Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls

 Thanksgiving is on its way, which means it’s time to start planning some fun and festive recipes to serve at the holiday get together! This year, impress your guests with buttery, soft, and delicious Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls!

A wicker basket filled with homemade cloverleaf dinner rolls

Cloverleaf dinner rolls recipe

There’s no reason to get store-bought rolls that are full of unhealthy ingredients when you can make these from scratch!

Whether they’re served fresh and warm or cooled down, they have a satisfying chewy texture. They’re also super easy to travel with if you’re bringing them to someone else’s house.

Cloverleaf rolls ingredients

To make homemade dinner rolls, you will need:

  • All-Purpose flour: I’ve tested this recipe only with all-purpose flour. It may work with others, but I can’t say for sure
  • Milk: for the softest dinner rolls, use whole milk. However, you can use non-dairy or low-fat milk too
  • Unsalted butter: softened
  • Granulated sugar: it feeds the yeast. Can be replaced with honey
  • Instant yeast: you can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, rising time will be a little longer
  • Salt: you can’t make flavorful bread without salt

How to make dinner rolls

These yeasted dinner rolls come together easily with the help of a stand mixer.

Make the dough and let it rise – knead all the ingredients and let the dough rise for an hour or so.

Divide and shape – once the dough is risen, simply divide it into twelve parts, then divide each part into three equal-sized pieces and roll each piece into balls.

Let the rolls rise – the balls are then placed, three at a time, into muffin cups, and let to rise again for one hour.

Bake – bake for 22 minutes, or until the rolls are lightly golden brown on top.

Brush with butter – right when the cloverleaf dinner rolls come out of the oven, brush them with melted butter to give them a gorgeous shiny finish. You can also add your own touches to this yummy recipe. Top them with coarse sea salt, garlic salt, poppy, or sesame seeds.

Serve warm – and enjoy!

The dough is quite versatile. Shape it into twisted rolls, pinwheels, knotted rolls, crescents, or even hot dog buns.

cloverleaf rolls in a muffin pan after second rise

Tips for making the best dinner rolls

If you’ve ever been intimidated by the idea of making bread, don’t be! Here’s a list of some essential things to remember:

  • I used instant yeast, it can be added straight away to the dry ingredients; it doesn’t require any proofing. If you want to use active dry yeast instead, activate it first. Dissolve it in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water + a pinch of sugar, let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes or until frothy and bubbly, and add it to the remaining ingredients.
  • The dough will be soft and slightly sticky. Do not be tempted to add extra flour!
  • How quickly the dough rises depends on temperature and humidity. In a warm place, this takes about 1 hour; if your kitchen is very cold, it might take a little longer. Put your dough in a warm place to rise.
  • I used a kitchen scale to get equal size balls. Each ball weighed 17 grams (0.6 oz.). Making the rolls the same size ensures even baking.

Put the dough + a bowl of hot water in your oven with the light turned on. This creates a warm, moist environment that speeds up the rising process.

brushing the bread rolls with melted butter


You will get approximately 12 dinner rolls. If you are having guests, double or triple the recipe as they will quickly disappear from the bread basket on your dinner table.

Reheat: Homemade rolls taste best when you serve them warm. If you’ve baked them ahead of time, you can warm them up by wrapping in aluminum foil and placing them in the oven at 150 degrees C (300 degrees F) for 10-15 minutes. 

Make-ahead: The best part is that you can easily prepare these bread rolls ahead of time. Before the last rise, wrap the muffin pan with cling film and place it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter for 90 minutes or until puffed.

Freeze: You can also freeze these after baking. Allow the baked rolls to cool completely, put them in a large ziplock bag, and seal tightly. To reheat, let them thaw on the counter and just popped them in the hot oven for a few minutes before serving. They will be as good as freshly baked!

What to serve with these easy dinner rolls

These rolls would be delicious for the holidays served with

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour 

A basket full of soft dinner rolls, fresh out of the oven, ready to be eaten.

If you make this easy recipe, please leave a feedback and rating in the comment below. I always love hearing how it turns out for you!

And don’t forget to tag a photo #aseasyasapplepie on Instagram. 

More bread roll recipes you might like

Looking for more dinner roll recipes to serve this Thanksgiving? Check out my Homemade Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls and Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.

