Mexican Breakfast Rolls for Cinco de Mayo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Light and fluffy not-too-sweet yeast rolls topped with a crunchy topping are just right for dunking in your favorite hot beverage at breakfast, for an afternoon treat, or a late night snack.
Recipe type: Yeast Breads
Cuisine: Mexican
Yield: 14 to 16 rolls
Roll Dough
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz) warm water, 105° to 110°F
  • 1/2 cup (4 fluid oz) whole milk, 105°F to 110°F
  • 1/3 cup (2-1/2 oz, 66 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 cups (17 oz, 480 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz, 43 grams) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
Topping Dough
  • 4 tablespoons (2 oz, 43 grams) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (3-1/2 oz, 100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (3-1/8 oz, 90 grams) all-purpose flour
Roll Dough
  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Using the flat paddle, add the milk, sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and half the flour. and mix on low speed until just combined, then switch to the dough hook.
  3. Add the remaining flour and knead on speed 2 for 8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough to an oiled rising bucket or large bowl and turn the dough to coat with the oil.
  5. Cover the container with its lid or put plastic wrap on the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until doubled, 30 to 60 minutes.
Topping Dough
  1. Meanwhile, make the sugar cookie topping by using a hand mixer to beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.
  2. With the mixer on low, add the flour and mix until a thick dough forms.
  3. Divide dough in half and tint each with food color, using a rubber spatula to mix until the food color is evenly distributed.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready for use.
Shaping and Finishing the Rolls
  1. When the roll dough has doubled, turn it out onto a lightly oiled surface and divide into 14 even pieces.
  2. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Remove the topping from the refrigerator and divide into 14 pieces.
  4. Pat a piece of topping into a flat circle big enough to cover the top of a roll then firmly place it on a roll.
  5. When all of the rolls are covered with the topping dough, make a pattern of your choosing on the top.
  6. Lightly cover the buns with waxed paper and a tea towel, and let them rise for 45 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. Bake the buns for 18-20 minutes, or until they are fragrant, you can see that the tops are starting to get golden brown under the topping, and they register 190°F to 200° with an instant read thermometer.
  9. The rolls are best eaten warm, if possible, but you can make them a day ahead and microwave them for about 10 seconds. Store the rolls uncovered to keep the topping from getting soft.
Instead of adding food coloring to the topping dough, you can mix 1 tablespoon of cinnamon or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder with the sugar, then proceed with mixing the topping dough.
Total recipe time shown does not include rising times; actual total time is approximately 3 hours from start to finish.
Recipe by MJ Bakes A Lot at