Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls - Handle the Heat
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Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

By Tessa Arias
June 25th, 2014
4.60 from 89 votes
4.60 from 89 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.

YouTube video

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.


  • 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!!

4.60 from 89 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.


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


  1. Combine the pineapple juice, milk, melted butter, eggs, sugar, 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. Stir in the salt. 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
Author: Tessa Arias

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!)

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!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Marissa Alley — August 23, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    just made these using oatmilk in place of regular milk and AP flour with great success! my dough didn’t double in the first stage, but rose quickly after being rolled into buns on a preheating stove. baked them for slightly shorter amount of time (around 20m) and they’re perfect – best Hawaiian bread recipe I’ve used!

  2. #
    Tricia Cote’ — August 15, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    Added a little fresh ginger. They were delightful. They were all gone day two! Thank you for your recipe.

  3. #
    Jennifer — August 12, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Love this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing it! We use a bread maker to make the dough and substitute coconut oil for the butter and almond milk for the milk, and it’s turned out perfectly every time. Thanks again for the great recipe!

  4. #
    JR — July 22, 2020 at 12:40 am

    I was worried because the dough was stickier than I anticipated and came nowhere near doubling. However, after baking they looked great and had risen well. I recommend taking them out a tad early if you’re not serving right way, or removing them from the pan because mine got a tad burned on the bottom when I let them cool in the pan. I give it four stars just because I felt like they were a bit dense and not as soft as I would prefer, but warm and with butter/honey they taste great!

  5. #
    Chad — July 20, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Followed the recipe verbatim, got dry, crumbly biscuits I wouldn’t feed to a duck. The dough never formed a ‘shaggy mass/ as described in the first step, stayed like soggy batter. Moved to the next step and using the mixer, dough never came together as a single ball (or anything resembling one). Added approximately 4-1/2 cups of bread flour as described. Again, followed directions verbatim. This isn’t my first time trying to make bread, nor am I incompetent in the kitchen.

    I don’t know what went wrong, but this was far more than any slight variation in my kitchen environment could produce. I feel it has more to do with the method of bringing the dough together in the beginning. I won’t be trying this one again for fear of wasting more ingredients.

  6. #
    Fifi — June 28, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    The dough is sticky, is it true? I am using fresh pineapple juice. Since it is easy to find in Indonesia.

  7. #
    Gayle — June 16, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    In the ingredients it says fine salt. Is that table salt or kosher fine salt?

  8. #
    Sarah — June 13, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    These taste amazing and were easy to make. My only regret is that I didn’t double the recipe!

  9. #
    Snowflake23 — May 31, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    I’ve made this recipe several times and every time the come out perfect. Soft and chewy. Today I made them using Kiefer milk instead of regular milk and they were so moist and soft. Delicious.

  10. #
    Emily — May 28, 2020 at 7:42 am

    Is the dough supposed to be pretty sticky? I’m about to let it rise and it just seems too wet.

  11. #
    Amanda — May 24, 2020 at 8:39 pm

    Can this recipe be used in a bread machine?

  12. #
    tiffany — May 24, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    when calls for half a can of pineapple juice what size, kind can did you use? I can get pure pineapple juice cans in 6 oz or 12 oz size cans

  13. #
    Steve — May 23, 2020 at 10:09 am

    I’m rating it only on the video I watched. I do intend to make them in the near future and can only hope they come out as good as hers looked.

  14. #
    Wendy Viglianti Stirpe — May 16, 2020 at 11:38 am

    They look so good! If i have active yeast instead, the one that has to be diluted in water, can i still do it?

  15. #
    Monicamiller — May 15, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Just made them. Absolutely love them.

  16. #
    Melisa Ganzon — May 13, 2020 at 9:48 am

    They ended up rising for 2-3 hours instead of just one prior to being put into the oven because I had to leave my house for a bit. Right out of the oven, while still warm, they tasted great. However the next day they were a bit dry. Did I do something wrong? Shouldn’t they still have been soft since I sealed it in a bag overnight? Thanks!

  17. #
    Rhaina — May 11, 2020 at 9:31 am

    To start I’ll say I did use fresh yeast because that is what I had available. Everything seemed to be going fine, the dough was behaving perfectly just like the video. They baked with a pretty soft texture, not perfectly pillow-y, but not dense either. But I can’t get over the taste. It isn’t ANYTHING like Kings Hawaiian Bread, in fact the predominant taste is Yeast. YUCK… I think I’ll have to trash this batch and that breaks my heart.

    Could fresh yeast vs dry active have made that much difference?

