Let me tell you about something I excel at.

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

This something involves food.


I have no other identities.

Unless you count shoes and spending money.

[But it’s not like there’s anything else in life.]

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

So here it is. I am really, really fabulously great at taking the *best* part of a dish and hogging it all to myself. For instance: muffin tops, crunchy, burned and bubbly cheese on macaroni, the crusty topping on my mom’s signature potato chip casserole, the caramely topping on sweet potato casserole, all of the candied cookie pieces in ice cream, the entire graham cracker crust of a cheesecake, the maraschino cherry in a manhattan (okay… the best part here is debatable), the toasty, butter almonds that come in green beans, and the bacon out of, well… everything.


The second best thing I’m good at is leaving the junky part where I found it. Muffins on the counter? Now they have no top. Mac and cheese in the fridge? No more crunch left for you! Chubby Hubby in the freezer? It’s plain old chocolate now. Manhattan’s during happy hour? Alright… you’ve got me there. The jig is up.

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

I also put empty containers back in the fridge and throw my wrappers on the table when the garbage can is closer.




Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

Every time a holiday rolled around, I not only looked forward to stealing the terrific tops off of everyone’s favorite treats, but I reallllly looked forward to these incredibly flakey, buttery cloverleaf rolls that my grandma would get from a local Shop and Save.

How sick is this: the minute I spied the rolls, I would count them, count the number of guests, and figure out how I would be able to stack two or three on my plate without looking like a completely selfish twit. I also said a quick little prayer hoping that most party goers would choose the underrated, firmer poppyseed roll nestled in the corner of the basket. I may have even hyped up the poppyseed rolls. This is no lie. I LOVED THOSE ROLLS!

You could taste the butter with every bite. Plus, I figured I deserved to have more than one because I skipped over all the vegetables. Riddle me that.

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

I guessed they would be impossible to make. Like… totally mind-blowing and day-consuming. I mean, how do you get yeasted bread to look like a clover?

Well. Guess what? I was wrong. Again. Thank goodness.

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

Sooooo simple. I’d like to add even more “o’s” to that “so” but I also want you to keep reading and not want to punch me in the face. Last week, I made these with half whole wheat flour and served them as a dunker with sweet potato soup. But I must admit – they are best when made with only all-purpose flour. Just do it! They are a must must must make. Actually, I almost believe they are foolproof? You don’t have to do anything special (except look cute…. which uh, you totally do today!) to make ’em look gorgeous, which is why I showed you that hideous mess on a cutting board that I call the second picture of this post. Make dough, rolls into balls, shove into muffin tins, shove into mouth.

Oh… but not before dousing each roll with melted butter six or seven times. What? You think I’m joking?

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com


Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls

Yield: makes about 30 rolls

Prep Time: 2.5 hours

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours


4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2-6 cups all-purpose flour, or more if needed
melted butter for brushing


In the bowl of your electric mixer (with an attached dough hook), combine warm water, yeast, olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey and mix with a spoon. Let sit until foamy, about 10-15 minutes. Add warm milk, remaining honey, egg and butter, and mix on low speed until just combined, then add in 2 cups of flour and salt. Mix on low speed, gradually increasing to medium as flour becomes incorporated. Slowly add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time, stopping at 5 cups. Knead the dough on medium speed for 4-5 minutes, then check to see if the dough is sticky. If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour and knead until it becomes smooth, but you want some stick to it. Remove dough from the bowl and form into a ball with your hands, covering with a bit more flour until it is no longer sticking to your hands.

Brush a large bowl with melted butter. Add dough to the bowl, turning once or twice to cover in butter. Place a towel over top and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2-2 hours. Punch dough down, then transfer to a floured workspace. Tear small pieces of dough off the larger piece, and roll into balls slightly larger than one inch wide. You will end up with about 90 dough balls. Brush a muffin tin with melted butter, then add 3 dough balls to each tin. Cover and let rise again, in a warm spot, for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of each clover with a hefty glug of melted butter. Bake for 11-12 minutes, or until tops are just golden brown. Remove from over and brush tops with melted butter again, repeating the brushing another few times as the rolls cool. Remove from the tins and serve.

The muffins are best when eaten on the same day they were baked, however if you’d like to make them the day before, make sure to let them cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

[lightly adapted from allrecipes]

Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls I howsweeteats.com

They’re so fluffy I’m gonna die!

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200 Responses to “Buttery Cloverleaf Rolls.”

  1. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — November 3, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    Oh my… these look good. I’m thinking it might be fun to brush them with butter, chopped garlic and herbs the second time. And by fun, I mean delicious.


  2. #
    Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn — November 3, 2011 @ 5:54 pm

    ahahahha DESPICABLE ME REFERENCE !!! Best movie ever like actually.


  3. #
    betty — November 3, 2011 @ 6:25 pm

    they look so good! the only thing they need is a huge piece of butter melting on top ;)



  4. #
    Alaina — November 3, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

    Haha, I love the Despicable Me reference!! Best part of that movie. :-)

    These rolls look great! I may have to make these for the holidays!


