Make Ahead

Brown Butter Butternut Rolls

November 13, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 22 to 24 small rolls
Author Notes

Leftover butternut squash was the inspiration for this recipe. Nice with a cup of coffee or tea..... —inpatskitchen

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Inpatskitchen is a longtime community member with a whopping 388 recipes on Food52!
WHAT: Super-soft, super-buttery, lightly sweet rolls that also use up your leftover roasted squash.
HOW: Add mashed roasted squash to a buttery yeast dough, form the dough into rolls, roll each piece of dough in melted honey-butter, and bake.
WHY WE LOVE IT: These brown butter butternut rolls (try saying that 10 times fast!) are delicious, a perfect combination of squash, nutty browned butter, a touch of honey, and a hint of sea salt. They're a bit like a cross between dinner rolls and monkey bread—which is to say, we would definitely bake them again. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Brown Butter Butternut Rolls
  • 18 tablespoons butter (2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 cups bread flour plus more for kneading
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons rapid rise yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked and puréed butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons honey, divided
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 sticks of butter over medium heat until the butter foams and begins to brown. You want a light brown color. Cool and refrigerate to solidify.
  2. Once the butter has solidified, bring it back to room temperature so that it's soft and spreadable.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast, salt, and brown sugar together.
  4. Warm the milk and 4 tablespoons of the brown butter until the butter has barely melted. Whisk in the egg and stir in the squash.
  5. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until incorporated. The dough will be sticky. Add more flour, a little at a time, and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. (I knead right in the bowl.) The dough may be a little sticky still, but that's okay.
  6. Turn the dough into another large mixing bowl which has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk.
  7. Melt 1/4 cup of the solidified brown butter and stir in one tablespoon of honey in a small bowl.
  8. Line a 9- or 10-inch round baking pan with parchment. Punch the dough down and then roll it to form a log about 24 inches long. Cut the log into 22 to 24 pieces. They can be various sizes... Consider them "rustic"!
  9. Roll each piece of dough in the brown butter-honey mixture, and then place each piece in your pan. It will be crowded. Cover and let the rolls rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350° F. Bake the rolls for 30 to 35 minutes until golden.
  11. While the rolls are baking, combine any remaining brown butter with the extra 2 tablespoons of regular butter and the remaining tablespoon of honey. Once the rolls are done, let them cool a few minutes and serve with the spreadable honey butter.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • 4aces
  • keg72
  • Claire
  • Bevi
  • Claire S
    Claire S

Recipe by: inpatskitchen

I think I get my love for food and cooking from my mom, who was an amazing cook. She would start baking and freezing a month before Christmas in order to host our huge open house on Christmas afternoon. I watched and I this day I try not to procrastinate when it comes to entertaining. My cooking style is pretty much all over the place, although I'm definitely partial to Greek and Italian cuisine. Oh yes, throw a little Cajun in there too!

48 Reviews

MacGuffin December 31, 2023
Packed or loose brown sugar?
Karen B. November 18, 2018
Salted or unsalted butter? Trying these this week!
inpatskitchen November 19, 2018
Salted! Hope you enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!
4aces February 22, 2018
would love to make this. just curious as to a rough timeframe for the first rise. my kitchen is very cold and i have big problems w breads rising, & i don't have the correct containers to determine if something has actually doubled in size. so if i know how long a "normal" rise is, i can adjust my timing and get a better sense of when it's risen enough. (that made sense, right?? lol) anyway, looks delish. can't wait to try. thanks!
inpatskitchen February 22, 2018
Hi 4aces! I usually let bread dough rise in an unlit oven with the door closed for about 2 to 3 hours. If the kitchen is really cold turn the oven on to about 100F for just a few minutes and then turn it off before placing the bowl of dough in. As for the rise, I think it's a "by eye" thing.
keg72 January 2, 2018
These were delicious!
inpatskitchen January 3, 2018
Thanks so very much!!
Elana December 10, 2017
Could you substitute whole wheat flour for the white flour?
Elana December 10, 2017
Would you need to make any changes if you do?
inpatskitchen December 10, 2017
Hi Elana...I know you can use whole wheat white flour but have never used regular wheat flour. I'm not a whiz at baking so hopefully someone will chime in...
Jay B. November 24, 2017
So delicious! I made these for thanksgiving and they were a hit. I did add some brown sugar to the top before baking which gave it a really nice sweet crunch. I wish I could upload a photo!
inpatskitchen November 24, 2017
I'm so happy you all enjoyed! And the brown sugar crunch sounds like a hit!!!
Claire October 27, 2017
If I don't have "cooked and pureed butternut squash" handy, how would you prepare a frozen, cut-up raw butternut squash for this recipe? Thanks!
ghainskom October 28, 2017
Roast and puree...
Claire October 28, 2017
ghainskom I appreciate your answer but if you can be more specific that perhaps would have been more helpful -- as I am perhaps not as experienced as the others here. E.g. the original recipe stated that it is a leftover of roasted squash, I presume it was meant as a savory side dish? (i.e. salt and pepper? herbs?), also, roasting from frozen may have been different than roasting fresh squash (I personally do not cook squash all that much), and if so what temp and how long? Details like these would have been helpful, esp. in getting the right consistency of the finished pureed product (water content does matter when making bread).
ghainskom October 29, 2017
You can roast squash from frozen. Usually for roasting I just have the oven at 350 F. How long depends on how big the pieces are, just open the oven and check. Discard any water that comes out, than puree.
petalpusher November 8, 2017
Le Genou de Claire

