Honey Whole Wheat Rolls are sweet, tender, and an ideal addition to any menu whether a weeknight dinner or holiday meal.

Cloverleaf Rolls pull apart easily and have more surface area for cold, creamy butter. That’s definitely a bonus!

Honey Whole Wheat roll on a white plate, broken open with a pat of butter and a red handled knife

Why You Must Make

  • Warm bread with cold butter is one of my guilty pleasures. I actually made these whole wheat cloverleaf rolls thinking they’d be part of our Thanksgiving dinner. But they were so soft and delicious, they were gone in just over a day.
  • A bit of honey and using White Whole Wheat flour made for an exquisite and irresistible flavor and texture.
  • Nick and Bill each ate a couple of these cloverleaf rolls for breakfast then again at dinner. Plus, I found they made a perfect mid-afternoon snack.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Butter, All-Purpose Flour, Salt
  • Instant Yeast – I use Red Star Platinum Yeast preferred)
  • Lukewarm Water – 98-105° F
  • Apple Cider – Adds sweetness, flavor
  • Honey – Helps feed the yeast
  • White Whole Wheat Flour – You get the benefits of whole wheat without compromising the texture.
  • Instant Mashed Potato Flakes – Softens the texture and keeps the bread fresher longer.
  • Nonfat Dry Milk – The additional protein and sugar contribute to the structure and texture of the bread, making it more tender, increasing the rise as well as enhancing the browning of the crust.
Honey Whole Wheat Cloverleaf Rolls in a basket behind one roll on a white plate.

How to Make Plus Recipe Tips

  • The bit of honey makes for a touch of sweetness to these pull-apart cloverleaf rolls.
  • Plus using the softer white wheat flour doesn’t weigh down the dough like the classic red wheat variety of whole wheat flour. If you haven’t been successful with baking whole wheat bread, be sure to try out (affiliate link) white whole wheat flour.
  • You get the benefits of traditional whole wheat with a lighter, sweeter, and milder flavor. It’s a bit darker than all-purpose flour and can be substituted for any type of flour in your recipes. It worked perfectly in these scrumptious whole wheat rolls.
  • To make a cloverleaf roll recipe, you must divide the amount of bread dough you’d use for one dinner roll into three equal parts. Roll each third into a round ball. Place three bread dough balls into each cup of a regular, greased muffin tin. Place the smoothest surface on top.
  • Proof and bake. Cool slightly, then dig in!!
Honey Whole Wheat Cloverleaf rolls in a muffin tin.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Cloverleaf Mean?

These rolls were named after the clover plant’s leaves that have 3 lobes like the 3 sections of these wheat rolls.

Are Cloverleaf Rolls American?

Recipes for cloverleaf rolls started appearing in cookbooks in the early 1900s. They likely originated in the US, but there is no documentation to prove where they were developed.

Can You Make Cloverleaf Rolls with Other Bread Dough?

Yes, you can make these with white bread dough, challah dough, or any favorite yeast bread recipe. You can even make these with frozen bread dough from the supermarket. Just defrost the dough, roll it into balls, proof, and bake.

More Yeast Bread and Rolls You’ll Love:

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Honey whole wheat roll on a white plate with a red handled knife

Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 12 rolls

Sweet, tender cloverleaf whole wheat rolls!


  • 1 packet or 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (Red Star Platinum Yeast preferred)
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ cup apple cider
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ⅔ cup instant mashed potato flakes
  • ¼ cup nonfat dry milk


  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer. No need to proof the yeast when using instant yeast.
  2. Using the paddle attachment at low speed, mix ingredients till combined.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 6 minutes on low speed till you have a smooth ball of dough.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let rise till very puffy, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  5. Grease a muffin tin and set it aside.
  6. Deflate the dough and divide it into 12 pieces. Roll each into a ball and place one in each muffin tin or divide each ball into thirds and place 3 smaller balls of dough into each muffin tin.
  7. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°.
  8. Bake the rolls for 15 minutes, and tent them loosely with aluminum foil. Continue to bake until about 10+ more minutes till they're deep brown on top.
  9. Remove the rolls from the oven, and after a couple of minutes, transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Adapted from King Arthur Flour.

Alternatively, you can grease two round cake pans and place 8 rolls in each.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0Total Fat: 0g


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