Its October and the food internet is awash with pumpkin recipes again, and Pinterest turns orange as people scramble to post as many squash recipes as they can ahead of Halloween. Of course they are also in full season in the Northern Hemisphere for Autumn. Pumpkin is around here too even though we are heading towards summer, so when I saw these delicious looking rolls I knew I needed to make a pumpkin version.

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

I’m a big fan of baking with the squash family. One of my all-time favourite scone recipes is made with butternut. It feels somehow healthier using a vegetable in a scone or roll and replaces some of the fat content. They turn a brilliant yellow and taste delicious. I’m also convinced they contribute moisture.

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

I slightly adapted this lovely receipt from Country Cleaver and updated the ingredients and method to metric too. After making them I set them aside to prove next to my heater because it was a rather chilly day and this is my best way to ensure my bread rises properly. I could have perhaps over proved them slightly. I also realised after they were nicely shaped in balls and tucked under the tea towel that I had left the sugar out. I am normally fastidious about re reading a recipe after completion to ensure I haven’t left anything out. Anyway they tasted great without the sugar but I think I would have preferred the sweeter angle to these rolls. They would have also had a softer texture.

I had some leftover rosemary and honey butter that glazed the top and spread this on the rolls to eat. Absolutely delicious. I also added a slice of nice aged Cheddar which was heavenly.

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

These are dinner rolls designed to be eaten on the day and if made a little smaller could be perfect at a dinner party. You can adapt them using orange sweet potato or butternut.

Recipe – makes 16 – 20 adapted from Country Cleaver


  • 1/2 cup water, between 38 – 40C / 102F -110 F
  • 1/4 cup milk, Between 38C – 40C / 102F -110 F
  • 2 1/2 tsp (1 10gm packet) Instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 85gm butter (6 Tbsp), melted and cooled
  • 2 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped + extra for topping
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin (made from fresh preferable)
  • 4 1/2-5 cups all-purpose flour or cake flour, depending on how moist the pumpkin is and therefore the dough

Honey Butter glaze

  • 1/4 cup Butter, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • Sea salt flakes to sprinkle
  • Chopped rosemary – optional garnish ( I added this to the butter, you almost can’t get enough of it)

Cook your pumpkin any way you prefer. I chopped it into big chunks and steamed it in pot with a lid until soft. Allow to cool and drain. Then mash and drain off any excess water.

Heat the milk and water in a small bowl in the microwave until the desired temperature is reached. I use a thermometer here.

Add the 1 tsp sugar and yeast, stir and set aside to foam up for about 5 minutes. 

Using a stand mixer the dough hook attached, add all the remaining ingredients. Slowly pour in the yeast, milk and water and mix until a soft dough forms. It should start pulling away from the sides but will stick a little to the bottom. It really is a touch and feel process here. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. I found I used just over 5 cups of flour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and give it a brief knead until it comes together in a ball. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to prove in a warm place for around an hour. It should double in size.

When its proved, return it to a lightly floured surf and cut into 16 – 20 even pieces. Roll these into balls and place on a lined baking tray allowing space in between fr the rolls to double in size. Cover with a tea towel and place back in a warm spot to prove for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown.

Mix the butter, honey and addition finely chopped rosemary together and brush this liberally over the hot rolls as they come out the oven. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes such as Maldon

Here are a few of my other favourite pumpkin recipes:

roasted pumpkin with chilli yoghurt and coriander sauce

spicy pumpkin and apple cake with cream cheese and maple frosting

easy pumpkin and parmesan scones with thyme

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt

Easy pumpkin rolls with rosemary and sea salt




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  1. evthomas

    These look truly amazing. Definitely on my “to make” list

  2. Those look delicious. I’m heading to the kitchen now…

  3. Brian Sacks

    Hi Sam,wonderful article of you in the Star this week.Very proud of you..

  4. Pretty little rolls, defnitly one of the better recipes out of this prehalloween pumpkin recipe flood. I love that rosemary honey butter glaze, shiny bread always looks so soft and tasty.

  5. Sam

    Hi Brian, lovely to hear from you and thanks for the message. Best Sam

  6. Suzannah

    Hello Sam… I am a little confused.. possibly missed something.. I am about the make the rolls, and was wondering why the 1/3 of a cup of sugar is divided? The teaspoon of sugar is to go into the yeast mix… but am at a loss about the divided sugar?

  7. Sam

    Hi Suzannah, sorry the ‘divided’ was confusing as its 1 tsp for the yeast and the balance of the sugar goes into the dough. I hope you came right

  8. These were amazing! I didn’t even have time to let the dough rise for two total hours—I probably did one total—and they still came out great! I also used less than half the sugar, so they wouldn’t be sweet, and that was perfect for us.

  9. Sam

    Im so glad the recipe worked out for you 🙂

  10. Oh my gosh these are amazing! My whole family loved them!

  11. Meghan S.

    I’m wondering what I did wrong here. I let them rise the full 2 hours and followed everything exactly, but the rolls came out very dense and not very fluffy. They were still delicious just too thick. Any ideas on how to improve them for next time?

  12. Sam

    HI Meghan, it’s very hard to know exactly what went wrong because I can’t see what happened but I’m going to assume that they didn’t prove correctly (they prove twice). They need to really double in size. Also, perhaps you didn’t knead the dough in the beginning. They should be very light and fluffy. (also check you didn’t add too much pumpkin / liquid)

  13. If these rolls are made in advance (say morning for the afternoon) would you suggest puting them in the oven to warm up and only glazing them at that stage?

  14. Sam

    Hello. I wouldn’t suggest glazing them after they are baked and I haven’t tried to re heat them so I’m not sure. I can’t see how heating them up in a low oven (covered) would be a problem)

  15. Omg they look super fantastic, and I’m not really a huge bread fa! But the color,shine, the flavors, all are fantastic. Saving these and looking into other recipe of you as well, thanks a lot for sharing!

  16. Would there be any tweaks if using pumpkin puree?

  17. Sam

    Hi, we don’t get pumpkin puree here in South Africa, but I would just use a cup of that instead of a cup of the fresh pureed pumpkin.

  18. Dolly Murphy

    These were amazing! Wondering if I could do half whole wheat flour in place of some of the bread flour?

  19. Sam

    Hi Dolly, I haven’t tested it with WW flour but I’m sure it will work fine.

  20. Would buttermilk work as a replacement for regular milk?

  21. Sam

    Hi Emily, I haven’t tested it with buttermilk so I am not sure.

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