Homemade Hawaiian Rolls are sweet and fluffy rolls that you can make at home and skip the grocery store! They have the same texture and flavor of store-bought rolls and you will be blown away by how delicious they are. The melt-in-your-mouth rolls are great on their own or perfect for burgers and sandwiches. I use them all the time for my slider sandwiches like my Cheeseburger Sliders and Ham and Cheese Sliders.

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Bowl of Homemade Hawaiian Rolls on White Towel

Ingredients & Substitutions

Potato starch— Be sure to use potato starch (not potato flour). Potato flour includes flavor, fiber, and protein, while potato starch is pure flavorless starch. Starch helps keep rolls soft, moist, and fresh by absorbing liquid. Starch actually slows the process of bread going stale! It is perfect for soft dinner rolls. You can find Potato Starch here. If you don’t have potato starch on hand, you can substitute the following: corn starch; arrowroot powder; rice flour; or tapioca starch.

Pineapple Juice: Pineapple juice is added to homemade Hawaiian rolls to give them their distinct sweet and slightly tangy flavor. It also helps to tenderize the dough and adds moisture to the rolls, making them softer and fluffier.

Side View of Pan of Baked Hawaiian Dinner Rolls with Butter

How to Shape the Dough

After the dough has risen for a few hours, it’s time to shape the rolls and put them in a greased 9×13-inch pan. There are a couple of ways you can make your 16 rolls.

  • First, gently punch down the dough to deflate it. One strategy you could use is to gently roll the dough into a log on a clean surface.
  • Then, use a bench knife or stiff spatula to cut the log of dough into equal-sized pieces. If you have a kitchen scale, now would be a wonderful time to use it to get the rolls as similar in size and weight as possible. You could also continue to divide the dough in half, and in half again, etc., until you get 16 pieces.
  • To roll the pieces of dough, simply roll them in your hands, making sure you form a smooth top surface of each roll. Place the rolls into the greased pan and cover them with plastic wrap to allow them to rise for about an hour.

Process of Hawaiian Rolls with One Image of the Raw Dough and One of the Baked Rolls

How to Store Hawaiian Rolls

To store homemade Hawaiian rolls, allow them to cool completely and then place them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. You can keep them at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you want to keep them fresh for longer, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Hand Picking Up Hawaiian Dinner Roll from Baking Pan

Can I Freeze Hawaiian Rolls?

Yes! To freeze homemade Hawaiian rolls, allow them to cool completely and then wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place the wrapped rolls in a resealable freezer bag and label the bag with the date. You can freeze the rolls for up to 2-3 months. To thaw the rolls, remove them from the freezer and let them come to room temperature for about 1-2 hours.

Hawaiian Dinner Rolls on White Plate with Rolls in Background

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4.59 from 12 votes

Hawaiian Rolls

Prep Time 30 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Homemade Hawaiian Rolls are sweet and fluffy rolls that you can make at home and skip the grocery store!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • ½ cup (125 g) pineapple juice, canned
  • ¼ cup (½ stick / 58 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cup (67 g) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk, with white reserved
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the yeast, water, and pineapple juice. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butter, brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk (remembering to reserve the egg white), and vanilla, mixing until combined. (Some butter clumps are okay.)
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, potato starch, and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, beating with the paddle attachment for about 3 minutes at medium-high speed. Scrape the dough into the center of the bowl.
  • Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes at medium speed. If you notice the dough is too sticky, add a little flour.
  • Round the dough into a ball and place it into a greased bowl to rise (about 3 hours).
  • Spray a 9×13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Gently punch down on the risen dough to deflate it. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. (You can do this by continuing to divide the dough in half until you are down to 16 pieces. Or, roll the dough into a log and use a bench knife or stiff spatula to cut it into 16 pieces.)
  • Round each piece into a smooth ball and place it in the greased pan, evenly spaced.
  • Cover the rolls with a piece of greased plastic wrap and let them rise for an hour. They should be nice and puffy.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F when the rolls are just about done rising.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of water to the reserved egg white to make an egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the tops of the rolls.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls reach an internal temperature of 190°F.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool a bit before turning them out onto a wire rack.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I have my second batch this week proofing in the oven as I type this. You can substitute orange juice, but just know that the rolls won’t be as sweet as with the pineapple juice. Also, cornstarch works fine as a substitute. The rise nicely and are light and fluffy

  2. My husband is a Hawaiian Sweet Roll fanatic. He says these are spot on! Per the comment of adding additional flour … my dough was very ‘soft’ after following the recipe to a ‘T’ with the exception of using corn starch in place of potato starch. As I put them in the pan to rise I truly thought I had done something wrong. They. Came. Out. Perfect!

  3. Hello … I’m a fairly decent bread maker, having been at it for some 50+ years. I have yet to make a decent soft bun or roll that does not taste like bread and want to try your Hawaiian rolls. However, I noticed your recipe calls for a full tablespoon of instant yeast. Holy cow, that’s an extremely high yeast to flour ratio for 3 cups of flour. Do you mean 1 teaspoon?

    Thanks!

  4. Extremely soft batter. Next time I will omit the 2 tablespoons of water and carefully add the juice. As this was so soft I added approximately 1/2 c flour but still really needed more. Also, 3 hours proofing for the first rise was way too long. I proofed for 1 1/2 hours and that was too long. Next time I will try 1 hour and watch it more closely. I used cornstarch which was a good substitute. Overall flavor was good.

    1. Hi Deb! Sounds like you changed the recipe, so I can see why there may have been issues in the end. Proofing will vary depending on the climate.

  5. I just want to thank you for the Hawaii rolls, I live in Germany and have to go to Holland for these, so you made an old woman Happy 😊 Please Stay Safe everyone 💜

  6. I love your recipes. I’ve tried several, they are amazing. Do you have a recipe for cinnamon coffee cake?

  7. I love the Hawaiian brand rolls, but I like the savory version. What would I tweek in the recipe, to get them to come out savory instead of sweet
    Thank you!

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