Sticky Buns Recipe

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Make these perfect, gooey Sticky Buns with a classic cinnamon-butter filling and a rich pecan-caramel topping. They’re soft, fluffy, and the topping is sticky and decadent.

Enjoy these Sticky Buns for breakfast or as a sweet treat with your coffee or tea.

Sticky Buns Recipe

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 3 hours
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings 12



  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour approx. 19 oz
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup whole milk 8 fl oz
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar divided (approx. 2.3 oz)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast 0.25 oz
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature (1 stick or 4 oz)
  • 2 large eggs whisked
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pecan Caramel Topping

  • 1 3/4 cups chopped pecans approx. 6 oz
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter 0.75 stick or 3 oz
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup approx. 2.5 fl oz
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar approx. 3.9 oz
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon Butter Filling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick or 4 oz
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar approx. 2 oz
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon



  • Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, nutmeg, and orange zest (if using). Set aside.
  • Prepare Yeast Mixture: Warm the milk to about 110°F. Pour it into a large bowl or a stand mixer bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and yeast. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  • Combine Wet Ingredients: Add the rest of the sugar, butter, and whisked eggs to the yeast mixture. Mix briefly using a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon.
  • Form Dough: Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined into a shaggy dough.
  • Knead Dough: Switch to the dough hook and knead on low for 8-10 minutes, or knead by hand on a floured surface for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and tacky.
  • First Rise: Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let it rise at room temperature (around 72°F) for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.

Cinnamon Butter Filling

  • Mix Ingredients: Just before assembling the rolls, mix butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl to form a thick paste. Set aside.

Pecan Caramel Topping

  • Prepare Pan: Grease a 9×13” pan with oil spray and line with parchment paper.
  • Make Caramel: In a medium saucepan, combine butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup (if using), and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 3 minutes.
  • Assemble Topping: Pour caramel into the prepared pan and sprinkle chopped pecans over it. Set aside.

Assemble Rolls

  • Check Dough: To check if the dough has risen enough, poke it gently. It should form an indentation that slowly springs back.
  • Roll Dough: Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Roll it into a rectangle about 20×12 inches and 1/2 inch thick.
  • Spread Filling: Spread the cinnamon butter filling evenly over the dough.
  • Shape Rolls: Roll the dough tightly from the widest side into a 20-inch log. Trim the ends and cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Arrange Rolls: Place the rolls in the prepared pan on top of the pecan caramel mixture. Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Second Rise: Let the rolls rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until puffed up.


  • Preheat Oven: While the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 375°F (or 350°F if using a convection oven).
  • Bake Rolls: Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. If the center isn’t fully baked, cover with foil and bake for an additional 3-5 minutes.
  • Cool: Let the rolls cool in the pan for 20 minutes.


  • Flip Rolls: Carefully flip the rolls onto a serving board and remove the parchment paper.
  • Enjoy: Serve warm.



  • Serve Fresh: These rolls are best eaten the day they’re made.
  • Refrigerate: Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat before serving.
  • Freeze: You can freeze baked rolls. Thaw in the fridge overnight and warm before serving.


  • Orange Zest and Nutmeg: Both are optional but add great flavor.
  • Rising Time: You can speed up the first rise by placing the dough in a warm spot, but watch it closely.
  • Yeast: Instant yeast can be used instead of active yeast. No need to proof, just add to the dough ingredients.
  • Make Ahead: Assemble the rolls a day ahead and refrigerate. Let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking.
  • Corn Syrup: It helps stabilize the caramel but is not essential.
  • Maple Syrup Substitute: Use honey if you don’t have maple syrup.

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