Hawaiian Rolls {Copycat}

Hawaiian Rolls.

One of my favorite things ever.  Anyone else love ’em like I do?

Copycat King's Hawaiian Rolls from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - these taste just as good as the store bought version, and are so easy to make: even for the novice bread maker like me! #recipes #bread

Whenever we’re pressed for time for weeknight dinners {all the time} or on evenings I don’t feel like cooking {um, most nights}, our go-to meal is a deli-chicken, salad bar, and a package of King’s Hawaiian Rolls from our local grocery store.   Since there are just three of us in my house, we typically purchase the small four-pack of rolls.

The problem with that?   We’re left with one roll and no good way to split it in thirds.  Who wants only a measly third of a fluffy Hawaiian roll?  No thanks; I want the entire roll.  Plus another two or three, for good measure.


So when I found a recipe that proclaimed itself a copycat version of my beloved Hawaiian rolls, I knew I had to try it.

Copycat King's Hawaiian Rolls from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - these taste just as good as the store bought version, and are so easy to make: even for the novice bread maker like me! #recipes #bread

I’m still learning my way around working with yeast, but I found this recipe to be extremely forgiving.  You don’t even need to proof the yeast – just sprinkle the yeast in after you’ve combined your wet ingredients and flour.  There is some rising time involved with this recipe – about two to three hours total – but trust me when I say: it’s worth it!

This recipe will make three loaves of bread – I know: that’s a lot of bread.  It doesn’t get wasted at my house, though.  Doodle has been tearing through this stuff like there’s no tomorrow, and I’ve caught the Tall Boy jamming a roll or two into his mouth when he thought no one was looking.

Since I wanted actual rolls, I filled a 9×13 pan first (I got 15 rolls in mine) and still had enough dough left over for a loaf of bread.  This was some of the fluffiest, best bread I’ve ever eaten, and so easy, too!  The Tall Boy said these rolls tasted just as good as the packaged ones from the store – and I have to say, I agree!

Copycat King's Hawaiian Rolls from www.kitchenmeetsgirl.com - these taste just as good as the store bought version, and are so easy to make: even for the novice bread maker like me! #recipes #bread

Hawaiian Rolls {Copycat}
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus an additional ½ cup flour, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups pineapple juice, room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes yeast
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  1. In a small bowl, beat your 3 eggs. Add the 2 cups pineapple juice, sugar, ginger, vanilla, and melted butter.
  2. Measure 3 cups of the flour into a large bowl. Stir in your egg mixture until well-combined. Sprinkle in the yeast packets, one at a time, mixing well.
  3. Add the remaining 3 cups of flour and mix well. If it becomes to difficult to stir with a wooden spoon, just use your hands! Make sure all of the flour is well incorporated—the dough should be tacky to the touch but not overly sticky. If it appears too wet, sprinkle in a bit of extra flour, just a tablespoon or so at a time. Cover your bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Remove your dough from the bowl and knead in an additional ½ cup of flour. I kneaded mine 10 to 15 times, making sure the flour was well incorporated.
  5. Divide the dough into three equal parts. You may either bake 3 loaves of bread, form the dough into rolls, or a combination of the two. I baked one loaf of bread, forming the remaining dough into 15 rolls and baking in a 9x13 pan. Cover and place in warm place to rise for an additional hour, or until the dough doubles in size.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush tops with melted butter, and serve warm.
adapted from Food.com
Nutrition Information
Serving size: makes 3 loaves

XO, Ashley

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  1. I LOVE Hawaiian rolls Ashley! These look amazing. A must try. So glad you posted these. I honestly could eat these as the only bread for the rest of my life. Totally my favorite. Pinned 🙂
    sally @ sallys baking addiction recently posted..Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.My Profile

    • I’ve been know to eat WAY too many of these rolls in one sitting. Thanks for sharing them, Sally!

      • Two issues with this recipe that will hinder your bread from rising. 1st is there’s no initial proof. What I did was I took half a cup of water at 105-110 degree F, added 2 tbl sugar and sprinkled the yeast over it and waited for it to get foamy. I then subtracted 1/2 cup of pineapple juice. Additional I brought my pineapple juice to a boil and let it cool. Pineapple has a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain,that breaks down protein. The building up of proteins is what causes breads to rise. Not only did my bread rise…it rose almost too much. Can’t wait to taste these.

        • If you use canned pineapple juice it should be fine without boiling. It’s the same thing for making jello with pineapple juice. Fresh won’t set but canned is fine because it’s already been pasteurized and heated in the canning process..

        • I have made the same recipe in my breadmaker for the last two years. I have always used canned juice and the dough cycle. After the first rise, when my machine stops, I remove the dough, roll out and lay into a parchment-covered 13×9. I then cut the dough into squares, let proof, cut again and bake. Works great every time…

          • I agree about the rising. I also thought these rolls needed a little salt and when I tasted them and thought that I had to go back to the recipe to make sure I didn’t leave it out. I thought it was weird no salt was listed as one of the ingredients. I will definitely be adding a little next time.

          • Janice Mayorga says:

            Do you follow the recipe exactly. Let rise in the bread machine and then knead an additional 1/2 c flour by hand? Mine turned out dense and it was near impossible to work by hand. I don’t have a stand mixer.

