Filed Under: Bread | How To | Videos

How to Make Crescent Rolls

Recipe By Tessa Arias
February 18th, 2015
5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

The last recipe for crescent rolls I shared was years ago and I realized I haven't made it very often since because it is SO stinkin' complicated. It was based...

Yield: 16 rolls

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Buttery, carby goodness.
Texture: Slightly crusty and golden on the outside, soft, fluffy, and tender inside. Perfection.
Ease: Easy, but requires a little patience and hands-on assembly. The dough is so easy to work with, though, that I find it relaxing! Would be a fun recipe to make with little ones.
Appearance: Gorgeous, these would look beautiful on any dinner table.
Pros: Absolutely doable (especially with my step-by-step video), fun, and scrumptious. Way easier than my last favorite crescent roll recipe.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Oh yes. I made extra and froze them with the make-ahead directions included at the bottom of the recipe.

SO buttery and GOOD! I can't believe I was intimidated to make these - they're so easy!

These are the BEST and surprisingly easy!!

The last recipe for crescent rolls I shared was years ago and I realized I haven’t made it very often since because it is SO stinkin’ complicated. It was based off a Cooks Illustrated recipe and while I adore them and all their recipes, some are just unnecessarily complicated. That other recipe, while amazing, literally took days to make. When I’m craving crescent rolls, I want them ASAP. That’s why I decided to play around with a new recipe that could be made in just 2 hours and is just as tender, buttery, and fluffy with a golden brown crusty exterior. I’m thrilled to report I came up with something delicious AND totally doable.

How to make crescent rolls from scratch

What other carby goodness would you like me to share in the future?

Flavor Ideas

The crescent rolls are nothing short of amazing themselves, but feel free get creative with all the potential sweet and savory flavor options! You can make several flavor variations within just one recipe batch. You can omit the butter called for spreading on the dough round or not, it’s entirely up to you and what works best with your flavor choice!

Fill or sprinkle the unrolled crescents with:

Nutella, peanut butter, or cookie butter
Chocolate chips
Cinnamon sugar
Cream cheese and berries
Garlic and herb butter
Pepperoni and cheese
Jam and brie
Cream cheese, jalapeno, and bacon
Scrambled eggs, cheese, sausage or bacon

Bread Baking Tips

Watch the video above to see exactly how this crescent roll recipe is made along with all the best tricks. Here are two quick bread baking tips if making homemade bread with yeast scares you!


Most of my bread recipes call for instant yeast because I always have a big bag of the stuff in my fridge and because it’s so easy to use. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed to be activated, it can just be added in with the rest of the dough ingredients. It also gets to work more quickly, often lessening the rising times.

However, active dry yeast can pretty much always be substituted for instant yeast. All you need to do is take the warm liquid ingredients in the recipe (no hotter than 115°F otherwise you risk killing the yeast), combine with the yeast, and let it sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast begins to form a creamy foam on the surface of the liquid. If this doesn’t happen, it means the yeast is dead. You can add a little bit of sugar to the mixture to give the yeast something to get excited about. Now the yeast and liquid are ready to be added to the other ingredients in the recipe. This active dry yeast dough may take slightly longer to rise.


I almost always use my stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead dough because it’s just so easy. However, you can almost always knead by hand. Here’s a helpful video showing you how to knead by hand.

Shaping crescent roll dough
Crescent rolls rising

The most buttery, tender, golden brown crescent rolls I've ever made, and they're actually easy!!

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5 from 1 vote

How to make
Crescent Rolls

Yield: 16 rolls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
The last recipe for crescent rolls I shared was years ago and I realized I haven't made it very often since because it is SO stinkin' complicated. It was based...


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 cups (18 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg white, beaten


  1. In a small saucepan combine the water, milk, and half the butter (4 tablespoons). Set over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until just warm, about 110°F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, stir together the warm water mixture with the yeast, sugar, egg, salt, and flour. Turn the mixer to medium and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in a clean bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts, forming each into a smooth ball. On a clean work surface use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 16 to 17-inch round. Using a small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread 2 tablespoons of the remaining room temperature butter onto each dough round. Use a pastry cutter to cut each round into 16 triangles.
  4. Roll the triangles into crescents, starting from the bigger outside edge. Bring the edges together to create the crescent shape with the tip tucked down under the roll. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about 20 minutes, or until puffy. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  5. Combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water and brush over the rolls. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.
  6. MAKE AHEAD: Partially baked rolls can be frozen for up to 1 month. To partially bake rolls follow directions, but let them bake at 400°F for only 4 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool completely, then place in a single layer in a resealable plastic bag in freezer. When ready to serve defrost at room temperature and bake at 400°F for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American

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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. #
    Claudia Roitman Santamaria — March 17, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Hi Tessa love these crescents rolls. I have a question which is the thermometer you used in your video. I guess I want one now.
    Thanks. This is my second time baking them and will definitely part bake some.

  2. #
    Mary — October 8, 2016 at 8:20 am

    Yes. You can ask!

  3. #
    Naseera — May 25, 2016 at 10:43 pm

    Can I ask if I can substitute the whole milk to full cream milk?

  4. #
    JeanB — January 24, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    Saw a recipe for Easy Apple Dumplings I thought would be really good but couldn’t stand the thought of using canned crescent rolls. I found your crescent roll recipe and video that worked perfectly except the 16 rolls are too large to fit into a 7×11 pan. When making this again, I will use about 1/4 of the dough for plain crescent rolls, divide remaining dough into 2 parts rolled into 12 in circles.
    This dish is sure to become a family favorite thanks to your rolls!

  5. #
    Jenady — April 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    Stumbled on your site, LOVE IT!
    From one foodie, that loves to experiment, and find out the exact reason’s on why this works like this or why that works like that, and to figure out what works best and why, is awesome. Thank you for sharing your site.

  6. #
    Amaryllis @ — February 25, 2015 at 3:44 am

    These look PERFECT, Tessa! Thanks for the video, can’t wait to give them a try!

  7. #
    Tatiana — February 19, 2015 at 4:59 am

    I like your site. Thank you for delicious recipes.

  8. #
    Nancy — February 18, 2015 at 8:22 am

    These look so good. I love crescent rolls, and there are so many things you can do with them. I am definitely going to try this recipe. I love that you give instructions on using a stand mixer or by hand to knead the dough. Thank you for the great recipes.

  9. #
    Sarah | Broma Bakery — February 18, 2015 at 7:41 am

    So these look absolutely perfect. Like how did she do that, they look like they came from one of those vacuum cans perfect. I can’t even imagine how much better they taste than those store-bought ones, though! And only 2 hours? This recipe was made for me. Pinned 🙂

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