A wicker basket filled with homemade cloverleaf dinner rolls
5 from 11 votes
Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls
Prep Time:
2 hrs 25 mins
Cook Time:
22 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 47 mins
Author: Elena Tomasi
Course: Bread
Servings:12 rolls

Thanksgiving is on its way, which means it’s time to start planning some fun and festive recipes to serve at the holiday get together! This year, impress your guests with buttery, soft, and delicious Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls!

For the dough:
  • 3 1/2 cups+2 tablespoons (440 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup +2 1/2 tablespoons (275 ml) milk lukewarm
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
You will also need:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
Make the dough
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients and mix until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl (about 6-7 minutes).

  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth, slightly sticky ball. 

Let the dough rise
  1. Place the ball in a greased container and cover it with cling film. Let it rise until double in size (this will take approximately 60-90 minutes)

  2. Brush a 12-cup muffin tin with 1 tablespoon of melted butter and set aside.

Divide and shape
  1. When the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide it into 12 parts.  Divide each part into 3 equal-sized pieces and roll each piece into tiny balls.

    You can also use a kitchen scale to make equal size balls.

  2. Place 3 balls, seam side down, in each muffin cup. Cover the muffin tin with lightly greased plastic wrap, put it in a warm spot, and let the rolls rise for another 60 minutes.

  1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F). Remove the plastic wrap and bake the cloverleaf rolls until golden brown, about 22 minutes.

  1. Remove the rolls from the oven and brush immediately with melted butter.  After 5 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack. 

    Serve warm or at room temperature.

  • To make the dinner rolls dairy-free or vegan, replace the milk with non-dairy milk and the butter with extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or vegan butter.
  • Make-ahead: cover the rolls before the last rise and place the muffin tin in the fridge overnight. When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter for 90 minutes or until puffed.
Nutrition Information
Amount per serving (1 roll) — Calories: 181, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 299mg, Carbohydrates: 29g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Protein: 4g

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #aseasyasapplepie. We’d love to see what you come up with!

22 comments on “Cloverleaf Dinner Rolls”

  1. My grandmother would make dinner rolls that looked exactly like these, but due to old age she found it too labor-intensive to continue making them. Tried your recipe tonight and they turned out great! I added a little bit of honey to the dough.

  2. I love the clover look to these rolls, but I was wondering if I could cut and roll into individual small rolls? Or larger rolls even?
    I love that the recipe is so simple. I’ve been doing all wrong with my recipe.
    Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Gina! Yes, you can! Divide the dough into 15 pieces of approximately 50 grams (1.8 ounces) each, and shape each of them into a ball.
      Space the rolls out evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
      Cover the baking sheet with clingfilm and let the rolls rise for 60 minutes.
      Happy baking! 🙂

  3. These rolls are so pretty! I love that they can be made ahead of time. These will definitely be making an appearance on my Thanksgiving table!

  4. These are just absolutely beautiful, Elena! I love the simplicity of the recipe and the fact that they are pretty is just a bonus!

  5. Oh, these are perfectly gorgeous! Love these beautiful photos too!

  6. these looks soooo tasty! I’m gonna bring this to my mom-in-law’s thanksgiving dinner. I’m sure she’ll love it!

  7. These look soo amazing! My mouth is watering. Gorgeous photos! And a perfect recipe with Thanksgiving just around the corner 🙂

  8. These are absolutely beautiful. It seems like the perfect visually appealing and delicious bread basket item for Thanksgiving ! Love the simplicity of the recipe, too.

  9. Outstanding recipe. Super easy and treat to the eyes. Enjoyed reading and great to see your post after a long time. Will definitely make it. Thanks

  10. My dad used to make these all the time, we called them Trinity Buns. He hasn’t been up for baking in years (Parkinson’s) and I had a desperate craving. So glad I found your blog, they worked out perfectly.

  11. These are so easy and so cute! And I love that they can be prepared in advance. Anything I can do to be less stressed out when I prepare Thanksgiving dinner is a plus.

  12. Made these with my granddaughter and they were excellent! Just like my Momma’ used to make! Thank you so much!

  13. This the first time I have made any kind of bread, it was very easy and they turned out just like your photos and tasted even better.
    Thank you for this great receipe

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