The best homemade sticky buns recipe for pillowy soft, sweet and sticky buns topped with roasted pecans and caramel sauce
This homemade sticky buns recipe is a classic. Sweet dough rolled up with cinnamon, sugar, and butter and then baked in a bed of brown sugar, butter, and pecans. Flip them out onto a plate and let that ooey-gooey sticky glaze drip down (so satisfying).
Making your own sticky buns from scratch is SO much better than a can and it’s not hard at all to do. We’re starting out with my master sweet dough recipe. This dough is so versatile for all types of desserts like cinnamon rolls and danish!
Prep these sticky buns the day before and pop them in the oven for the most amazing fresh sticky buns right out of the oven.
What’s the difference between sticky buns and cinnamon rolls?
Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls are quite similar. They are both made with a sweet enriched dough and filled with a cinnamon and sugar.
The dough is rolled up and then cut into slices. The main difference between cinnamon rolls and sticky buns is cinnamon rolls are glazed with a yummy cream cheese frosting.
Sticky buns are baked in a pan lined with sugar and butter and pecans. As the sticky buns bake, the sugar and butter caramelize into a rich and sticky glaze. When the buns are done baking, the pan is inverted onto a plate and the glaze covers the buns, making them very sticky!
How do you make sticky buns?
Start out by making your sweet dough and letting it rise for 90 minutes. Then roll the sweet dough out into a rectangle that is about 10″ long and about 18″ wide.
Spread your cinnamon sugar over the dough but leave a small strip of dough uncovered at the back of the dough so that you can seal it up.
Roll up your dough nice and tight. Don’t forget to seal the back edge with egg wash or water so the roll doesn’t come undone while baking. Then cut the dough into twelve equal pieces.
Make your glaze and spread it evenly in the bottom of your pan. Sprinkle with your pecans. Or if you don’t like nuts, you can leave them off. They will still be amazing!
I’m using a cake pan but you could use any kind of pan you like such as a casserole dish or glass baking pan.
Arrange your rolls on top of the glaze mixture. Cover them with a towel and let them rise for one hour or until doubled before you bake them.
You can also make your sticky buns ahead of time and bake the next day. Just cover the rolls with some plastic wrap so no air gets inside and then put them into the fridge overnight.
Take the rolls out about two hours before you want to eat them and bake them up fresh! Let them cool a bit then flip them out onto a plate to enjoy while still warm.
Homemade Sticky Buns With Caramel Pecan Glaze
Sticky Roll Dough
- 4 ounces (114 g) milk 110ºF
- 5 grams dried instant yeast
- 14 ounces (397 g) all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 4 ounces (114 g) butter softened
- 2 ounces (57 g) sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 4 ounces (114 g) unsalted butter softened to almost melted
- 4 ounces (114 g) granulated sugar
- 10 grams cinnamon
- 2 ounces pecans chopped
Pecan Caramel Glaze
- 8 ounces (114 g) unsalted butter softened
- 4 ounces (114 g) granulated sugar softened
- 4 ounces (85 g) brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces (57 g) corn syrup or less if you like a thicker consistency
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces chopped pecans
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- One sheet pan (13"x18") or similar sized pan
- Parchment Paper
- Warm milk to 110ºF. Add in 1 Tablespoon of your sugar and then the yeast and whisk to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Place flour in the mixing bowl with the yeast/milk mixture and stir until combined
- Add in your eggs one at a time, letting each combine before you add the next
- Add in sugar, butter and salt and mix on low until combined
- Let mix on low for 5-10 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and bounces back when you touch it. You can also do the window test (see blog post for example)
- Shape the dough into a smooth ball and then place it into a greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 90 minutes in a warm place ***optional***(I pre-heat my oven to 170ºF for five minutes then TURN THE OVEN OFF. It should be barely warm inside. Place a bowl of warm water in the back of the oven and your covered bowl of dough into the oven and shut the door)
For the cinnamon sugar filling
- Combine together all your ingredients with a mixer until smooth
For the caramel pecan glaze
- Cream together the butter and sugar, salt and cinnamon until smooth. Add in the corn syrup, and vanilla and mix until smooth and fluffy. About 2 minutes.
- Spread the filling in the bottom of a 10" round cake pan and sprinkle with pecans.
To make the rolls
- Once your dough has proofed, roll out the dough 10" wide, 1/2" thick. It doesn't matter how long. Spread the cinnamon sugar filling over the surface evenly, all the way to the edges, except keep one edge without cinnamon so you can seal it.
- Sprinkle the pecans over the filling
- Roll up the dough length-wise. Make sure the first roll is very tight so you get a nice spiral, then continue pushing the dough until you reach the edge. Brush a little water or egg wash along the bare edge so it seals the loose edge of the dough.
- Cut the roll into 12 equal slices and arrange on top of the glaze filling evenly.
- Cover loosely with a tea towel and let proof to double then bake (or cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the fridge if you want to bake them the next day. Let come to room temperature and proof to double before baking. This can take 1.5-2 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is)
- Bake your buns in the oven at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
- Let the buns cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then carefully invert onto a plate. Don't flip too soon or the glaze will be very liquidy and will run off the buns onto the plate.
- Scoop up any excess glaze and drizzle it back onto the tops of the buns. Serve warm.