  18. #
    Natasha — May 5, 2020 at 11:49 am

    This recipe made the most dense rolls. Although they tasted pretty good the structure was way off. I am fairly experienced as a baker so this was a bit of a letdown.

  19. #
    Katie — May 3, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    These are amazing! My kids want me to make them every week,but this is the second time in 3 weeks we are baking them. So nice and sweet. Thanks for the great recipe

  20. #
    Kennedy — May 3, 2020 at 2:26 am

    These came out awesome! This was the first time i ever made bread successfully. My only complaint would be if they were a tad sweeter. You can always add honey butter though! Thank you!

  21. #
    Matthew Winter — April 26, 2020 at 8:26 am

    could i make this into a loaf instead of rolls

  22. #
    Amy — April 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    This was my first time making bread and it definitely turned out and was very tasty but there were definitely some things I would note (keep in mind my environment is a little cold and dry):
    – Not quite as sweet as I expected, maybe add more sugar and pineapple juice
    – I didn’t need as much flour as the recipe called for (though it was mentioned in the recipe that that might be the case!!). I used about 3 and a half cups of all purpose flour and kneaded by hand
    – Lastly, maybe because of my environment or the sugar, it took way longer to rise! First pass was about 2½ hours and the second was still 30 minutes but it could’ve stood to be a bit longer

    Overall very yummy, soft, and fluffy but needs to be sweeter :-))

  23. #
    Thanh — April 25, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Hi Tessa
    What if I don’t have a standard mixer – what do you recommend using besides the dough hook?
    (For the sweet rolls recipe)

  24. #
    Thanh — April 25, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Tessa
    What if I don’t have a standard mixer – what do you recommend using besides the dough hook?

  25. #
    TheItalianCook — April 14, 2020 at 5:18 am

    How long do these usualy take to make?

  26. #
    TheItalianCook — April 14, 2020 at 5:17 am

    Hi Tessa-
    How long do these usualy take to make?

  27. #
    Amanda — April 12, 2020 at 5:53 pm

    Great rolls!!

    The bottom was a little crispier than I wanted but I think it was my pan.

  28. #
    Chris and Kelly — April 12, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    Just follow the recipe! These came out perfect! Thanks a million!

  29. #
    Tara Leinart — April 12, 2020 at 11:55 am

    I made these for Easter and they turned out fantastic!! This recipe is a keeper!

  30. #
    Olivia — April 11, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Could this recipe be made as a loaf, rather than rolls? What might that change about the instructions?

  31. #
    Marci — April 7, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    OI am highly allergic to pineapple and do not keep any in the house. Can I substitute orange juice with this recipe?

    • #
      Christy — April 24, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      you totally can!

  32. #
    Olivia — April 5, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    These are amazing. So fluffy and delicious. Definitely making these again. Thank you for a great recipe.

  33. #
    DK — March 31, 2020 at 8:32 am

    What if I can’t find bread flour, can I use all AP?

  34. #
    Tim — March 29, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    I made them yesterday they are exactly like the read ones they look smell fell and taste like the real thing it’s another of my favorite bread recipes to make

  35. #
    JZD — March 23, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    How did they turn out?

  36. #
    Kelly Mirabella — March 23, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Opps. I added both eggs to the mix. Will it still be okay?

  37. #
    Sarah — March 6, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I too noticed the comments too late, and made this recipe with REAL PINEAPPLE JUICE. It’s a BAD IDEA.

    But, if you find yourself in the same boat, your heavy, cake like dough is Not wasted.

    I made dense but delicious mini muffins out of my dough.
    Oil the mini muffin tin, spoon on batter and bake for 12-15 minutes at 325.

  38. #
    Andrea — March 4, 2020 at 1:26 pm

    I just made these and they are super delicious, light and fluffy. But they don’t taste like Hawaiian rolls from the store.

  39. #
    Amanda — February 22, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    These rolls are absolutely divine.

  40. #
    Carmen — January 11, 2020 at 8:34 pm

    I halved the recipe and made 8 buns … Perfect

  41. #
    Lashonda — December 27, 2019 at 5:55 pm

    Just made these they didn’t really taste like Hawaiian rolls but they were ok maybe Add more pineapple juice

  42. #
    Clarissa — December 26, 2019 at 8:08 am

    Can I substitute for canned pineapple juice?

  43. #
    Jane — December 22, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    My daughter can not have anything with emulsifiers so that means slim pickings for store bought breads and rolls. I just made these to use on Christmas eve as the bread for Kentucky Hot Brown sliders. That recipe calls for King’s Hawaiin rolls. Out of the oven they look fantastic! Both proofs took 1.5 times the recipe suggestion but I was patient and waited until the dough looked right. I made 17 rolls rather than the 15 even though I weighed each roll as formed them. Just tasted one of the extra. Definitely not as tender as store bought, but I taste the sweetness and a hint of the pineapple juice. I think they will be perfect for my purposes. If I could figure out how to include a picture I would add one.

