Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

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Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe Follow Me on Pinterest

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Follow Me on Pinterest

Hawaiian sweet rolls are quite possibly the most delicious rolls ever. They are soft and buttery and sweet, and they make fantastic buns for baked ham and Swiss poppy seed sandwiches. They are also really easy to make. These sweet rolls are my family’s favorite rolls, and I hope they become a favorite for your family, too.

Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
  • 1 ½ c. pineapple juice
  • 4 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2/3 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter, at room temperature, plus extra for brushing rolls
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5-6 c. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. In a small saucepan, heat pineapple juice over medium-low temperature until juice reaches about 105 F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, stir together yeast and 2 tablespoons of sugar.
  3. Once the pineapple juice is at temperature, add to the bowl. Stir, and let the yeast mixture stand for 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.
  4. Once the yeast is foamy, add the remaining sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and eggs; stir to combine.
  5. Switch from the paddle attachment to the dough hook, and add 3 cups of flour and salt. Stir on low.
  6. Continue adding flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough clears the sides of the bowl. The dough will feel slightly sticky. It takes 5 1/2 cups of flour for my rolls.
  7. Once the dough comes together and clears the sides, continue to knead for about 1 minute.
  8. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise until dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Shape dough into rolls. If you would like smaller, dinner-sized rolls, shape into 24 rolls. If you would like larger, bun-sized rolls, shape into 12-18 rolls depending on desired size.
  10. Cover rolls with plastic wrap, and let rolls rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
  11. Toward the end of the second rise, preheat oven to 350 F.
  12. Bake rolls for about 20 minutes (for dinner-sized rolls), or until rolls are golden brown.
  13. Immediately brush rolls with butter.
  14. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe Follow Me on Pinterest Hawaiian Sweet Roll Recipe Follow Me on Pinterest Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Follow Me on Pinterest

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  1. Jarrod ladd says

    You should try substituting the low fat milk for coconut milk, that’s what I did and it makes the flavor more complex.

    • says

      Thanks for the idea! I had coconut bread when I visited Hawaii, and it was fantastic. I’ll have to give your suggestion a try the next time I make these rolls. =)

  2. Alida says

    Made these rolls last night and they were (are, still have some) amazing!! We loved them!! I don’t have a stand up mixed or a bread machine so I did everything by hand and they came out perfect and with the right sweetness. Thank you for much for sharing this recipe! Will be making again and again :)

    • says

      I’m so glad that you liked them!! They are one of my family’s favorite recipes and always make an appearance for Christmas and Easter dinner. Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment! =)

  3. Jam says

    Hello kate, how are you. Few days back i decided to make complete Hawaiian recipes, so i tried these delicious Rolls with Hawaiian chicken breast Recipe. I must say my kids and husband really loved Hawaiian flavor. You guys are awesome, great, and super foodie. I am a regular member of your site, i mostly like recipes that my kids can eat.

  4. Desiree says

    These were amazing. I’ve had this recipe pinned for over a year now, but just finally got to try it out. My brother helped make these and we had to knead by hand. My stand mixer is out of commission for the moment. Even though I had thought I killed the yeast because the pineapple juice was still too hot (my fault for not checking behind him) these were still a success!! We made some smaller sub type, hamburger sized, and dinner style rolls with a double batch. My kids were trying to eat every one in the house as they came out of the oven! These were perfect for our beef dip and pulled pork sandwiches! Thank you!

  5. Fran Mitchell says

    Hi Kate; I just printed your recipe for the Honey buns, and am looking forward to trying them. Will let you know how they turn out. Thanks Fran.

  6. Chris says

    these bun are fabulous only thing I burned them a bit but cut bottom off and they are good to go
    nice and airy etc will make them a lot

  7. larry says

    Tried tis 2 times and no good results. Tasted like junk buns. There is no rise in the dough even with fresh yeast.

    • says

      I’m sorry that you didn’t like the rolls. However, I’ve made this recipe numerous times, as have many other people, with success. My dough has never failed to rise, so I think there must be some issue if your dough didn’t rise. If you’d like some help, please let me know.