        • Jennifer says:

          I just mixed this up and I wish I had read this before I had started. Crossing my fingers! I’m sure they will turn out but I’m a bread making novice so I wont feel too bad if I mess it up.

        • You could also use yeast that does not need proofing :). I use Saf Instant yeast and it is the bomb. I have not followed recipes’ instructions for proofing in years. It is added to the dry ingredients. Anywho I am excited to try this out 🙂

        • Shebakesalot says:

          DO NOT USE FRESH PINEAPPLE OR FRESH PINEAPPLE JUICE. IT WILL RUIN YOUR ENTIRE BATCH OF DOUGH if you don’t boil it and cool it first. -Just use canned juice and be sure. I found out after mine developed a problem. I just ruined a double recipe and countless cups of flour trying to figure out what the heck I did wrong and I am an experienced Baker my bread is usually perfect…So frustrated!

          • Just wanted to add, I’ve tried this recipe and it worked great! I also have used milk instead of juice and it’s wonderful too!! Thank’s for posting it!!

        • Thank you Rob!!! I am kind of a ‘new’ baker and without tips about the science of baking like yours I would have been crushed when my “Hawaiian Copy Cat Rolls” didn’t rise; I consider myself an excellent cook, but who has always been totally intimated at the prospect of baking. Your tips appeal to my fascination with ‘technique’… as much as the types of seasoning I put in my food…Do you have your own personal baking blog? Would very much like to follow it, if you do!

  2. Bread addict right here baby!! I can’t handle bread and butter- i love it too damn much!
    Elizabeth @ Confessions of a Baking Queen recently posted..Double Chocolate Caramel Stuffed Cookies #chocolatepartyMy Profile

  3. You go girl!!! Those Hawaiian rolls are some of my favorite ones to eat, and you just shared an awesome copy cat recipe! I had no idea they were made with pineapple juice! They look and sound awesome!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew Life recently posted..Time to Sparkle #4My Profile

  4. Bahahaha!! It is a real thing #cantgetenoughcarbs – I don’t go to Texas Roadhouse for the steak 😉 These look fantastic, I never thought about making them at home!
    Becca @ Crumbs and Chaos recently posted..{No Bake} Peanut Butter Pretzel Granola BarsMy Profile

  5. These are what dreams are made of…well foodie people dreams anyway. I love those rolls. I have to give these a try.

    We’re having a party at Tumbleweed Contessa and I would love it if you brought this over. http://www.tumbleweedcontessa.com/blog/whatd-you-do-this-weekend-10/

    Hope to see you there.

    Linda recently posted..Hard Drive Crash — lost version 10My Profile

  6. Yum, I grew up eating Hawaiian sweet bread. Yours looks fantastic.
    Sweet as Sugar Cookies recently posted..Blueberry Upside-Down Cake – SRCMy Profile

  7. I could live off Hawaiian Rolls for the rest of my life and be happy! LOVE love them. This recipe is going to the top of my to bake list ASAP.
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted..Key Lime Cheesecake Chocolate CakeMy Profile

  8. I’ve seen these lately and have been curious to see how they taste! Going to make a batch this weekend! Yours look delicious!
    liz recently posted..Butter Pecan MuffinsMy Profile

  9. YESSSSS. I just wrote about bread addiction for Thursday! LOL. LOVE these rolls! LOVE LOVE LOVE.
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Skinny Chocolate Muffins {Only 102 calories each!}My Profile

  10. These were DELICIOUS!! Thanks for the recipe.

  11. I just had hawaiian rolls for the first time last month, and omg, we’re hooked! Trying this!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted..Lemon – Poppy Seed Doughnut BitesMy Profile

  12. I’m eager to give these a try. I love making {and eating} rolls but I’ve never tried Hawaiian rolls to thanks for the recipe.

  13. OMG OMG OMG! I love Hawaiian rolls, girl! They’re always my favorite thing at the dinner table whenever they’re served 🙂 so simple yet SO delicious. Am I wrong for admitting I ate like, five for a snack a couple days ago? No joke. Love that these are homemade and look super simple to make — though that’s also so very dangerous for me.
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  14. These look amazing and I can’t wait to try the recipe…Thanks! I was wondering if you heated the pineapple juice or just used it at room temp?

    • Darlene–I used the pineapple juice at room temperature. Thanks for pointing that out; I will update the instructions to reflect that!

  15. So excited to try this!
    Question though, for the ginger did you use fresh grated ginger? Or the dried, ground variety? Thanks!

  16. Rosie Vee says:

    My bread didnt rise 🙁

    • So sorry, Rosie! There are so many things that can affect how/if your bread rises…most likely it was your yeast or the temperature of your room. I hope you give this bread another chance–it really is very, very good.

      • Ann Marie Torrey says:

        What type of yeast is used in this recipe? looks so yummy

        • I used instant yeast.

          • How much instant yeast? I live in Mexico and alot of fancy ingredients are not found here. The therometers are wayyyyy too expensive to buy at the stores and I cant tell by touch the temperature of the “warm” water. Anyone have easy bread/roll recipes without all the expensive tools offered in the U.S.? Help!!

    • My bread didn’t rise either! Darn it.

