This recipe is for indulgent maple pecan sticky buns. Soft, pillowy, gooey cinnamon rolls covered in sticky maple caramel sauce and chopped pecans.
I should preface this post with acknowledging that these sticky buns are in no way a healthy dessert or something you should eat on the regular LOL! These are a true indulgent treat! These are a family favorite and sure to bring lots of smiles and joy to your kitchen. They're perfect for special occasions like Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!
Sticky buns are basically cinnamon buns that have been elevated to a whole new level of deliciousness. Essentially you make a cinnamon roll like usual, but before popping the rolls in the pan to proof you add a layer of maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, heavy cream and pecans. As the buns bake the layer of buttery sugary goodness caramelizes and seeps into each cinnamon roll. After they bake you turn them over to reveal a sea of glossy, maple caramel sauce and pecan pieces over each beautiful cinnamon roll. Literally mouth watering.
If you're looking for other pecan or caramel recipes check out my maple pecan layer cake, salted caramel sauce, maple bourbon pecan pie, salted caramel spice cake or salted caramel white chocolate cheesecake.
Why You'll Love This Sticky Bun Recipe
-They have an extremely soft dough. Seriously like little pillows of doughy, buttery, sugary goodness.
-They are so gooey. The maple caramel sauce completely coats each bun.
-They are really fun to make! They do take a little time, but making them is half the fun. There's something about baking with yeast that makes making the dessert even more exciting. I love to see the dough rise, and transform into a delicious treat. It really makes you feel like you've accomplished something!
-They will be one of the best, if not the best, dessert you'll ever eat. Take my word for it!
Ingredients for Homemade Sticky Buns
- Active dry yeast- this is crucial for these sticky buns to be able to rise properly, not an optional ingredient
- Milk- I recommend using whole milk, half n half works too
- Flour- all purpose flour
- Eggs- make sure they're room temperature
- Unsalted Butter- you'll need lots of butter to make these sticky buns, 1 lb in total (make sure it's very soft)
- Sugar- granulated white sugar is used to make the dough and light brown sugar is used in the filling and sticky topping
- Maple syrup- takes the sticky topping to a whole new level and really pairs nicely with the pecans
- Pecans- chopped pecans are used in the topping, but you can use a different kind of nut or leave them out all together if you prefer
- Vanilla- as always I recommend using vanilla bean paste for the best flavor
- Cinnamon- used in the filling
- Nutmeg- compliments the cinnamon adding yet another delicious flavor to these buns
- Rolling pin
- 9x13 casserole dish
Step by Step Instructions for Maple Pecan Sticky Buns
(Please see recipe card below for complete measurements and bake time!)
STEP ONE: Make your dough
To start, bloom your yeast. This is just a fancy term for mix your active dry yeast, little bit of sugar, and warm milk together in a small bowl and let sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.
Next, in a large bowl of a stand mixer, mix flour, salt and sugar together. Add whisked eggs and butter and mix. Add milk and yeast mixture and mix until everything is blended. Switch to a dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Dough will be smooth and a little sticky.
STEP TWO: Let it rise.
Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm place to rise, (microwave or cold oven with the light on works well for this), for one and a half to two hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
STEP THREE: Make your filling.
While the dough rises make the filling by mixing butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar together.
STEP FOUR: Make maple pecan sticky topping.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the softened butter, vanilla, brown sugar, maple syrup and heavy cream.
Spray a 9 x 13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Evenly spread the sticky topping on the bottom of the pan.Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.
STEP FIVE: Roll out your dough and spread filling.
Once the dough ball has had a chance to rise, remove from bowl, press down on the dough to release the air, and roll out on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18 x 12" Next, sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough and spread it evenly.
STEP SIX: Roll up dough and cut buns.
Roll up the dough in to a long log shape. Cut the buns about 1 ½ inches wide. You should be able to get 12 buns out of the log.
STEP SEVEN: Let buns proof.
Place the sticky buns in the prepared pan. Cover them and let them proof in a warm spot for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
STEP EIGHT: Bake and then flip.
Once the buns have proofed, bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown. Let them cool for five minutes and then flip them over on to a large serving tray lined with parchment paper. (Don't wait too long to flip or the sticky topping will get hard and the buns won't be as sticky, which would be very sad!)
Take a moment to appreciate the delicious masterpiece you've just created, the serve! Enjoy!
Find full recipe with measurements below.
Why didn't my dough rise? Check that your yeast is not expired. Secondly, perhaps the dough just needed more time. Some times it takes up to two hours for the dough to proof all the way to "doubled in size".
