunch, you just gotta do what you can. I reheated some of these leftover rolls last night that I stored in the freezer, and they were still soft inside but slightly dry and crunch on the outside.

      Hope this helps.


  7. 48

    Hayley says

    i want to make these, but I don’t want the pumpkin flavor, would I just omit it and have them turn out, or will I need to add in something different?

    • 49

      Holly says

      If you omit the pumpkin, you have to reduce the amount of flour to maintain the right consistency. You can adjust the amount the flour as you wish as you are making, but if you are not comfortable with that, there are plenty of good regular dinner roll recipes online you can search for.

    • 51

      Holly says

      If you take out the pumpkin, you need to adjust the amount of flour. I would reduce the flour by 1/2-1 cup, omit the brown sugar and increase the white sugar instead. You might need to adjust more with flour. However if you are not so comfortable getting the right consistency of the dough by adjusting ingredients yourself, there are many plain dinner roll recipes online you can search for. Good luck!

  8. 52

    Tina Ignatiev says

    Found your blog about a week ago and pinned a bunch of stuff. (I haven’t made it all the way through, yet, but you’re on my list!) This is the first recipe of yours I’m making, have it printed out in the kitchen.

    I’m not a novice baker so I went ahead and started proofing the yeast before I started on the rest… but even though that’s the first two ingredients, it’s not the first thing you do. Then you talk about melting butter, and I saw the melted butter.. but. I figured it out, but ingredients in order of use would be super helpful.

    The other thing is, I don’t see the instructions mention the salt? I’m putting it in before the flour right now. Will let ya know how it turns out!! :) Sending it to the in-laws for Thanksgiving.

    • 53

      Holly says

      Thanks Tina. I guess I left out the salt part in the tutorial. The salt was in the recipe as an ingredient but I forgot to add in the instruction. I shouldn’t have overlooked at the power of salt, shouldn’t I? Glad that you are not a novice baker to point that out. I fixed the instructions. I understand your request for writing the ingredients in order of making. I will keep in mind that. You are right, it is helpful for people to follow the recipes in order. When I try a new recipe, I usually read the ingredients and the instructions before I start working. That helps me visualize how the recipe should proceed. Some recipes do have their ingredients not in order and it gets frustrating if I didn’t read in advance. I am glad that you found my blog, too. :)

  9. 54

    Tina Ignatiev says

    Oh, and the recipe starts with pre-heating the oven, but I see a 1hr and 45min rise. My electric bill, lady! lol

    • 55

      Holly says

      Hi Tina, Thanks for pointing that out. You don’t want to preheat your oven that early. I can’t believe that I wrote to start with preheating oven in that stage in the recipe. What was I thinking?

  10. 61

    Brittany says

    Is it possible to refridgerate these over night (the formed, raw dough) and cook them in the morning and still turn out well? Or well that mess up with how they are supposed to rise?

    • 62

      Holly says

      It depends on the temp. of your refrigerator. Overnight night might be too long and they might rise too much if your fridge temp. is not as cold. Mine reached to a full rise after 4 hours in my fridge, but I live in the tropical country so that may have been the reason. If you are not sure, I would suggest to keep in the freezer and take out in the morning and let it thaw in a warm place to speed up the rising.

  11. 64

    RainyRoad says

    Holly – These rolls are the perfect touch I was looking for! I’m going to wing it and see if making ahead will work. :) By the way, you’re just the nicest person. The way you responded to the critique of your recipe was so kind. We could all learn from that. Blessed Thanksgiving!

  12. 66

    kera says

    Just made. Half the dough is in the fridge. Used 1/2 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup skim as I didn’t have any whole milk. I’m going to bake a few and see how they turn out. Fingers crossed!!

  13. 69

    Nana says

    These look so cute but I’d like to make them a day ahead of time. Are they good or can they be reheated the next day! My oven will be in use for other dishes. Any suggestions?

  14. 71

    Rebekah says

    Came across your site (it’s great by the way!) a couple of weeks ago and I love it. Your photos are amazing! Thanks for this recipe. The rolls are too cute! I’m making these right now and the dough is currently rising… can’t wait to get them into the oven and see what the end result will look like!

    • 74

      Holly says

      I do both. Egg wash will give the golden look on top when baked and the melted butter at the end will give rolls a little lust and the buttery flavor.