      • LaBoheme says:

        Fresh and frozen pineapple juice contain bromelain, a proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein. I am wondering if “unheated” pineapple juice could interfere with the bread rising.

      • Mine didn’t rise either and it was brand new yeast purchased today 🙁

    • The most common reason for bread not to rise is bad yeast!
      Check the expatriation date while you’re at the store and I know this recipe sais that you don’t have to proof the yeast, but as an avid bread maker I must say that proofing the yeast is the best way to make sure your yeast is good before you use it. I learned this lesson the hard way having to throw away many batches of bread until I asked my local bake house and received this advice from their chef some 20 years ago.
      Hope this helps!

      In case you don’t know how to proof the yeast, take any of the liquids in the recepe and warm it up until it will melt butter but not burn your finger, it should just give you a little bite of heat but you should be able to keep your finger in the liquid. The pineapple juice has sugar in it and that sugar will feed the yeast but if your recipe calls for just water add a tsp. of sugar to the water to feed the yeast. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and let set for about 5 min. If you don’t see any bubbling or foaming, toss it out and try again because that yeast is bad!

      I’m going to give this ago today! I will most definitely post back again once I have a review for you… there are 6 critics here and we all LOVE sweet rolls!
      Happy Holidays

  17. Sally L. Cavey says:

    Dear Ashley, Can you use mini muffin pans instead of in a large 9×13 regular pan? When I first saw your rolls, (I just glanced @ them) (am I bad ? ) & it looked like a muffin. They sure would be cute as muffins huh? Love Sally

    • Hi Sally! I haven’t tried making these in mini muffin tins, but I bet they would be super cute that way. I’d just divide my dough a little smaller. They baked up fairly large in the 9×13 pan. If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

    • Hi Sally! I haven’t tried making these in mini muffin tins, but I bet they would be super cute that way. I’d just divide my dough a little smaller. They baked up fairly large in the 9×13 pan. If you try it, let me know how they turn out!

  18. Sally L. Cavey says:

    Dear Ashley, Can you use mini muffin pans instead of in a large 9×13 regular pan? When I first saw your rolls, (I just glanced @ them) (am I bad ? ) & it looked like a muffin. They sure would be cute as muffins huh? Love Sally

    I am not that Sally, This is the first time I have ever written to a pro baker before. You are the first. Thanks. I hope you will answer.

  19. Dear Ashley, Is there anything you could use besides pineapple juice and have it taste almost the same?? I am allergic the pineapple.

  20. HI Ashley..Is there anything that can be substituted for pineapple juice that would taste close to the recipe? I am allergic to pineapple juice……Thanks ..Peggy

    • Hi Peggy. I have not attempted this recipe with any other juice. Mango juice may be a good substitute, or you could try orange juice, although the flavor would be quite different. You will have to let me know if you try it!

      • I bet coconut water would work, maybe even coconut milk. I have family from island off Central America and they coconut milk in a sweet bread that is similar to Hawaiian rolls.

  21. are you using 2 yeast packages? that are 2 1/4 teaspoons each?

  22. Jane Tamplen says:

    Would this recipe work in a bread machine?

    • Hi Jane. I have not personally tested this recipe in a bread machine. If you try it out, I’d love to hear your results!

    • Lisa Isaac says:

      Jane, I made this in my bread machine using the dough cycle. When the dough was ready, I separated the dough as stated in the recipe and let it rise again before baking. Worked like a charm.

      • Do you need to have a 2 lb loaf maker for this recipe? My bread maker only goes up to 1.5, but I’d really like to try it with the bread maker.

        • You will need to reduce the ingredient amounts in order to fit the pan. Try cutting each item by half…

    • I have made the same recipe in my breadmaker for the last two years. I have always used canned juice and the dough cycle. After the first rise, when my machine stops, I remove the dough, roll out and lay into a parchment-covered 13×9. I then cut the dough into squares, let proof, cut again and bake. Works great every time…

  23. I am making these right now to serve as buns for pulled pork sliders! I already screwed up of course and didn’t pre-beat the eggs and I had to substitute the sugar for brown! (all I had and didn’t notice!) we’ll see how they turn out! *fingerscrossed!

  24. Mine didn’t rise on my first try either. So I tried again. I heated 1/2 cup of the pineapple to 90-100 degrees. I then stirred the yeast into warm pineapple juice and let sit for 15 minutes, then followed the recipe exact after that. This worked amazing! The rolls rose beautifully, and this is the best Hawaiian roll recipe yet!

  25. This was an epic fail. I followed directions to a T and it never pulled away from my kitchen aid mixer to form dough. Ended up adding almost an extra cup of flour in 1 tbs increments as instructed. I have another recipe for the bread machine at works much better. Ill stick to that.

    • i had the same issue. i had to add an additional 2 cups of flour just to get the dough managable. i’ll let you know how the turn out. the are in their second rising. praying for the best…hate to waste ingredients.

  26. Ashley,

    I made the rolls today and they turned out great except they tasted like they needed some salt. I didn’t see any salt in the ingredients. I also heated the pineapple juice a little so the yeast would activate. I will try them again with some salt and see what it tastes like. Thanks for sharing your recipes. You have some good sounding ones that I want to try.

