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Pecan Sticky Buns

Preheat your oven for a tried-and-tested recipe for Pecan Sticky Buns starring fluffy cinnamon rolls topped with a sticky-sweet pecan topping.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings 12 servings


For the sticky bun dough:

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (one 3/4-oz.) packet active dry yeast
  • 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon

For the topping: 

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Make the sticky bun dough:

  • Warm the milk and butter on the stovetop or in the microwave until it is warm but not hot to the touch (it should be below 110°F). Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and the yeast to the milk, stirring to combine, then set it aside for 5 minutes. 
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, cinnamon, salt and remaining ½ cup sugar. Add the yeast mixture and eggs and mix for 8 minutes until the dough is smooth. (The dough will be slightly tacky.) Place the dough in a clean, greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm, dark place to proof until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.  
  • Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter.
  • Lightly flour your work surface then scrape the dough out, and using a rolling pin, roll the dough into roughly a 12×20-inch rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick. 

Make the filling:

  • Brush the melted butter generously over the dough. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle it atop the melted butter. Starting at the long edge of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a tight log, then using a sharp knife, slice the log into 12 2-inch rounds and set them aside.

Make the topping:

  • Spread the pecans in an even layer in the greased baking pan.
  • In a small saucepan set over medium heat, stir together the butter, brown sugar, milk, maple syrup and salt. Cook the mixture, stirring, until the butter has melted then bring it to a simmer for 1 minute.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it atop the pecans.
  • Arrange the sliced rolls atop the filling then cover the pan with plastic wrap and let it rest until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake the sticky buns for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  • Place a serving platter atop the baking pan then carefully invert the pan to release the sticky buns onto the platter. (Scrape any leftover pecan topping from the pan onto the buns.) Let the sticky buns sit for 10 minutes then serve. 
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