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Sweet Yeast Rolls and Whipped Pumpkin Butter

The fluffiest yeast rolls you've ever had with a hint of sweetness and served with homemade whipped pumpkin butter, perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all your holiday dinners.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time36 mins
Servings: 12 rolls


For the yeast rolls:

  • 1/4 cup water warm
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter salted, melted (for brushing)
  • whipped pumpkin butter for serving (recipe below)

For the whipped pumpkin butter:

  • 2 sticks butter softened, salted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


For the sweet yeast rolls:

  • Add warm water (not too hot!!), yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to a large mixing bowl fit for a stand mixer and gently stir together. Let sit for 5 minutes. Yeast should begin to activate and form a layer of foam on top of the water.
  • While yeast is activating, add milk and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to a small sauce pan and scald over medium heat. Scald means to heat right before a simmer. You should see small bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from heat.
  • Once yeast has activated, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup of flour, and egg to the mixture. Stir to combine. Slowly pour in warm milk while stirring into the batter until combined. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to rest.
  • Attach bowl to stand mixer and fit mixer with dough hook (you can mix by hand, if you don't have a mixer). Add 1 cup of flour and mix on low to combine. Add another cup and mix to combine. If the dough is still sticking to the edges of the bowl, add 1/2 cup flour. Keep adding if it's still getting stuck to the bowl. One it's not sticking anymore, it's time to knead.
  • Turn up speed to medium and knead dough for 5 minutes. I like to do this part by hand, instead. If that's what you want to do too, add a little flour to a clean counter and knead dough with the edge of your palms for about 6 minutes. The dough is ready when it's soft and slightly elastic. Place dough ball in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise for 1 hour. It should be double in size.
  • Punch down risen dough and remove from bowl. Place on clean counter with a little sprinkled flour. Cut dough into 3 even slices. Cut each slice into 4 even pieces. You should have 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, tucking under the edges to form a ball.
  • Place all the ball into a greased 13 x 9 pan. Cover with a towel and let them rise again for 45 minutes. At the 30-minute mark, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Remove towel from rolls and bake in preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until deep brown on top. Remove from oven and immediately brush with melted salted butter. Serve warm with whipped pumpkin butter (see recipe below).
  • Leftover rolls can be stored in a plastic storage bag for a couple days or frozen for a month or so. Rolls can be reheated in microwave for 30 seconds.

For the whipped pumpkin butter:

  • Add softened salted butter to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip with a whisk attachment until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree and whip together until well combined.
  • Continue beating the butter, while adding 1 tablespoon at a time until completely incorporated. It is very important to add only 1 tablespoon at a time so the moisture doesn't ruin the butter.
  • Add honey and vanilla and mix until combined. Whip for about 2 minutes to make the butter light and fluffy again. Serve immediately or store for later. Note: the butter will harden again when chilled so let it sit out for 30 minutes before using.


Yeast rolls adapted from The Food Charlatan
Pumpkin butter recipe adapted from Handle the Heat