    • Chris says

      it may not be warm enough or to warm for your rise I always turn my oven light on and leave it and proof all my buns in there including my yeast you wont believe how high it rises

    • says

      My 2nd recipe and 2nd attempt at these rolls. First batch failed to rise.
      Read elsewhere that the temp of pineapple juice is extremely important for yeast to properly activate.
      Guess it makes sense.
      I tried making the first batch with “room temp” Pineapple juice and I think it might have been a little too cold. (I live 2 hrs north of Toronto and still covered in snow.)
      Sunshine up here isn’t as warm as the Hawaiian Sun ;(
      Got the dough through the first rise and waiting for the rolls to double ;)
      Wish me luck!

      • says

        Yes, the temperature definitely affects the rising. If it’s too cold, it should still rise, but it’s a much, much slower process. If it’s too hot, it can kill the yeast and won’t rise. I know that when my kitchen is cold, the rising slows down. One trick that I learned from America’s Test Kitchen was to turn my oven to 350F for 1 minute. Then you turn your oven off. That little bit of warmth helps to keep the rising on track.

        Good luck! I hope you are enjoying your rolls soon! =)

        • says

          My husband and absolutely love it!
          We recently moved to a very small town and the local markets don’t carry the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls..:(
          I didn’t follow the directions to a T and crowded them but I’ll remember it next time.
          thank you so so much for sharing your recipe :)
          You saved my Pulled Pork Sliders!
          Linda recently posted…Best Basic Granola RecipeMy Profile

        • says

          I’m glad that you like them! They’re a family favorite at our house, and it’s always nice to hear that other people enjoy them, too! =)

  8. Rosa says

    These buns look perfect! I would like to make them for a luncheon but I need to make them the night before, do you think they will still taste fresh enough? How far apart do you space the buns if they are small, and do you space them further apart if they are larger buns? I was thinking of using an egg wash before baking but I notice your recipe does not call for one, is that because of the butter used after baking?

    • says

      Thanks! I think they would still be ok. We eat them for a day or two after I make them, and I don’t notice much of a difference. One note about that, though, is that it’s really humid where we live, and if I cover the rolls tightly, I notice that they get extra soft the next day.

      If they’re smaller rolls, I try to space them so that they’re about touching each other (maybe 1/2-inch apart). If they’re larger rolls, I space them about 1 to 1 1/2-inches apart.

      That is why. Since I brush them with butter, I don’t use an egg wash. My kids like the rolls to be as buttery as possible, so that’s what I do. I’m sure that an egg wash would be a fine substitution, though.

      If you have any other questions, please let me know. Good luck with the rolls! =)

  9. Nancy says

    I have made the dough in my bread machine with another recipe. This one would be too much for the size of my machine. The recipe I used also had a little bit of ground ginger but pretty much the same. Yummy rolls. Maybe take a hint from Texas Roadhouse and put a little sugar and cinnamon in the butter brushed on top. N

    • says

      I haven’t frozen them, so I can’t say for sure. My guess would be that you would want to freeze them after you shape them into rolls but before the 2nd rise. If you try it, I’d be really interested to hear how they turn out!

      • Jean says

        I have made potato rolls for 26 years and always froze them in plastic bags (double the bags to prevent freezer burn), and they are always delicious. I thawed the buns and then warmed them in the oven (325 degrees F for perhaps 5 minutes) on a jelly roll pan or some in the microwave.

        • says

          I love potato rolls! My mom made those for the holidays, and they are so good! Thanks for the tips on freezing the rolls!

    • says

      Yes, I’ve ever tried it, but I’ve had people say that they’ve made them in their bread machine with good results. They said that they used the dough cycle and then shaped the dough for the second rise. Good luck! =)

  10. Walter says

    My rolls didn’t bake. They looked beautiful when they came out of the oven. When I went to use them, they were not anywhere baked inside the roll. I kneed them with my mixer. did I kneed them to long. Is it my oven ? I was wondering if I used the wrong pineapple juice, maybe it is to thick. Please help, Thank You.

