Pumpkin Rolls

pumpkin-roll-openIf you have pumpkin puree left over after you make your pumpkin pies, this is the recipe to use!  One of the reasons I am a blogger is because I love trying new things, and I have never before had a pumpkin dinner roll.  So, I had to try these rolls I found in a magazine while waiting in line at the supermarket checkstand. The pumpkin flavor is not really obvious, but these are the softest, butteriest rolls I’ve ever had. Be sure to brush them with melted butter right out of the oven.  This not only makes them taste good, but it ensures they will be soft.  The pumpkin makes them a beautiful amber color, which makes them perfect for your Thanksgiving table.  I can also see these at your Halloween table.

After the dough has risen for a second time, divide the dough into 20 pieces.  Roll each one by cupping your hand over the ball and rolling it on the counter until you have a smooth ball.

Raw Rolls

Although this post is originally from 2013, I just recently (Nov. 2016) saw the cutest pictures on Pinterest where the rolls were shaped like little pumpkins, so I decided to give that a try. They certainly turned out cute!

pumpkin-rollsOnce the rolls are in a ball, take your kitchen shears and cut 6 slits in each roll, poking your shears straight down into the roll and snipping, like so:


Then take some pecans, slicing them in half lengthwise, to make the stem. At this point, allow them to rise a second time and then bake.

Don’t limit these delicious rolls to Autumn!  I have also make a knot version.  Simply roll the pieces into a log, tie them in a knot and voila!


The magazine this recipe came from is Homemade Bread from the editors of Hobby Farm Home Magazine, Popular Kitchen Series.  I have tried several of the recipes from this edition and loved every one of them!

Pumpkin Rolls
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 rolls
  • ½ cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 package (2-1/4 tsp.) active-dry yeast
  • Pinch of sugar
  • ¾ cup warm milk (105-115 degrees F)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter to brush on top of the rolls
  • 10 pecans, cut in half lengthwise for the pumpkin stems (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast and a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve yeast and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the milk, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, salt and 6 T. melted butter. Add the yeast mixture and stir until combined. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well.
  3. Continue to beat the mixture for one to two minutes until smooth and creamy. Add additional flour in ½ cup increments, stirring well after each addition until the dough holds together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a generously floured work surface, or switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook attachment in your stand mixer. Knead in the remaining flour in small portions just until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the pan, about 3-5 minutes. The dough will be sticky.
  5. Lightly grease a large bowl with a small amount of oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it once to coat the entire surface with oil. Lightly cover the bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a generously floured surface and divide it in half. Divide each half into 10 even portions to make 20 dinner rolls. To shape the rolls, flour your hands and cup your hand over each portion and gently roll the dough in small circles while lightly pressing down.
  7. Set 10 rolls on each of two baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Lightly cover them with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F while the rolls rise. Using your kitchen shears, cut 6 slits from the center to the outer edge of the roll to resemble a pumpkin, as shown in the picture in the body of this blog post. Or if you prefer, leave them round or shape them into a knot.
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. If you need to use two oven racks to fit all of the rolls, switch the position of the baking sheets halfway through baking to ensure even browning for all rolls. Now lightly brush the tops with the 2 T melted butter. Serve warm from the oven.

Et cetera:  If you have never made bread from scratch, you should try it!  It is a very therapeutic experience and if you knead by hand, it is also good exercise!  Just remember that the water temperature is very important—if it is too hot, it can kill the yeast and your bread will not rise.  Grandchild #6 recently found this out the hard way when he tried making pretzels.  Even the teenagers in my family get in the kitchen!  Also, if the water is too cold, the yeast will not activate and again, no rising.  If you can get over that anxiety, you have won half the battle!  I myself have killed many a yeast and ended up with flat bread.  But when you take out your first batch of homemade bread, and that heavenly aroma is permeating your kitchen, it is extremely satisfying and you will be hooked.  My brother bought a bread-making machine a while back and I tease him that he is cheating and not really making homemade bread.  The machine does it all!  It’s payback teasing for all the times he teased me growing up. 



  1. Michele says:

    Very yummy. I made these yesterday. The instructions were clear and easy to follow too, so thank you.

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