Filed Under: Bread | Hawaiian | Homemade | Videos

Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
June 25th, 2014
4.55 from 79 votes
4.55 from 79 votes

This copycat recipe for Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls is perfectly sweet, soft, fluffy, and golden brown. You're going to love how easy these are to make! Watch the video to learn how.

Yield: 15 bread rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls - perfect copycat recipe!!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Sweet, slightly tropical, and buttery.
Texture: Soft, fluffy, and tender with a golden brown chewy exterior.
Ease: If bread baking overwhelms you this is a wonderful place to start!! Watch the video and read the above recipe notes and you’ll be good to go, promise!
Appearance: Who could resist one of these big beautiful sweet golden rolls? They look just like the store-bought ones!
Pros: Easy, relatively quick, delicious, perfect for a special dinner.
Cons: None except maybe that these are made with white flour.
Would I make this again? Oh absolutely!

Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls - perfect copycat recipe!!

Now that it’s officially summer, at least for this half of the world, I can’t stop thinking about tropical getaways. It’s kind of ridiculous that it’s SO hot here in Phoenix that a tropical getaway sounds like it would be significantly cooler. At least it might be more, well, moist, instead of bone-dry and desolate like it’s been in Arizona. I think we’ve had less than 2-inches of rain this entire year to date. Why anyone ever decided to live here in the first place is beyond me! We’d all be goners without modern conveniences and water systems.

The best I can do this summer since I unfortunately don’t have any tropical vacations planned is to eat like I’m on vacation. And although I’m not quite sure how authentic the idea of Hawaiian bread rolls is, these are just perfect for any summer feast. Seriously, just look at these pictures. I’m so glad I finally got down a nearly perfect copycat recipe for homemade Hawaiian bread rolls to share with you. I hope your family loves it!!

Do you have any fun vacations planned for the summer?

Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls - so soft and fluffy!

Recipe Notes:

Don’t let these intimidate you, they’re meant to ensure your baking success!

  • The recipe is specifically written to produce bread rolls as similar as possible to the store-bought kind, so changing or substituting anything will produce different results!
  • This recipe is meant to be sweet, which is why the pineapple juice and sugar is added. If you don’t want it to be sweet reduce the sugar.
  • The recipe calls for instant yeast because I find that to be easy and simple. If you need to use active dry yeast instead, add it to the pineapple juice and milk and let sit for 5 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. Note that you may have longer rising times.
  • Use ROOM TEMP canned pineapple juice for best results.
  • You may knead the dough by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer. It may take up to 10 minutes by hand.
  • You may use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, but the bread flour gives these rolls a perfectly round shape and chewy texture.
  • Weighing the flour gives you the most accurate and best results, but if you’re using cup measures be sure to use the spoon & level method.

MAKE AHEAD:

  • You can freeze 10 minutes after your shape the dough into rolls. Defrost overnight in the fridge, let sit at room temperature for about an hour, until puffy and not so cold, before baking as the recipe directs.
  • You can also let the shaped rolls rise overnight in the fridge. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour, until puffy and not so cold, before baking as the recipe directs.
  • You can freeze the fully baked rolls in an airtight container. Thaw to room temperature overnight before reheating in a 300°F oven for 10 minutes. You can also bake straight from the freezer at 300°F for 20 to 25 minutes, though this method may produce more dry rolls.

 

Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls - perfect copycat recipe!!

4.55 from 79 votes

How to make
Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Yield: 15 bread rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
This copycat recipe for Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls is perfectly sweet, soft, fluffy, and golden brown. You're going to love how easy these are to make! Watch the video to learn how.

Ingredients

For the rolls:

  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple juice (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (100 – 110°F)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups (20 ounces) bread flour, approximately

For baking:

  • 1 large egg

Directions

  1. Combine the pineapple juice, milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 2 cups of the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a rough, shaggy mass. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and turn to medium-low speed. Gradually add the remaining flour JUST until the dough comes together. You may not need all the flour depending on your kitchen environment and brand of flour. Continue kneading on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes, until a soft and smooth ball of dough forms.

  2. Place the dough in a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until puffy and doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Gently deflate the dough. Use a bench scraper or knife to divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in the prepared pan.
  4. In a small bowl combine the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Brush all over the rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  6. Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from JW Food and Design and here
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Dev — October 30, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Even better than the name brand rolls! I have made these countless times since I found this recipe. The only thing I add is to run Kerrygold butter over the tops of the rolls once I take them out of them oven. I can’t recommend this recipe enough.