  44. #
    Carmen Ramirez — December 9, 2019 at 1:05 am

    You are the sweet one young lady. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I do have a question; can any of the sweet breads be made in a bread machine?

  45. #
    Tammy McDowell — December 8, 2019 at 12:29 pm

    I have made this recipe many times and it never fails to get rave reviews. I have some proofing right this minute. It is straight forward and easy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  46. #
    Baking daddy — November 28, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    Made this for the tribe for Thanksgiving today. I don’t have a stand mixer. Made by hand. No sweat! Turned out great! And for those asking, never double a baking recipe! Baking is exact, and doubling will create a disaster. Happy Thanksgiving!

  47. #
    Abby — November 27, 2019 at 9:29 am

    Hi Tessa! The rolls turned out amazing. This was my first time making bread, and I was so happy with how simple the recipe was and how they turned out. My mixture was slightly sticky at first, and I read the comments that if you live in a humid area (hello South Florida!) you may have to add in slightly more flour. Once I did that, everything else was exactly as you said. I am planning on making these rolls again to bring to a thanksgiving dinner and I will need to double the recipe. Should I make the dough in two separate batches or can I mix it all together? Thank you for the delicious recipe and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • #
      Tessa — November 27, 2019 at 9:54 am

      Hi Abby! I’m so pleased to hear that. It’s so crucial to use as much flour as your kitchen environment requires!! If you have a high powered stand mixer then you can do it altogether, otherwise it may be too much volume for your mixer to knead effectively. Happy Thanksgiving!

  48. #
    Michael G. — November 26, 2019 at 11:49 pm

    If I would like to make a larger batch. Approximately 3 times the amount. Would I triple all ingrediants including yeast?

  49. #
    Mike — November 25, 2019 at 2:08 am

    Came out with amazing rolls. But not Hawaiian rolls . Not nearly as sweet

  50. #
    Linda Stevens — October 13, 2019 at 4:59 pm


  51. #
    Claudia — September 27, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I did exactly what I was supposed to do it turned out to be a sticky mess that wouldn’t even raise smelled way too sweet it was more like cake icing then though even after I put an extra cup of flour in it where did it go wrong

  52. #
    Paul Kerlin — September 21, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Hi Tessa

    I gave this a run today – The dough came out super sticky out of the mixer bowl, it is currently sitting rising now before i try to bake.
    Just wondering what would make it sticky compared to yours in the video ?

  53. #
    Stella — July 11, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I love this recipe, I eat one of these rolls every day, I also take some to work and everybody loves them.

  54. #
    Kyrsta — July 11, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    I’m an a big fan of the kings Hawaiian sweet rolls. Are these like those? Does pineapple juice just add sweetness or does it give it a pineapple taste?

  55. #
    Shanon — July 7, 2019 at 8:29 am

    They came out PERFECT! I made the rolls, and my husband smoked a pork butt for pulled pork. They could not have been more delicious

  56. #
    Michelle Walker — July 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm

    I made these for our 4th of July dinner and they were a big hit with my family. I think my husband ate 7 of them lol. Your recipes never let me down. Thanks so much!

  57. #
    Valerie Wilson — June 19, 2019 at 10:31 am

    Do you let the yeast sit to have bubbles rise first to make sure it’s active before adding all the rest of the ingredients? In your video I noticed you just added it all at same time.

    • #
      Tessa — June 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

      This recipe uses instant yeast which doesn’t require proofing!

  58. #
    Monica — June 3, 2019 at 3:24 pm

    I used the right ingredients, measure to exactly, but didn’t rise, why should I do? And why?

  59. #
    Ernst — May 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Can you make hot dog buns with this recipe

  60. #
    Jack — April 7, 2019 at 10:49 am

    This dough is way to dry. I see lots of people saying they are hard or not light and fluffy or they didn’t rise. It’s because there is not enough liquid for this amount of flour. My mixer started to bog down the dough was so thick. I had to turn it off before it burned up. I checked all my ingredients and they were right. Trying to stir with a spatula was basically impossible.
    I imagine this is why people had ones that didn’t rise and were not light and fluffy. Probably cause and effect. So I added another half cup each of milk and pineapple juice and then it seemed fine, consistency wise. It rose in the bowl fine. The rolls themselves are rising right now. I have no idea what this will do as far as lightness, fluffiness or taste. I have no idea how others say it turned out fine.

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