Lion House Rolls

These Lion House Rolls are known around the world for their incredible texture and flavor. I’ve made this Lion House dinner roll recipe so many times that I’ve learned some tricks that I will share with you in the directions.Lion House Rolls - my favorite rolls hands down! Soft, fluffy and unbelievable!

The Lion House Rolls are my favorite rolls HANDS DOWN!

If you aren’t familiar with the Lion House, it is a restaurant in Utah that is known for its food and especially its rolls. Everything on the Lion House menu is amazing but my favorite recipe is still their rolls.

They are so moist and the texture is amazing. Last time I was visiting my sister Shelly in Utah she made these.

I think she made her rolls extra large because she only got 12 rolls out of the batch. Imagine how big those would be.

I remember sitting and eating my roll and thinking there could not be a better roll recipe in the whole world.Lion House Rolls - my favorite rolls hands down! Soft, fluffy and unbelievable!

My sister has five boys so I love being around her house full of teenage boys because it’s a little glimpse in the future for me.

Her boys are good boys full of energy (and hormones) always headed to a game or practice for one of their sports.

She is constantly cooking and feeding them hearty food trying to satisfy their raging appetites.

I laughed when I saw a tray of sandwiches in the fridge. She makes a tray, a whole tray, of huge sandwiches for them to “snack” on throughout the day.

What I learned is that my food bill is going to be huge in 10 years!Lion House Rolls - my favorite rolls hands down! Soft, fluffy and unbelievable!

I know Thanksgiving should be all about the turkey, but for me it’s all about the rolls. I’m a sucker for a warm homemade roll with butter slathered all over it.

These Lion House rolls are legendary…for a reason.

 Lion House Rolls - my favorite rolls hands down! Soft, fluffy and unbelievable!

You could even convert these rolls to Orange Rolls using the filling from these Orange Rolls.

Lion House Rolls
Prep Time
22 hrs 14 mins
Cook Time
22 hrs 14 mins
Servings: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen
Author: Christy Denney
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 2 Tablespoons dry yeast (around 2 packages - if you use 2 it's just under 2 Tablespoons but it works)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup butter (5 1/3 tablespoons - plus more for brushing the rolls after baking.)
  • 1 egg
  • 5-5 1/2 cups all purpose flour (bread flour can be used if you have it on hand and will make for a lighter roll)
  1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.
  2. Add the yeast to this mixture while water and milk is still warm. I let the yeast proof (dissolve and start to react) for a couple of minutes then add the sugar, salt, butter, egg and 2 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add 3 more cups of flour (now 5 cups total added so far) then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then turn mixer on medium speed and mix for 2 minutes. The dough will be getting stiff.
  3. Add approximately 1/2 cup of flour and mix again. (This can be done by hand or mixer). The dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff. It should be pulling away from the sides of the mixer. That's how I know it has enough flour (It is not necessary to use the entire 5 1/2 cups of flour but that's how much I use). Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately on tablespoon of vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with the oil. (This helps prevent the dough from drying out.) Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size (about an hour).
  4. Sprinkle a cutting board or counter with flour and put the dough on the flour. You want to put enough flour on the dough so that it is workable and not sticky.
  5. You can roll these into crescent rolls or do it the traditional Lion House way. Here is a video showing how to roll them the Lion House way. Roll into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick and brush with melted butter. I probably use 1/4 cup melted butter brushed on here.
  6. You want to cut the rectangle into smaller rectangles that are 2"X4" (a little smaller than a dollar bill). If you make and "L" with your thumb and pointer finger that will show you how wide and tall to cut your rectangles.
  7. Then you roll them (or flip them like in the video) and place them on a greased (or parchment lined) baking pans with the end of the roll resting on the pan. Cover again with a kitchen towel so they don't dry out as they rise. Clear as mud?
  8. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size (approx. 1-1 1/2 hours). Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction. This definitely depends on the size of your rolls. Brush with melted salted butter while hot. Yields 2 to 2 1/2 dozen rolls.
Recipe Notes

Source: and the Lion House Cookbook

Note: You can freeze shaped rolls for later use. Simply double the amount of yeast used when making dough. After the first rise, shape the rolls but do not rise again. Instead, place rolls on a baking sheet and immediately place in freezer. When dough is frozen solid, remove rolls from pan and place in a plastic bag, squeeze excess air out of bag and seal. Rolls can be frozen for 3 weeks.

