Southern Butter Rolls

Southern Butter Rolls: A Flaky and Flavorful Tradition Reimagined

Step into the heart of Southern comfort with a culinary classic that embodies the warmth and hospitality of the South – Southern Butter Rolls. These rolls, a cornerstone of Southern cuisine, boast flaky layers and a buttery richness that has made them a staple on dinner tables for generations. Join us on a journey as we unlock the secrets to crafting these golden delights, exploring the art of Southern baking, and savoring the nostalgia of a time-honored tradition. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a kitchen novice, these Southern Butter Rolls promise to bring a touch of Southern charm to your home.


For the Rolls:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

For the Butter Layer:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Activate Yeast:
    • In a bowl, combine warm milk, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until frothy.
  2. Mix Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the activated yeast mixture, melted butter, and eggs. Mix until a soft dough forms.
  3. Knead Dough:
    • Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. First Rise:
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Prepare Butter Layer:
    • In a separate bowl, mix softened butter and powdered sugar until well combined.
  6. Roll and Layer:
    • Roll out the risen dough on a floured surface into a rectangle. Spread the butter layer evenly over the dough.
  7. Fold and Roll Again:
    • Fold the dough into thirds, like a letter, and roll it out again. Repeat this process twice.
  8. Cut Rolls:
    • Roll the dough into a final rectangle and cut it into squares. Place each square in a greased baking dish.
  9. Second Rise:
    • Cover the baking dish with a damp cloth and let the rolls rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  10. Bake to Golden Perfection:
    • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Brush with Butter:
    • As soon as the rolls come out of the oven, brush the tops with melted butter for a glossy finish.
  12. Serve Warm:
    • Allow the Southern Butter Rolls to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy the flaky layers and buttery goodness!

Cook Notes

Flour Consistency:

  • The amount of flour needed may vary. Adjust as necessary to achieve a soft and pliable dough.

Yeast Activation:

  • Ensure the yeast mixture becomes frothy before proceeding with the dough. If it doesn’t foam, the yeast may be inactive.

Room Temperature Eggs:

  • Using room temperature eggs helps the dough rise more evenly.

Butter Layer Thickness:

  • Spread the butter layer evenly, but don’t worry about perfection. Irregularities add to the flakiness.


Cinnamon Sugar Twist

Add a layer of cinnamon sugar before rolling the dough for a delightful cinnamon twist in every bite.

Pecan Infusion

Sprinkle chopped pecans over the butter layer before rolling for a Southern pecan pie-inspired variation.

Orange Zest Elegance

Incorporate orange zest into the butter layer for a citrusy twist that adds a touch of Southern elegance.

Keto Versions

Almond Flour Adaptation

Replace all-purpose flour with almond flour for a keto-friendly alternative. Adjust the quantity as almond flour absorbs more liquid.

Erythritol Sweetener

Substitute sugar with erythritol in both the dough and butter layer for a low-carb sweetness.

Low-Carb Versions

Coconut Flour Innovation

Combine coconut flour with almond flour for a lower-carb dough option with a hint of coconut flavor.

Greek Yogurt Twist

Replace whole milk with unsweetened Greek yogurt for a lower-carb liquid option with added tanginess.

As we conclude this culinary exploration into the heart of Southern baking, the Southern Butter Rolls emerge as a testament to the art of creating comfort in every flaky layer. Whether you savor the classic recipe or venture into keto and low-carb adaptations, the essence of these rolls lies in their ability to transport you to a world of Southern charm and indulgence. So, preheat those ovens, gather your ingredients, and embrace the joy of crafting a Southern tradition in your own kitchen. Here’s to the Southern Butter Rolls – a celebration of flakiness, buttery goodness, and the timeless allure of Southern baking. Cheers to the comfort found in every delectable bite!

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