Please purchase a butternut squash. Please google 'oven roast a butternut squash'. They are super easy to prepare. If they are fresh picked, the roasted skin is delicious. You can freeze what you don't use after it has thoroughly cooled, and you can use it in soups and countless other dishes. Just do it.
Bevi October 25, 2017
Hi Pat, can we use a bundt pan?
inpatskitchen October 25, 2017
I don't see why not although I've never tried it...
jenncc November 30, 2016
These are terrific! Buttery, slightly sweet and super moist. I used left over Red Kuri squash. I tried the rolls in a 10 inch pan and mine were not touching, and since I wanted soft edges/pull apart rolls I transferred them to a 9 inch which was perfect. Great recipe!
inpatskitchen December 1, 2016
Thanks so much jenncc!! They're a favorite around here too!
chiefkief November 27, 2016
Made these for Friendsgiving tonight and everyone (kids and adults alike) loved them!
inpatskitchen November 28, 2016
I'm so happy everyone loved them chiefkief! Thanks so much!
Claire S. November 23, 2016
These were such a huge hit! Soft and buttery and perfectly comfy for these colder days. Next time I might omit the honey — I felt the sweetness distracted from the delicious browned butter and butternut flavors and would have preferred more of the subtle sugar from the squash — but there will definitely be a next time, and a next next time, and...
inpatskitchen November 23, 2016
Thank you so much Claire!
Whitney T. February 12, 2016
Are these rolls appropriate for a fun/party breakfast (...say... sweet enough to have in place of cinnamon rolls)? or are they more dinner roll esc and would a room full of sugar crazed teenage boys be disappointed?
ghainskom February 12, 2016
They're not as sweet as cinammon rolls (which I often find too sweet) but they're definitely rather on the sweet than on the savory side. So I'd say yes.
inpatskitchen February 12, 2016
I agree!
krikri February 12, 2016
I agree - they don't give you that sugar rush you get from cinnamon rolls. I have a pretty sweet tooth ("Too sweet? What's that?") so I liked the sweetened (in my case, with maple syrup - out of honey) butter on them but without it they were still delicious - for breakfast.
ghainskom February 8, 2016
Oh. My.God. I was a fool and used the rest of the last butternut squash to make these. Does it mean I'll have to wait next season to make them again? I might have to sub sweet potatoes and see how it goes because they were amazing. I skipped the first steps and used butter ghee instead. Also made step 9 overnight in the fridge and it worked perfect for breakfast. Thank you for this great recipe!
inpatskitchen February 8, 2016
Thank YOU ghainskom! I think sweet potatoes would be perfect as a sub.
krikri February 1, 2016
I'd like to make these for breakfast, but not get up while it's still dark to do so! Can I do step 9 overnight in the fridge, instead of 45 minutes on the counter? Will I need to leave them out in the morning before baking (to come to room temp, or to finish rising or whatnot)?
inpatskitchen February 1, 2016
I think you can do this krikri but you'll probably need to let them sit out longer than the 45 minutes. Perhaps someone else will chime in though...Please let me know how it goes for you.
krikri February 12, 2016
I started it too late and did the rise in step 6 overnight (think Jim Lahey's no-knead bread). It wasn't ready in the morning, obviously, but I'm sure I could have done the second rise overnight and had them ready for breakfast. Our kitchen is pretty cold, especially this time of year, so I doubt I'd have needed to put them in the fridge for the second rise.
They were very good, lovely texture! And fun to make!
anotherfoodieblogger December 26, 2015
WOW! I am so very happy for your win! WOOT! I've been off this site for a spell while dealing with family emergency issues. This can only be AWESOME with that much butter, right? WOW.
inpatskitchen December 27, 2015
So glad your family issues are a bit resolved and YES....all that butter! I'll have to learn to make croissants or something! (lol)
QueenSashy December 25, 2015
Pat, you had me on all that butter too!!! Congrats on the win!!!
inpatskitchen December 25, 2015
Thanks so much QS! Yep, it's all about the butter!
Niknud December 22, 2015
You had me at 18 tablespoons of butter....swoon! Congratulations on being a finalist!
inpatskitchen December 22, 2015
Yes! ALL that butter! Thank you Niknud!
JanetFL December 22, 2015
Congratulations, Pat, on a great recipe!
inpatskitchen December 22, 2015
Thanks Janet!
drbabs December 18, 2015
Wow, this looks so good! Congratulations on being a finalist!!
inpatskitchen December 18, 2015
Thank you!
EmilyC December 18, 2015
These look so, so good Pat! Honored to be in the finalist circle with you!
inpatskitchen December 18, 2015
Honored and humbled to be here with you Emily! Your granola looks awesome!