Ever wonder just why hot dogs are called hot dogs? The official story is that when the traditional German “dachshund sausage” came to the United States, the term got Americanized into “hot dog.” Other, unofficial stories abound, but however it came by its name, there’s no doubt that the hot dog as we know it is a thoroughly American food, one it seems like we’re almost required to eat during summer barbecues and baseball games.

Still, we can’t help occasionally getting caught up on the “dog” part of its name, and wondering if there’s a way to make the food we love as adorable as the animal that gives it its name— while still staying appetizing, of course! The answer? Focus on the bun! With just a little creativity, you can make these Hot Doggie Buns that look like Fido is personally delivering your dinner. Watch and learn how simple it is to make this cute twist on a classic.

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Makes 8 hot doggie buns


  • 12 balls of large-sized frozen dinner roll dough, thawed
  • Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
  • 16 black olives, for eyes and nose
  • 16 toothpicks, to secure the olives
  • 8 cooked hot dogs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius).
  2. Cut one of the dough rounds into quarters. Take two of the quartered pieces and affix them to either side on the top of a second, whole dinner roll so that they resemble floppy dog ears. Brush the assembled doggie bun with egg wash.
  3. Form the dog’s eyes and noses with the olives to make a dog face on the whole roll. Use a whole black olive for the dog’s nose and two olive halves for the eyes. Stick in toothpicks to hold the olives in place while the rolls bake.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make as many dog-shaped buns as needed. You’ll need 12 balls of dough to make 8 doggie buns, since 4 of them will be cut to form the ears.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the rolls are golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  7. When they have cooled enough to handle, create the dog’s mouth by slicing the rolls in half using a bread knife. Do not go all the way through the roll; stop just before you reach the ears.
  8. Remove the toothpicks from the eyes and nose. Fill the buns with the cooked hot dogs by sticking each hot dog into the doggie buns’ mouths.
Putting mustard on hot doggie bunsTipHero


  • When you quarter the four rolls to form ears, the places where the dough was cut should be sticky enough to attach to the whole roll head. If you have trouble or if you prefer, you can also brush the roll with some of the egg wash to help stick on the ears. The general egg wash will also help the rolls brown in the oven.
  • Want more or less than 8 doggie buns? Simply multiply the final number you need by 1½ to find out the number of rolls you’ll need to make them— 6 rolls to make 4 doggie buns, 12 rolls to make 8 doggie buns, 18 rolls to make 12 doggie buns, and so on.
Hot dog in a bun shaped like a dogTipHero

Adorable, right? They’re almost too cute to eat. Almost. We love how easy it is to make it look like a dog without really having to have any special food-decorating skills. Do you think you’ll give them a try? Have you tried any other ways of creatively serving hot dogs, or heard any stories about how the little sausages got their name? Tell us if you attempt this recipe and how it turns out for you!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Japan