Tried & True Honey Butter Rolls

My favorite roll recipe for dinnertime. This is a recipe to hold onto.

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on step by step photos included!

Carb overload today.

I have, I don’t know, a MILLION sweet roll recipes on my blog. But no plain dinner rolls. And after today I still won’t have plain dinner rolls on my blog because who wants a plain dinner roll when you can have a warm, honey-buttered, golden brown, soft, tender, luxurious dinner roll? Really. Who?

It goes without saying that these are my favorite dinner rolls. In fact, I may never eat another form of bread again. Until, of course, I make cinnamon raisin bagels next week. I love those!

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on step by step photos included!

This is an old-fashioned, made-with-love dinner roll. Nothing out of the freezer or worse, out of a can.

The homemade dough is made with basic bread ingredients. I’ve added a few extras like melted butter and honey for comfy cozy sweet flavor and an extra egg yolk for richness. Because of these extra liquids, I use a little more flour to compensate for added moisture. Speaking of flour, we’re using bread flour today. Because we’re making bread! But that’s not all. I use bread flour in my honey butter rolls because it contains more gluten than all-purpose. Extra gluten helps make finished rolls extra chewy and, um, more bread-like. Technical terms here.

How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on

There are two rises. The first rise is right after the dough is prepared and takes about 2 hours. The second rise is after you shape the dough into 16 balls and takes about 1 hour. All yeasted dough… no, scratch that. All good yeasted dough takes time to develop its flavor, its gluten, and rise– so don’t expect to breeze through the recipe’s steps. You can rush a lot of things in life, but you can’t rush bread.

This is not a recipe for someone in a hurry.

Because really good, quality-tasting bread cannot be made in a hurry. Though the dough does take time to develop and rise, there is more wait time than work time in this honey butter roll recipe. Which gives you time to actually prepare the main event of the meal! Like creamy chicken noodle soup, healthier macaroni and cheese, and Thanksgiving turkey. (!!!)

And, luckily, you can get started on these rolls in advance. Make-ahead rolls to the rescue! Make sure you read my make-ahead instructions in the recipe.

After the rolls bake until golden brown, slather them with honey butter. I prefer spreading the honey butter on the rolls after they bake as opposed to before they bake. Why? Spreading or brushing butter on top of the delicate, airy unbaked roll weighs them down and encourages them to deflate. Losing puff! We don’t want to lose puff! So, wait until they are golden, warm, and toasty right from the oven. Then, spread on the good stuff and let it soak into each crevice.

These soft and fluffy honey butter rolls. Oh man. You need to bake them right this very second! They will steal the show at any and all future dinners. They will be the talk of the Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. They will comfort you on dark days. They will save your plate full of tomato sauce. They will take over the world!!

Soft, fluffy, tried & true honey butter dinner rolls recipe on step by step photos included!

Anything but plain.


Honey Butter Rolls

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: 16 rolls
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These tried & true honey butter rolls are my favorite dinner rolls to make! They’re unbelievably soft, fluffy, and just melt in your mouth.


  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F*
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Red Star® Platinum yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (84g) honey
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 and 1/2 cups (452g) bread flour (spoon & leveled)


  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 Tablespoons (42g) honey


  1. Pour warm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. Or, if you do not own a stand mixer, a regular large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar on top of the milk. Give it a light stir with a spoon and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy after 5 minutes. If not, start over with new yeast.
  2. If you do not have a mixer, you can mix by hand in this step. With the stand mixer running on low speed, add the honey, egg, egg yolk, melted butter, salt, and 3 cups of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute, then add remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Beat on low speed for 1 minute as it all combines. The dough should be thick, yet soft. And only slightly sticky. It should pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. When it does, it is ready to knead. If, however, the dough is too sticky to handle– add more flour, 1 Tablespoon at a time. Make sure you do not add too much extra flour; you want a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes, then place into a greased bowl– I usually just use olive oil or nonstick spray. Turn the dough over to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in a warm environment to rise until doubled, about 2 hours. For this warm environment, I preheat the oven to 200°F (93°C) then turn the oven off and place the bowl inside the warm-ish oven.
  4. Once doubled in size, punch down the dough to release any air bubbles. Remove dough from the bowl and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down again to release any more air bubbles if needed. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half. Cut each half into 8 equal pieces for a total of 16 pieces that are about 1/4 cup each– golfball size, give or take. They don’t need to be perfect! Shape into balls as best you can and arrange in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size and puffy, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Bake the rolls for 18-21 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the edges of each roll look cooked. While the rolls bake, mix the topping ingredients together to make a creamy honey butter. Remove the rolls from the oven when they are done and brush or spread a generous amount of honey butter onto each warm roll. Serve with any remaining honey butter.
  6. Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Warm up in a 300°F (149°C) oven for 10 minutes.