  27. Stephanie Thomas says:

    Thanks for posting this recipe! Can’t wait to try it, but I do have a question about the yeast. Are you using regular Active Dry Yeast or the Rapid Rise Yeast? Went to the store and didn’t know which one to buy.

  28. Do you bake the loaf of bread for the 25-30 minutes also or does it take longer?

  29. Great rolls and came out perfect. Best ever!

  30. When making the rolls, what size is the dough ball? Is it golf ball size or larger?

  31. Stephanie says:

    Proofing is not dissolving yeast into water. Proofing is actually a second fermentation of the bread and is step 9 of a 12 step process. With proofing, the bread is leavened to its appropriate baking size.


    • You’re partially right Stephanie. Proofing is actually both. What you’re talking about when you say “with proofing, the bread is leavened to its appropriate baking size” is usually the 3rd proofing. First proofing is usually mixing the yeast in water and waiting to see the bubbles (this step is sometimes skipped by mixing the yeast in with the dry ingredients (doing this allows you to use a higher temperature of liquid). The second proofing is typically done after the initial kneading and then the dough is covered to for the initial rise. The third proofing is as you describe.

  32. I know I am late to this post but I’m really excited to try this. What kind of pineapple juice do I use. Canned, comcentrate, bottledN

    • I have always used canned with good results. If the others have been pasteurized, they should work, too. Obviously, the concentrate needs to be reconstituted first…

  33. If I make these into loaves, can I freeze two of them? Would I freeze two before the final rise and then let it rise winkle defrosting? It’s just two of us plus an infant so we don’t need a HUGE bunch of bread lying around begging to be eaten.

  34. Keila Mazariegos says:

    Am actually doing this ar this present .oment and its lokking gooooddd!!!!!! Can’t wait to eat them all lol, but I am looking for a recepeit on how to make cake with a good straeberry filling inside, if you could se d mr a link that’ll be awesome!!

  35. This recipe looks easy. I will try but I dont understand why you added ginger?
    Will it make any difference if I dont add it?

    • Hi Maryam. Omitting the ginger should not make any difference in how your rolls bake, although the flavor might be slightly altered.

    • Ginger is a yeast enhancer. That amount does not affect taste, but improves CO2 formation by the yeast (more bubbles, more rise).

  36. Mary Nelson says:

    Not a fan of this!!! I just made it and first if all, this recipe NEEDS SALT! I would add 3 teaspoons. Secondly, I had to add about a cup and half of extra flour just to get the dough to be not insanely sticky and gooey. Third, my dough never rose AT ALL! Not after 2 hours of sitting under a warm light on a warm stovetop. So I finally heated the oven to 180 degrees and put the rolls in and that worked, kind of. If I could this recipe over again I would add 3 teaspoons salt and increase the flour by a cup and a half then warm the pineapple juice enough to add in the yeast to wake it up and get it going. Also, I didn’t think these tasted or looked anything like the kings Hawaiian rolls. Please fix this recipe so others don’t run into these same problems! Thanks!

    • Hi Mary. Sorry you had so much trouble with the rolls. My family has made them many times with great luck, and they’re one of our favorites. I’ll have to do some recipe testing on this. I appreciate your feedback, thank you!

      • A LOT of people are running into the SAME exact issues. As I stated before as others have I am an avid bread maker and this is the first time I have actually had to completely throw out the dough. Not sure how yours has come out so perfectly when A LOT of people are having the EXACT same issues. 🙁

        • Sorry you had problems with the recipe, Amanda. I’ve made it many times without difficulty, though I’m always happy to do more testing on homemade bread.

          • Just a note…. thinking out loud…. Reading the notes from the avid bread baking men, I saw that they made some very good observations and explained REASONS WHY this or that happens – I like that, that’s what helps me a lot. In taking all this in, Im wondering if simply stating canned (pasturized) juice is needed in the recipe or explain that if using fresh pineapple juice, it would have to be boiled and cooled, to allow for proper rising. I also found John’s info about the ginger being a yeast enhancer to be quite interesting and valuable (mentioning it in the recipe may be beneficial too) as an example, I am not a big ginger fan, so as I was reading the recipe, I was thinking that amount of ginger wouldn’t be missed, flavor-wise, so I would be tempted to omit it… but John explains why we shouldn’t, with the yeast enhancing qualities. Also, perhaps specifying rapid-rise yeast, as opposed to active yeast or even yeast cakes – they each react differently – this might be where some confusion arises that may cause some of the varied results. Those complaining about salt content… I wonder if they do not realize this is SUPPOSED to be a SWEET bread & not a savory one. I am by no means an “avid bread baker” but for about 20 years, I carried on a family tradition of baking sourdough bread every Saturday and an Amish bread on occasional Sundays too. So I am familiar with both sweet and savory bread making. I will also say that, even with my experience AND using the SAME ingredients and SAME recipe REGULARLY, I STILL had occasions where my outcome wasn’t as expected/desired based on weather – temperature and humidity can affect baking outcomes and rising times, for sure. Just my thoughts, based on my baking experiences… hope they may be able to help someone! 😉