    • #
      Emily — November 1, 2021 at 3:51 pm

      Nothing wrong with brushed butter on top, yum!! So happy to hear how much you love this recipe, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. #
    Jemma — September 21, 2021 at 3:40 pm

    Okay, let me preface this with: I have 25 years of experience baking breads, with a considerable about of success. I love in very dry climate and that can sometimes make baking challenging. I know how to proof my yeast, what under and overdeveloped glutens look like, and proper temperature control of liquids and baking. I must say that this is probably the most off-base recipe I have come across in my 25 years of baking. Even by weight (this is how most true bakers measure), this liquid-to-dry ratio is so far off (to the wet side) that you will quickly realize that there is no way to salvage this mess once they have been combined (you simply cannot add enough flour to get the ratio you need, not is it advised). This looks like it would be a terrible, sticky mess (regardless of the humidity in your home :”D ). Do not waste the flour and try a different recipe.

    • #
      Emily — September 22, 2021 at 10:02 am

      Hi Jemma! Thanks for your feedback. As this is an older recipe post (from 2014), it has not yet been updated with metric measurements, which is what we currently use to create our recipes. You are correct in that measuring by weight is best; however, did you try this recipe? The dough is a bit wet and sticky, but these rolls result in the most delicious outcome, a perfect copycat Hawaiian Bread Roll recipe. I hope you give it a try!

    • #
      Marie — November 10, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      What an incredibly rude comment. Clearly plenty of people have reviewed this recipe saying it worked out perfectly for them – and I assume the other reviewers who have had success don’t have 25 years of bread baking experience. I don’t quite see the point of leaving a comment like this if you didn’t even try the recipe out.

  3. #
    Shelia Depenbrok — September 5, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    This is the perfect dinner roll recipe I’ve been searching for.. fluffy, slightly sweet and purely delicious. That turned out beautifully even after I forgot to add the melted butter. I had used buttermilk instead of regular milk and I’m certain that is what saved them. Easy to make and bake up beautifully

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 3:38 pm

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Shelia, and that your addition of buttermilk worked perfectly! 🙂

  4. #
    ANGELA CHEEK — August 11, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Can this recipe be made into a loaf bread instead of rolls?

    • #
      Emily — August 12, 2021 at 10:24 am

      Hi Angela! We haven’t tried that, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Please let us know how it goes 🙂

  5. #
    Bonnie — July 25, 2021 at 10:06 am

    The dough took two hours to rise double for me, the second rise an hour. I suppose it is because the bread is a heavier bread with eggs and milk. White bread is what I normally make and never takes more than 45 minutes to one hour to triple in bulk. I never add salt directly with yeast, it can kill the yeast, always add it separately so your dough will rise properly. My only issue was the long rise time is why I gave them a four-star rating. They ended up coming out soft, fluffy and wonderful!

    • #
      Emily @ Handle the Heat — July 26, 2021 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Bonnie! I’m so glad the rolls turned out perfectly! The rise time shouldn’t have taken that long though, do you live in a cold climate? What kind of yeast did you use, active dry or instant yeast? Did you use room temperature pineapple juice?

  6. #
    Lenore Rivera — July 15, 2021 at 5:02 pm

    Great recipe! I’ve never had a lot of luck making dinner rolls, but this recipe was easy, tasteful and looked amazing! I had to take half of them to the neighbors as I knew I would be eating all of them myself! These are dangerously delish!!

    • #
      Tessa — July 16, 2021 at 9:09 am

      haha, hooray!! I’m so please you love them!

  7. #
    Kay — April 16, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    Awesome recipe! I used 1 c guava juice, no milk. I also added a touch of red food colouring for a nice pink colour.
    Just dumped it all in a stand mixer, had to let rise a lot longer since my house is cold. Mine were cooked after 17 minutes.

  8. #
    Anny — April 5, 2021 at 11:11 pm

    Perfect texture but not sweet enough for me. I used AP flour.

  9. #
    Mary — April 5, 2021 at 9:52 am

    These rolls were an Easter hit! They’re huge; next time I’ll make 20 rolls. I refrigerated the rolled dough after step #4 overnight. Gave them an hour on the counter to come to room temperature the next day and baked per directions. Very yummy. I’ll make them again.

  10. #
    Charles Barber — April 4, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Trying this for the first time. How in the world do you divide into 15 equal parts? I do pretty good on even numbers of dough. Can’t figure this out. Rolls are proofing for last time now. Help for next time would be great.
    Thanks,
    Mike

    • #
      Tessa — April 5, 2021 at 10:27 am

      Hi Mike, there will be 5 rows of 3 rolls. It fits perfectly in a 9×13 pan 🙂 Good luck!

  11. #
    Chris — March 31, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Can you use all purpose flour instead of bread flour ?

    • #
      Tessa — April 1, 2021 at 10:10 am

      You may use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, but the bread flour gives these rolls a perfectly round shape and chewy texture.

  12. #
    orea — March 28, 2021 at 11:07 am

    Easy and so yummy!

