Soft, fluffy, buttery, Hawaiian Rolls with a pretty golden color and a hint of pineapple flavor. These rolls are a sweet, festive addition to everything from barbecue to Christmas dinner.
Table of Contents
- Soft, Sweet Hawaiian Rolls, Just Like the Ones from the Store!
- What’s the Difference Between Hawaiian Rolls and Regular Rolls?
- The Ingredients You’ll Need
- How to Make Homemade Hawaiian Rolls
- Tips and Tricks
- What Do You Eat with Hawaiian Rolls?
- Storing and Reheating
- Can I Freeze These?
- Get the Recipe
- More Homemade Bread Recipes
Soft, Sweet Hawaiian Rolls, Just Like the Ones from the Store!
If you know, you know. That seems to be the best way to describe Hawaiian rolls. These fluffy dinner rolls are a big favorite nationwide, but if you haven’t tried them before, you might wonder what makes them so special.
So let’s break it down. Here’s why (in my personal opinion) these simple grocery store rolls are so beloved. First, there’s that distinctive sweetness that you get from adding real pineapple juice to the dough. Then there’s the rolls’ texture: light, fluffy, and porous. Finally, the buttery, golden brown top and golden inside of each roll add another layer of dinner roll luxury. Hawaiian rolls are essentially a side dish that eats like a dessert!
What’s the Difference Between Hawaiian Rolls and Regular Rolls?
So what makes Hawaiian rolls different from regular dinner rolls? Well, everything, kind of! Most dinner rolls are made with water and some kind of dairy like milk or cream for richness, but Hawaiian rolls have the unusual addition of fruit juice. These rolls also have three rises instead of the more typical two-rise process. The recipe also uses vanilla extract, to enhance the sweetness of the rolls.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
So just what is in a Hawaiian roll? Basic baking ingredients, plus plenty of sweet pineapple juice. Here’s the list:
- Flour: All-purpose flour works perfectly here.
- Sugar: A little granulated sugar, plus a little brown sugar for added warmth and tenderness.
- Yeast: Active dry yeast.
- Pineapple Juice: Canned or fresh pineapple juice, either will work.
- Eggs: A couple of large, whole eggs enrich the dough and add structure.
- Vanilla: Vanilla extract may not be a typical dinner roll ingredient, but it is magical in these, adding depth and complexity.
- Butter: Salted butter, at room temperature.
- Shortening: Vegetable shortening, such as Crisco.
How to Make Homemade Hawaiian Rolls
If you have ever made yeast rolls before, then this recipe for Hawaiian rolls will look a little strange – the process includes a few differences that give these rolls their unique texture. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow to make sweet, fluffy Hawaiian rolls from scratch.
- Mix the Dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and yeast. Whisk lightly to combine. Next, fit the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, and add the pineapple juice, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl. Knead these ingredients together to form a rough dough.
- Add Butter and Shortening. Add in the butter and shortening, and knead the dough on medium speed for 7 minutes, to form a soft, elastic dough.
- First Rise. Roll the dough into a ball, and place it in a clean, greased mixing bowl. Spray the top of the dough with baking spray to prevent sticking, and then cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
- Shape the Rolls. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Press it out with your hands (or use a rolling pin) to make a rectangle about 9×11 inches. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 12 equal squares. Shape the rolls by folding each corner into the center of the square, and then repeating that a second time with the folded corners. Finally, roll the folded dough portion into a smooth ball.
- Second Rise. When all of the dough pieces are rolled, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet to rise for 15 minutes.
- Shape the Rolls Again. After the second rise, punch the rolls down, and press them out flat. Re-roll them tightly.
- Third Rise. Place the rolls into a buttered 9×13” baking dish and lightly cover them with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let them rise for 30 – 45 minutes, or until they are not quite doubled in size.
- Prepare to Bake. When the rolls are almost done with their third rise, preheat the oven to 350°F, and make the egg wash by whisking the egg, milk, and salt in a small bowl.
- Bake! Once the rolls have risen, brush them with the egg wash, and bake them for about 28 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Finish the Hawaiian Rolls. Take the rolls out of the oven, and immediately brush them with melted butter. Serve them, or cover the pan with tin foil for 20 minutes to make the rolls extra soft.