    • says

      Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the rolls! I use my mixer to knead the dough, too, and I use the cans of Dole Pineapple Juice. I don’t think it was the kneading or your pineapple juice, though. I’m guessing that if they looked right but weren’t baked inside that they make have needed to bake longer.

      Once the rolls get to your desired level of golden brown, you can tent a piece of aluminum foil over the rolls. That will allow them to continue to cook inside without overbrowning on the top.

      The other thing that you can check is the position of your oven racks. You’ll want your oven rack to be in the middle of your oven. Otherwise, the rolls can overbrown if they’re too close to the top heating element in your oven.

      I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions.

  11. Lynne Lindsay says

    These look so good and the comments are good. I think I let them rise too long the 2nd time as the flavor was good, but the rolls had a funny texture (too many holes within the bread). Just wanting to know thoughts or suggestions before I try these again. Thanks so much for all the lovely recipes!

    • says

      Sorry to hear that you had trouble with the texture! I think you’re right; it does sound like they rose too long. I’d try checking them after about 45-60 minutes during the second rise because, for whatever reason, they may not have needed the full 1 1/2 hours to rise the second time. I hope they work out better for you next time! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask!

  12. sherry says

    Hi I wanted to say I have tried making these rolls and followed the reciepe to find them cracking on top and not baking thru while it the oven at 350 degrees . I don’t know why this is happeni have tried these 3x and wasted alot of ingrediens. there has to be a reason I even put the dough in refrigerator and it did not help. Can someone let me know what the problem might be. Thank you..

    • says

      I haven’t experienced those problems or heard from anyone about those issues. I’m guessing that if the rolls didn’t bake through that there may be an issue with your oven temperature. There can be quite a difference between the actual temperature and what the setting is. The easiest and most accurate way to to check that is with an oven thermometer; otherwise, it’s just a matter of trial and error.
      As far as the cracking goes, I’m guessing that it’s a moisture issue. For whatever reason, 5 cups of flour may be too much in your dough. You could try starting with 3 cups and then add in additional flour by 1/4 cup increments until you get the dough to the right consistency. I hope this helps!

    • says

      The rolls will be heavier, and the texture won’t be as good if the rolls don’t rise a second time.

      If you’re pressed for time, you could probably cut some of the time off of the second rise by placing the rolls in a warm area to help them rise faster. One of the easiest ways to do that is to turn your oven on to 350 F for 1 minute, and then turn the oven off. The warmth in the oven should speed things up.

      I hope that helps!

  13. Erica says

    I am wanting to make these for Thanksgiving and I was wondering if you have any advice on preparing them the night before so that I can just bake them right before dinner is served?

    • says

      I’m sorry, but I haven’t made them ahead of time like that. My mom puts
      hers in the fridge and lets them rise overnight in there, but I haven’t
      tried it with this recipe. If you try making them ahead of time, I’d
      interested to hear how it works out. Good luck!

      • Erica says

        I am in Guam and it’s Thanksgiving eve here so I will be prepping the rolls tonight. I am going to do the first rise and shape them before putting them into the fridge overnight. I will let you know tomorrow how they turn out. I am so excited to try these!

        • Erica says

          They turned out great! I shaped them last night and then covered them and put them in the fridge. Then I took them out about 2 hours before I baked them to let them come up to at least room temp & rise a little more. They were a big hit and everybody loved them, I will defiantly be making these again! Thanks so much for sharing.

        • says

          I’m so glad to hear that they turned out well!! Thank you for taking the time to come back and leave those tips for making the rolls ahead of time. I’m sure it will help someone else out! Happy (day after) Thanksgiving!! =)

  14. says

    This is the second time making them with your recipe. The first time, they were so huge and delicious. I had to give some to my co-workers and my parents. My mom ate 3 before she realized what she was doing. LOL

    • says

      That totally happens with these rolls. You eat one, and the next thing you know, half of them are gone! =) Glad to hear that you enjoyed them!

  15. Carol Moseley says

    Hi! I just received an email from Pintrest that they had to take down my Pin of Hawaiian Sweet Rolls from your web site. Something to do with copyright infringement by someone else using the same Pin or Re-pin. Why?? It has a “Pin It” on your recipe/site.
    Thanks in advance for the response
    Carol Moseley

    • kateheartseating says

      I asked that the full recipe be removed from the comment section of one recipe. Instead, Pinterest took down every single pin associated with the recipe, which was not what I wanted. Please, please feel free to pin anything that you would like on my site!!

  16. Linda Flint says

    I was curious why the Pin for this was removed from Pinterest. I had pinned to save to make and you do have the PIN button active on your blog. But I received an email saying they removed it because of a copyright infringement. Does this mean you do not want items from your blog pinned to Pinterest? And do you know why it was removed? Hopefully this is not sounding negative. I just want to be sure I am not violating your wishes by pinning to Pinterest.

    • kateheartseating says

      No, it doesn’t sound negative. I do want people to pin things! I even put multiple pin it buttons on my site to make is as easy as possible. Someone posted the entire recipe in the comments of their pin. I asked that the recipe portion of that pin be removed. Instead, Pinterst removed every pin associated with the post. So, please feel free to pin anything that you would like to pin on my site!!

  17. Jennie says

    I made the sweet rolls today, they turned out wonderfully. Made them in to buns it will go perfectly with chicken breasts!

    • kateheartseating says

      I’m so glad they came out well for you!! That sounds delicious! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know; I love to hear that!! =)

  18. Kathy Kellenbenz says

    I Love the Hawaiian Sweet Rolls, but I need a Sweet Roll recipe, can I use this one and just leave out the Pineapple juice?

  19. cara p says

    If I want to only bake some and freeze some, at what point and time do I freeze the dough? Before or after the 2nd rising?

    • kateheartseating says

      I’ve never frozen this dough, so I’m not sure how it will fare. I’m also not sure on the rising, but I would guess that it would be better after the first rising. I’d be afraid that it might overrise if you went through the second rising and then had to let it thaw (and continue rising during the thawing time) before baking. Good luck! And please come back and let me know how it works out. I’m sure that other people would be interested to know how this turns out. =)

      • Nancy says

        I’ve made bread dough for pizza crust and frozen 1/2 before the 2nd rise. When I want to use the frozen portion, I just pull it out a few hours ahead of time and let it thaw in the fridge for a while before letting it go through it’s 2nd rise.

    • kateheartseating says

      Yes! You could also mix them by hand. You would just want to knead them for about 3-4 minutes instead of 1 minute. The dough is pretty sticky once the flour is added, and that’s ok, but it feels a little wet when you’re kneading it by hand. If you have any issues/questions, please let me know!

    • kateheartseating says

      These rolls are my family’s favorite rolls. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do, and if you have any questions on them, just let me know! =)

      • kateheartseating says

        I baked them on a half sheet pan, but a rimmed cookie sheet would work well, too. Please let me know if you have any other questions! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know! I love to hear things like that!! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thank you for letting me know! I had several questions from people about using the bread machine. Now I can point them to your blog and to you if anyone else has questions about that. =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Hi Silvia! Your English is great! It’s much better than my rusty Spanish! =) Thanks so much for stopping by all the way from Argentina! I hope you enjoyed the rolls!! =)

  20. says

    I invite you to join me tonight! 8:30 p.m. Mountain time for the Share it With Us Saturday link party. Come Share some of your new posts at the party, link up all weekend long. I would love to have you!www.greatastestuesdays.blogspot.com

    • kateheartseating says

      I have a food bucket list, too! I had no idea how popular the recipe would be! It’s been pretty awesome to see. I just hope that everyone enjoys the rolls as much as we do! =)

  21. says

    I can’t wait to make these! Thank you for sharing on Thursday’s Treasures! I’ve featured this recipe on Week 83. Please stop by my blog and grab my “I’ve been featured on” button. Have a great week!

    • kateheartseating says

      We love them, so I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Thanks so much for hosting and for the feature! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks! I love hearing things like that!! Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving such a sweet comment! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      They are! We love them with ham and cheese sandwiches, too. Thanks so much for hosting, pinning, and stopping by! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      The ham and cheese sliders with the Hawaiian rolls are awesome! The link to recipe for the baked ham and cheese sandwiches is in orange right above the roll recipe if you’d like to try it. Thanks so much for stopping by! =)

  22. says

    This sounds amazing! I wounder if they taste like the bread I was served at WDW’s Polynesian resort. I ate that bread 8 years ago on my honeymoon and still remember it! Tiffany
    [email protected] recently posted…DIY on a Dime: Hope ChestMy Profile

    • kateheartseating says

      Isn’t it amazing how food can bring back great memories! If they do, please come back and let me know. I’m sure other people would be interested to know. Thanks so much for stopping by to check the recipe out! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks! I’m so jealous!! That will be so fun! I went to Oahu a few years ago and loved it. You guys will have a blast!! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks so much (for the compliment and for the shares)!! I hope you and your family enjoy the rolls as much as we do! You too!! =)

  23. says

    Oh my !! These sound grand ! I only hope that I can make them pretty and
    rounded as yours are. I can’t wait too try them. About how many do you get
    out of this recipe ? Just asking . Thank-you

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks! I make a dough ball and then kinda tuck the sides under to make it smooth and round. I hope that made sense! You will get 24 smaller, dinner sized rolls or about 18 larger (slider) sized rolls. Hope you enjoy! =)

  24. Jody D says

    I can’t remember the difference from bread flour and regular flour. Can I use regular flour to make these?

    • kateheartseating says

      Bread flour has more gluten, but it substitutes at a 1:1 ratio. I prefer bread flour because I think it ends up with a little lighter roll, but don’t go out and buy some just for these rolls. You can use all-purpose flour, and they should still be good. =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Hi! Are you looking to email the recipe? Under the recipe there is an envelope icon. If you click on that, you should be able to email the recipe.

    • kateheartseating says

      I’m not sure because I haven’t tried it. I would imagine that you could, but I’m not sure. If you try it, please let me know how it works out! =)

  25. says

    we love those rolls here at our house! Thank you so much for sharing on Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s!
    [email protected] Plaid and Paisley Kitchen recently posted…Show Me Your Plaid Monday’s #18My Profile

    • kateheartseating says

      We do, too! We were eating so many of the store bought ones that I decided to try to start making them. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! Me too! Fresh bread and cookies are my undoing. =). Thanks so much! I will definitely stop by and link up.

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! My family absolutely loves these rolls! In fact, I made some this morning. I hope you enjoy them, too!! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! Me too! There are few smells better than the smell of baking bread! Hope you enjoy the rolls! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Maybe? I haven’t used my bread machine for a while, but, if I remember right, they have a sweet bread setting (does that sound right?). I’m not sure how well they would work on a regular dough setting because they might get overmixed and end up being dense. If the sweet bread setting doesn’t mix much, that one might work better, but I’m just guessing on this. If you try it, please let me know how it works! I’m sure other people wonder about this, too. =)

  26. Susan says

    I have one more question – kneading the dough for one minute doesn’t seem like much time. Are you trying to avoid developing the gluten? Anyway, I made these rolls – they are rising at this moment. My dough was really sticky so I did a fair amount of kneading as I added more flour.

    • kateheartseating says

      Yes, I only knead it for about a minute because I want to keep them soft and tender. Also, that minute is with a stand mixer, so I believe that’s a few minutes by hand. I usually end up right around 5 1/2 cups of flour, but it depends on the humidity here as to whether I need to add a little more or less when I make the rolls. The dough is pretty sticky at first, but after it rises, it is a workable dough.

    • kateheartseating says

      Thank you for catching that! You add the remaining sugar with the butter, eggs, and vanilla. I edited the recipe so that it includes that part. Again, thanks for bringing that to my attention so I could fix it! =)

    • kateheartseating says

      Thanks!! I made them three times last week alone. We love them. I hope you enjoy them, too!! =)

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