These rolls were made on a whim when I wanted a dinner roll a bit out of the norm. I have my favorite dinner rolls but every once in a while I like to change things up a bit and try new roll recipes.

When I consulted my trusty King Arthur Flour Baker’s Companion (which has been by my side for years and never let me down), I spotted these beauties and knew I wanted to make them.

Let’s talk about the resulting characteristics of these rolls, shall we?

Filled with Cheese.
Topped with a crunchy crust of bread crumbs, butter and parmesan.
Very mildly sweet.
Freeze well.

Can you see why these were some of the best rolls I’ve made lately? I guess I’m going to have to add another roll to my list of favorites. If you opt out of filling the rolls with cheese, the rolls themselves are fantastically delicious and they don’t need the surprise of cheese to be a crowd-pleaser.

P.S. I had a lot of leftovers and froze them (already baked) for later eating. They reheated perfectly (3 minutes in the microwave on 80% power) and were just as tasty as before.

Cheese Rolls with Buttery Parmesan Crust

Cheese Rolls with Buttery Parmesan Crust

Notes: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

If you double the recipe, don’t double the amount of yeast – it should stay the same as in the original recipe


  • 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Filling:
  • 8 ounces cheddar or pepperjack cheese, cut into 15 cubes
  • Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup Italian-flavored bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water


  1. For the dough, combine all the ingredients and mix and knead until you have a soft, elastic dough (don’t add too much flour – the key to soft dinner rolls is a soft dough!). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover, letting rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes.
  2. Prepare a 9X13-inch pan by lightly greasing the bottom and sides with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Deflate the dough and divide into 15 pieces. Shape the pieces of dough into rounds and punch a cube of cheese from the bottom up into the center of each piece. Pinch the dough tightly together to close the bottom. Place the rolls, pinched side down, in the prepared baking pan. Cover and let rise again for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until nearly doubled.
  3. While the rolls are rising, melt the butter and stir in bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the egg yolk beaten with water. Sprinkle tops of rolls liberally with the bread crumb mixture. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops of the rolls are nicely browned. Remove from the pan immediately and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

50 Responses to Cheese Rolls with Buttery Parmesan Crust

  1. Suzanne says:

    Hello Mel! I am so excited about this recipe. I would like to cut it in half,
    and don’t want to take any chances with the results, can you suggest
    how to half the ingredients?

    • Mel says:

      You can just cut all of the dry ingredients in half and use the egg yolk for the egg portion of the recipe. You could also make the whole batch and freeze whatever you don’t want for later. Good luck!

  2. mic says:

    Hi, Mel!
    I came across your website and I must say that it’s such a big big help in my baking adventure. I mean the recipes are reliable and amazing! Thanks to you! And, oh, by the way, I just made these cheese rolls and they are phenomenal! 🙂

  3. Georgia says:

    Can I make these the day before, refrigerate, and bake the day of Thanksgiving? Thank you for always having the best recipes!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Georgia – I haven’t tried that exact method with these rolls but I’ve done it many times with other roll recipes and I think it should work just fine. Good luck!

  4. Joanne says:

    I am new to this site. My 12 year old son loves cheese buns. I have been making them with the same recipe for years now. So when i saw your recipe, i thought it was too easy. My recipe is done in the bread machine, and takes 4 hours. Today when he walked in the door the first words i heard was I smell cheese buns!!! He absolutely loved them. New recipe i told him. “MOM THESE ARE BETTER THAN YOURS”. So from now on, this is my recipe. Cant wait to try others!

  5. Rochelle says:

    Love these rolls! I tried them because I was looking for a good savory roll to go with a dinner I’ll be hosting in a couple weeks and these will be perfect. I love visiting your blog!

  6. Mel says:

    Hi Ashley – I make all my yeast doughs in my bosch mixer and I knead for about 5 minutes with this recipe. Hope that helps!

  7. Ashley says:

    This look so good! I want to make them, but first a question. When you say knead until you have a soft dough, do you knead it with your hands or use a kitchen aid or something? And for approx. how long?
    Thanks! Can’t wait to make them.

  8. Heidi says:

    Can I just say, that these rolls are amazing! Can I just say that this blog is amazing! Seriously, I hosted a Seuss Luncheon today and I made these rolls, your honey lime fruit salad, and the tricolor pasta salad and they were all well received with my friends. In fact, they told me it was the BEST of any fruit or pasta salad or roll they have ever had. And, that is why I am glad I found this blog, because you truly have the BEST stuff. I might be a little obsessed with this blog actually. In fact, my husband asks me what is for dinner now and once I tell him he almost always follows with, Is it from that cafe blog? If I tell him no he is disappointed! Seriously, it is funny. So. I guess what I am trying to say is thank you for putting the time into this blog, I enjoy it so much! Thank you also for your yeast tutorial. From reading and looking at those pictures , I have now learned how to master roll making. Thanks!

