Pan Dulce Rolls

Pan dulce, which means “sweet bread” in Spanish, is a classic breakfast dish served on special occasions. The slightly sweet and soft dough is topped with a mixture of sugar, butter, and egg yolks that browns to a crisp crunch.

Serves: 16Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 16


  • 2 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 package (0.25 oz.) active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. plus ⅓ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • ¾ cup butter, divided
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup flour


  • In small bowl, combine warm water with yeast and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and mix well. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the evaporated milk, ¼ cup butter, ⅓ cup sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat until butter melts. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and let stand until lukewarm.
  • Add eggs to milk mixture, beating well after each addition. Then add yeast mixture. Gradually stir in 4 cups flour until a soft dough forms. Knead the dough on a flour-dusted surface until smooth and satiny. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top, cover, and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  • Divide dough into 16 balls. Flatten with palm of hand and place on greased baking sheets. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until double, about 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In medium bowl, combine ½ cup butter, confectioner's sugar, brown sugar, and egg yolks and beat until smooth. Stir in lemon zest and ½ cup flour. Spread this mixture over each of the rolls, covering completely. Bake for 15–25 minutes, until rolls are browned and topping is crisp. Serve warm.