Healthy Halloween Recipe: Perfect Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Trick or treat?

Every Halloween, I pull pranks on my dear husband. This time, I tricked him into thinking that these tasty treats were real pumpkins.

Imagine his surprise when he bit into them. Each bite revealed fluffy, wholesome bread infused with delicious pumpkin puree. He could not resist digging into three mini-buns in one sitting.

How did I conjure up these beauties?

I was inspired to whip up these festive buns after drooling over my pumpkin-filled social feed. My version is a rendition of my mother’s infamous dinner rolls. After a few healthy tweaks, I transformed her recipe into this adorable batch of vegan pumpkin buns.

The recipe is easy-to-follow and oh-so-delicious that you will start baking a batch all-year-round.

What to Expect?

  • 100% vegan
  • Foolproof baking tips
  • No dairy
  • No refined sugar

Fantastic Baking Tips for Homemade Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Every homemaker has a set of baking tips that lets them power through the process.

Here is mine:

  • Kneading the Dough.

Avoid over-kneading to get the right texture. I stop when my dough turns soft and tacky.

  • Prepping the Baking Tray.

Grease/line your baking tray before placing the dough. If the parchment paper is unavailable, you can dust some flour to create a barrier between the dough and your sheet. The other option is to use baking spray.

All these hacks ensure that there is a thin layer separating the baked goods from your pan. That way, it is less likely to stick to the surface. It makes removal easier too!

  • Stop the Bread from Drying Out.

Almond milk is an excellent plant-based substitute for egg wash. A few dabs prevent baked bread from drying out. It also gives it a subtle glistening sheen like the traditional method.

  • Storing Leftovers.

My homemade bread rolls get gobbled up right after I serve them. If we miraculously save some leftovers, I store them in an airtight container. Then place it in a cool and dry place to keep the leftovers fresh.

The Construction

Getting that authentic pumpkin look requires patience, practice, and precision.

How did I get those pumpkin-like ridges?

  1. Wrap the pumpkin dough like a parcel with a long greased kitchen twine.
  2. Roll the ball a couple of times to create eight noticeable segments.
  3. Make sure the string is tied tightly before popping the dough in the oven.
  4. The dough will rise around the tied string to create those ridges.
  5. Pull the string from the baked dinner rolls.

The process might be tricky, but the results are worth the effort.

Short Cut: Use a sharp knife or pair of scissors to make quick, easy cuts on the surface of your dough balls. The only setback is that the pumpkin shape does not look natural.

Tasty Tips for Homemade Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Vegan recipes have a bad reputation. I aim to break those false stereotypes by adding more joy and flavor to my recipes.  Even though it requires extra experiments, the outcomes are always satisfying.

Here are some healthy and tasty hacks that can work for you:  

Making Fresh Pumpkin Puree

Whenever possible, I opt for natural ingredients instead of going for store-bought counterparts. The results are more nutritious and less calorie-laden.  I whipped up a fresh pumpkin puree with freshly chopped pumpkins and my high-powered food processor for this recipe.

(Find the recipe here: Vegan Pumpkin Bread)

However, if you don’t have time or ingredients, then canned pumpkin puree will work too. Make sure that you get 100% natural pumpkin puree. Otherwise, you might grab a pumpkin pie filling that would mess up the texture of your baked goodies.

How to Make Homemade Bread Rolls Extra Flavorful?

There are endless possibilities for these dinner rolls. Mine happens to involve pumpkins.

However, if you want to shake things up, you can divert from my ingredient list. The trick is to find a nice substitute for the pumpkin puree or simply add more tasty treats into the batter.

Here are some ideas that might work:

  1. Don’t like pumpkins? No worries! Frozen butternut squash puree and mashed sweet potatoes can work for this recipe.
  2. Want more flavors? Sprinkle 1 tsp of your preferred spice (i.e. pumpkin spice, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom).
  3. Need some texture? Chuck in walnuts, acorns, raisins, or chocolate chunks to get that extra crunch or gooeyness.

Remember to adjust the quantity of each new ingredient according to your taste. I recommend testing a small batch before baking a dozen bread rolls. This precautionary step makes this baking venture less risky and more delicious.

P.S: Bake and share your creations @joyfulhomecooking. You can also use the hashtag #joyfulhomecooking whenever you post your picture perfect baking ventures online.  Best of luck!

Are you interested in more healthy bread recipes? Give these tasty treats a try: Pain Aux Raisins and Cranberry Star Bread.

Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Healthy Halloween Recipe: Perfect Pumpkin Bread Rolls

Want to transform your table into a mini-pumpkin patch with these homemade bread rolls? Follow my Halloween recipe to the T and watch the magic happen. 

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins + 2 hours additional time
  • Total Time: 2 hours 20 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Author:
  • Joyce Mrad



  • 400 g bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cane sugar
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 250 g 100% natural pumpkin puree (or canned pumpkin puree)
  • 90 ml almond milk (warm)
  • 6 kitchen cooking twines
  • A few splashes of almond milk instead of egg wash


  1. Measure your ingredients for accuracy. *
  2. Sift and mix the dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  3. Add pumpkin puree. Mix well.
  4. Slowly pour the milk until you get soft, slightly sticky, and tacky dough.
  5. Knead until all the ingredients are well-combined. (Approx. 8 min)
  6. Brush the dough with oil before covering it with a plastic wrap. Cover the bowl with a tea towel, making sure that no air passes through the gaps.
  7. Set aside to rise in a warm place. (Approx. 2 hrs)
  8. Sprinkle flour on the countertop and knead the risen dough into a big ball.
  9. Divide your dough into 6 equal portions.
  10. Shape each portion into smaller, smooth balls.
  11. Grease twines with vegetable oil.
  12. Wrap the kitchen twine around each dough ball to form 8 segments. **
  13. Line a baking tray with parchment paper before assembling the pumpkin balls.
  14. Maintain a 2” gap b/w each pumpkin ball as you place them on the prepped baking sheet.
  15. Cover the tray with a tea towel. Set aside to rise. (30-40 min)
  16. Brush the bread rolls with milk. ***
  17. Preheat oven at 375° F.
  18. Pop the baking tray into the warm oven.
  19. Bake for approx. 10 min.
  20. Once done, let your dinner rolls cool for a few minutes.
  21. Shift them on a wire rack and let them cool for a longer duration. ( Maximum 40 min)
  22. Cut the twine from the top and bottom.
  23. Carefully pull it out from the back of the pumpkins.

Voila! Your mouthwatering pumpkin bread rolls are ready to be devoured.


*I use a calibrated kitchen weighing scale.

** Be gentle and avoid tying it too tightly. (Do check my baking tips for detailed instructions!)

***A dairy-free substitute for egg-wash.

Keywords: homemade bread rolls, pumpkin bread rolls, dinner rolls

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