  9. Anissa says:

    My sister and I just finished making two batches of these (separately, not together). Um… they are amazing.

    We put 4 3/4 cups of flour in our second batch and it was just right. 5 cups made them a tiny bit too dense, but still plenty good.

    We definitely think you should double the topping part ,cause who doesn’t love extra cheesy crunch on the top? 🙂

    And we spent a lot of time dreaming up the alternate possibilities for this recipe. Cream cheese and fruit filling with a cinnamon and sugar top is a definitely must.

    • Mel says:

      Anissa – well, you and your sister are masters of brilliance because just reading your recommendation of cream cheese/fruit with cinnamon and sugar made me wonder why I hadn’t thought of that variation!

  10. Kahly says:

    Hi Mel – I want to make these for a dinner party but will need to make them 2 days in advance. Do you recommend baking then freezing and reheating there, or freezing the dough and baking there?
    Thank you so much, can’t wait to try them 🙂

  11. Mary says:

    Mel, I made these for Memorial Day and enjoyed them very much! They were a last minute decision and while the ribs grilled I was able to get this recipe done. For some reason I had the oven at 325 degrees and so it took longer to bake and I think that contributed to their being a little bit more dense than what yours appear to be. But overall delicious and yummy!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Mary – I’m so glad that these rolls came together so quickly for you and that you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Sonya says:

    I made these over the weekend and they were wonderful. I had made stuffed jalapeno’s and has some left over cream cheese mixture (cream cheese, cheddar cheese and green onion) that I stuffed in half of the rolls. They made great rolls for lunch meat sandwiches too. As always, Thanks Mel.

    • Mel says:

      Sonya – well, first, stuffed jalapenos sound delicious…and stuffing the filling in these rolls sounds even more delicious! Thanks for letting me know.

  13. Melanie says:

    Diana – thanks for leaving me this comment! We absolutely devour these rolls everytime I make them, too, so I was excited to hear your family had the same reaction. Thanks so much for letting me know!

  14. Diana says:

    I’m not in the habit of posting comments on blog posts, but I’m making an exception for this recipe. I’ve been trying various recipes all over the internet to find that one recipe that is easy to make, yet isn’t hard and heavy like most of the homemade bread I’ve tried! My family wolfed down one roll after the next and the whole thing was gone in half the time it took them to bake! I cannot thank you enough for this amazing recipe. I’m keeping my eyes peeled for more wonderful posts.

  15. rookie cookie says:

    I always admire people that can make yeast breads from scratch. No Rhodes Rolls made over into something good but not great.

    Bravo my dear. I wish those rolls were on my cooling rack right now.

  16. Kara@ Creations by Kara says:

    These look just amazing! I am always up for a new bread recipe, especially one that looks this tasty. Can’t wait to give them a try!

  17. Leslie says:

    These look amazing! Thank you for your blog. 🙂 My brain gets in such a cooking rut sometimes. I recently found your site and love it! I have a question- how many rolls did you thaw in the microwave when it took 3 minutes on 80% power? TIA!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to try these. I made your Lion House Rolls yesterday and they were delicious as always. Thanks for sharing your recipes! Teresa

  19. Queen B. says:

    ooooooo la la ! Have to try these !

  20. Melanie says:

    Hi Leslie – thanks for stopping by! When I am thawing these in the microwave, I have about 6 on a plate.

    Teresa – glad you like those Lion House rolls!

  21. CrystalsCozyKitchen says:

    Those look absolutely delicious. Hubby would love for me to make them (as he has an addiction to cheese…)

  22. grace says:

    Filled with Cheese.
    Topped with a crunchy crust of bread crumbs, butter and parmesan.
    Very mildly sweet.
    Freeze well.

    yeah, that sums it up nicely–they look and sound TREMENDOUS!

  23. Leigh Anne says:

    Yum, Yum, Yum! These remind me a lot of Magleby’s rolls in Provo – have had them. I have a copy cat recipe for them on my blog. You always have the best yummy bread recipes!!!

  24. Leslie says:

    Filled with Cheese.
    Topped with a crunchy crust of bread crumbs, butter and parmesan.
    Very mildly sweet.
    Freeze well.

    YES PLEASE..send some my way

  25. cindy says:

    These look wonderful, I think I better get that King Arthur Cookbook!

  26. ARLENE says:

    Delicious AND photogenic. How can you beat that!

  27. Libby says:

    Oh my those looks delish!!!

  28. Marisa says:

    Oh. Wow. I am also a huge lover of bread–these are just way too tempting! I will for sure be making these!!!