          • I also meant to comment for those complaining of the density: If you overwork your dough, it canl make breads more dense & get that “hard as a brick” consistency – ESPECIALLY sweet breads, such as this. Also, if you do not let it rise enough, this can happen too. The instructions can give an approximation of rising time (i.e. let rise an hour – or approximately an hour – but if it is a cooler day or high humidity, it may take 2 or 3 hours to rise – you cannot go by a “time stated” alone) I know this is frustrating, but a crucial step in bread making. If it seems slow to rise, you can manipulate temp as one lady above suggested, by putting it in a ‘warm’ oven… but you must be careful to not let it get TOO warm or you will start the baking process too soon & REALLY ruin the bread – or kill the yeast, which also results in ruined bread. Always cover rising bread with a towel dampened with warm water – this can help too – also keeps top from getting an undesirably dry crust forming – which can ALSO affect “density”. Bread can be tricky and some techniques (right amount of kneading & knowing how much is too much overworking) can only be “mastered” with practice. One learns a lot through trial & error! 🙂 Good luck! & don’t give up – you’ll get there!

    • Mine came out AWFUL! Dense, heavy like a brick, they proofed for an hour and barely rose (certainly didn’t double in size), and the flavor was non-existent. All my ingredients were fresh, even the eggs, (they were three hours old, from the back yard). I too has a sticky icky mess. I doubt brands of ingredients would matter, at least they shouldn’t, but perhaps listing those, so we have a “controlled” group of ingredients. Perhaps this might lend itself to ferreting out the reasons for the similar outcomes.

    • Mary please remove the stick from your rear end

    • Hello, everyone.

      Baking is both an art AND a science. Even the most experienced of bakers will occasionally have problems. The recipe does work.

      There are many factors as to why bread doesn’t rise. Adding more flour to control stickiness also increases the overall mass, so if you’re adding in extra cups of flour, you’ll need to allow for more yeast than the recipe calls for to get the rise you’re expecting, otherwise those little yeasts will only be able to help the dough rise only so much. Using all refrigerated ingredients at room temperature or warmer helps too. Pull those eggs out to warm up several hours in advance. Make sure your melted butter, warm water, and boiled pineapple juice are not too warm, or you’ll kill the yeast. They are living creatures! Too hot and they die, like when you bake the dough into bread. Too cool and they’re not as active, hence placing dough in warm place to help it rise. But even with all these tips and tricks, sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

      Weather plays a huge factor! Increased humidity actually doesn’t help dough to rise (i know, it’s counter intuitive) but think about what humidity is – water molecules in the air. Higher humidity means more water molecules and in a large air mass, that’s a lot of additional weight/mass – also known as air pressure – that the dough is trying to rise up against. That doesn’t mean not to place a damp cloth over the bowl while the dough rises either (this serves a whole different function) – it just means to be aware of the weather when you plan to bake and adjust accordingly. Also, be aware of your altitude – it makes a difference! The effects of the weather is even greater at higher altitudes. So, just be aware of your environmental conditions when baking in general.

      One other thought – there are enzymes on our skin and hands. It’s why sometimes even though two people are working in the same kitchen with the same ingredients at the same time making two of the same dish, one can taste different from the other. Wash your hands well and often to prevent your personal enzymes from counter acting with the yeast (similar to the reason people heat the pineapple juice except you don’t want to boil your skin). Frequent hand washing should do the trick or wear food handling gloves if you find your enzymes are more potent.

      I hope this helps everyone. Thanks for the great recipe, Ashley

      • Brigitte says:

        Doug, thank you for your post/explanation of why some of the people may be experiencing problems with the recipe. I couldn’t have done better myself.

        When I lived at an altitude near sea level, I always had a problem with my dough being a little too dry and not rising nearly as much as it should have. Then I moved to an area where the altitude was 4500′ above sea level. My doughs rose beautifully but baking times needed to be adjusted slightly. It didn’t take long for me to adjust to the altitude changes and the air was dryer too.

        I recently moved to an area with a much lower altitude but the adjustments I’ve needed to make with my bread doughs are minimal since I got my KitchenAid. Sometimes your equipment can make a huge difference as well as altitude, temperature, and air quality. I always bring all ingredients to room temperature before using and if a recipe doesn’t call for any salt, I use salted butter otherwise, its unsalted. I always keep both on hand.

        I look forward to trying this recipe.

    • Mary you need to get a grip

    • I had the same issues. I keep seeing people write that they taste just like the real thing, and to me they just taste like very slightly sweet white bread. I had issues getting the dough to rise, there are many things I would do differently with this recipe to make the dough rise better but there’s no point to me, as they do not taste like King’s Hawaiian rolls at all.

    • Hey Mary go eat a snickers!

  37. Hi! I made these today and thought they turned out great. I do think they need a pinch of salt, not much just a pinch. The texture is bang on with Kings Hawaiian rolls. I will definitely be making these again. 😀

  38. I just got a kitchen aide for Christmas and my dads first request was Hawaiian rolls! This is the first recipe I have found and am so excited to try it out and see what everyone thinks! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  39. Thank you so much! I had a recipe years ago for Hawaiian Bread that was fantastic but I lost it in a move. I am so psyched to try yours! The main difference I can remember is that some pulp was also used.

