clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
person taking one of the pumpkin dinner rolls

Easy Pumpkin Dinner Rolls for Thanksgiving

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 large rolls 1x


Steal my secrets to making these quick, pull apart pumpkin dinner rolls.  Your family will love their soft, fluffy texture and mild pumpkin flavor at Thanksgiving dinner!  With just one hour of prep and cook time, you can have a batch of hot rolls out of your oven in a flash—or even make them ahead to save time.


  • 4 cups + 2 tablespoons bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 5 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed (66g)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (43g)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree (155g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup water (60 ml)


Making the Dough (25 minutes + 1 hour rising)

  1. Pour the milk and water into a small saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once it begins to steam, remove it from the heat and let it cool until it's 115 F.
  2. Put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir in each one with your finger.
  3. Dump in the brown sugar, softened butter, and pumpkin pie spice.  Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until blended.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, eggs, and half of the milk mixture.  Stir on medium-low speed until all the flour is mixed in, gradually adding enough of the liquid to make a sticky dough.
  5. Switch the attachment to a hook and knead for 5 minutes on medium-low speed.  The dough should be smooth and stretchy, in addition to passing the windowpane test.  Test it by breaking off a lump and stretching it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand to create a windowpane shape.  If the dough is translucent in places without breaking, then it's kneaded enough.  If not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  6. Form the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shaping (20 minutes + 45 minutes rising)

  1. Lightly butter a 9 by 13-inch cake pan.
  2. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the pockets of gas.
  3. Divide into 12 equal pieces, using a kitchen scale for accuracy, then roll each piece into a tight, smooth ball.
  4. Space them evenly in the pan, then cover with a piece of buttered plastic wrap.  Let the buns rise in a warm place until their sides are touching and the dough springs back when gently poked with a fingertip, about 45 minutes.
  5. About 10 minutes before they are done rising, preheat the oven to 375 F.

Baking (15 minutes)

  1. Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, until they are browned on top and have an internal temperature of 190 F.
  2. Immediately transfer the rolls to a wire cooling rack and let them cool for 5 minutes before serving.


  • Be sure to use bread flour and knead until the dough passes the windowpane test to ensure the best texture and rise.
  • Use canned pumpkin puree instead of homemade; it contains less water than homemade does.
  • Roll the buns tightly to get the best-looking shape.
  • Create a warm place for the bread to rise by placing the dough in a cold oven.  Put a casserole dish filled with boiling water on the shelf underneath it.  The steam will warm the interior of the oven, encouraging the yeast to work.
  • These pumpkin dinner rolls can be either sweet or savory.  Try serving them with cinnamon butter or garlic herb butter, or make leftover rolls into tuna melts for lunch.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: yeast, recipe