I've noticed that if you let the rolls rise too long after they been shaped their texture gets porous and not as good so be careful of that.

lion-house-rolls-warm-1Lion House Rolls - my favorite rolls hands down! Soft, fluffy and unbelievable!

Speak Your Mind



  1. Hi there, Is it OK with you if I feature these as part of my Copycat Club (monthly on the 7th of every month). Read more on my blog.

    Thanks! TIa @ Buttercreambarbie

  2. @Tia,
    Of course! Feature them…they are the best!

  3. Lion house rolls are my absolute favorite!!

  4. I LOVE Lion House rolls! Planning on making them for Thanksgiving dinner 🙂

  5. have i told you that i think you are amazing. and you make me hungry 🙂

  6. New to your blog and love it! I also love this roll recipe. I even have a roll recipe that I like even better (if that can be possible)on my blog. It is the Dinner Crescent recipe, oh..yum! Feel free to visit my blog Also, I would LOVE to do a giveaway on your blog and give away a free membership to our website Deals to Meals. Our service helps people save money on groceries (without using coupons–who has time for those!), stock up their food storage and plans their weekly menu around those sale items each week. I would also love to give you a free membership as well and let you see how much money you can save. Email me at and I will send you more information.

    Thanks and great blog!


  7. These look terrific, but I’m confused about something. I watched the video on shaping the rolls and the baker repeated twice “make sure the butter is on the inside” as if the dough had been spread with butter before flipping. Is that part of your recipe too? Or was it just because on the video, she was using a mix and the mix calls for a butter wash but homemade does not?

  8. @Kristina,
    The recipe I had did not call for a butter wash but I always do that anyway so I changed the directions to add one. Thanks for the catch!

  9. These look very tasty. I am always impressed by pastries they just seem so difficult to make. You should share this recipe over at

  10. I love Lion House rolls! Thanks for the recipe. I LOVE your blog. I’ve become a daily reader. Thanks for all of the great recipes and keep it up! 🙂

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. I love Lion House Rolls!! Delicious and way worth the time it takes to make them. Your picture is making me really wish I was eating one of these right now!

  13. So do you not proof the yeast, you just dump it all in

  14. You actually do not have to proof it but if it makes you feel better you can combine the water and milk with the yeast in a large bowl and let sit 5 minutes.

  15. No No~ I love that you can dump it all in!

  16. We love these rolls!

  17. Have you ever frozen these? Would you freeze before letting them rise or after baking them?

    I haven’t froze these rolls but on Mommy’s Kitchen she gives instructions on how.If you want to freeze these you can do it after the dough has risen once and you have shaped the dough and placed them on the pan.

    Here are her instructions from (
    “How to freeze rolls: After shaping the rolls place them 2 inches apart on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Place the rolls in the freezer and freeze until firm. When the rolls are firm, transfer to a large zip lock freezer bag. Date and freeze for up to 4 weeks.

    To use freezer rolls: Arrange frozen rolls 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with nonstick cooking spray or covered with parchment paper. Cover rolls with plastic wrap coated with baking spray. Place in a warm place and let the rolls rise until doubled in size. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with additional butter while hot.”

  19. do you have to let the rolls sit in a warm place to double in size twice? I see it on your blog written twice…let sit once after you get it into a ball and cover with plastic..and then again let sit once they are rolled up…is this correct?

  20. @Jessica,
    Yes, you let them rise twice. Twice the fluffiness!

  21. What other shapes can be made??? I have never made rolls. . These look wonderful and so easy. Thanks

  22. Just made these for our Easter dinner tomorrow. OMG! So fluffy and yummy=D

  23. @bakerbabe,
    You can make any shape you want really. You can just form them in a ball but you lose the buttery layers that way. Or you can divide the dough into smaller circles and cut them like a pizza and roll it like a crescent.

    Aren’t they the best?!!

  24. Okay, I have a dumb question but I’m a rookie to using my kitchen aid mixer as well as to making rolls so here goes nothing: What attachment should I be using to make these? I know another recipe I tried specifically mentioned using the dough hook but I wasn’t sure if that is standard protocol when working with dough or what. Any help you could offer would be much appreciated!

  25. @MDtripmom,
    You are right some recipes say switch to the dough hook after you add the second 2 cups (4 cups total flour). I never switch from the paddle attachment. I don’t think it’s necessary since the dough isn’t overly thick at that point.

