How To Make Butterflake Rolls if You’re Not Martha Stewart

Try as I might, I can’t make things perfect. I can make one cupcake in a batch look pretty dang awesome. From time to time my junk drawer has all of the pens in the same slot.  I’ve attempted gardening until my dirt is a soft mixture of home-recycled compost, but somewhere between good intentions and real life, I discover that I don’t have enough patience to hand-craft pansies from gumpaste. Nor do I have what it takes to handpaint my own murals on antique dresser handles.

Apparently, I don’t have what it takes to make photo-worthy Butterflake Rolls, either. And, let’s be honest, neither do you. You don’t want to spend four straight hours in your kitchen, intermittently scraping down the beaters of your Kitchen Aid all the while churning your own butter for the soft flaky layers so indicative of a true Butterflake roll.

No worries. You don’t have to set your table in matching china with peonies picked from your front porch to serve up a good meal to the people you love. This is food, darlings. It’s meant to be messy. Making it should be fun, not stressful. So, put away your hesitations about photo-worthy eats and dig your hands into soft dough. Press it around your knuckles, lean into it as you stand in barefeet.

The floor will get messy. The rolls may not look magazine-perfect. But your soul will be fed. And your family will love you for all those flaky layers, into which you put a whole gaggle of imperfect (but ever-so-immense) love. Yours.

Toss a bit of butter into your muffin tins. It’s like hiding a little present under a pillow.

Mix together your basic ingredients until a soft, luscious dough forms. Yes, dough can be soft and luscious.  So can bellybuttons in bikini’s. But, that’s not your concern until next week when this dough settles itself atop your hips.

The real trick to making Butterflake Rolls is layer after layer after layer of butter kneaded into layer after layer after layer of dough. It’s a very complex love story.

Bound to get ugly before it gets beautiful.

Oh, who am I kidding. It never really gets beautiful. But, it does happen to taste absolutely divine.


Butterflake Rolls


1 tablespoon yeast
3/4 cup very warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
1 stick butter, softened


Prepare a muffin tin for baking by spraying it with nonstick cooking spray, or tossing a small pat of butter into the bottom of each cup. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix yeast in 1/4 cup warm water until dissolved. Add the sugar. Whisk, in the salt and eggs. Beat in milk and remaining water until well-mixed.

Use a wooden spoon to stir in about 2 1/2 cups of flour, adding more (up to 3 cups) as necessary to make a soft dough. You want to be able to knead the dough and not have it stick to your fingers, but still have the dough be soft and pillowy. Less is definitely more here.

Knead dough a few times. Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and spread with a thin layer of butter (it should be about 2 tablespoons). Fold dough in half, then spread with butter. Repeat this 4 more times.

Once you've finished buttering, roll into 1/2 inch thickness and cut dough into 1×1 inch squares. Place 3-4 squares upright in each non-stick sprayed muffin tin. Let rise about 45-60 minutes, or until well risen.

Bake in middle rack at 400° F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.