Pumpkin-Shaped Rolls

Active Time:
45 mins
Rest Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 35 mins
12 rolls

Buttery, soft, and yeasty, these Pumpkin-Shaped Rolls taste like traditional dinner rolls with a hint of fall spice. Making the fun pumpkin presentation is simpler than it looks. It only requires a pair of kitchen scissors and a wooden spoon. After the dough has come together and doubled in size, it's ready to be divided and rolled into smooth balls of dough. Using kitchen scissors to snip several vertical lines around each roll prepares the dough to be pressed in the center, forcing the roll to both take the wide rounded shape of a pumpkin and causing the cuts to swell into a convincing pumpkin form. These rolls then sit until they have puffed and are ready for the oven. A pecan half is placed in the center of each pumpkin for the "stem," and the rolls bake in less than half an hour. In the oven, the edges of the pumpkins continue to round as the yeast forces the bread to expand from the inside, making the finished product exceptionally eye-catching. The outside of the roll develops a tender crust that gives way to the gentle softness of the bread inside. Once out of the oven, these rolls are excellent when brushed with some melted butter mixed with a little honey. Festive, delicious, and impressive, make these rolls to accompany any meal this autumn.

Pumpkin-Shaped Rolls
Micah A. Leal


  • 1 cup warm whole milk (110°F-115°F)

  • 1 (1/4-oz. pckg.) instant yeast

  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided

  • 3 cups bread flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature

  • Melted butter mixed with honey, for brushing (optional)


  1. Combine warm milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon honey in a bowl. Cover and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; set aside.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast mixture with 1 cup of the flour mixture, egg, butter, and remaining tablespoon of honey. With the paddle attachment, beat on low until mixture is well combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add remaining flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated. Switch the paddle attachment for the dough hook (or knead by hand), and increase speed to medium-high and allow dough to knead until the dough is stretchy and smooth, about 7 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Cut dough mass into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds, leaving 12 pieces of dough. Shape into a smooth ball by pulling each corner of dough under the ball, creating a smooth round surface. Place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pick up each ball and use a pair of kitchen shears to snip 6 evenly spaced cuts (about 1/4-inch deep) running vertically around the ball. Return to baking sheet and use the bottom of a wooden spoon handle to press a hole into the top center of the roll and press all the way to the bottom, encouraging the dough to take on a pumpkin shape. Repeat with remaining rolls. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperate until puffed, about 1 hour.

  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Use the wooden spoon again to press a hole in the center of each puffed roll. Place a pecan half standing vertically into each of the holes. Bake until well browned all over, about 20 mins. Brush with melted honey butter if desired and serve.

Related Articles