  5. #
    Michele — November 3, 2011 @ 6:50 pm

    when i saw this update on twitter, i read the title as “butterfly” instead of “buttery” and i was really impressed that you managed to create a mutant combination of a butterfly and a clover and make it a roll too!

    then i reread it i was slightly less impressed

    but then when i saw the amount of butter, i was reimpressed.
    times twenty.


  6. #
    Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) — November 3, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    Yep, another one I have to make.

    You are killing me girl!


  7. #
    Shana — November 3, 2011 @ 7:34 pm

    I loved this post and I can’t wait to try these rolls! They remind me of the yeast rolls my nana always served. Yum!


  8. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 3, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    These rolls look amazing… Will have to give the recipe a try!


  9. #
    Michelle — November 3, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    I’m all for taking the good parts of things and leaving the rest for someone else to find. It used to drive my parents nuts. Now I have my own fridge and can do what I want!


  10. #
    Megan — November 3, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

    Greatest scene in a kids movie ever. I die every time I see her say that!


  11. #
    Joe — November 3, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    Such darling little rolls.


  12. #
    Anja — November 4, 2011 @ 3:05 am

    these are sooo cute! they make me want them for Sunday’s.


  13. #
    Lucy @ Lucyeats — November 4, 2011 @ 3:39 am

    Ahhh they are so cute looking! Defs gonna make an appearance at my next BBQ. Also, love the Despicable Me reference =)


  14. #
    Amy — November 4, 2011 @ 5:01 am

    I am another who takes all the good stuff…..which is really hard to do when you have a family of 5 and have to try to hide your selfish antics from the kids (you know, so you can lecture them when they try to do it ;) ).

    I must make these..you had me at bread. But bread covered in butter? Mmmmmm.


  15. #
    Nicole, RD — November 4, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    So cute!! Definitely making these :)


  16. #
    Kim — November 4, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Oooh! That brings back memories. When I was little and our family gathered for holidays dinners there were rolls like these from the bakery in town. My grandmother always had a basket of these and plenty of butter. I will have to make these for sure. Thanks.
    P.S. I like the best parts of everything too.



  17. #
    Sandra — November 4, 2011 @ 8:55 am



  18. #
    HeatherChristo — November 4, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    Help me God. These look so good- I would sit down and eat the entire batch. I will ABSOLUTELY be making these for Thanksgiving. in fact I am so jacked up looking at them right now, it may have to be much sooner!!


  19. #
    Katie @ ohshineon.wordpress.com/ — November 4, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    ohhhhh maaaa gaaahhhhhddddd. these buttery balls of joy are stealing my heart. and so easy to make… just time consuming, as you have to wait for the dough to rise. womp. so you really wouldn’t encourage using part whole-wheat flour? have you ever tried substituting a 1/2 cup or cup of oats?

    – Katie at http://www.ohshineon.com


  20. #
    Ashleigh@ Ashleigh's Kitchen — November 4, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    Oh my goodness, these look so good! I think I may have to make these for Thanksgiving! Thanks for the recipe!


  21. #
    mommywithavision.wordpress.com — November 4, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    These look amazing and I am always looking for a good roll recipe. Especially now that it is soup season. I think I will have to make these myself. I almost want to make soup tonight just so I can make these rolls. Nothing is better then fresh bread with butter! MMMMMM food coma…


  22. #
    Karia — November 4, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

    can i make these without an electric mixer and dough hook?i haven’t invest in one yet!


  23. #
    Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup — November 4, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    You’re probably really sick of the, “OMG, I WISH WE WERE REAL LIFE FRIENDS” comments from me, but just give me one more: I totally do this too (and also plan my “last bite” when I’m eating) and try to take the most attractive looking WHATEVER at parties before anyone else can….and also hate when there’s not enough for me to have, oh, 5 of my favorite brownies. Anyway, one time, I was eating Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie (obvi) and was eating around the most gigantic piece of fudgy brownie (again, last bite thing) and Matt swopped in with his spoon and stole it. And, I got legitimately mad. Like, infuriated. I’m surprised our relationship has ever recovered. I understand the brat thing.


  24. #
    Lindsay @ Schnoodle Soup — November 4, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    Real life friends? What am I smoking? I meant friends in real life…wow…I think I need a drink.


  25. #
    Jules — November 4, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    Love homemade rolls! But you made me LOL!!!! Chubby hubby in the freezer…is that because he was mad you ate all the topping, and thats were you put him….jkjk! (Must be a ice cream?) Dont ever stop making us laugh!!


  26. #
    Terry — November 5, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    Love the Manhatten reference – my husband makes the best! There’s a new Trader Joe’s open near South Hills Village. If you want to check it out, I’m offering drinks at my house afterward. :)


  27. #
    Brenda — November 5, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    My husband hates to share food with me because I always want to eat the good stuff/toppings first and he likes to save them for last. Sharing ice cream sundaes is the worst, because I eat all the whipped cream and fudge sauce off the top as quick as I can, and he’s left with the plain ice cream at the bottom. I try to share and be nice, but it’s so hard :)


  28. #
    Katie@Cozydelicious — November 5, 2011 @ 9:06 pm

    Hahaha! That is my favorite movie line ever!!! I am loving that you are quoting Agnes. And your rolls, of course, look wonderful.


