Breakfast Copycat Recipes

Golden Corral Rolls Recipe

Bring the best buttery buffet rolls home for breakfast!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated June 24, 2022

What not to love about the classic Golden Corral rolls? It’s buttery, not too sweet and crazy-delicious.

Golden Corral rolls

One of the delights of the Golden Corral buffet is the basket of buttery buns that melt in your mouth.

Golden Corral is a popular buffet and grill chain in the US. And these delicious rolls are one of their signature offerings.

At the restaurant, there is a great mix of home-style dishes and seasonal specialities for all meals. These rolls complement everything on their endless breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets.

But you don’t have to leave your house or pay for a restaurant meal to enjoy these Golden Corral rolls. My recipe shows you how to make them quickly and easily at home.

Enjoy these soft buns with coffee for breakfast, with soup and salad for lunch, or as a side dish at dinner. And don’t forget to mop up Thanksgiving gravy with these rolls!

Golden Corral Rolls Ingredients


In the baking aisle of the grocery store, you can find two different varieties of dry yeast. One is “active dry,” and the other is “instant.”

In this recipe, I use active dry yeast but it’s fine to use instant.

Dough with instant yeast only needs half the rise time, and you can skip the second rise. If you’d like to use instant yeast, just decrease the amount you put in by 25%.


Sugar is what the yeast eats. Yeast is made of little organisms that eat sugar and produce carbon dioxide. This gas is what makes your dough rise.

When you add sugar to the dough, the yeast produces carbon dioxide more quickly, so your bread rises faster.

Also, sugar changes the texture and color of your final rolls. It makes the inside softer, the crust thinner, and the top a bit more golden brown.

Butter or Margarine

Adding fat to the dough is really important for your rolls.

In terms of taste, if you use butter, you add a warm, nutty caramel flavor. And for texture, any fat will make the bread more moist. Plus, fat helps make your rolls light and airy.

In this recipe, you can use either butter or margarine, whichever you prefer.


Like fat, milk plays an important role in the texture of your dinner rolls.

At the very beginning, using milk instead of water allows the flour to absorb more moisture. In turn, this makes the dough very soft.

However, milk is a bit alkaline, so it slows down the yeast. That means your dough will rise more slowly.

But it’s worth the wait because milk makes the rolls fluffy and soft. They’ll also brown faster than ones made with water, so you’ll get a lovely caramel color on top.


For extra tender, golden buns, don’t forget the eggs.

Their major role is to bind the rest of the ingredients. But adding egg to the dough also makes the crust soft and gives you a lovely crumb.

Eggs also add richness to both the color and flavor of the rolls. Plus, an egg wash on top will make your buns glossy.


For this recipe, use regular all-purpose flour. It’s a neutral-tasting white flour that has enough gluten for a good texture.

In general, it’s the perfect flour for all types of baked goods.

Since this recipe uses yeast, you can’t use self-raising flour. This type of flour has baking powder and salt in it, and those two ingredients can interfere with yeast.

Also, baking powder makes dough rise faster than yeast does. And this will make your rolls have more of a cake texture, and they might also lose their shape.

So, while self-raising flour is good for things like muffins, it’s not a good bread flour.

Additionally, you can substitute some whole wheat flour for white to make these rolls a little healthier. But don’t add too much because whole wheat flour can make your rolls very dense and tough.

As a general rule, you can substitute up to about 50% whole wheat flour for white.

Easy Tips for the Best Golden Corral Rolls

Divide Dough Evenly

Make sure you divide your dough into even balls before baking. This way, they’ll all bake at the same time. And using a kitchen scale makes this step really easy.

Shape Well

For pretty, round rolls, make sure the dough is in nice little spheres. If your dough is lumpy or oddly-shaped, time in the oven isn’t going to improve the look.

If you like pull-apart rolls, you can put the balls of dough close together in a rectangular or round pan. But if you want your buns to be perfectly round, bake them spaced out on a sheet pan.

Knead Properly

To get the right texture in your rolls, you need to knead.

Before you start kneading, sprinkle a little flour onto your clean counter or board. Then shape your dough into a flat disk and place it on the lightly-floured surface.