  13. #
    Grace Gomez — March 21, 2021 at 1:06 pm

    I don’t have bread flour can i use all purpose?

    • #
      Tessa — March 22, 2021 at 12:16 pm

      You may use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour, but the bread flour gives these rolls a perfectly round shape and chewy texture. I hope you give this recipe a try!

  14. #
    Bebe — February 6, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    About how much is 1/2 can of pineapple juice? I have mini cans here.

  15. #
    Cyndi Ting — January 24, 2021 at 1:42 pm

    I’ve made this twice now and love how easy it is to much together. I also love how soft the dough is when I take it out of the mixer.
    The second time I used Lakanto Monk fruit sweetener rather than sugar. Slight after taste but still delicious.
    Definitely a family favorite

  16. #
    Silvana — January 21, 2021 at 12:58 am

    I tried this recipe and it is a keeper ! It has great taste and beautiful soft texture

    • #
      Tessa — January 21, 2021 at 9:45 am

      So glad you enjoyed these rolls!

  17. #
    DONALD KLUVER — January 2, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Most recipes call for Buttermilk, what’s the baking difference between these milk vs Buttermilk

  18. #
    Juan — December 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Hi, I tried to make the dough twice and for whatever reason it is super sticky. We live in Colorado so not sure if I need to do something different due to altitude. If so, I appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

  19. #
    mari — December 20, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Good flavor. i increased the sugar to 8 Tbsp because we like our rolls sweeter. I would say that the only downside to these rules is that they are very tall. About twice the height of store-bought Hawaiian rolls. So your ratio of bread to filling will be different. It could be that my rolls end up being taller because I use active dry yeast, and not instant yeast as the recipe calls for.

  20. #
    James — December 14, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Absolutely delicious. I may have added a bit more than half a cup of pineapple juice to make sure the bread was sweet but no more than a cup. Thanks a bunch 😉 yummy

    • #
      Tessa — December 15, 2020 at 10:31 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed these bread rolls!

  21. #
    Sherry S — November 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    SOOOO happy to report these came out delicious and were so easy to make by hand. I don’t have a stand mixer. I used Tessa’s hand kneading dough method she discussed in another post. P.S Also my first time using bread flour. It was fun! 🙂

    • #
      Tessa — December 1, 2020 at 4:13 pm

      I’m so glad these rolls were a success for you! YAY!

  22. #
    Fernando — November 26, 2020 at 11:30 am

    Don’t know what happened, but these weren’t the slightest bit sweet for me. Don’t get me wrong, a good roll recipe, but they didn’t come sweet like hawaiian rolls for me. Thanks for the recipe, though!

  23. #
    Ellie — November 26, 2020 at 12:19 am

    Easy to make love it. Will make it again

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2020 at 12:54 pm

      So glad to hear that!

  24. #
    Suzy Solvesky — November 25, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    The rolls really ARE good. I substituted NOTHING, even buying bread flour for the first time ever. One can of pineapple in its own juice provided just the right amount for the recipe. My rolls did not look as pretty as the picture here. Someone asked about using a bread machine. The answer is YES, IT WORKS! I selected the ‘dough only’ cycle. After the dough rose in the machine I took it out. It were pretty sticky so I kneaded it a bit and shaped the rolls using extra flour. I will see what the dinner guests tomorrow think of the rolls.

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2020 at 12:53 pm

      I’m so happy you tried this recipe out! I hope it was enjoyed on Thanksgiving!

  25. #
    Cassie — November 25, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I’ve made these several times now and they never disappoint! I’m always asked to make the rolls for any gatherings now.

    • #
      Tessa — November 25, 2020 at 11:32 am

      This makes me so happy, Cassie!

  26. #
    Scott — November 25, 2020 at 6:50 am

    I love these rolls.

    I’m making them the day before. So I’m wondering if I can just put the rolls in the fridge overnight for the second rise. Will they over-rise? Since it’s just overnight I hated to put them in the freezer – since you suggest and overnight thaw.

  27. #
    Jessica Yeargan — November 22, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    Never mind I just read the notes at top. My bad and thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — November 23, 2020 at 4:24 pm

      Glad you found what you were looking for! I hope you love these rolls!

  28. #
    Jess — November 22, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    So I don’t have instant yeast but I do have regular yeast. So I should just let yeast rise in the warm milk and add to the other wet ingredients. It should still work the same way, right?

  29. #
    Dawn Mohrbacher — November 16, 2020 at 10:17 am

    I just wanted to say that I’m making these for the third time today at the request of my son. He is nine years old and I love that the recipe is so easy that he can follow it pretty much on his own with just a little guidance so he doesn’t overwork the dough.