  40. I want to try this recipe but it makes so much. Do you think it would turn out ok if I halved the recipe to make a smaller batch? Thanks.

  41. I have been making yeast breads for more years than I care to think about and this is the first total failure I have ever had. This is the biggest mess I have ever had in my kitchen.

  42. I love Hawaiian sweetbread. Does anyone have Pahula. Sweetbread recipe. The factory is in Naleau, Hawaii on the big island

  43. this is not anything like the Kings Hawaiian sweet rolls. Look for a recipe that says Portuguese sweet bread and you have the right one. Kings Hawaiian has no pineapple juice in it. You will recognize the difference as soon as you try it.

    • I have tried the Portuguese sweet bread and did not like it at all. I would not recommend it. These look amazing and I cannot wait to try them!

    • I agree. I just made these and you can taste the pineapple. They are nothing like King’s. I was highly disappointed. I should have cut the recipe so I wouldn’t have so much, lesson learned I suppose.

  44. Thanks for sharing did this reciepe was very nice but noticed something was mixing in taste ,then realized there was no salt in reciepe ,baked the second added 2 teaspoon salt came out super .so you might consider adding some salt when making.

  45. Can’t wait to try this, but the one thing I didn’t see mentioned is can you use the rapid rise yeast or does it have to be the regular?

  46. I am not sure what went wrong, but these were not what I expected. Had to add a bunch more flour to make a dough…it was a sticky mess. And the texture is very dense…probably because of the extra flour…but without it…it was like oatmeal. I’m hoping that it will make good toast…so fingers crossed!

  47. I was soooooo hopeful for these!! I ended up having to add atleast 1-2 cups more flour because it was a sticky mess if I didnt! Like someone posted above it was VERY dense!! I had to end up throwing everything away because it did NOT rise AT ALL!! I followed recipe to a T and am not a new breadmaker. I have made several dozen different breads but this did not work at all. I think the yeast needs to sit in liquid to rise just as other doughs suggest. Tomorrow I will take others suggestions and soak the yeast in 1 cup of pineapple juice and try again. Will report back tomorrow or thursday to see if they turned out any better. I am surely hoping because they look fabulous!

  48. I had no clue there was a copy cat recipe out for the Hawaiian rolls. Love them and yours turned out beautifully! I really want to try them so I think I’ll put my yeast in the juice also. Seems that sugar always fosters a great rise and texture.

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  49. What kind of ginger did you use, powder or juice? Thanks

  50. Would it make a big difference if I didn’t se vanilla?

  51. I just made these for the first time and they came out better than I expected. The only change I made was to throw in a teaspoon of salt. I actually like these better on the second day (at the rate I was eating them, I didn’t have too many at that point)! My husband has declared these the best rolls that he has ever had. That is saying something as I am known for several other roll recipes that I make!

  52. I love your simple few ingredient recipes, but could you do some for bread machines and more for croc pots! I’m especially looking for the Mac n cheese crockpot that you put the macaroni in uncooked!

    Thanks again and have a great day!

    Light dessert bread recipes for bread machines! Banana. Pumpkin. Etc
    Could you maybe devise a crocpot or bread machine pineapple upside down cake. It’s my husbands fave, but with sweetener cause he has diabetes!

    Thank you

  53. Sandra…I would be interested in your bread machine recipe! It’s so hard to find good ones!

  54. We made these today and they are delicious! I’ll admit I accidentally doubled the eggs and ended up adding extra flour, juice, sugar, and vanilla to make up for it. I even ended up using about 1/2 whole wheat flour, and they were still *very* popular! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe!!

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  56. AMAZING!! I just made these for my BBQ meatball sliders and everyone was in shock about how good the are. I will never buy Hawaiian rolls EVER again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  57. I made these and they are absolutely fabulous!! I think each family member ate 10 each. We liked them so much that the next day we made another batch but this time we rolled them out and stuffed each roll with ham, scrambled eggs and cheese. OMG. AMAZING!!

  58. Dear all, I need help! So sad, my family loves Hawaiian bread so I use this recipe last night. It was so very very watery so I added more flour.. cups more.. now I realized that’s way too much. But the dough was so very very sticky thatit was impossible to roll the bread into rolls. Am I supposed to just scoop the extremely sticky dough out and place scoops in the baking pan? Also, when baking in loaf pan, do I need to prepare bread in traditional way, i.e. roll out dough in a rectangle, then roll dough up to the very end and then place in loaf pan? Or shall I just pour a whole lump of dough in the loaf pan? I would appreciate any advice. I would like to try this recipe out again since many people have succeeded and raved about it. Thank you so much. BTW I added so much flour that it turned out to be traditional bread loaf.. and the rolls did not raise much at all.. I read from anotherwwebsite that someone left it in a slightly warm oven overnight and it raised beautifully:)