Do I have to use maple syrup? No, some substitutions you can use are honey or corn syrup.
Why did some of my sticky topping "crystalize"? This can happen if you wait too long to turn the buns over. Try to flip them five minutes after they come out of the oven.
How do I store the sticky buns? Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
Do I have to use pecans? Nope! You can use whatever kind of nuts you would like, or leave them out entirely.
Can the dough be prepared the day before? Yes. To prepare ahead of time follow recipe up until you are about to proof the buns for the second time. Cover the prepared buns with their sticky topping and all and place in the fridge. The next morning when ready to bake, take the buns out of the fridge and allow them to proof somewhere warm until they've doubled in size. Keep in mind the rise time will take longer than an hour because the dough is cold and has to come all the way to room temperature and then proof. Once they've doubled in size bake according to the recipe.
Use unflavored dental floss to cut the dough into buns. This will allow for really pretty, clean cuts that a knife really can't give you.
Let your dough proof outside if it's warm enough, or in the oven with the light on.
Other Recipes to Try Next Time
Maple Pecan Sticky Buns
- Stand mixer
For the Dough
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar (used to bloom the yeast)
- 4 ¾ cups (593 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 2 eggs, whisked
- ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
For the Filling
- ¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ⅓ cup (293 g) brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Maple Pecan Sticky Topping
- ¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cups (330 g) brown sugar
- ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (112 g) chopped pecans
For the Dough
- Heat the cold milk until it is around 105-110 degrees. Bloom your yeast by mixing the active dry yeast, granulated white sugar, and the lukewarm milk together. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until foamy on top.2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar (used to bloom the yeast), 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) milk
- In a stand mixer, mix the all purpose flour, salt and granulated white sugar together.4 ¾ cups (593 g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, 2 tablespoon sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- Add in the eggs, softened butter and vanilla and mix.2 eggs, whisked, ½ cup (112 g) unsalted butter, softened, 1 tablespoon vanilla
- Add in the milk and yeast mixture and mix until everything is blended. Switch to a dough hook and knead for 5-7 minutes on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. The dough will be smooth and a little sticky.
- Form the dough into a ball and place in a large, greased bowl. (Works best with floured hands). Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for one and a half to two hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
For the Filling
- While the dough rises make the filling by mixing the softened butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together.1 ⅓ cup (293 g) brown sugar, ¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened, 2 tablespoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, ½ teaspoon salt
For the Sticky Topping
- Mix together the softened butter, vanilla, light brown sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream and salt.¾ cup (168 g) unsalted butter, softened, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1 ½ cups (330 g) brown sugar, ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup, ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Evenly spread the sticky topping on the bottom of a greased 9 x 13" casserole dish. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.1 cup (112 g) chopped pecans
Assembling and Baking the Sticky Buns
- Once the dough has had a chance to rise, remove from bowl, press down on the dough to release the air, and roll out on a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 18 x 12".
- Next, spoon the prepared filling over the dough and spread it evenly. Roll up the dough into a long log shape. Cut off the ends, then cut the buns about 1 ½ inches wide. You should be able to get 12 buns out of the log.
- Place the sticky buns in the prepared casserole dish with the sticky topping. Loosely cover them with greased plastic wrap and let them proof in a warm place for about an hour, or until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees about 15 minutes before the buns are done proofing (or earlier if your oven takes longer to preheat).
- Once the buns have proofed, bake for 40-45 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown.
- Let them cool for five minutes and then flip them over on to a large serving tray.
- Serve the sticky buns and enjoy!
- Store left overs in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for up to three days. Rewarm before serving for the best taste!
Thanks for a great time I’m going to have in my kitchen ❤️
They look gorgeous. I’m going to spoil my brother-in-law and make them for him.
P.S. I found a typo in the paragraph above the last picture of the final step of turning out the buns, two, 9x13 pans side by side. Right at the end of the paragraph.
Instead of, the serve, I’m sure you meant, and serve.
Omg this recipe is to die for. I just made these today. This is the perfect project for a weekend when you have a few hours of free time. Please learn from my mistake though! Though these step-by-step instructions are fool-proof, apparently I need fooler-proof since I ended up rolling the dough along the wrong side/orientation 😂😭, so I only ended up with eight or nine buns instead of 12. Oops! They still filled out the whole pan when proofed and baked, and they taste absolutely amazing. I have to figure out how to ration them because they are so decadent. Thanks for an amazing dessert!
There's are PERFECT. I can't believe they came out so well the first time! However, the second time I wasn't as lucky. Weighted measurements are greatly appreciated!