    They are delicious. The only change I have made is that I oil the bowl I’m proving in slightly so that the dough comes out easily as it’s a rather wet dough.

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2020 at 12:43 pm

      So amazing you have a little helper with you in the kitchen! So glad you love these rolls.

  30. #
    Gayle Vicicondi — November 16, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I made these rolls and followed the recipe 100% These rolls were the worst. Hard as rocks and not very suite tasting. I used all fresh ingredients – including the yeast. And all temps for the liquids were at temps specified I would not make these again! There’s got to be a better way to make these!

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      I’m sorry to hear this! Usually hard rolls are due to too much flour being used, over-kneading the dough, or baking for too long. Be sure to check out my posts for how to measure flour and Oven 101. This is one of my most popular recipes, so I hope you give this recipe another try!

  31. #
    Mary — November 16, 2020 at 8:11 am

    I made these with my teenage granddaughter and they smelled so good coming out of the oven she couldn’t wait for them to cool down. Absolutely will make again.

    • #
      Tessa — November 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm

      So glad to hear this, Mary!

  32. #
    Mary Ryken — November 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm

    These are just yummy! I have made them twice in the last 2 weeks. Thanks for a great recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — November 13, 2020 at 11:49 am

      So thrilled to hear that, Mary!

  33. #
    Yvonne Tang — November 1, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Super easy recipe! My Hawaiian rolls turned out beautiful and delicious. My family loved it.
    I did not have can pineapple juice. I replaced it with Tropicana orange pineapple juice. But first I microwaved it to kill the enzymes so it would not kill the yeast. The rolls rise beautifully.
    Thanks Tessa for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — November 5, 2020 at 2:17 pm

      Yay! So happy you tried these rolls out 🙂

  34. #
    Yvonne Tang — November 1, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Super easy recipe. The rolls turn out great and delicious! My family loved it!
    i did not have can pineapple juice so I substituted Tropicana orange pineapple juice. But first I microwaved the juice for 2 minutes to kill the enzymes so it would not kill the yeast. It rise beautifully. Also I use only 4 tablespoon of sugar and it’s sweet enough to eat by itself.

    Thank you Tessa for sharing this easy wonderful reciepe.

  35. #
    GeeYes — October 19, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. The dough came out very hard. I added half cup milk and 1/4 cup pineapple juice. Then the roll came out nicely.

  36. #
    Luz — October 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Oh my! I made them-they were delish!

  37. #
    Diz — September 26, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    Perfect! First try and it came out perfect. We had no left overs; will be making another batch later today.
    Officially a fan.

  38. #
    Amber — September 23, 2020 at 10:51 pm

    I accidentally used cake flour instead of bread flour so that was on me but I took a chance and added some regular flour to group it better and baked it and it actually tasted pretty good even though I messed up! I’ll have to use this recipe again but next time using the right type of flour.

  39. #
    Alessandra Gritt — September 7, 2020 at 10:49 am

    I just used this recipe and it’s amazing, thanks so much! I made it with plain flour (in the UK, same as all purpose) and didn’t use a stand mixer but they still turned out really well. They’re a little rustic-looking, probably because of the flour, but they taste perfect! I’ve been craving Hawaiian rolls for ages and with no trip to visit my family in the States in sight, these fill the gap perfectly. Thanks!

  40. #
    Jen — September 5, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Just made these and they were a hit at my loosely-themed luau Labor Day party.

    I live in New Mexico (dry weather) in the Santa Fe area (high elevation), so I made a couple of changes I thought I would post in case anyone’s in a similar situation and would benefit. One of the biggest issues with elevation over 3k or so is that the dough will tend to rise way too quickly, so I used active dry yeast and all cold ingredients, except the melted butter, to slow things down a bit. The dough started out soft and a little sticky and it took about 2 hours to double in mass, which is exactly what I wanted. I weighed the flour, as I always do, and used all of it plus a heaping spoonful since it was going to proof a little longer. I ended up not changing the wet ingredients at all with the exception of a small splash of extra pineapple juice.

    Once shaped, I let them proof again for about 45 minutes and until I thought they looked like they had regained their puffiness.

    The experiment worked! They baked up very well and were delicious.

  41. #
    Mal — August 29, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    I have made this recipe twice now. It came out fantastic the second time around after I followed the instructions to the t (rooms temp pineapple juice, warm milk and melted butter to name a few). I also let the dough rise a little more than an hour for the first rise and 15 – 20 minutes more for the second rise. These came out perfect!

    • #
      Mal — August 29, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      I also used only 4 cups of flour, so the dough was wet and had just stared to come together. Kneading for 4-7 minutes really got the dough together and it was not too sticky. Letting it rise for almost 30 mins longer the first time and 45-59 minutes after forming the balls really made the difference for me.

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