  59. just made these today! I modified a few things based on previous reviews and they turned out fabulous. I boiled one cup of my pineapple juice and added it to my egg and flour mixture after adding the first 3 cups of flour and yeast. The warm liquid probably helped activate the yeast. Then I added 3 more cups of flour. I kneaded it well and set it outside covered so the natural sunlight could do the rising. It’s still a little cold here so I found a sunny spot on the porch and left it there for one hour. I brought it back in and added 1/2 cup more flour and kneaded again. I also separated the dough into two portions. I made one large loaf of bread and 12 rolls. I buttered the bottom of my dishes and made rolls about the size of 1 1/2 golfballs. They were sticky but not unmanageable. The sun had already set here by this point so I place them on top of the stove top and bumped the oven temperature up to 400 degrees to allow the heat from the oven to help finish rising the dough. I also had the stove top light on to provide some extra heat. After an hour, they were double their size. I put them in the oven for 20 minutes. Pulled out to brush the tops with a melted butter, brown sugar, and honey mixture i put together. Then baked for 10 more minutes. These are delicious with cinnamon butter. Without the extra brush of the mixture i put together and the cinnamon butter though, I find them lacking in flavor. Maybe a little salt and more sugar could add extra flavor. All in all though, I think they are great rolls. This was my first time EVER making bread so I’m thankful it wasn’t a complete discouraging fail.

  60. Joanna Walker says:

    OMG! These were absolutely out of this world delicious! Thanks ever so much for sharing. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!!! My only mistake was putting the rolls too close together but oh well! Still, I thought I died and went to heaven!!! (As did the rest of my family) Thanks again for sharing!

  61. Question- are the packets dry active, instant, or rapid rise yeast?
    I just mixed it up and I’m hoping I have the right type….
    Also, I’m guessing you use the scoop and level method when measuring, as opposed to the spoon and level “proper” way? Using spoon and level the dough was way too wet/sticky.

  62. Hi Ashley. I have never had Hawaiian rolls before so I can’t compare them, however I was intrigued by the pineapple juice in a roll so I gave it a try. I did proof the yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp sugar because my eggs were cold and juice fresh out of the can so I was afraid the yeast would not be activated. I also substituted 2 cups white whole wheat flour and the rest bread flour instead of all purpose along with 3 TB vital wheat gluten and kneaded in a whole cup of flour after the first rise. My dough was still pretty wet but I sprayed my hands with Pam to form the rolls because I didn’t want to use too much flour. They had a great texture, very fluffy and smelled amazing while baking. Though I used salted butter the recipe could stand at least 1 tsp salt but over all a good roll. Next time I will use all white whole wheat and add salt but I did get a great rise. I just think that you need to proof the yeast first. Thanks for this recipe.

  63. Hi there, have you answered the question as to what kind of yeast to use? I assume instant since there is no proofing in the recipe.

    • Yes, I used instant yeast.

      • When I make most breads the ratio of liquid to flour is about one cup liquid( this includes the eggs)) to
        three cups flour. If you put the egg in your measuring cup and add liquid to equal one cup that should solve all the too wet problems. The canned juice should be sweet enough to start yeast action.

  64. This is the first time I have made bread without proofing the yeast. I learned a trick to shortening my rising time preheat the oven for the lowest setting turn off the oven put the bread in the oven with a damp dish towel over it for 20 minuets and it will rise. mine almost tripled in size. then I took it out punched it down added the additional flour and put it back in the oven for the second rise. I then baked it per directions. The bread baked well but it tasted slightly bitter not like the Kings Hawaiian rolls. Not sure if I like it or not.

  65. Update. The bread seems to be less bitter as it sat overnight. I think it is much better today especially with butter. The rolls came out well but the bread loaf rose much more than I had expected and the tiny loaves I thought wouldn’t fill the pans to make two loaves grew into one huge loaf.I had trouble getting it out of the pan. N
    ext time I will divide it into two loafs since I let it rise in the oven and it nearly tripled in size.

  66. Thank you for sharing this recipe!!!I motified it a bit as ROB.I am a pastry chef by trade.I love the sweet as much as the next person.Butthis was alil over kill for me.I swapped out 1/2 cup of warm water 105 degrees ,for pineapple juice.Make sure to take the temp.To hot will kill your yeast.I NOTICED quite a few of you didn’t get it to rise.This is common problem for new bakers.2nd,I swapped out 1/2 cup of pineapple juice for scalded evaporated milk.Make sure to cool back down before using.Scalding,is a chemistry thang!So in all,I used only 1cup of pineapple juice,1/2 cup warm water,1/2 cup evaporated milk.And reduced sugar to 1/4 cup.They turned out AWESOME.Thanks again for the basic recipe.

  67. Nancy Ann says:

    Made these last year, twice. Did not turn out well. Very heavy. Didn’t turn out anything like King’s Hawaiian Rolls. What did I do wrong?

  68. I followed the directions exactly. It came out with the correct softness and texture, but I found the flavor to be weak…nearly bland for a Hawaiian Sweet bread.

    What I noticed is that the recipe does not call for salt. I believe this is a mistake, as salt enhances flavor and is beneficial in other ways for bread.

    Could that be an oversight?

    I did not try to make it again with salt to see how it would turn out, but I’m sure it would have more flavor.

    I did come across a recipe that had a closer taste to Kings Hawaiian that was quicker to make, but it did not have the right texture and did not stay soft longer than a couple hours. This I was able to solve with some tweaking and now I’ve got a really good copy.