Next, fold the dough in half and turn it 90 degrees. Then, push the heel of your hand into the dough and away from you to stretch it out.

Once more, fold the dough onto itself and turn it 90 degrees. Keep following this pattern for about 10 minutes, and then shape the dough back into a ball.

You’ll know your dough is ready when it’s smooth and shiny and no longer sticks to the surface. Also, it will have an elastic texture and bounce back a bit when you push it with your finger.

To save yourself time and effort, use a stand mixer to knead. Simply use the dough hook attachment. As well, you don’t need a bread machine for this recipe. Just your hands and an oven.

Use Extra Flour (But Not Too Much!)

If the dough is really sticky, you can put some flour on your hands and work surface. This will help you work with the dough.

But use as little flour as possible for this, because adding extra flour can make the dough stiff, and you want a soft dough for this recipe. Also, too much flour can make the final rolls more dense and dry.

Golden Corral Rolls Recipe

  • Prep Time50 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time3h:10 min
  • Servings24 roll
  • Yield

Level: Intermediate

Rise Time: 2 hours

Bake Time: 20 min




  1. Mix Yeast Mixture

    Add the warm water and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Then, sprinkle the yeast on top and wait until the mixture becomes foamy.

    This should take about 5 minutes, but I usually wait 10 just to be sure, especially if it’s a cold day.

  2. Heat Milk Mixture

    Pour the milk into a saucepan and heat it to scalding. Or, put it in the microwave to heat it up.

    Then, add the sugar, salt, and butter or margarine to the hot milk and stir to combine. Once everything has dissolved, let the mixture cool to between 105 and 115 degrees F.

    Once it’s cool, pour milk mixture into the yeast, and stir. Then add the egg and whisk until everything is smooth.

  3. Add Flour

    To the yeast and milk mixture, slowly add 1 cup of flour at a time, up to 4 cups. At the end of this, you should have a soft dough.

    Then, sprinkle some of the remaining flour onto the pastry cloth.

  4. Knead Dough

    Place the dough on the lightly-floured pastry cloth and knead for about 5 minutes. As well, use the remaining flour to dust your hands and surface as you knead: try to work most of it into the dough.

  5. Let Rise

    Grease a large bowl, and place the dough into the buttered bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place.

    After about 1-¼ to 1-½ hours, the dough should be twice as large. Once it has doubled, punch dough down.

  6. Shape Dough

    After punching the dough, knead it once more on the pastry cloth. Beware, this dough is pretty sticky, so you can use some extra flour to help this process.

    However, try not to use much, because you want the rolls to be really light.

    Then, divide your dough into 26 pieces, and roll them into balls. (The diameter of each ball will be about 1-½ to 1-¾ inches.)

    Next, grease your baking dish or sheet. If you want pull-apart rolls, put balls of dough close, but not touching, in a 9×13 inch dish.

    However, if you want perfect circles, place them farther apart on a flat sheet.

  7. Let Rise Again and Prepare for Baking

    Cover the rolls with plastic or a kitchen towel once more, and allow them to double in size. This will take about 30-40 minutes.

    Just before the end of the second rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. And when the rolls are ready, brush melted margarine or butter on top.

  8. Bake and Enjoy!

    Finally, bake the rolls for approximately 18-20 minutes. At this point, they’ll be beautifully golden-brown on top.

    Serve warm and slather them in butter.

Golden Corral rolls recipe

How to Freeze & Reheat Golden Corral Rolls

Fresh rolls always taste the best, so try to eat these within one or two days. If you want to keep them for longer, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. That way, they’ll stay good for a week.

If you need them to last even longer, you can freeze the rolls for no more than 3 months. Before you want to eat them, just bake them for 10 minutes at 300 degrees F.

Golden Corral Rolls Recipe _ Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 433Calories
  • 4.3g Fat
  • 84.9gCarbs
  • 11.8gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24 rolls
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat4.3g 6%
Saturated Fat2.2g 11%
Total Carbohydrate84.9g31%
Dietary Fiber3g11%
Total Sugars3.5g
Vitamin C3mcg13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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