  29. #
    Tracy — November 6, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

    They look great! I tried to make these rolls once and they came out a total fail. I’ll have to try your recipe!


  30. #
    TeriLyn [a foodie stays fit] — November 6, 2011 @ 3:44 pm

    Totally making these for Thanksgiving.

    It was SO great to finally meet you!


  31. #
    glidingcalm — November 6, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    mmm mmm mmm Those rolls look delicious!!

    and i love the s’more drink you made in your next post too!!! The flavored vodkas are so much fun!! I am dying to try cake…but I adore “whipped” with root beer or diet orange pop! delish!


  32. #
    Nutmeg Nanny — November 6, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    This look delicious! Plus I’m sure they taste way better than the store bought brand.


  33. #
    Brandon — November 7, 2011 @ 7:50 pm

    I can’t believe this is my first time visiting your blog, your photos are stunning and all the food looks so good!


  34. #
    Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie — November 8, 2011 @ 8:23 pm

    We have the same problem of eating the best parts of food! My husband gets sooooo mad at me when I eat all the cookie dough from the ice cream. But I just can’t help it!


  35. #
    deepa — November 10, 2011 @ 7:12 pm

    that sicks sickeningly (in the best possible way) divine!!!! I love fresh homemade rolls. I stumbled upon your blog from foodgawker and I love your style of writing. Hilarious! :) Superb pictures.


    • deepa — November 10th, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

      sorry I meant “looks”


  36. #
    Molly — November 12, 2011 @ 12:44 am

    OMG These turned out so perfectly!! I made a full batch and divided it into thirds and stuck two of them in the freezer… because I knew if I made all of them, then we would probably eat all of them inonesitting and so I had to implement instant portion control. I have had great luck with freezing pizza dough so I am excited to see how these work out! Am I totally overly OCD for weighing each little ball?


  37. #
    Christina — November 15, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    OH. MY GOODNESS. I just made these. I said I was going to wait until I served them at Supper Club tonight. But I didn’t. I ate one, and it was UNBELIEVABLE. Everyone is going to love me, and it’s all thanks to YOU!

    [Insert second paragraph about how tasty and delicious these are.]


  38. #
    Emily — November 17, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

    These are totally going to be our Thanksgiving rolls this year-do you think I can make them ahead and freeze them? At what point would I freeze?


  39. #
    R K R — November 20, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    OMGosh! I made these last Monday – it made 24 rolls – for Homemade beef & veg soup on Wed. They were gone before the soup was! I baked them at 325° and just short of browning on top (they were still white- like the rolls in the grocery stores, but baked through), then froze them for 2 days.
    They are EXCELLENT and took so little prep time.


  40. #
    Devon — November 24, 2011 @ 9:56 pm

    So so excellent and most definitely a hit with the Thanksgiving guests! They were pretty simple for such a fabulous homemade roll, and well worth the effort. Awesome photographs as well – thank you for posting!


  41. #
    Molly @ RDexposed — November 25, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

    Made these yesterday for Thanksgiving and they were a hit!!


  42. #
    amanda peters — November 28, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

    i made these for thanksgiving. they are amazing! thank you!!


  43. #
    Patricia Scarpin — November 30, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    They look so adorable! And very tender, too. Perfect with soup – yum!


  44. #
    Theresa — December 4, 2011 @ 6:14 am

    I made Pumpkin Bread Pudding (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pumpkin-bread-pudding-2/detail.aspx) with the leftover stale bread from this recipe… best thing ever. My baby ate it like it was her job. Which is sort of is, I guess. Because she’s certainly not bringing in any income. Leech.


  45. #
    Li — April 10, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    Just wanted to say I made these today, and they are quite simply awesome. I halved the recipe which divided into a 12 hole muffin tin perfectly. Will definitely be making these again!


  46. #
    Riley — June 6, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    these look absolutely delicious! great pictures, thanks for the recipe! : )


  47. #
    Celeste B. — January 13, 2013 @ 11:19 pm

    Epic failure. I am not a baker and these did not turn out at all. I don’t thnk the yeast (which was new) ever really bloomed enough in the first step. I added a lot more flour (1/2 cup plus) when kneading because they were really sticky? Maybe I should have left them sticky? They were just sort of dense.


    • Swati — June 7th, 2013 @ 1:04 am

      so when you are done adding the 5.5 cups, and it comes together as a sticky dough, leave it for 5 mins and then try kneading it for 2-3 minutes, it will come together beautifully…


  48. #
    deb — November 14, 2013 @ 6:31 pm

    The best!!


  49. #
    Hill — December 2, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

    This is my new go to roll. Thanks for the great recipe!



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