Tips and Tricks
Every dish has its quirks, and Hawaiian rolls are no exception. Here are a few things you should know before you get started baking:
- Shortening: Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, and can add a nice, fluffy, baker-style texture to rolls. If you don’t want to use shortening, though, that’s okay! Melted butter may be used instead.
- Butter: I use salted butter for this recipe, but you can substitute unsalted butter if need be – just give things a little flavor boost by adding about 1⁄8 tsp of salt to the dough ingredients.
- Rising Time: The rising times for the dough will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. You may find that it takes a bit longer or a bit less time for the dough to rise, and that’s fine – just keep an eye on it and use the dough whenever it reaches the right size.
What Do You Eat with Hawaiian Rolls?
Anything! Seriously, these lightly sweet, soft dinner rolls are great with almost any meal. These are a few of our favorites:
- Ham: If you’re making ham (this Crockpot Ham, perhaps?) for a holiday meal, try serving some of these rolls alongside it. Talk about a match made in heaven. Plus, you can use both the ham and the rolls to make ham sliders later on. Win-win!
- Chicken: This Baked Honey Mustard Chicken just cries out for something to dip into the sweet-and-tangy honey mustard sauce. Hawaiian rolls are the perfect side.
- Salad: Take a main course salad from “light and healthy” to “completely satisfying” with the addition of these easy dinner rolls. Air Fryer Chicken Fajita Salad is a perfect candidate.
Storing and Reheating
Baked Hawaiian rolls can be stored at room temperature (no need to refrigerate) for up to 5 days – if they last that long! Reheat them in a 350°F oven until warmed through, or microwave them for a few seconds at a time until they’re as warm as you would like (they will warm up faster on the inside, so be careful!).
Can I Freeze These?
Definitely! Just place the cooled rolls in a freezer bag or airtight container, and mark them with the date. They will keep in the freezer for around three months. Thaw them in the fridge, and then warm them up in the oven.
- 3 ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoon active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cup pineapple juice
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup salted butter, room temp
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Melted butter, for brushing
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar and yeast.
- Swap the attachment to a dough hook and add in the pineapple juice, eggs and vanilla. Knead together until a rough dough forms.
- Add in the butter and shortening and knead on medium speed for 7 minutes, until a soft dough forms.
- Once the dough has been kneaded, roll it into a ball. Transfer the dough into a separate, greased bowl. Spray the top of the dough with baking spray, then cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer it to a clean, lightly floured surface. Press out with your hands or use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 9×11” rectangle. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 12 equal squares. Fold each corner of the square into the center, then repeat that a second time with the folded corners.
- Next, roll the dough into a smooth ball. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces. Once all of the dough pieces are rolled, allow them to set for 15 minutes to rise.
- Once the rolls have risen for 15 minutes, punch them down and press them out flat, then re-roll them up tightly. Place the rolls into a 9×13” baking dish that has been buttered. Lightly cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, then let them rise for 30-45 minutes. Not quite doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Towards the end of rise time, prepare the egg wash by adding the egg, milk and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together to combine.
- Once the rolls have risen, brush them with the egg wash, then place them into the preheated oven. Bake for 28 minutes, until golden brown.
- Once baked, remove from the oven and immediately brush with melted butter. Serve immediately or cover the pan with tin foil for 20 minutes to make the rolls extra soft!
- The rising times for the dough will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It may be a little more or less than the listed time. For best results, use the dough as soon as it reaches the instructed size.
- If not consumed fresh, heat the rolls for 5-10 seconds in the microwave to soften and freshen up.
- Shortening – Melted butter may be used instead.
- Unsalted butter may be used instead. If used, add 1⁄8 tsp of salt to the dough recipe.
More Homemade Bread Recipes
- Texas Roadhouse Rolls
- Irish Soda Bread
- Southern Buttermilk Biscuits
- Homemade Crescent Rolls
- Buttery Beer Bread
- Brioche Buns
- Homemade Pita Bread Recipe
- Hot Cross Buns
- Mexican Bolillos
- Easy Homemade Bread
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