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Homemade Sweet Hawaiian Bread Rolls Recipe

If you’ve gotten a chance to try the classic Hawaiian sweet rolls from your local grocery store, you know they are pretty darned good. They’re also a little pricey. Our homemade Sweet Hawaiian Bread Rolls recipe is even better, fresh from the oven, and costs less to make them. Plus, it’s not hard to make these rolls, so you can whip them up for your family in no time.

Sideview of two Hawaiian Bread Rolls on a plate. More sweet bread rolls are in the back on a cooling rack. Hostess At Heart
Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Straightforward directions and handy ingredients make this recipe a staple in our kitchen. Fluffy and ever so slightly sweet rolls are just dense enough that they can be made into sandwiches and just tasty enough that you will be tempted to make them every single day.

What are Hawaiian Rolls?

A form of bread made famous by a bakery on the Hawaiian islands, these rolls are sweetened and flavored pineapple, in a nod to the islands’ cash crop. Developed in the 1950’s by a baker on the island, the rolls gained popularity quickly. They are similar to a bread from the Philippines called pan de sal.

What Makes Hawaiian Bread Sweet?

Pineapple and honey are the two sweeteners that give these rolls both iconic flavor and a subtle sweetness.

Homemade Hawaiian Rolls Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients used to make Kings Hawaiian Bread Rolls including butter, honey, vanilla, egg, Flour, yeast, buttermilk, and pineapple juice. Hostess At Heart
Homemade Hawaiian Sweet Bread Ingredients
  • Pineapple Juice. You could use orange juice for this, and it would change the flavor slightly. This adds sweetness and that classic taste of a Kings Hawaiian roll.
  • Buttermilk. If you don’t have buttermilk, put one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup, then add enough milk to equal 1 cup.
  • Unsalted Butter. If you only have salted butter in the house, decrease the salt in the recipe.
  • All-Purpose Flour.
  • Honey. The sweetness feeds the yeast, and honey changes the flavor as well.
  • Instant Yeast. Make sure to purchase the correct kind since yeast comes in several different forms.
  • Salt. Granulated Kosher salt is perfect for baking.
  • Egg. We use large eggs in all of my baking for consistent results. .
  • Vanilla Extract. Pure vanilla or imitation vanilla will work.

Honey Butter

  • Butter. Use the real stuff. It makes a difference in flavor.
  • Honey. We prefer locally grown honey. Use what you have available or prefer.

How To Make Hawaiian Bread Rolls Recipe

Step 1: Heat up the liquids.

You want to heat up the liquids to 110ºF to help the yeast multiply. To do this, combine the pineapple juice, buttermilk, butter, and honey in a large liquid measuring cup and microwave it. You can check the temperature with an Instant Read Thermometer.

Top down view of a measuring cup filled with the wet ingredients used in a Hawaiian Bread Roll Recipe. Hostess At Heart

Step 2: Add the remaining ingredients.

Add the flour, yeast, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed until combined. Gradually pour in the pineapple mixture, followed by the egg and vanilla.

Step 3: Mix the dough.

Gently combine the dough following our instructions on the recipe card. Do not overwork this dough.

Top down view of sticky bread dough in a bowl - Hostess At Heart

Step 4. Let Dough Rise.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean towel for the first rise. It needs to double in size, and it will take about 90 minutes.

Step 5. Divide the Dough.

Punch it down and divide the dough into fifteen equal portions. The easy way to get equal pieces is to use a kitchen scale or just approximate. Place the dough balls in the prepared pan.

Hawaiian Bread Rolls shaped dough balls in a pan. Hostess At Heart

Step 6. Second Rise.

Cover the pan with plastic wrap or with a clean kitchen towel and put it in a warm place for the second rise.

Pan of risen dough rolls - Hostess At Heart

Step 7. Coat with honey butter on top.

Mix the honey butter and brush it over the tops of the rolls.

Step 8. Bake your Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls Recipe.

They need to bake for about 20 minutes. Then, add more honey butter mixture to the tops.

Popular Variations & Additions

  • Add dried fruit. Cranberries or raisins would be very nice in this bread.
  • Swirl with cinnamon. Stirring a small amount of cinnamon makes this a dessert bread.
  • Top with Seeds – Top the rolls with poppy seeds or sesame seeds before baking. 
  • Make Hawaiian roll sliders. After the rolls are baked, you can split the entire set in half and then layer ham and Swiss cheese in between the halves. Bake for ten minutes to melt the cheese, and serve hot!
Homemade baked bread rolls sitting on a cooling rack. Hostess At Heart

How To Reheat & Store Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Best Way To Store Homemade Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Keep leftover rolls at room temperature in an airtight container or bread bag for up to four days until they start to show signs of staleness.

Can I Freeze Sweet Hawaiian Rolls Recipe

Yes, you can freeze the bread dough uncooked (already portioned in a disposable baking pan) or freeze the baked rolls. Place either in an airtight container and freeze for up to six months. The dough can be baked frozen and will take a few minutes extra.

How To Reheat Homemade Hawaiian Bread Rolls

Place individual rolls in the microwave for ten seconds at a time to reheat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe in the bread machine?

Yes. Mix and heat the liquid ingredients as described. Then, add the liquids to the bread machine first, with the vanilla. Then, add the flour and salt. Place the egg on one side of the flour. Add the yeast in the center of the flour. Run the machine on the dough cycle, and then pull the dough out to split into rolls, rise in a 9×13 pan, and bake in the oven.

How long will Homemade Rolls Last?

Up to one week. The store-bought rolls have preservatives that make them last longer.

Do Hawaiian Rolls need refrigerated?

No. You can always refrigerate bread to make it last a little longer, but it also dries out in the fridge.

Serving Suggestions

These beautiful homemade Hawaiian sweet rolls work perfectly with almost any meal. They go well with breakfast, lunch, or dinner and make amazing slider appetizers such as these Big Mac Cheeseburger Sliders. Turn them into sandwiches, top them with sausage gravy, or my favorite, warm Hawaiian rolls slathered in butter. I’m serious when I say it will be your new bread obsession.

Top down view of two sweet hawian rolls on a plate with the rest of the rolls in the background on a cooling rack. Hostess At Heart

Other Fantastic Bread Recipes

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Sideview of two baked sweet Hawaiian bread rolls on a plate with the rest of the rolls in the background sitting on a cooling rack - Hostess At Heart

Sweet Hawaiian Bread Rolls Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Our homemade Sweet Hawaiian Bread Rolls recipe is even better than store-bought, fresh from the oven, and costs significantly less.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Bread, Rolls
Cuisine American
Keyword: Bread rolls
Servings: 15 rolls


  • 1 cup pineapple juice room temperture
  • ½ cup buttermilk room temperature
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • cup honey
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Honey Butter

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • Combine the pineapple juice, buttermilk, butter, and honey in a large liquid measuring cup. Microwave for 30-second intervals until it reaches 110 °F. Curdling is normal.
  • Using a stand mixer with a dough hook, mix the flour, yeast, and salt on low speed until combined. Gradually pour in the pineapple mixture followed by the egg and vanilla.
  • Mix on low speed dough begins to come together, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.
  • Punch the dough down to deflate it and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into 15 equal size portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball and arrange them in a lightly oiled 9 x 13 baking pan.
  • Cover the pan with plastic and set in a draft-free area to rise until doubled in size for about 90 minutes.
  • Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and pre-heat to 375 °F.
  • Melt the honey butter ingredients together and brush the top of the rolls with melted honey butter.
  • Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown, rotating halfway through the baking time. The internal temperature of the rolls should be 190 °F.
  • Brush the rolls with more melted honey butter and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and cool for another 20 minutes.


Calories: 275kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 963mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 240IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 23mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!
Sideview of an image of 2 Copycat Kings Sweet Bread Rolls on a plate. - Hostess At Heart
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 25th of October 2023

I love Hawaiian Rolls and was so happy that these came out perfect. Soft and fluffy and love the hint of sweetness.

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

Thank you, Minah!


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

These homemade Hawaiian rolls are SO much better than store-bought. We love making our favorite sliders recipe with them!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

I'm in love with Hawaiian roll sliders too! Thank you.


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

I can never resist trying out one of your new bread recipes and this one did not disappoint!! Light, fluffy, the right amount of sweet! Thanks!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

Thank you! These are a tailgating must-have.


Tuesday 24th of October 2023

JUST like the original and so fun to make! Thanks for sharing!

Julie Menghini

Friday 27th of October 2023

I'm glad that you enjoyed them. Thank you!


Saturday 21st of October 2023

OMG! This recipe is going to save me a lot of money! No more store-bought because these are delicious! A keeper of a recipe.

Julie Menghini

Sunday 22nd of October 2023

Thank you, Ellen!

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