    Thanks though for sharing. 🙂

  69. thank you for the Hawaiian bread I maid my last week and it turn out good I will keep making this all the time the bread and rolls thank

  70. Made a half recipe. Used 2 medium eggs instead of 1.5 large eggs, heated the pineapple juice in the same container that I melted the butter in. Added a 1/2 tsp salt to the mix and used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 AP flour, but it needed another 1/2 cup AP flour to be the right consistency. I added only a couple Tbsps of the flour after it had risen the first time. I made 15 rolls in a 9 x 13 pan; they were huge! I will make smaller rolls next time. After cooking for 20 minutes, the insides felt way too soft to be done, so I popped them in for another 10 minutes or so. The insides were nicely done, but the bottom was quite crusty and smelled of toasted pineapple. We liked them, but can’t comment on how much like the store bought ones they are since we have never bought them.

  71. OMG, OMG, this recipe turned out GREAT exactly the way it is written! Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

    One of the best recommendations I read here is to start with “room temperature” ingredients. I didn’t change anything at all eventhough it was tempting when I saw how loose the dough was initially. After you continue on through the process, you will find that the dough rises very well and is easy to work with.

    First of all, RELAX!! As any good cook knows, the very first thing you should do prior beginning a new recipe is to read through the entire recipe instructions (all the way through) at least once in order to understand and become familiar with the details and the order of all of the proceedures . Next, commit to followiing the directions exactly as they are given, do not substitute procedures or add ingredients that you are familiar with from other bread recipes. Once you begin to change the recipe, even if everything tastes good, you have ultimately just created a different type of bread.

    Also, your readers need to know that Hawaiian bread purchased from the store is notoriously a rather sweet, mildly dense type of bread. I cut my dough into seven mini loaves from 1/2 of a recipe (similar to those served in restaurants) and baked them together on a large cookie sheet. I also brushed the top of each loaf with an eggwash and they were beautifully delicious! !

    Just trust the what’s written the first time thru. That’s what I did and I had no problems whatsoever and the end result is they were absolutely delicious.

  72. Hi everyone, so here is my story.I went to make these today, 4 loafs an 22 rolls, an my oven died…ignition starter went an it will be three weeks before service will be out….lol I had to laugh. So I’m hoping that I can freeze this dough. I don’t really see anything on if you can freeze this dough or not…??? Anyone??? I guess I’ll be finding out.

  73. Made these exactly as written. Absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for sharing! Now I’m going to try them in my bread machine..wish me luck! Thanks again! Jo

  74. I made these rolls exactly as written. Absolutely delicious. Now I am going to attempt making these in my bread machine…wish me luck! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. JO

  75. Make this recipe..definitely needs some salt. I was disappointed that the pineapple flavor was weak considering the amount of juice in recipe. I think the addition on honey or more sugar might bring out the pineapple flavor. Texture of bread was nice. Will make again, with some tweaks .

  76. Brenda Garcia says:

    soo i made these last night in the breadmaker on the dough setting and I really should have taken the dough out as soon as the dough cycle was done! Instead i forgot about it and when i went to go pull it out it had expanded SOOO much (like 3x original size) and spilled out of the bread tin! Crazy, haha. At that point it was so sticky i had to add like another cup of flour to make it barely manageable. I shaped them into rolls and let them rise again but they didn’t get as big this time 🙁 e only cooked one batch and froze the other batch. The batch we baked is not as fluffy as expected but the flavor is still great! i blame my failure on leaving the dough too long in the breadmaker. I will try again this weekend! thanks for the recipe!

    Oh, and i did end up proofing my yeast, always do. It’s so easy to do and I’m just paranoid of spending all this time only to find that i had bad yeast all along.

  77. is there a reason there is no salt to this recipe. Just wondering before I make the bread

  78. I make bread and rolls all the time in my bread machine. I cut all the ingredients in half, but had to add a lot more flour to this recipe to get it so the dough wasn’t so sticky. I used King Arthur all-purpose flour and 1 1/2 tsp yeast and had no problem with the dough rising. The rolls came out beautiful looking and had amazing texture, very light and fluffy. However, next time I would only add 3/4 cup of pineapple juice (for 3 cups flour) and triple the ginger. Also a teaspoon of salt and double the sugar. Sounds perfect!

  79. Sadly these were a major fail. Didn’t rise. I know it wasn’t my yeast because I also made other bread that did rise today. Bummed because the flavor was good. 🙁

  80. My kids LOVE Kings Hawiian rolls so thought I’d give this a whirl. I didn’t know that I supposed to use ‘Instant’ yeast from the list of ingredients so I used ‘Active’ Dry yeast. Maybe that could be updated in the ingredient list?

    I used everything at room temperature and followed the directions exactly as written. They didn’t really taste like Kings Hawiian rolls but i thought they were pretty good. They were slightly sweet, sort of fluffy. Maybe if I used ‘Instant’ yeast they would have been fluffier as I didn’t proof the yeast?

    I melted unsalted butter and brushed the tops after they came out of the oven and that definitely helped. It’s really not a bad recipe – just might need a little tweaking. Thank you for posting this recipe. I like your 30 minute dinner roll recipe very much!

  81. I can’t wait to make these for Thanksgiving. I will be doing a trial run this weekend to make sure I don’t need to tweak it a little before bringing them to a friend’s house. Thanks for posting.


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