  15. 77


    Hi Holly ~<3 Thank You so very Much For sharing your recipie of pumpkin dinner rolls … I made them for thanksgiving for tomorrow :) they turned out AmAzing :) can't wait to see my families reaction tomorrow :)
    They are soft & beautiful :)
    (I didn't taste it … I'll wait for my husband to do that :)
    Thank Thank you thank you !!!!
    God Bless you :)
    Anush Kirakosian

  16. 79

    Becca says

    Thanks so much for sharing…the instructions were thorough and I was so proud of myself for how they turned out. A huge thanksgiving hit!

  17. 81

    Vicky says

    These dinner rolls were so festive for Thanksgiving dinner. They were a hit and actually easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  18. 82

    Kelly says

    I made these for thanksgiving and everyone loved them. They will definitively be on the menu every year from here on out. Thank you!

  19. 83

    tovie says

    These were awesome! And quite a hit both Thanksgiving and at church potluck the weekend before. I did find that scissors were much easier to use to do the cuts than a knife. And I did use a bread machine to mix the dough – although I found the dough was a bit too wet and had to knead in a bit more flour the first time (the second time I just watched it and added more flour to the machine).

    Also, I vegan-ized the recipe for Thanksgiving (our holiday dinners usually have to accommodate both vegans and meat-eaters) and that worked fine as well (1 Tbs flaxseed meal + 3 Tbs warm water for the egg, soymilk, vegan butter, etc for the other ingredients). The only difference the vegan ones weren’t quite as orange as the original recipe ones.

  20. 85

    Beth says

    I tried this recipe tonight. It was a total complete DISASTER!!! You said the dough would be sticky, but after gradually stirring in almost double the amount of flour, the dough was still painfully sticky and completely unworkable. I had to keep stirring because it was just too sticky to even think about kneading. I followed all of the instructions. The only thing I was uncertain about was the quantity of pumpkin. The size of the can was not listed in the recipe. I have only seen the 29 oz cans in the store, so I moved forward left to assume I had the right quantity. I hope I did. After a lot of effort and time I gave up, and threw it in a ziplock bag in the fridge, hoping maybe I can still rescue it. So sad to see so many costly ingredients go to waste :(

    • 86

      Holly says

      Hi Beth
      So sorry to hear the disastrous experience with this recipe. I understand how frustrating it is when the recipes doesn’t turn out they way it should. I also had so many similar experiences in the past. :)
      For the amount of pumpkin, the recipe indicates to add only 1 cup. If you used the large 29 oz can, that is almost 3 cups which means 3 times the amount it is needed. So your dough will be truthfully sticky even with added flour.
      If I can suggest one recipe to rescue the failed dough, try my Korean sweet pancake recipe. You can use your pumpkin dough instead and just add the cinnamon sugar filling in the center. It is really good and many people have raved about it. You will find the tutorial in the link below.

      • 87

        Beth says

        wow, I checked back on the quantity several times and never saw the one cup, I read it as one can! yikes, no wonder I had such trouble! thanks so much for responding. worth another try another day…

  21. 88

    Julie Lee says

    These remind me of the rolls from the movie Brave that the little boys keep stealing from the kitchen. Beautiful pictures!

  22. 93

    Becky says

    Works fine in the bread machine if you halve the recipe. Thanks for this awesome idea! The little pumpkins are so cute.

  23. 94

    Vanessa says

    These are so cute! I’m definitely trying these for thanksgiving but I do have a question. Do you think they would be ok made ahead of time? I’m worried they’d get hard or just wouldnt have the fresh baked taste anymore. We travel pretty far to our family’s house and I don’t think I’ll have the room to make them there.

    • 95

      Holly says

      Freeze the dough after you shape them. And have them thawed as you travel to your family’s house (You need to time well depends on how long the travel will take) in a room temperature and bake them there.

  24. 97


    Can you use the dinner rolls that are premade in the containers by pillsbury or a frozen type and do they have to go through the rising process or can you just cut them, egg wash and throw them in the oven?

  25. 99

    Vicki Podjan says

    Beautiful presentation! Thanks for sharing. I’m not crazy about the flavor of pumpkin..do you happen to have a favorite dinner roll recipe without it?

  26. 103

    Claudette Zabsonre says

    These are very attractive and I’m sure tasty too. I will definitely try this recipe and i love the design for my other recipes.

    Thank you Holly for sharing!

  27. 105

    mary says

    These were wonderful. They remind me of a recipe that my mom made for me when I was a kid! Love the fun touch though!

  28. 109


    These are soooo cute! But a baker I’m not. Do you think you could make these with the refrigerator biscuits? Just shape them as you stated?

    Thanks so much!