  1. Make Ahead & Overnight Instructions: After dough has risen two hours in step 3, punch down the dough inside the mixing bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 2 days, then remove from the refrigerator and continue with step 4. OR freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4.
  2. Bread Machine: I’ve gotten some questions about these rolls being made in a bread machine. The answer is yes, on the dough cycle.
  3. Milk: Lower fat milk or water can be substituted, but the rolls won’t taste as soft and rich. They’ll be more chewy, dense, and bread-y.
  4. Don’t leave off that honey butter topping! The rolls will be lacking a little flavor without it. I prefer spreading the honey butter on the rolls after they bake as opposed to before they bake. The reason is because spreading or brushing butter on top of the delicate, airy unbaked roll weighs them down and encourages them to deflate. Best to spread on the honey butter right after baking.
  5. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.

Keywords: honey butter rolls, dinner rolls

My FAVORITE dinner rolls! Soft, fluffy, and dripping with sweet honey butter!
How to make soft and fluffy honey butter dinner rolls! Grab the tried & true recipe on


  1. Oh these honey butter rolls look so delicious. I think I’m going to have to serve these for Thanksgiving. Make them the day before so I won’t have to wait for them to be done =)

  2. These look just like the mini-versions of the hokkaido milk bread I was making this afternoon! Sweet bread is the best.
      And I just wanted to let you know that you (and a few other blogs, but you in particular) have officially inspired me to start posting my recipes, so I created my own food blog the other day. I’m using bluehost, like you suggested, and I just got finished figuring out all that complicated bloggy-designy stuff. Thanks bunches for your awesome baking, Sally! I hope that in a few years I can grow my blog just like you’ve done. 🙂

  3. These look so cute and delicious! I love sweet/savory rolls, better than dessert rolls, usually! Maybe I will make these for Thanksgiving 😀

    1. Definitely will be making these for Thanksgiving! Skip the salad, eat the roll. That’s my Thanksgiving motto. 

      You don’t have to tell me twice not to leave off the honey butter topping though =) 

  4. Oh man. These look beyond. I think I’d just eat rolls for dinner and stop right there. Because really, what else do you need? Well, a glass of wine would go nicely with it. 🙂

  5. These rolls always remind me of my elementary-school days (pretty sure I had them for every breakfast!) 
    Homemade honey butter!! ’nuff said 🙂

  6. I love your site and have tried many of your recipes. I have a question about the yeast you use. Is it a quick rise or instant, or a traditional? I don’t think the Red Star Platinum brand is readily available where I’m at.

  7. Is it crazy that, when they’re good, rolls are my favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner? And these look fantastic! I can’t wait to make them!

  8. As we all know the best rolls are warmed rolls.  The oven is always packed at my house when it comes time for thanksgiving so I’d have to make the rolls a bit in advance.  Any tips for reheating these before the big event?

  9. Dinner rolls are definitely a favourite side dish of mine. My current favourite recipe, for butternut squash rolls, is quite complex. Simple honey dinner rolls may be more my style this winter 🙂 

  10. You always seem to know when I’m getting ready to bake something! I need to get my rolls done and in the freezer for our early Christmas….in about two weeks. So now I’ve rearranged things and will be making these rolls instead of my regular ones! It was SO nice to meet you last weekend! I enjoyed meeting your mom and sister also. You guys are such nice people. I took my piece of toffee home to share with my husband and guess what I had to make?! haha! That stuff is ADDICTING! I’m curious to try it with the saltines. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    1. Teija, my favorite person in the world! I love the homemade gifts and can’t get enough of the little tags. Thank you so much for all of it! Glad you made the pretzel toffee. Isn’t it incredible?! I know what you mean about addicting too hahaha

  11. Can this recipe be doubled or should I made 2 batches?  I’d like to be generous and account for 3per person. Cause you need 1 more to wipe the gravy off the plate!!

