Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns are a variation of my most popular bread recipe.

a plate with a milk & honey whole wheat burger bun

It’s grilling season! Is there anything as satisfying as a juicy burger, hot off the grill?

We spend lots of time thinking about what type of meat (or meat substitute) we should use to make the burger, and what type of fixins to put on top of the burger, but what about the bun?

Most of us just buy packaged buns without even thinking about making our own. But I can tell you that these Whole Wheat Burger Buns will ruin packaged burger buns for you. But don’t worry, they’re really very easy to make with no deep bread-baking knowledge required.

What makes a great burger bun?

I adapted this recipe from my most popular bread recipe, Milk & Honey Whole Wheat Bread.  There’s a reason that recipe is so popular. It’s the perfect sandwich bread; soft, ever-so-slightly sweet with wholesome wheat flavor.

As good as that bread is, I knew I’d need to make a few changes to turn it into a really great homemade burger bun.

First of all, a good burger bun should be soft enough so you can bite into the burger without all the toppings squishing out. But the bun should also be substantial enough to hold up to the burger juices and toppings without disintegrating.

Finally, I don’t think the bun should just be a blank canvas. I wanted the bun to have great flavor on it’s own.

Scroll through the step-by-step process photos to see how to make Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns:

dough for milk & honey whole wheat burger bun
Allow the dough to double in volume before shaping.

portioning dough for whole wheat hamburger buns
Portion the dough into 6-8 pieces, depending on the size of your burgers.

a tray of burger buns ready for the oven
Roll the dough into balls

showing how to flatten dough for burger buns
Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand so the buns are not too thick

sprinkling sesame seeds on whole wheat burger buns
Brush the risen buns with egg white for shine and add optional sesame seeds

Golden brown whole wheat hamburger buns cooling on a rack
Bake until golden brown.

Keys to making a great homemade burger bun recipe:

  • I added 1 egg for structure and just a tiny bit of butter was needed for extra richness.
  • An extra teaspoon of yeast ensures a nice, light texture and speeds up the entire process from dough to oven. 
  • Finally, I used slightly less whole wheat flour to keep the flavor light. I wanted the bun to taste great, but also let the flavor of the burger take center stage.
  • For me sesame seeds are essential, but you can use poppy seeds or just leave them au natural.

milk & honey whole wheat burger buns

the interior of a Milk & Honey whole wheat burger bun
These burger buns are light, yet substantial enough to stand up to a hearty burger.

milk and honey whole wheat hamburger buns

To me this is the perfect burger bun.  You can make the dough in the morning and have fresh burger buns ready by the time you fire up the grill for dinner. But please don’t limit yourself to using them for burgers, they’re also fantastic for sandwiches.

Want a great burger to go on your fresh baked burger buns? How about Chicken Satay Burgers for a change? If you’ve got a sourdough starter I highly recommend these Sourdough Hamburger Buns.

Now that your family is spoiled, you’ll probably need to make Homemade Hot Dog Buns too.

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it 5 stars.

a juice burger on a plate
Print Recipe
4.55 from 40 reviews

Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

Super soft with just a hint of honey sweetness, Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns will take your burgers to the next level.
Prep Time40 minutes
Bake Time15 minutes
Rising Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 55 minutes
8 large buns
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  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup scalded and cooled to 100 °F)
  • 1 oz unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 ½ oz honey (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 5 oz whole wheat flour (1 cup, see note)
  • 10 oz bread flour (2 cups)
  • 1 egg (for egg wash)
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)


  • Combine 8 oz whole milk, 1 oz unsalted butter, 1 ½ oz honey, 1 ½ teaspoons table salt and 1 large egg in a mixer bowl. Sprinkle 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast over the mixture. Mix on low speed to combine the ingredients. Add 5 oz whole wheat flour and mix until a thick batter is formed.
  • Add 1 ½ cups of the bread flour until the batter is very thick. Switch to the dough hook and add enough of the remaining bread flour until the dough clings to the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes to develop the dough. If working by hand add as much of the flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Set in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in volume (1 - 1½ hours).
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions. Roll each portion to a ball and set them a parchment lined baking sheet. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each ball to a disc about 1" thick.
  • Cover the sheet pan and allow the rolls to rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 hour). Press a roll with your finger. If it springs right back it's not ready, if the dent slowly fills in the rolls are ready to bake.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Sprinkle each bun generously with sesame seeds. Bake until the buns are golden brown and feel light when lifted off the sheet pan, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before slicing.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The buns freeze very well.
For 1/4 lb burgers make 8 buns. For sliders estimate 12-16 buns.


Serving: 1bun | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Made these buns the other day but changed it a little from 2 cups whole wheat and 1 cup all purpose and they came out amazing!!!! My loving man even received compliments on a chicken sandwich I made him of how great the buns look, nothing about the chicken lmao Thanks so much for the recipe!!! I’m going to try it in a loaf soon

  2. I have made these 3 times now as burger buns ( large buns and slider buns) and I absolutely love them! I also made this recipe into a loaf of bread as well and it came out just perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. I am currently making my 4th batch of slider buns in a week and my 2nd loaf of bread. Thank you for this recipe. I have been trying to find a flavorful bread recipe and I will use this one as my go-to! I have already shared this recipe with 3 friends. 🙂

  3. Upon reading the reviews, looks like this is another baking to try and keep. I want to double the ingredients to make half on hotdog buns. Do you think that will work that way?
    Thank you.

    1. Pastry flour is softer than bread flour, meaning lower protein content and less gluten making ability. Did you want to use all whole grain bread rather than some white flour? Better options would be all purpose flour, white whole wheat flour or even all whole wheat flour. With all whole grain the buns will be more dense.

  4. I’ve made these buns twice now, and they are delicious! This is the best recipe I have found. They turn out so soft and chewy. I top them with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and they are the perfect complement to a burger or sandwich!

  5. Just put these in the oven – they’ve risen beautifully. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  6. Ok this is a clear “must do” this summer! I love the touch of honey in there, make me thing of the best bagel (Montreal ones;)) from home plus the mild help to keep the moisture! I’ll try this out for sure.

  7. I am totally loving the homemade buns! So awesome and I totally need to make these! Thanks for sharing on Friday Frenzy Link Party!! Xoxo

  8. I totally agree that many ready made buns are just tasteless, its so important to have a bun that tastes good. These look like the buns I buy but I’m sure they taste so much better! I feel I owe it to our tastebuds to try these.

  9. I haven’t ever made my own hamburger buns before. I have made bread, so am familiar with the practice. I love that these are whole wheat. I bet they wouldn’t last long at our upcoming Father’s Day cookout.

  10. I would have never thought that I could make my own burger buns! These ones sounds and look delicious, I will make my hubby whip them up for our next BBQ since he is the “King of the Grill”!

  11. These sound like a good bun for a nice hearty burger, how long will they keep fresh for?

    1. Because of the milk, honey and butter they’ll keep fresh for a couple of days. Longer than that they freeze really well.

  12. I’m going to have to give these a try this weekend. I’ve been looking for a better hamburger bun recipe. The ones I have always turn out a little blah. These look fantastic!

    1. They are so good Gloria. Definitely add your favorite seeds and other goodies to customize the topping.