Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Happy Thanksgiving!  Well, to my Canadian friends at least.  I know all you Americans won’t be celebrating for another month!  But when you DO start planning your Thanksgiving meal, keep these dinner rolls in mind!

We had our Thanksgiving meal yesterday, and these buns were the perfect compliment to the turkey dinner.  I know a lot of people (my husband included!) think that bread is just a waste of time when you’re having turkey dinner.  He figures there are just too many good things to eat to bother with bread.  But I always like to have buns with turkey dinner, even though there ARE so many other good things to eat!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

These dinner rolls came from my obsession with putting pumpkin in everything.  But don’t worry, they don’t taste like pumpkin, you actually can’t really tell it’s in there, it just helps make them really soft and fluffy.  Even though they’re whole wheat.  They come together quickly, especially if you have a stand mixer to do the kneading, and can easily be frozen, like any bread, if you want to make them ahead of time.

These buns were perfect, and I’m looking forward to turkey sandwiches on them with the leftovers!  What do you think, bread or no bread with turkey dinner?  Do you agree that it’s a waste of time, or does it need to be there?!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls - Bake.Eat.Repeat.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Yield: 24 dinner rolls

Note: If you prefer to use active dry yeast, replace the instant yeast with 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast and mix it with the warm water, buttermilk and maple syrup first, allowing it to get foamy before adding the rest of the ingredients. Also, the amount of flour is 6-7 cups because with yeast breads, it can vary depending on humidity. I find it changes with the same recipe depending on the day. Start with 6 cups and if the dough is not clearing the sides of the bowl, add 1/4 cup at a time until it clears the sides of the bowl, then continue with the kneading. You don’t want to overflour the dough or the buns won’t be as soft and fluffy.

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1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all-purpose flour


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, with a dough hook, or in a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, starting with just 3 cups of the all-purpose flour. Once the dough comes together, check if it is clearing the sides of the bowl, if not add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until it clears the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5-6 minutes with the machine, 8-10 by hand, until the dough is smooth. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and move the dough into it, rolling it around to coat it with the oil. It will be very soft and tacky, as long as you can move it though, don’t worry about it being a bit sticky. If it’s too sticky to move though, add a bit more flour before continuing.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled. Transfer to a work space sprayed with cooking spray. Using a sharp knife, or a dough scraper, cut the dough into 24 equal pieces. If you like to weigh your buns, they’ll each be about 2.5 ounces. I don’t bother, I just cut the dough in half, then in quarters, then into 6 pieces each; just estimating the size so they’re all about the same. Shape each piece into a ball, rolling it on the oiled countertop under your cupped hand until it forms a uniform round ball. Place the shaped buns on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for about 45 minutes until they’re almost doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove to a wire rack to cool.


Source: Adapted from How Sweet It Is .



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  1. Mom says

    Made the buns for American Thanksgiving since we are spending most of the winter in much warmer California☺️. Your recipe was very easy to follow and the flour and pumpkin mixture came together really nicely, everything rose the way it should and we had buns with our turkey and now leftovers, thanks for the great recipe for buns that I may make even if turkey isn’t on the menu

    • stacey says

      Hi Sharon, I just put them in a plastic bag to freeze after baking. I have bread bags that I found at a specialty store which are a great size for it, but zip locks work well too, you just can’t fit as many in them. Just make sure whatever bag you use is sealed. Then take them out about 3 hours before you want them and let them defrost at room temperature. You can also defrost them in the microwave, but they may dry out a bit. Or if you’re a little short on time, defrost them at least partially at room temp or in the microwave, then wrap in tin foil and place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and they’ll taste fresh baked. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Catherine Chevalier says

    These sound good. So good that I’d be willing to partially fill up on the bread at the celebration dinners :)
    I’m a big fan of pumpkin recipes. I make a breakfast replacement muffin with pumpkin, cranberries , nuts & seeds and they are always so moist.

    • stacey says

      Thanks Catherine! I’m always willing to fill up on bread at big dinners. At least if the bread is good! :) And anything with pumpkin is good in my opinion, especially muffins!

  3. says

    You added pumpkin to dinner rolls? That is fantastic! I am terrified of yeast-based breads, but I knead (ha!) to get over that. These look so fluffy and wonderful. Admittedly, on Thanksgiving, I’m too interested in other stuff to bother with rolls, but on an everyday basis? I’m all about it. Bread, carbs, toast. Bring it on! Thanks for sharing these!

    • stacey says

      Haha, I always make buns for Thanksgiving, and they rarely get eaten cause everyone is too focused on turkey. That’s okay, lots left for sandwiches with the leftovers then! And don’t be terrified of yeast, it’s super easy, just use the instant stuff, then you don’t have to worry about activating it first. It’s like magic watching the dough rise – I may enjoy making bread a little too much! :)

    • stacey says

      Thanks Gayle! If you like making bread, you should definitely try these, they were super quick and easy, and so good!

    • stacey says

      Oooh, they totally would. That just reminded me that I actually kept the turkey bones for once, to attempt making soup from them. Need to get on that, and maybe make more of these buns to have with it! Thanks Dannii!

  4. says

    In England – the concept of ‘Thanksgiving’ is alien! It’s all about Christmas dinner for us – which we pretty much plan in the back of our minds from September onwards 😉 So although x mas isn’t quite like thanksgiving…my mum adores her bread rolls, and puts a huge emphasis on having them with our X mas turkey dinner…while the rest of us have a mean tendency to overlook the basket of fresh, buttered bread in favour of all the trimmings! Then again, it’s the one day of the year where anyone can eat as much as they want! Roll on the rolls! (pun intended ;)) These look great.

    • stacey says

      We were just talking about that yesterday actually, wondering if anyone outside of Canada and the US has Thanksgiving! Christmas dinner is virtually the same meal though, too much good food! Thanks Tash!


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