These buttery Homemade Dinner Rolls are so light, so fluffy, with SO much heavenly buttery goodness. Who needs dinner when you’ve got these dinner rolls?? I could eat the whole batch. My Aunt Shirley is basically the baking queen. This is her famous dinner roll recipe!

Golden brown dinner rolls

We’ve got all KINDS of buns going on today. Not just the yeasty kind…

Ultrasound of baby at 12 weeks

The baby kind too. ( ^^12 weeks. This was about a month ago.) Here’s the already-waddling oven in which the bun bakes:

First-trimester pregnant mother and daughter
(And there’s Charlotte at her dance recital last weekend. Isn’t she so cute??)

Yay! Eric and I are SO excited for baby #3, and don’t even get me started on the kids. Charlotte wants a girl and Truman wants a boy (of course). We find out in a few weeks.

(Any guesses? I’m clueless. I didn’t get the gender-intuition-gene. I thought Charlotte was a boy and Truman was a girl.)

Brushing butter on homemade dinner rolls
Overhead shot of glistening butter rolls

So now you know why I have been almost completely absent the last couple months. I get super sick for my first trimester. Like, the-thought-of-food-makes-me-actually-hurl kind of sick. I basically lived on milk and cereal for months. (I’m not exaggerating. Some days me and the kids would go through an entire half gallon of milk. Baby won’t be hurting for calcium…)

When food makes you sick but your entire job revolves around food, you are kind of forced to take a break, hence the radio silence going on here at The Food Charlatan.

Close-up of fluffy dinner roll

When I drove from Sacramento to Philadelphia, I was still feeling pretty awful. But by the time I got home and left for Seattle, I was mostly better, with just a few setbacks here are there. Now I’m almost completely back to normal, if not fitting into any of my clothes by 19 weeks is normal. Hallelujah!

We are due on November 8. Guess when our multi-family Disneyland trip was scheduled for? November 14. Ooooops. Sorry family. (We managed to reschedule for October. Will they give me a wheelchair at 35 weeks pregnant you think?? Please say yes.)

Dinner rolle sliced with butter

Who already knew I was pregnant?? Come on, some of you ladies guessed, right?

Aunt Shirley’s Famous Homemade Dinner Rolls

My cousin Amber brought her mom’s dinner rolls to our Easter get together this year, and I literally ate nothing else. If you think I’m exaggerating, then you have never had morning sickness before. It really is possible to ignore ham, asparagus, jello salad, and all kinds of other amazing food when faced with queasiness and an entire pan of dinner rolls.

Dinner rolls in serving dish

I begged for the recipe and now you lucky kids get to try them too! I love them because they have 2 full tablespoons of yeast and are SO fluffy and light. The flavor is just amazing. My Aunt Shirley uses Crisco in her recipe, but if that’s not your thing, I’m sure butter would work too. The shortening makes them SOOO soft though, and I used butter-flavored Crisco, so no flavor sacrifices.

How to make dinner rolls

I’ve got all the step-by-step instructions you need to make these a huge success!

Yeast rising

Proof your yeast to make sure you don’t kill it. There is so much yeast in this recipe that you have to move fast before it overflows the bowl!

Folding dough for rolls

When the dough has been kneaded, it should still be pretty sticky. You want to be able to work with it, but don’t dry it out with too much flour.

Rising dinner roll dough

Don’t run errands during your one hour rise, because you will be late and this will happen.

Forming dough into rolls

Separate the dough into 24 pieces and shape them by gathering it and pinching with your fingers, then make the pinch the bottom of the roll.

Dough formed as dinner rolls

I’m fussy and like to use a scale. Each roll should be about 2 ounces. On the right you can see just how fast these rolls rise. Both of these weigh 2 ounces, but you can kinda see that the one on the right has started to puff a little, even though it had only been a couple minutes.

One dozen dinner rolls rising in pan

Here’s the spacing situation when you use a 9×13 inch pan.

Beautiful dinner rolls before baking

This is a 2 quart casserole dish, so the rolls are more squished, but it worked great.

One dozen dinner rolls fresh out of oven

Pull them out of the oven when they are a nice golden brown all over the top! If you make these, I’d love to see them! Tag #TheFoodCharlatan on Instagram!

More delicious yeasty delights:

Imagine eating these rolls with a little pot of this Cinnamon Honey Butter. HEAVEN

Easy Fluffy One Hour Dinner Rolls << For when you need rolls STAT!

Buttery Sweet Potato Rolls << Delicious for a different flavor

Big Fat Crescent Rolls << Bad picture. But these are amazing rolls.

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Aunt Shirley's Famous Dinner Rolls from The Food Charlatan
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Aunt Shirley’s Famous Dinner Rolls (and a Bun in the Oven Announcement!)

These buttery Dinner Rolls are so light, so fluffy, with SO much heavenly buttery goodness. Who needs dinner when you’ve got these dinner rolls?? I could eat the whole batch.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 & 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup butter-flavored shortening , OR real butter
  • 1 egg
  • 5-6 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled**
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, for brushing


  • In a small bowl or coffee mug, microwave the 1/2 cup water for 20-30 seconds, until it is lukewarm but not hot.
  • Add the yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar and stir. Let this mixture sit for 5 minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t overflow!*
  • In a glass measuring cup, microwave 2 cups milk for 1-2 minutes until it is warm but not hot.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, add 1/3 cup sugar, kosher salt, and shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the warm milk, yeast mixture, and 1 egg. Mix well and let rest 5 minutes. At this point I started using the dough hook on my mixer.
  • Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time, mixing in between. Use your best judgment to continue adding flour until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl, up to 5 or even 6 cups. Don’t add so much that the dough becomes stiff. It should be soft and rather sticky, but still workable. The less flour you use, the more tender your rolls will turn out. See notes.
  • Once all the flour has been incorporated, knead for 5-6 minutes, using your hands or the dough hook.
  • Grease a large bowl well with oil or butter. Scrape all the dough into the bowl, shape it together, then turn it over so that the top is greased.
  • Cover loosely with a tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball (pinch one end with your fingers).
  • Place the rolls in 2 well-greased pans. I used one 9×13 pan and one 2 quart casserole dish.
  • Cover the pans with tea towels and let them rise in a warm spot for another 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size. When they are almost done rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown all across the top.
  • Remove from the oven and brush with melted butter.
  • Eat hot!


*If your yeast mixture is NOT getting foamy, then abandon ship! You killed your yeast with too hot water probably. Better to start over now than wind up with sad flat rolls in 2 hours.
**My aunt’s recipe says to use 4-5 cups of flour, and that’s what I had originally published. Dough is finicky, and how much flour you need to add depends on a lot of different factors. But I consistently use at least 5 cups of flour when I make this, and sometimes up to 6 or even 6 and 1/2 cups, so I’ve changed the recipe to reflect that. You are going to have to use your best judgement here. It should be a very sticky dough, but you do want it to come together. Use the least amount of flour that you can in order to get it to form into a workable dough. 


Serving: 1 roll, Calories: 159 kcal, Carbohydrates: 24 g, Protein: 4 g, Fat: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g, Trans Fat: 1 g, Cholesterol: 14 mg, Sodium: 223 mg, Potassium: 61 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 4 g, Vitamin A: 101 IU, Vitamin C: 1 mg, Calcium: 29 mg, Iron: 1 mg