In today’s post: These pumpkin shaped dinner rolls are both gorgeous and delicious! Use my favorite roll recipe OR frozen bread dough to make them.
I’m pretty excited about today’s post: PUMPKIN SHAPED DINNER ROLLS! 😂 Seriously, I can’t get over how cute they are.
You might be thinking that I have way too much time on my hands, ‘cuz who actually needs dinner rolls shaped like pumpkins? Probably no one, but that’s ok. Even though these little guys look fancy, they only take about 15 minutes longer than normal dinner rolls…and everyone knows that homemade rolls hot out of the oven and slathered with butter are just about the best thing you’ll ever eat.
I didn’t come up with the ideas for these adorable rolls on my own – I actually saw them on an episode of The British Baking Show. As soon as I saw them I knew I’d be figuring out how to make them so I could share all the instructions with you guys. Because the fact that you are here reading this post means you are at least half as crazy about this sort of stuff as I am 😉 .
How to Make Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
These rolls require about 15 more minutes of hands on time than normal dinner rolls, but they are so lovely that I think it’s totally worth it! The good news is that if you don’t want to make your own bread dough, you can use frozen Rhodes dough to makes these – I’ve tried it both ways and it’s worked beautifully.
If you are up for making your own dough, I recommend you use my favorite dinner roll recipe, which I’ve included below. You can get extra help with this recipe, including a step by step video, by visiting this post: The Best Dinner Roll Recipe
How to Make Pumpkin Dinner Rolls VIDEO
Please watch this video to see how to shape the rolls. A recipe card follows the video, and you’ll find even more tips + photos after the recipe card!
Pumpkin Shaped Rolls Recipe
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 2 tbsp Butter softened
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3 and 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 12 32 inch long pieces of string
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- In a stand mixer, mix together the roll ingredients, adding a little more flour if needed for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead dough 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Turn dough out onto greased or floured surface and form a ball. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, 60-90 minutes.
- Turn dough onto floured surface and punch down. Cut off a golf ball sized piece of dough and set aside. Divide remaining dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.
- Place balls on a lined cookie sheet and cover lightly. Allow to rest 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Also, toss strings in vegetable oil to coat.
- Wrap each ball of dough with a piece of string 4 times, pivoting 45 degrees with each wrap. String should divide dough ball into 8 fairly equal sections. Tie a knot in the string and place each dough ball back on the cookie sheet.
- Flatten out the extra piece of dough that you reserved. Cut it into 12 small stem shapes. Place the stems around the balls on dough on the cookie sheet.
- Cover and allow dough to rise about 15 more minutes, until dough is gently pushing out between the strings.
- Bake 22-24 minutes, until rolls are quite golden brown on top. Remove from oven and cool completely before removing string.
- Place a stem in the top of each roll.
- video of how to shape rolls
- info on how to use frozen roll dough instead of making your own
Pumpkin Shaped Dinner Rolls Tips
If you make your own roll dough, plan on 3 hours to make the rolls start to finish, plus about 20 minute to let them cool before you remove the string. You’ll mix and knead the dough and allow it to go through its first rise just like normal. Then punch down the dough and turn it out on a floured surface. Grab a pizza cutter and slice off a small piece of dough, about the size of a golf ball, and set it aside. Divide the rest of the dough into 12 pieces and shape each piece into a ball, placing the dough balls on a lined cookie sheet. Cover lightly and allow them to rest for about 15 minutes (they will rise slightly).
If you want to use frozen dough instead, I recommend using Rhodes Texas size rolls. It’s a little hard to predict exactly how long the rolls will take, because how long they take to thaw depends on the temperature of your house. At least 6 hours before you want to be eating rolls take out 13 rolls and place them on a lined cookie sheet. Spray them with nonstick spray and cover with plastic wrap. Keep an eye on them and allow them to thaw completely so that they are no longer cold (3-5 hours). If you let them go too long and they start to rise, no biggie. Just shape each roll back into a tight ball. Let them rest for about 15 minutes (they will rise slightly).
For either option: While the dough balls are resting for 15 minutes, cut 12 pieces of kitchen string to 32 inches long. This is just plain string you can buy at any big box store. Place the strings in a small bowl and pour in a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil and toss the strings to coat. Now would be a good time to turn your oven on to 350 degrees.
How to Shape Pumpkin Rolls
Now you will wrap the dough balls to create a pumpkin shape. Please watch the video so you can see this in action. The dough balls will have risen slightly, so pick each one up gently. Hold it with the bottom side up. Wrap a piece of string gently around the middle of the dough ball. When the string meets itself, you’ll pivot about 45 degrees and wrap the string again. Repeat the pivot and wrap twice more until the string divides the dough ball into 8 equal sections. You don’t need to be exact here, but the roll will looks more like a pumpkin if these sections are fairly even. Tie the two ends of the string together, and then place the dough ball with the knot side down back on your lined cookie sheet.
Once you’ve wrapped all 12 rolls, you want to let them rest and rise for another 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, grab that extra piece of dough. Flatten it down into a rectangle and use a pizza cutter to slice it into 12 stems. Place the stems on the cookie sheet too.
As soon as you see that the rolls are starting to rise and dough is starting to bulge out in between the strings, it’s time to bake!
You’ll bake for about 22-24 minutes, until the rolls are nicely browned on top. These rolls need to cook a little longer than you might think to ensure that the inside is done. Don’t worry if the sections of each “pumpkin” aren’t perfectly even – some of mine came out of the oven looking pretty wonky, but as soon as you take the string out and put the stems in each roll they look just fine!
After the rolls come out, let them cool for at least 20 minutes before removing the string. To remove the string, flip a roll over and locate the knot, then cut through the knot with scissors. Now you can carefully unwrap the string from the roll.
Once the rolls are all unwrapped, poke a stem through the top of each roll and they are ready to serve!
If you like this idea, be sure to check out my Spider Bread Dip Bowl.