The Ultimate Dinner Rolls with Whipped Honey Butter

The ultimate light and fluffy dinner rolls, made with yeast for a classic holiday side dish. Top them off with some whipped honey butter!

The best homemade dinner rolls… perfect for holidays, and with a make-ahead option!

These easy, fool-proof homemade dinner rolls served with whipped honey butter are perfect for your Easter or holiday dinners!  With a make-ahead option, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to make bakery-quality rolls in your own kitchen! #dinnerrolls #rolls #Easter #bread #homemade #yeast #thanksgiving #honey

Have you ever made homemade dinner rolls?  They have this reputation of being difficult and super time-consuming… but in reality, they’re not that bad!  Most of the time involved is hands-off time while the dough is rising, which frees you up to go relax, hang out with guests, or work on other dishes for your meal.  And yeast, well it gets a bad rap too, but I’ll go into more about yeast in the post.  But, bottom line.. you CAN do this!!


Yes… dinner rolls without yeast are possible, but they have a whole other texture.  What we’re looking for in a dinner roll is a soft and fluffy texture, with that slightly crispy top.


There are several types, which can be divided into two categories.  Fresh and Dry.  Fresh yeast is very perishable, comes in compressed “cakes”, and mainly used by professionals.  Dry yeast has two main types: active-dry and instant (also called rapid rise).  Active-dry yeast needs to be “proofed” first, by adding it to a warm liquid (such as milk or water), with some sugar or honey and left to sit for 5-10 minutes.  Instant yeast is made of finer granules and can be added directly to the flour and mixed right in with no proofing needed.

Dinner rolls in baking pan


As a science nerd, I’ll try not to go too crazy into the details… but let’s step back a tad.  There are two types of leavening agents (what causes things to rise): chemical and biological.  Chemical leavening agents, like baking soda and baking powder, literally cause a chemical reaction which releases carbon dioxide gas, rising the dough.  Biological leavening agents, like yeast, work by fermentation.  Yeast is a fungus, which consumes sugar and excretes carbon dioxide and alcohol as by-products.  That’s why when you proof yeast, you always add some kind of sugar.  Basically the yeast “eats” the sugar, and then releases the carbon dioxide into air bubbles in the dough and expand them (like blowing a bubble with bubblegum), causing the dough to rise!


I’ve made dinner rolls with all-purpose flour before, and they do have a denser texture… although I haven’t specifically tested these rolls using all-purpose.  I recommend using bread flour for these dinner rolls though.  Bread flour contains more gluten and protein, which gives the rolls a beautiful chewy, yet light texture.

Homemade dinner rolls in serving basket


If you’re pressed for time on the day you’ll want to serve these dinner rolls, you can make them ahead in two ways!


  • Let the dough rise for the 2 hours, punch it down, then cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or for 1-2 days.  Remove dough from refrigerator, cut into 16 pieces, form into rolls and place in buttered baking dish and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.


  • Let the dough rise for the 2 hours, punch it down, cut into 16 pieces, form into rolls, place in buttered baking dish, then cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months.  Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then let rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours. 

Make-ahead dinner rolls are a great option for those that like to prep ahead, but as a general rule, the longer a yeast dough sits, the stronger the “yeasty” flavor will be.

These easy, foolproof homemade dinner rolls served with whipped honey butter are perfect for your Thanksgiving or holiday dinners!  With a make-ahead option, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to make bakery-quality rolls in your own kitchen! #dinnerrolls #rolls #thanksgiving #bread #homemaderecipe #yeast #honeybutter


Of course not, but if you have one, definitely use it to save yourself the arm workout!  You can use a hand mixer or go old school and use a wooden spoon, but you’ll have to knead by hand.


  • First things first… deep breath.  Bread-making is not as difficult as it’s made out to be, and you can absolutely do this!
  • Watch when proofing your yeast.  After sitting with the warm milk and sugar, the yeast should be frothy and foamy looking.  If it doesn’t, then start over with a new batch of yeast.  It should look like this:

  • Make sure you oil your bowl before adding the dough to rise.  Otherwise it can stick to the sides of the bowl too much.
  • No warm spot in your kitchen?  No problemo.  Preheat your oven to 175 F degrees, then turn OFF the heat and place the bowl of dough in the oven to rise.  Perfectly risen dough, even in the frigid winter.
  • Don’t worry if the shaped balls of dough don’t look like perfectly round rolls.  No one will care once they take a bite, I promise!
  • Don’t forget the whipped honey butter topping… it really takes these dinner rolls from great to amazing.




  • Baking Dish – normally I bake in ceramic dishes, but I like to use glass here so I can see how things are baking on the sides.
  • Stand Mixer – my FAVORITE kitchen appliance… been a workhorse for years and still going strong!
  • Yeast – I use this brand all the time… consistently perfect results!


These easy, foolproof homemade dinner rolls served with whipped honey butter are perfect for your Thanksgiving or holiday dinners!  With a make-ahead option, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to make bakery-quality rolls in your own kitchen! #dinnerrolls #rolls #thanksgiving #bread #homemaderecipe #yeast #honeybutter

The Ultimate Dinner Rolls with Whipped Honey Butter

The ultimate light and fluffy dinner rolls, made with yeast for a classic holiday side dish.
4.9 from 11 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 22 mins
Total Time 47 mins
Servings 16 servings
Calories 232


  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 105-110 F degrees
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 - 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened completely to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Grease bottom and sides of a very large mixing bowl, set aside for later.
  • Add warmed milk to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add yeast and sugar, then stir and let sit for 5 minutes.  Mixture should be frothy/foamy.
  • Add honey, egg, egg yolk, melted butter, salt and 3 cups of flour.  Mix on LOW speed for a minute or two, then add remaining 1/2 cup flour.  Mix on LOW for another minute, until it all combines.
  • Dough should be soft and thick, and slightly sticky.  You're looking for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes.
  • Increase mixer speed to MED to "knead" the dough for a minute or two.  The dough will slap against the sides of the bowl when finished.
  • Turn dough out into prepared mixing bowl, turning dough to coat all sides.  Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel, then place in a warm spot to rise for about 2 hours, until dough has doubled in size.
  • When dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down (this removes air bubbles), then turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface (I use my countertop).
  • Cut dough into fourths, then cut each fourth into 4 equal sized pieces, for a total of 16 pieces of dough.
  • Form into balls and place into a buttered 9x13 baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled and puffy in appearance, about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.  Bake dinner rolls for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown and the tops of rolls have a hollow sound when tapped.


  • Add butter and honey to a mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until whipped, smooth and completely combined.
  • Spread honey butter on top of freshly baked rolls, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.



  1. Recipe makes 16 rolls.
  2. Prep time does not include rising times, as these will vary slightly from individual to individual.
  3. Flour amount is an approximation, as things like humidity in your house can effect how much flour needs to be added.  Start with the 3 1/2 cups, and add more, 1 Tbsp at a time, if needed to get a soft, slightly sticky dough.
  4. Leftover rolls can be kept for up to 1 week in the refrigerator, or frozen for 2-3 months.  Warm in 300-325 F degree oven for 10 minutes or so to reheat.
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

If changing the recipe serving quantity, the recipe plugin will change the ingredient values for you, but it does NOT change the written instructions, those are manually added and not subject to a slider/button. You will have to extrapolate that multiplication to any amounts listed in the instructions.

For example: if an ingredient calls for 4 cups, and you doubled the recipe, it will automatically change to 8 cups. In the instructions, if I say “use 4 cups of cheese”, you will have to realize that since you doubled it, you use 8 cups, not 4



Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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20 comments on “The Ultimate Dinner Rolls with Whipped Honey Butter”

  1. Hey I am making these for Thanksgiving! They look amazing! Question- can I make the dough tonight and put in fridge and finish process in the morning?

  2. Amanda, these look delicious! I can’t wait to try them! One question: I am lactose intolerant and use lactose free milk. Do you think the lack of lactose would cause a less than perfect roll?

  3. I tried making this recipe tonight and I couldn’t get my milk mixture to froth up like your picture. It also didn’t rise as well as it should have. I went ahead and finished the recipe and it still turned out okay, but do you have any ideas on what I did wrong? I’m still new at this whole cooking thing so I’m sure I have a lot to learn. Thank you so much! <3

  4. Make them. Just do yourself a favor, and make them. Literally the best dinner rolls I’ve ever had. Incredibly light, fluffy, and flavorful. Tips: 1) As she said, you may need more flour. I did, and added it a spoonful at a time. 2) Why 16 rolls?! It’s a 9×13 pan, just make 15 rolls dividing the 16th roll between the rest. 3) Bake to an internal temp of 195-200°F 4) Use salted butter for the honey butter for more flavor.

  5. I made these rolls for Thanksgiving using the refrigerator method. Excellent! Easy and great directions! Beautiful! Delicious! Husband is still talking about how great they are! I’ll be making these again and again and again! Thanks for a great dinner roll recipe.

  6. Hi! I’m excited to do a trial run on your rolls for Thanksgiving this week. This recipe looks so good, thank you for sharing it out there!

    Quick question for a newbie bread/roll baker:
    When you measure your flour (since it’s in cups and not grams), do you measure in sifted cups, cups sifted, or do you fluff up your flour and measure that way? I’m particular in my baking, but don’t know how flour is typically measured in cups for bread baking, as it may be different.


  7. I made these rolls today. Excellent recipe!!! Easy to follow directions. Hubby loved them too! Thank you so much!

  8. HI there!
    I am hosting my first Friendsgiving and feel these homemade rolls will be the perfect addition to my menu.
    Since I will be busy all day and prefer not to freeze/make ahead, can I make dough batter at 8am and continue with the process if I am not calling dinner until 7pm or will too much time impact yeast flavor in a bad way?
    thank you!

    • I wouldn’t let the rolls rise at room temperature for that long, they’ll be WAY over-proofed and can deflate back on themselves or have a sour taste. I would recommend making them through step 8, then form the rolls and place in a buttered baking dish. Cover and refrigerate until about an hour and a half before you want to have dinner. You said dinner is at 7, so at 5:30, go ahead and set the dish on the counter and let them warm up. Around 6:15 or so, go ahead and preheat the oven, then bake as directed.

  9. These look so good! I love how fluffy these look! I have to make these!

  10. I needed a new roll to try over the Holidays! This is it!

  11. These would be perfect for the holidays!

  12. Looks absolutely delicious! I’m seriously drooling over this goodness, need to make this immediately!

  13. I love dinner rolls! SometimeI get carried away though and eat waaay too many but this would be a great addition for thanksgiving! Plus no one would judge me for eating so much haha

  14. Holidays are coming and I need interesting recipes. I really like your recipe. It’s really unique! Of course I want to try because it is looks incredibly delicious! THANKS!

  15. Wow, these rolls are so cute! I would love to eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!