These homemade Hawaiian rolls taste even better than store-bought! Soft, yeasty, & a little sweet, with a pillowy texture that will keep you wanting more.

Hawaiian rolls in a white enamel baking dish.

Is it just me or is everybody making bread right now???

It’s crazy! But I love it!

I’m so happy to see people getting into their kitchens and getting elbow-deep in dough. I know the thought of it can be intimidating, but there’s no better time than now.

We’re all spending lots of time at home anyway, and bread-making is so meditative and therapeutic. It’s a great way to slow down and calm yourself, plus you get such a delicious treat. Nothing is more comforting than homemade bread.

With the possible exception of chocolate chip cookies. Or cinnamon rolls. Or brownies.

But we are here to talk about bread right now!

And my new favorite bread recipe: Homemade Hawaiian Rolls!

You know Hawaiian rolls, right? They sell them in the deli section at the supermarket. King’s Hawaiian Rolls are pillow-soft, light as air, and just a little sweet. They’re perfect for making sliders or even just for slathering with butter.

But you know what’s even better? When you make them yourself, from scratch.

This recipe is so easy to make and it all happens in just one bowl.

And honestly? The result is a thousand times better than store-bought. You won’t be able to stop yourself from eating these! They are completely irresistible!

Hawaiian roll sliders in a white enamel baking dish with a text overlay above that reads "Hawaiian Rolls."


Hawaiian bread is so good because it’s soft and stretchy, and it’s got just a hint of tangy yeastiness, with a slight sweet flavor that just teases your tastebuds.

It gets its sweetness from a combination of pineapple juice and brown sugar, which in my opinion has always been a match made in heaven (hello pineapple upside-down cake!).

It also gets an extra-rich flavor from the addition of eggs and melted butter.


To make this easy recipe, you’re going to start by proofing the yeast.

Just stir the yeast together with a little bit of warm water. It should be warm, not hot, like a baby’s bath.

Set it aside for about 10 minutes, until you notice little bubbles coming to the surface.

Foamy yeast proofing in a large glass mixing bowl.

This is how you know your yeast is alive! If you don’t see the bubbles, start again. Either your yeast was expired (always check the date!) or you may have killed it with too-hot water.

Once the yeast has proven, add in the pineapple juice, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, salt, and vanilla.

Yeast, pineapple juice, brown sugar, eggs, and melted butter in a large mixing bowl.

Whisk everything together just to get it combined.

Whisking liquid ingredients together for Hawaiian rolls.

Now you can start adding flour. Work it in about 1/2-cup at a time.

After about 4 to 4 1/2 cups have gone it, you should start to see the dough gathering itself into a ball and pulling away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

Hawaiian rolls bread dough in a mixing bowl with a dough hook attachment.

Depending on the humidity in your kitchen, you may need slightly more or slightly less flour.

Knead the dough for a good 10 to 15 minutes. Put on a timer and make sure it gets plenty of kneading. This is what develops the glutens, and creates that signature stretchy, elastic texture that’s so key for good homemade bread.

After about 10 minutes of kneading, pinch off a little piece of dough and using your fingertips, stretch it gently from the center outward. You should be able to pull it tissue-thin without it tearing. It should be so thin you can see the light passing through, just like a windowpane.

That’s why this is called the “windowpane test.”

Checking homemade bread dough with the windowpane test.

This test works for any kind of yeast bread recipe, so if you’ve made a loaf and it seems crumbly, it’s probably because it hasn’t been kneaded long enough and would not have passed the windowpane test.

The more you know!

If your dough doesn’t pass the windowpane test, keep kneading until it does.

Once you’re there, just mist the bowl with a little non-stick spray, place the dough back in, and cover it with plastic wrap.

Hawaiian bread dough before rising.

Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume.

Hawaiian bread dough doubled in volume.

This usually takes about an hour, but if your kitchen is on the cooler side it may take longer.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into 15 equal portions and roll each one into a tight little ball to make rolls.

Shaping Hawaiian bread dough into rolls.

Place them in a greased and parchment-lined 9×13 pan, cover them with a sheet of plastic wrap that’s been misted with non-stick spray, and it’s time for the second rise.


If you want, at this point you can break up the prep over 2 days.

To make overnight Hawaiian rolls, place the unbaked rolls in the refrigerator before the second rise. They can hang out there for up to 48 hours.

When you’re ready to move on with the recipe, just take them out of the fridge and allow them to come up to room temperature, then put them in a warm place and allow them to double in volume once again.

Unbaked Hawaiian bread rolls after rising.

Once they’ve puffed, place them in a preheated 350 degree F oven and bake them ’til their tops are golden brown and delish.

Then I like to brush them with a little softened butter, while they’re still warm. The butter will melt over the warm bread and give it a glossy sheen, plus a little added flavor and richness.


In my opinion, the best way to eat Hawaiian sweet rolls is just split in half and slathered with soft butter. So good!

Hawaiian bread rolls in a pan with one roll split open so you can see the fluffy texture inside.

But they also work really well as mini sandwich buns. You’ve probably seen all the slider recipes on Pinterest.

The entire batch is sliced horizontally, filled with all sorts of deliciousness, then baked in the oven under foil until hot, melty, and delicious.

Here are a few ideas for Hawaiian roll slider fillings:

  • Ham and cheese (or turkey and cheese) with a little honey mustard
  • Mini hamburgers or cheeseburgers
  • Roast beef with provolone and horseradish
  • Meatballs with marinara sauce and mozzarella
  • Scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese
  • Cuban sliders with ham, roast pork, swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard
  • Sloppy joe sliders
  • Bbq chicken sliders with thin sliced red onion and sharp cheddar cheese
  • Buffalo chicken sliders with bleu cheese
  • Reuben sliders with corned beef, sauerkraut, swiss, and thousand island dressing

This bread would also be great made into pineapple stuffing, Thanksgiving stuffing, or bread pudding!


While I have not personally tested it this way, I do think this recipe could work well using a gluten-free flour blend. Look for one that subs 1:1 for regular flour.

Here are a few good options: