Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review) 2 Comments

Homemade Pumpkin Dinner Roll Recipe!

These dinner rolls look like little pumpkins, and there’s pumpkin puree in them too! Cute, right?! They taste seriously amazing too. Give this roll recipe a try – you won’t regret it!

The rolls are incredibly tender and soft, with a touch of sweetness. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or any special Fall occasion! All of my family absolutely loves them. A few people even proclaimed them as the best rolls ever!


If you don’t have whole milk around, one of the substitutions below (from Cook’s Illustrated) might work better for you.

To Replace 1 Cup Whole Milk:

  • 5/8 cup skim milk + 3/8 cup half & half
  • 2/3 cup 1% milk + 1/3 cup half & half
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk + 1/4 cup half & half
  • 7/8 cup skim milk + 1/8 cup heavy cream

You can scald the milk in the microwave or on the stove top. To scald it in the microwave, heat the milk in a microwave-safe cup or bowl, on high power until bubbles form at the edge of the cup. Stir milk once or twice during cooking time. Heating times will vary, but another indication it is scalded is when steam begins to rise from the milk.

If you use instant yeast, you only need 1 tablespoon and the proofing isn’t necessary, but you do still want to get that water and sugar into the dough.

You can use pureed butternut squash, pureed sweet potatoes, or pureed yams in place of the pumpkin, if desired. This dough is so perfect for the pumpkin shape because of the pleasant orange coloring – no food coloring needed!

Add just enough flour to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. It needs to rise until doubled, about 1 hour, before shaping. Then another 45 minutes or so after shaping. Baking only takes about 10 minutes! However, unless you have convection, you will want to bake each sheet separately. To make ahead, you can cover and refrigerate the dough after that first rise, then finish the recipe the next day.

Shaping the rolls into pumpkins really only takes a few minutes more than traditional round rolls. Just flatten the dough balls and snip around the edges! You can keep them traditional shape if you want to, of course. I plan to make these pumpkin-shaped ones a Thanksgiving tradition at my house!

A dozen rolls fit nicely onto a standard half sheet baking pan, so I use 3 pans for a full batch of 32 rolls. Parchment paper or silicone baking mats work well for lining each baking sheet.

useful baking tools for pumpkin rolls

Useful tools for this recipe:

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls Recipe

5 / 5 (1 review)
Prep Time: 2 hrs 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins
Yield: 32 rolls | Serves: 32


  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (one lightly beaten for egg wash)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • about 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 15-20 pecan halves, sliced into 3 vertical sections
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (optional)


  1. Scald the milk in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring once or twice, or on the stove top. Add the butter to the hot milk and stir until melted.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the milk mixture, sugars, pumpkin, and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, proof the yeast in the warm water with the teaspoon of sugar. When it gets foamy, add it to the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in one egg until combined. Stir in the flour one cup at a time until dough comes together, but still soft and slightly sticky. (If you use an electric mixer with a dough hook, mix until dough pulls away from side of the bowl.)
  3. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead by hand for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover bowl lightly with greased plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Punch down the dough and knead for a few seconds to deflate. Cut the dough in half. Roll each half into a long, even rope and divide each into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten each ball with the palm of your hand. Using kitchen scissors, cut 8 slits around the edge of each dough ball. Poke the center of each ball with your small finger to leave a deep indentation. Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke in the center of the rolls again, if needed. Brush each roll with lightly beaten egg. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Brush rolls with melted butter and insert pecan pieces to mimic a pumpkin stem.


You may substitute pureed butternut squash or yam for the pumpkin, if desired. To make ahead: cover and refrigerate the dough after the first rise, then finish the recipe later.

Recipe Adapted From: Beyond Kimchee

Ingredients: Pumpkin
Meal Type: Breads, Side Dish, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Meatless
Categories: Yeast Breads, Oven

Comments & Reviews

  • Amanda

    Ok, so I just made these, and they are AMAAAAAZING!!! I put a third of them in the freezer to bake later. And I’ve already eaten THREE of the finished ones. Oh my, I cannot thank you enough for sharing. My family is gonna BEG me to make these every year from now on.

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