Imperial Sugar
Dixie Crystals

Copycat Hawaiian Sweet Rolls



  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour*


*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.


  1. In a saucepan combine ingredients for pre-dough.Whisk smooth and place over heat.
  2. While whisking, cook until mixture has thickened to a similar consistency as mayonnaise. Cover with plastic and set aside until cold-about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Directions to make this dough are provided using a heavy duty stand mixer; however, dough can also be kneaded using your hands.
  4. Place cooked mixture in machine bowl or bowl large enough to hold all remaining ingredients.    
  5. Add yeast, pineapple juice, brown sugar, honey, egg, and vanilla. Place flour on top and salt on flour.
  6. If using machine, use dough hook and mix until dough is elastic and smooth and cleans side of bowl, about 5-7 minutes on medium speed. By hand, mix to elastic dough.
  7. Dough temperature cannot exceed 82°F at any point as dough will become sticky and unmanageable above this temperature.
  8. Gradually add pieces of butter to dough allowing it to be fully incorporated before adding next amount.
  9. Cover bowl with plastic food wrap and set in a warm place and allow dough to rise until doubled in volume, about 60-80 minutes.
  10. Remove dough from bowl, this will make dough collapse and is normal and is required. At this stage, try to use as little flour as possible. (Excess flour makes dough drier and results in less tender rolls.)
  11. Cut dough in 2 halves and set one halve aside. Cut each half in half again and repeat until you have 12 buns. Repeat with other half of dough.
  12. Shape round and place on a parchment lined or buttered cookie sheet about one inch apart.
  13. Brush with beaten egg and cover with plastic food wrap. Return to a warm place and allow to rise for about 30-45 minutes or until rolls have gained about 60% in volume. Meanwhile turn on oven to 350°F.
  14. Remove plastic and brush rolls once more very gently to avoid inflating them. Place in oven and bake until light golden for about 20-24 minutes.
Dixie Crystals Insight
  1. Select flour with 4 grams/protein on nutrition facts label. Protein in flour is responsible for absorbing a large amount of liquid and ensuring that dough becomes elastic (and not sticky) when mixing.
  2. Granulated, light or dark brown sugar may be used in this recipe. Light/Dark brown sugar provides the most authentic taste profile.