Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

I fell in love with these adorable pumpkin shaped buns the first time I saw them over at Beyond Kimchee
How perfect are they for Thanksgiving dinner or pretty much any dinner during fall?
So cute.
Plus, they are not all that tricky to make. Seriously. They are a lot easier than other yeast bread projects I have tackled. If you are worried about trying them because you think they will be too difficult -- worry no more! If I can do it, you can do it!
You can cheat and use store bought bread dough but if you want to get the lovely orange color and just a hint of pumpkin flavor then you should probably use the recipe we are sharing here. 
Delicious Dishes is where we found the recipe if you want to check it out before we made some tiny changes! It is so amazingly light and fluffy and delicious!

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
(Slightly adapted from Delicious Dishes)

2 pkg (4 1/2 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 Tbsp butter, room temp
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 egg
4 - 5 cups flour

1 egg white, beaten
2 - 3 Tbsp butter, melted
16 - 17 pecan halves, cut in half

In a small bowl, mix yeast and 1 tsp sugar with the hot water. Set aside for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
While yeast is proofing: in a large pot, mix milk and cream. Heat until steaming but not boiling. Remove from heat and add in butter. Stir until melted. 
Stir in pumpkin, sugars, and salt.
Stir in the foamy yeast.
Stir in egg until everything is well combined.
Gradually stir in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time until soft dough forms. Scoop dough onto well floured work surface and knead until smooth and not sticky - you may need to add in a bit more flour. 
Place dough into an oiled bowl.

Cover with a tea towel and set in warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
When dough has risen, punch down and scoop dough onto floured work surface. 
Cut dough in half. Cover one half of the dough with the tea towel while you work with the other half.
Take the half in front of you and divide it into 16 equal pieces. (You can eyeball this as they don't have to be perfect!) Roll each piece into a ball and then slightly flatten the ball with the palm of your hands.

Cut 8 slits around the outside of each flattened ball, being careful not to cut all the way into the center.
In the center of the ball make a good indent with your pinky finger. Place the balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.

Repeat with the other half of dough that you had set aside.
Cover the rolls with clean tea towels and set somewhere warm to rise for another 45 minutes, until doubled again.
Preheat oven to 350.
After dough has risen again, you will need to press the indent into the middle of the rolls again with your pinky as they tend to disappear. (In the photo below, the first row has been re-pressed and the others have not.) 

Using a pastry or basting brush, gently brush the beaten egg white over the tops of the rolls. 
Place in 350 oven and bake 15 - 20 minutes, until tops of rolls are golden. Remove from oven and place on wire rack.
Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the tops of the baked rolls with some melted butter. This makes the rolls shiny. 
Lastly, place a piece of a pecan into the center for the stem.

There was some serious jazz hands going on over in my kitchen today. I mean, you can't show people these without some gratuitous use of jazz hands. 
By the way, not only do these look adorable, they are some of the lightest, airiest buns I have made. Definitely adding these to the Thanksgiving table this year!

Check out these great blogs for tons of links! -- The Chicken Chick, Ms. enPlace,  Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, My Turn (for us),


  1. So pretty! I've never had a savory pumpkin bread, but this recipe sounds great. Pinning.

    Beth @ Hungry

  2. Oh these are ADORABLE! I cannot wait to make them! Also, if you're looking for a new Tuesday party I run Tasty Tuesdays and every post gets pinned! Here's this week's party if you'd like to link up:

  3. Hi, these looks so cute! I bet they taste good too. These are too adorable to eat! I saw it on tasty tuesday!
    Julie from

  4. These are too super cute! They look like they taste different from your run of the mill dinner roll, too. Visiting from Tasty Tuesdays!

  5. Hey ladies! I'm featuring you tomorrow on Facebook and wanted to link to your Facebook page! Your sidebar says to follow you on Facebook, but I can't find you! :( Could you email me a link to your Facebook page, please? munchies[at]anyonita-nibbles[dot]com

  6. I think I need to do some jazz hands and I haven't even made these. Yet. They make me want Thanksgiving to be tomorrow. Well, maybe not since I haven't planned. But, you know...
    Thank you for sharing these with See Ya in the Gumbo. Adorable!

  7. How perfect for fall! I'm sure they're delightfully yummy too. You've been Featured!! Thanks so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell. Swing on by and grab a Featured button and I'd love you to share again! Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo~ Ruthie

  8. Oh these are just ADORABLE!!!! They look delicious, and what a fun idea for fall!!! Love it! Thanks for sharing, I'll definitely give these a try! :)

  9. any idea what to stick in the middle for a kid with nut allergies? These are so cute!

    1. I would think a pretzel stick would work just as well :)

  10. I like pumpkin rolls and these are really adorable!

  11. I don't want to go for the easy solution by buying store bread just because it is hard to do with the ingredients you suggest. Better have it the difficult way because it surely is better and yummier. :)

  12. If I were to pre make these and freeze (I have three kids three and under!!), at what step would I flash freeze them? Before the first proofing period or after they have risen (once) and are into the individual and cut rolls? I REALLY cannot wait to try these and have them on our table for Thanksgiving this year! :)

    1. I'm sorry Stacy....I'm not really sure. :/ I will see if I can find any info on this for you....

  13. It's probably on here but I've looked twice and don't see. how many does this recipe make appx.? Thanks!

  14. This is so cute! I have a recipe for dough that is very similar to this, but they are rolled into crescent shapes...this is so much cuter! I am doing this for Thanksgiving this year!


    Found you on Freedom Friday blog hop!

  15. Can you make these the day before?

    1. Absolutely. They also freeze very well if you want to make them up well in advance.

  16. I use either fresh or canned squash from a very old recipe handed down for years. Fresh Butternut works well and "One Pie" brand canned squash from Maine, if you can find it. They don't have it down here in the South. These rolls look adorable and will be trying them this week. Thanks for sharing it.

  17. Wow Pumpkin Bread Rolls - These adorable rolls are pillowy soft, fluffy, and wonderfully flavorful – exactly like you want dinner rolls to be.