    1. When it comes to bread, I always recommend making two separate batches. More volume of dough could produce problems/unideal texture.

  12. Hi Sally,

    if I wanted to make these a few weeks in advance or say right now in time for Thanksgiving, could I prep them, bake them, with the honey butter topping and freeze them completely already made? Have you ever done that? Do they come out ok once thawed and warmed? Thanks in advance!!

  13. GAHH!!! Another MUST MAKE. I have all the ingredients so I’m ditching my boring store-bought rolls and am going to made the dough tonight for tomorrow’s Friendsgiving. Thanks, Sally!!! 

    1. Love it!!! I, too, had a Friendsgiving celebration this weekend and made these rolls. My family has made crescent rolls from a family recipe for years! And, I won’t lie, they are to die for, but I wanted to try something new and the sweet honey butter enticed me. These rolls were easy to make and simply delicious! Everyone asked for the recipe. Thanks, Sally! And I hope yours came out well for your Frendsgiving too, Senika!

  14. I always make homemade rolls or bread for Thanksgiving (and my daughter won’t celebrate it without honey butter!)  Thanks Sally for a great recipe.  Definitely going to give this one a try this year!

  15. These rolls will definitely be on our Christmas dinner table! I can’t wait, forget about the turkey! Thanks for making our dinner just a little bit sweeter.

  16. You can rush some things in life, but you can’t rush bread. NEW FAV SALLY QUOTE. It’s so true. Little dinner rolls in a pan like this have been on my mind for awhile now. How did you know?! These sound simply scrumptious (??). Have a WONDERFUL time in Chicago! Still so bummed we missed you by a week 🙁 but yay for dinner on Monday! Wooo, BREAD!

  17. Aaah!! Loving your bread recipes. Tried your pie crust recipe the other day. It was indeed the easiest yet flakiest pie crust ever.n ive tried a lot of recipes over time. Some of my fav from your site include ur choc cupcakes, pie crust, choc chip cookie, pizza, blueberry streusal muffins and many more . These are just some of my all time fav! 

  18. I made these today, and it’s a forgiving recipe! I accidentally over-proofed the second rise, so did a third rise. Then, adding insult to injury, I under-cooked them a bit (after looking at your photo again). But, they still taste wonderful! I have enough dough to try again for Thanksgiving.

  19. Those little Pillsbury rolls in the tubes scare the CRAP out of me when you open them. I swear every time I had to make them “pop” growing up, I screamed or threw the can every single time it popped haha! Worst thing EVER! These look really good and relatively easy. I love me some honey butter, especially on cornbread!

  20. These look amazing! I want to make them for Thanksgiving dinner, but we are traveling. If I make them ahead of time and freeze them, would it be better to put the honey butter on right after baking and before freezing, or to put it on after I heat them up on Thanksgiving Day?

  21. Hi Sally

    I was wondering if I could make this recipe down to instructions #4, bcuz  I plan to make these rolls a week ahead and only bake half of the rolls, so all I have to do is  take what I need out the freezer don;t worry about shaping them, bcuz it’s already done.

  22. Hi Sally! I love this recipe and want to try it asap. But I have a serious problem. I’m from Brazil, and here ingredients are slightly different, I guess. For the yeast, we have two kinds: fresh yeast and dry powdered yeast. Which one should I use for this? 

    Thanks for posting the most delicious recipes ever!

  23. This might be a silly question, but in the make ahead directions it says after step 3 to freeze for up to 2 months, then allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator and continue with step 4. In step 3, it is still one ball of dough. Can you freeze after you have individual dough balls?

  24. Just made these with Red Star’s natural yeast. The dough doubled in size, and I let the rolls rise, too. But the baked rolls didn’t rise much. Tasted good, but flat and dense. Any ideas? 

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally