This Hawaiian Rolls Recipe has just a hint of sweetness from pineapple juice. They are so so fluffy and easy to make. They make the best dinner rolls and are great for sliders.
These Sweet Hawaiian Rolls are perfect every time
When you need a soft dinner roll, you can’t go wrong with this sweet Hawaiian rolls recipe. It’s great for first time bakers, they’ll turn out scrumptious every time and you can make the dough the night before and bake them the next day.
Hawaiian dinner rolls have become my go-to yeast roll, and one the girls always ask for when they come home to visit. You’ll find them to be light and fluffy with just a little sweetness which makes them a perfect roll for almost any dish you might be serving.
Of course they’re great for a holiday meal or to bring to a potluck, learn some tips for how to keep dinner rolls warm so you don’t have to stress about having them done at just the right time. But they’re too delicious to save just for the holidays, try serving them with a simple chicken and wine dinner, or with hearty short ribs.
What is Hawaiian Bread?
A friend of mine was talking about how much he missed the Hawaiian bread he could get when he lived on the West coast. I’ve only had King’s Hawaiian rolls from the grocery and this recipe is similar to those in that they’re soft and have a little sweetness to them.
Pineapple juice is the secret ingredient that gives these homemade yeast rolls their unique taste. This Hawaiian rolls recipe is just as easy as any other yeast roll and we absolutely love them. What’s even better is that they turn out perfect every time I make them, which is a lot!
Pro tip: If you don’t drink a lot of pineapple juice, I find it’s better to buy it in small cans so that you always have some on hand for when you want to make the best dinner rolls ever. If you bought a larger container, use the extra juice and make Hawaiian Cinnamon Rolls, or Slow Cooker Ribs, or you can freeze it.
You will love these Hawaiian Rolls
- The slightly sweet rolls make a delicious dinner roll
- They’re soft and fluffy
- The dough can refrigerate overnight
- You can freeze and re-heat them (learn some tricks)
- They’re great for a holiday meal
- Make them smaller for sliders
Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Recipe Ingredients
- Yeast – you can use active dry or instant yeast
- Pineapple juice – it only takes a half a cup. Try buying this in the small cans or you can freeze it if you bought a large container.
- Pantry staples – Flour, sugar, eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, salt
How to make Sweet Hawaiian Rolls
Dissolve the yeast in warm water until it’s foamy.
Add eggs, pineapple juice, sugar, vanilla, milk, and melted butter and combine.
Add flour and knead with a dough hook for about 10 minutes.
Let rise until double and divide into 16 balls.
At this point you can refrigerate overnight or let them rise one more time.
Bake and then brush with butter.
A nice addition to a savory meal. Perfect by themselves but as always, a little better with butter.
Tips for working with Sweet Hawaiian Rolls
There are a couple of different methods for getting the best rise from yeast dough.
- Since dough likes humidity, if you live in a hot humid climate, cover it and put it outside. But this is a little unpredictable and won’t work in the winter.
- My favorite way to let yeast dough rise is in the microwave. Place an oven proof bowl filled with water in the microwave and bring it to a boil, about 6 minutes. Leave it in there and keep the door closed. Scoot the bowl of water to the side and add the bowl of covered dough and shut the door. The microwave will be warm and humid and the perfect out of the way place to let your dough rise.
- The other tried a true way is to turn the oven to 200º. Cover the dough and place in the oven and turn the oven OFF.
What type of yeast should you use?
I prefer to use Active dry yeast rather than Instant yeast. Instant yeast will work in these rolls but the reason I prefer Active dry yeast is that you know right away whether the yeast is alive or not. With Active dry yeast you have to dissolve it in water first. If you add a pinch of sugar the yeast will grow and you’ll know that your rolls will rise.
With Instant yeast, it doesn’t need to be dissolved, you just add it with the flour and hope for the best. As long as your yeast has not expired, this shouldn’t be an issue. Either will work, if using instant the rise time may be shorter.
What can I make with Hawaiian Rolls?
- Not only are they a great dinner roll but the added sweetness makes them perfect for sliders with Slow Cooker Bourbon Chicken.
- Steak Marsala, the slightly sweet roll compliments the marsala sauce
- Great for when you grill chicken with Peach Glaze
- Delicious with Short Rib Chili
- You can also use them as a bun for Smash Burgers
How to store Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
To store these fabulous rolls, place them in a ziplock or airtight container and store on the counter, the refrigerator will dry them out. If you need to store for more than a couple of days, place them in the freezer.
Can you freeze Hawaiian rolls?
Yeast rolls are almost as good frozen as when they are eaten right away. I’m not sure you’ll be able to tell the difference. There are two different options for freezing:
- After you bake the rolls, let them cool and wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Let thaw and warm. Here are the best options for how to re-heat dinner rolls so they aren’t dry.
- You can freeze the dough after it has been made into balls. Remove from the freezer and let them warm up to room temperature before baking.
Hawaiian Sweet Rolls Recipe FAQs
Hawaiian rolls were made by King’s Hawaiian starting in 1950 by a local baker, Robert Taira on the island of Hilo, Hawaii. They were so popular that they couldn’t keep them on the shelves.
Hawaiian rolls are made sweet by the addition of pineapple juice.
Hawaiian rolls are similar to brioche in that they are both an enriched dough made with eggs, milk and butter. However, Hawaiian rolls have a hint of sweetness from the use of pineapple juice.
King’s Hawaiian bread began their bakery in Hawaii in the 1950’s and became an island favorite using pineapple juice to sweeten the dough.
Hawaiian rolls are soft and tender with just a hint of sweetness.
Hawaiian rolls are a type of dinner roll made with yeast.
MORE bread options
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Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
- 1 package active dry yeast 2 ¼ teaspoon
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup butter melted
- 4 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a small bowl dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. Let sit until slightly foamy.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the yeast mixture, eggs, pineapple juice, ¼ cup milk, sugar, vanilla and melted butter. When combined stir salt and flour into dough until a stiff batter is formed. Kneed for 10 minutes using a dough hook.
- Cover and place in a warm place and let rise for 1 hour. When doubled, punch the air out of the dough and turn onto floured surface.
- Divide into 2 equal pieces and then cut each piece into 8 sections for a total of 16 rolls. Form into buns forming them so that the seam is on the bottom and place in 2 buttered pie pans.
- Cover and let rise again until doubled, about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can refrigerate the dough overnight after it has been formed into balls. Remove form the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
- It will make about 24 sliders.
- These freeze very well, just thaw and rewarm.