  26. I made these for Easter and omg… sooooo good. I’ve never heard of Lion House, but these rolls made me want to go there. The dough was simple, easy, and they turned out great!

    I ate 5 rolls… and still wanted more. That’s how great these rolls are!

  27. Okay so, I am a newbie to the roll-making world and this is only the third thing I’ve made with my Kitchenaid. They TASTED amazing…but they were not light and flaky. They were actually quite dense. I followed the directions EXACTLY. Any ideas what I might have done wrong?

    Rachel @

  28. @Rachel,
    Yep. These definitely are not light and flaky. They melt in your mouth but have a texture you can sink your teeth into. I’ve had them turn out dense and rock hard once but I think my yeast was bad…

  29. Hey. So I just found you and I want to say you are making me so hungry. And quick question. Can I please steal all you recipes?? Lol I want to make all of it. I have a list a mile long for when I go to the store. I can’t wait. Thanks I now have you bookmarked so I can use your recipes. Thanks so much.

  30. What can I use to mix the dough with if I don’t have a stand mixer? I look forward to making these for Thanksgiving! Thanks!!

    • You can just knead it by hand with your big muscles. LOL. Really, you can. Mix the beginning part with a hand mixer and when it gets too thick start kneading by hand.

  31. How long would you say you let it rise both the first and second time? Making these tomorrow for thanksgiving and didn’t know if I should start the process today since we are eating at 12. Would hate to run out of time due to rising time or have to wake up super early to start them! Haha! Thanks!

    • Sorry. Hope it’s not too late. About an hour to an hour an and half for each rise time. Make sure you let them rise in a warm place!

      • Some times I use a heating pad turned to low with a towel placed on the heating pad and set the the dough and/or rolls on it to rise. Also I have used whole milk in place of water and no powered milk.

  32. Just wanted to say this recipe is EXCELLENT, A huge success for our Thanksgiving family gathering today. I made 24 and ALL were eaten, I did change from the veggie/ shortening oil to Olive oil, the taste was the same, but healthier for you… I was requested by many people to make these for our Christmas family get together… Also to a previous poster that asked about proofing, TRUST ME when I say there’s NO NEED for proofing..

  33. Made these this past weekend and man! they were tasty! My hubby loved them and had like 7 with our already filling dinner. I was getting nervous making them because for some reason I had to use almost a full extra cup of flour to get the dough to all come together and stop being so dang sticky. I worried they might be too tough or dense, but they were heavenly! Not sure why so much more was needed, but I’ll oh well. This will definitely be a frequently made recipe at our house! Thanks so much!

  34. Hope this reaches you; I want to know what kind of yeast- there is the regular, and quick rise types
    and I usually use the bread machine to do roll dough. Thank you.

  35. Christy I saw these on Pinterest and just had to run by to swoon over them. Absolutely beautiful roll.s

  36. Can you use milk in this recipe instead of milk powder? Thanks.

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I would say no but I’ve never tried it. This recipe has been around for ages so I don’t dare alter it.

  37. Would these rolls freeze well & if so for how long? I am hosting Thanksgiving for 22 adults who love carbs and i am not sure i would be able to make them all the day before and day of! Thanks!!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      Ashley, I haven’t tried freezing them but others have done it. Most rolls and bread can be frozen for a long time. Two weeks at least.

  38. Hi! I’m excited to make these for Thanksgiving! A couple quick questions: Do you brush the butter on before/after you cut the rolls? Or does it matter? I assume before because when I watched the video it didn’t show it. Also, do you put butter on top of the rolls to help them brown at all? Or is there enough butter in the recipe to help it brown up nicely? Thanks for the recipe and tips!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I brush butter on before I cut the rolls. It’s probably easier that way. I put butter on them after they’ve baked. They brown up nicely so it’s not necessary to do it before.

    • Some times I use an egg wash to lightly brush the tops of the rolls just before they go in the oven . They come out golden and glossy .

  39. I’m not getting anywhere near the same amount of flour as your recipe calls for. So I need to know, do you measure your flour by scooping the measuring cup and leveling? Or do you use a separate cup or scoop to lightly fill the measuring cup before you level it?

    I’m super excited for these to work. Thanks!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      I try not to scoop it but loosely fill the cup. Just add flour until it becomes manageable and not sticky.