  29. Leisel says:

    Ah, you’re killing me. Do you ever blog about food that is 100% NON FAT? Just so you know, I was overcome with temptation over those darn chocolate tofee cookies and finally broke down and made me a batch! No seriously, I made ME a batch. I think I ate every single one of those scrumptious little cookies. Ya know, some of your readers are trying to watch their weight. . . Have you ever taken that in consideration???????????????????????????????? Please, help me save me from myself!!! Cook something crazy healthy that will make me loose 20 lbs. in one serving and then blog about that! Thank you in advance for your consideration!!!!!

  30. Hayley says:

    I am not the best chef, so forgive me when I ask this question if it is stupid! In all the rolls I’ve ever made, the recipe calls for the yeast to raise for like 20 minutes, before adding the flour and additional ingredients. Do you not have to do that for this recipe?

    Thanks! I can’t wait to make these!

  31. Julie says:

    Just amazing…bread is my favorite food group and this looks awesome!

  32. Kevin says:

    Those rolls look so light and fluffy and good!

  33. Melanie says:

    Leisel – thanks for the laugh! Seriously, if I came up with a meal that would do just that (knock off 20 pounds in one sitting), I’d be rich and famous!

  34. Melanie says:

    Hayley – your question is definitely not stupid. It can be a little confusing working with different types of yeast. Because the yeast in this recipe is INSTANT, you don’t need to proof it in water and let it “grow” first. You can add it directly with the dry ingredients and it still is activated by the warm liquid even though it doesn’t dissolve in liquid first. Just make sure you are using instant yeast instead of active dry yeast. Active dry yeast (which usually has larger granules) needs to be proofed in warm water before adding to the dry ingredients. Let me know if you have any other questions! (By the way, if all you have is active dry yeast, you can edit the recipe and dissolve the yeast in the water called for first and let it grow for 5-10 minutes until foamy and then add that mixture to the rest of the ingredients.)

  35. Katy ~ says:

    I have that same cookbook, dogeared and well loved. Some of my favorite “top secret” recipes are in there. I’ll have to give these a try. Love KAF!

  36. The Bentley Family and Aussiemuminthekitchen says:

    Melanie- I can’t tell you how much I love your blog. You are my No. 1 go to for dinner ideas. Infact I have posted so many of your blogs you could pay me for advertising 😉
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I am a very lucky girl to have my two boys!
    Hope you and your family have adjusted well in your new home.

  37. Greg and Carlin says:

    These were just as good as I was hoping they would be! I used wheat flour, because that was all I had, and they turned out so good!

  38. Hayley says:

    I actually made them using active dry yeast last night, and they still turned out delightful! I will be buying instant yeast tomorrow though so I can see the difference! Thanks for another perfect recipe!

  39. Ashlie says:

    Whatever…. I totally made a comment last week about the yeast, and have been patiently waiting for a response to my Q, and I come back to make sure you even got my comment-and no-it’s not here. What the heck? So, here it goes again…

    Why don’t you double the yeast if you are doubling the recipe? Is this true for all yeast breads or just this one? Why? I’ve always doubled the yeast but am now wodering if I’ve done something wrong.? Thanks Melanie:)

  40. Ashlie says:

    Ok, that last post sounded a little demanding. Sorry! I wasn’t trying to be rude, but as I re-read it, it does sound rude. I love your blog and I just love you! So, know that I wasn’t meaning to be mean:)…

  41. Melanie says:

    Ashlie – don’t worry, I didn’t take your first comment as rude. Do you think I would deliberately ignore you, though? Never!

    Ok, on to the yeast question. This was the first recipe that I’ve seen say that if you double the recipe, you don’t need to double the yeast. In the past, whenever I have doubled any kind of yeast roll or bread, I have always doubled the yeast. But ever since I’ve made these, I haven’t been quite doubling the yeast in my other breads and they still turn out great without that overly yeasty taste. Usually, what I’ve been doing is if I am doubling a recipe that calls for one tablespoon of yeast, I add one and a half tablespoons. I’m not sure of the reason behind the not-doubling-yeast philosophy but it seems to work.

  42. Melanie says:

    Greg and Carlin – glad these turned out for you! I’ll have to use wheat flour next time, too. I’m grinding some as we speak!

    Hayley – thanks for letting me know these turned out with active dry yeast! I’m glad you liked them.

  43. Leslie says:

    Best rolls I have ever made! Thank you so much!!! I may cut down on the sugar a bit next time. They were just as described. And the best part is that they were SO easy. 🙂 Also the middle rolls were not the least bit doughy- that is a triumph in my book!

  44. Melanie says:

    Hey Leslie – that’s high praise so thanks for letting me know that these were such a hit! I also loved the fact that the middle rolls weren’t doughy – such a plus!

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