Wildcard Winners

Meet the Cutest Darn Roll We've Ever Seen: Fan-Tans!

March 30, 2016

It only took one bite into one of these savory little buns to realize we'd been missing out on a huge category of delicious dinner rolls: the fan-tan. Folded so that each section can be pulled apart, fan-tans, often pigeon-holed as old-fashioned, are largely overlooked. This is the only recipe we have for them on the site!

In this recipe by Donna, fan-tans make a comeback in a big way. Their folds are filled with a garlicky, herby compound butter and sharp cheddar cheese. But if crescents are more your style, Donna also provides instructions for spreading the herbed butter in the center of each roll, then sprinkling the tops with cheddar cheese. And if you're pressed for time, Donna's prepared for that, too: She suggests baking the rolls in advance, then reheating the frozen rolls at 325° F. We'll take one of each, please.

Have you ever heard of fan-tan rolls? Do you have your own recipe for fan-tans? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Melanie
  • Shelley Matheis
    Shelley Matheis
  • Caroline Lange
    Caroline Lange
  • Donna
I eat everything.


Melanie December 16, 2022
Making these fan tans right now! To buy some time, instead of the first rise, I am doing a slow rise so the dough is in the refrigerator for a few hours while I start my sticky buns. These rolls can be refrigerated up to 24 hrs so if having company, they can be made up the day before and finished off next day. Can’t wait to have some!
Shelley M. March 31, 2016
This was without the cheese-garlic filling, but Alton Brown had a similar constructed roll on one of his shows, he called them Butter Flakes.
Caroline L. March 30, 2016
these look so dreamy. can't wait to try!
Donna March 30, 2016
Thank you Food52, for featuring another of our family favorites!