Apple-Shaped Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Make these fluffy pumpkin dinner rolls that go so well with sweet or savory ingredients such as jam or cheese! Take the extra step and shape them like apples just for the fun of it.

It may not be Fall, but that’s not stopping me from making these easy, fluffy pumpkin dinner rolls! These dinner rolls are soft and slightly sweet, with a touch of pumpkin flavor which makes them delicious on their own. I also enjoy eating them for breakfast or as a snack with a variety of toppings such as peanut butter, jam, cheese, honey, etc. This recipe is very simple and can be made entirely in a stand-mixer or, with some extra work, by hand. I shaped the rolls to look like apples, and only natural food colors were used.

Although these dinner rolls are very easy to make, I have included some tips below for a better outcome:

  • The milk should be lukewarm to activate the yeast. Do not make it too hot, as it will kill the yeast. The ideal temperature is 110 F. The milk should be just slightly warm to touch.
  • A double rise is important for the dough, so be patient!
  • Do not overcrowd the pan during the second rise, otherwise the rolls will become oddly shaped after they rise.
  • When adding the “apple stem” to the bread, do not fully pierce the dough, but just lightly press down. If you pierce the dough, the air will escape the dough and the dough will require a 3rd rise.

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

yield: 9 large, 16 medium (8 x 8 ” pan)

total cook time: 2 hr. 30 min.


  • 2 c. bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. lukewarm milk
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional if you would like the spiced flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp. matcha powder
  • pretzel sticks or plain Pocky sticks broken into 1 cm. long


  1. In a stand mixer, combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  2. Add in the milk and knead on medium speed (4) with the dough hook for 7 min.
  3. Add in the butter and knead for an additional 5 min.
  4. Remove a small piece of the dough (about 1 in. diameter ball) and add the matcha powder. Knead just until the powder is incorporated and form the dough into a ball. Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hr.
  5. To the stand mixer, add the pumpkin and knead for 3 min. until the dough is now completely orange.
  6. Form dough into a ball and cover the dough. Set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hr.
  7. After 1 hr. Punch the dough down and form into 9 large or 16 small even pieces. You may use a scale to make sure each ball weighs the same. Place the dough balls in a square baking pan lined with parchment paper. The dough pieces should slightly touch each other.
  8. Take the matcha dough and form leaves using your fingers. You may also roll out the dough and cut out a leaf shape.
  9. Place the leaf on the bread towards the center. Cover and allow to rise for an additional 40 min.
  10. Preheat oven to 310 F. After the second dough rise, gently press the pretzel or Pocky stick in the middle of the dough without piercing the dough and bake in the oven for 16-18 min.
  11. Remove from the oven immediately and allow to cool for 5 min before eating.

*Nutrition Facts are estimates

23 thoughts

  1. This is so creative and so CUTE (on top of yummy naturally)! There are a lot of food blogs but I really love yours for your culinary creativity, artistic drawings,and relaxing music. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.