  40. Hi, Can this be right; 2 tablespoons of yeast? Seems like an allot to me.
    Thanks, Phil

  41. Donna Ramirez says:

    Sounds wonderful, but a little confused. I’m pretty sure a packet of yeast only has 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast in it, so two packets would have 4 1/2 teaspoons, which is definitely not 2 tablespoons, which is 6 teaspoons. What gives? I don’t want to mess these up!

    • Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything} says:

      You’re totally right. It’s always confused me too. Their official recipe says both as well:
      In my experience, it’s better to error on the side of more yeast. I always use 2 packets but to have that extra 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast to make a full 2 Tablespoons would only make them better. Good luck.

      • Eek, I made these as printed w/o reading the comments or recommendations. I used the 2 tbl. of yeast vs. more. The dough is rising now. Do you think it’ll be OK w/ the lower amount of yeast?

  42. Oh my gosh I cannot wait to try these and the chicken and spinach stuffed shells for dinner tonight! I hope they look half as good as yours and taste at least the same! Thank you for these recipes and I can’t wait to try more!!

  43. can this be done without egg?

  44. Made this tonight. They came out the oven perfect! Hubby loved it.

  45. Could try .. thank you for sharing

  46. Can I use warm milk as the liquid instead of water and dried milk?

    • I have never done it that way and I feel like the dried milk is an essential part of the recipe.

    • YES……… can use warm milk instead of the water and dry milk, I have done both.

      • catherine howes says:

        thank you, i forgot the milk powder today, came to see if anyone had sub’ed for reg milk

      • When you use regular milk in this do you do the amount of water plus dry milk (2 2/3 cup) or just the amount of water (2 cups)?

        • Jennifer Geist says:

          I’m looking for this answer too. 2 cups of warm milk or 2 2/3 cups of warm milk? What kind of milk? We drink skim milk at our house.

          • I made these yesterday and i used 1 cup water and 1 cup milk they were wonderful!!!

          • Oh! Good to know.

          • I was wondering the same thing! I made these last night & they turned out AMAZING! I followed the recipe & used the warm water & dry milk but I think I am allergic to the non-fat dry milk (which is crazy because I can drink regular skim milk without any problems) because I was awake all night with stomach cramps and these rolls were the only thing I ate, so it had to be because of them. Boo!!! It makes me so sad because I LOVED them! So I have been trying to figure out if making them with warm regular skim milk would work & if so, how much would I use….2 cups or 2 & 2/3 cups?

  47. I’m always confused about where to place in warm spot for rise. Where do you guys place your rolls for rising time?

  48. Can you mix this dough in a bread macjphine?

  49. Is the 1/3 cup butter melted or at room temperature when you mix into the flour?

  50. These sound delicious!
    Problem is we can’t use 2 – 2 1/2 dozen. Can you freeze the dough?

  51. Hi,
    I would just like to know, why a mixture of water and milk powder is used. Wky not use plain ‘run off the mill’ milk? I wouldn’t even know where to buy powdered milk in Germany. Perhaps it’s something like the powder I put into the baby bottle of my little grandson?



  52. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

  53. I have the Lion House Recipes Cookbook from 1980 and the recipe is a little different… 1/3 instead of 1/4 cup sugar… 2 1/2 tsp salt instead of 2. Has a more recent ersion of the recipe been modified in an official recipe? If not, I think you should change the quantities to reflect the real recipe! I’m making them today for Thanksgiving. I’d love a follow up. Thanks, Tanya

  54. Can these be stuffed with ham or sausages? Looks like a great recipe.

  55. Can I used regular milk if I don’t have powdered?

  56. Todd Albarado says:

    can you make this in a bread machine on the dough cycle

  57. I made these Rolls this morning, heavenly my new favorite.

  58. I have the recipe for Lion House Scones. They are so light and easy to make. So I have to try their rolls. Thanks for sharing.

  59. Any ideas as to the success of mixing these in a bread machine up to the point of the rise before shaping the dough?

  60. Astrid from Denmark says:

    Just made Lion House Rolls today.. They were perfect – and very sinful. Mmmmmmm….

  61. These are fantastic! My husband wanted rolls with dinner and these were just perfect! Mine made 2 & 1/2 doz rolls. Thanks for the recipe.

  62. Thank you for the recipe Christy!
    I have two questions.

    1. Can I use Warm milk instead for water and instant milk powder?
    2. Can I make these rolls with some stuffing? I mean does stuffing has the potential to spoil the roll?

    • 1. I haven’t ever used milk instead of the powder because I feel like the powder gives it the unique texture. But I know others have.
      2. You can definitely stuff these with whatever! It does not ruin them.

  63. Can Self Rising flour be use to make these?

    • Some will argue that you can and some will say you shouldn’t. I haven’t tried it with it so I can’t be sure. Self rising flour does have salt in it so if you do use it omit the salt in the recipe.

  64. I read to see if anyone asked this. I saw about freezing but I have a different kind of “make ahead” question! I never have near enough time (or room!) on the day of thanksgiving, and usually do refrigerator rolls the day before. The ingredients are about the same (although I do love rolls with dried milk, so I will use this one!) so I was thinking…… Maybe I could make the dough up to the point of the first rising, put in the fridge, and then take out early in morning, sit to room temp and start with first rising? Does that make sense?

    • Totally makes sense. I have tried that with cinnamon rolls but I haven’t tried it with these-yet. I might try this year. I will say that these rolls are still good the next day so I’m considering making them the day before. ALthough fresh rolls right out of the oven cannot be beat.

  65. So I just got through making these, they remind me of really good hotdog buns. Very light and airy. My notes for myself were to keep the rolls thicker and cook for only 13 minutes. My bottoms browned a little to much for me. (Gas Oven)

    As for a Thanksgiving roll I prefer dense very yeasty rolls. (I’m from Arkansas.) These were good and will use again for Hotdogs. Thank you

  66. I make two batches every year — one batch for when the kids walk in the door and a second one to serve with dinner. I recently tried someone else’s rolls that were similar but better (not better than yours but better than mine) Her recipe is proprietary but she gave me some hints – 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening and use potato flakes in place of some of the flour. What do you think?

  67. Michel Romero says:

    I have made these rolls over and over again and they never fail to deliver, thanks for the recipe 🙂

  68. Making these now for Thanksgiving. How long does it usually take for the dough to double in size? Thanks in advance – I can’t wait to try these! They look so delish!

  69. WOW! Just WOW! These rolls turned out better than I imagined – and I have a good imagination. The crumb was so tender, soft, and pillowy. The dough was easy to work with. The aroma was nothing short of intoxicating from the yeasty bloom to the enticing tease coming from the oven. And then came the taste… Thank you for sharing this recipe! If you check my Facebook page there are step-by-step pictures of the process. 😀
    I’m wondering if this dough would make good cinnamon rolls or raisin bread?

  70. Just wondering if this recipe could be used to make loaves of bread instead of rolls?

  71. I have a sourdough starter. Could I use this to make these rolls? If any ideas please let me know.

  72. Thanks for the recipe! I made these rolls today and they didn’t turn out very good. They came out crispy even though they were barely golden brown. The taste doesn’t seem quite right either. Any pointers?

  73. I know I am late to this party, but I just discovered your blog. I just took the Lion House Rolls out of the oven and my husband and I just devoured 4 of them in nothing flat. They are wonderful… soft and tender. I did not have instant dry milk so used the regular and whirled with a stick blender to break up the clumps. Did not have any unsalted butter, either so cut back on the salt slightly. These rolls want to float away…have to eat them before they do… See ya!

  74. Why can’t we copy the pictures in recipe. Even when you hit the print button it doesn’t have a picture. I always prefer picture so I have a reference when looking looking through my printed recipes to easily identify them. This recipe looks amazing.

  75. Do you use a dough hook in the mixer or just the regular paddle?

  76. Linda Winkler says:

    i would like to make them the day before, is it ok to refrigerate after second rising then bake before thanksgiving dinner?

    thank you!

  77. can we just use milk instead of the dry milk… replace the water and dry milk with just milk?

  78. Any subs for the dry milk

  79. Angi Derocher says:

    Can this be combined in a bread machine??

  80. Nice taste, but my rolls fell flat on one side! Dont really know why. It happened just after I put them in the oven. Oven was on temperature, so I am a bit baffled.

  81. 5 5 1/2
    Five 5 1/2 cups?? Just making sure that’s right.

  82. Ashleigh Roth says:

    I have made these twice and they are amazing!! Best rolls I have ever had or made. My new go to recipe.