  29. 111

    Maria says

    I might have missed this in the comment somewhere but I was wondering if this recipe was possible without a machine mixer, meaning is there a way to completely hand knead and achieve the same adorable result? If so, how would the recipe change?

  30. 114

    Liz says

    At one stage in the directions before baking, the direction is to brush with egg wash. What is an egg wash? Does that mean to brush w/egg whites? Thank you in advance.

  31. 117

    Sherryl says

    I don’t think my family will like the pumpkin and I’m in a hurry during Thanksgiving.Do you think you could do this with the pillsbury rolls?

  32. 124

    Chocolate Lady says

    Just the other day, a friend showed me a photo of these cute little pumpkin rolls she was making. She tried sending a link for the recipe, but it didn’t work. After a quick Google search, up came your site with gorgeous photographs and the recipe as well. These rolls will definitely be added to my family’s Thanksgiving feast this year!! Thank you for sharing such a great idea!

    By the way ~ I’m also excited to peruse your other recipes; I was hooked at the mention of kimchee in your blog title. Happy Thanksgiving!

  33. 128

    Ann says

    Made the dough today and it’s really beautiful and has risen perfectly. Turned the process over to my children, ages 9 and 12, to create the pumpkins. They are excited and will enjoy sharing them tomorrow. Thank you for the recipe- I can tell it’s a new tradition at our house!

  34. 129

    becca says

    I made these last year and they were a big hit. they are fun to make and easy. making them again this year…thanks for the festive idea!

  35. 130

    Danielle says

    I tried making these but found the dough to be way to sticky even after adding about 4o more cups if flour. The only thing I can think is that I proofed the yeast accordimg to packet which called for 1/2 a cup of warm water where your recepie called for 1/4 cup of water per 1/2 oz…..

  36. 131

    Angel says

    My husband made these for this years thanksgiving dinner and I must say I’m certainly glad I stumbled upon the recipe because they were a huge hit with our family. The children asked for thirds :)

  37. 132

    Virginia says

    Hi Holly. Thanks for the fun recipe! They were adorable! I had an oven disaster that resulted in scrapping the first batch, but the second one turned out beautifully. I substituted coconut milk and it worked fine. I even ran out of flour for the second batch, and I substituted coconut flour. No problem. I don’t think they taste like pumpkin at all. Next time, I will actually measure my salt, though, because I think I could have used more.

  38. 133

    leah says

    I have to admit I turned these into Apple Cinnamon pumpkin rolls and everyone raved about them. I also did a batch of cranberry pumpkin rolls too. They were far more moist than typical cinnamon rolls

  39. 135

    Cindy says

    I can’t wait to make these for my church Life group. You are an amazing cook! Thank you for sharing with us!

  40. 136

    Debra says

    these look sooo cute, I always try to bring something different to the table at Thanksgiving! These are on the top of the list. Holly, I love your hair style. Thanks for recipe and will check out other recipes.

  41. 139


    This was an amazing recipe! I made it for a potluck and everyone loved it. The host of the party packed up and ate 6 of these the next day as she was traveling home for Thanksgiving!

    I made this about 2 years ago and it was actually the first dish I made from your site. I’ve been hooked since :)

    • 140


      How neat! I am so happy to hear that people loved them. Ironically these roll recipe is one the most beloved recipes on my site. Funny, isn’t it?

  42. 141




  43. 143

    Candie says

    I tried these today. Mine turned out just a little flatter than pictured, but still close enough to say they look pumpkin-like. I realized while they were baking that I forgot the salt, which may be why they didn’t rise as well? But the flavor was great – the family really enjoyed our taste-test tonight. I have to say – I made half of them the recommended size and half of them “mini”. So I cut half the dough into 32 pieces instead of 15. They baked just as well – just skimmed about 90 seconds off the baking time. They look just as adorable and they are the perfect size for tomorrow’s putluck event. I ended up sprinkling a little sea salt on top after brushing with butter. But salt IN the recipe would have been better! haha. I’ll double check everything next time. Making them again for a Halloween party…maybe again for Thanksgiving. This may be my go-to recipe for a number of events this year! Can’t thank you enough.

  44. 145

    Karen says

  45. 147

    Misty says

    I made these to go with my Thanksgiving dinner and they were absolutely delicious. The dough itself was perfect. Also I used the breadmaker to form the dough, they turned out wonderful.


  1. […] A taste of this is like a bomb that would explode inside your mouth! That’s the great surprise that you can give yourself! Definitely you would enjoy that experience! The tingling sensation would make you want this dish all over again! You’ll love this dish!For the recipe and full instructions go here […]

Leave a Reply