Cinnamon Sticky Buns

DessertBakingCinnamonPastry

Cinnamon sweet sticky buns, with melted brown sugar and pecans.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

“Elise, I absolutely forbid you from making these again,” exclaimed my father in exasperation after his fifth sticky bun from this batch.

“That good, eh? I’m glad you like them,” I answered smiling. We finally had to freeze the few remaining, lest we completely destroy our appetites for the entire day.

The problem with these sticky buns, loaded with melted brown sugar and pecans, is that they are irresistible. And, once you have one, you must have another.

The recipe is adapted from this month’s (February, 2006) Oprah Magazine. (It does make you wonder, with Oprah’s ongoing emphasis on weight-loss, the logic of publishing recipes like these. But then again, moderation is the key, and if you are going to eat something sweet, better make it good!)

Cinnamon Sticky Buns Recipe

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  • Yield: Makes 15 sticky buns

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

Topping:

  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans

Method

1 Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended.

Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour.

Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place).

After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.

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2 Make the filling: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.

3 Roll out the dough, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, roll into a cylinder, make crosswise cuts: Roll dough out into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.

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4 Make the topping: In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan and sprinkle pecans on top.

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5 Place dough rounds, flat side down, on top of prepared topping. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise, and refrigerate overnight.

6 Bake: Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bake buns until golden, 30 to 35 minutes.

7 Remove from oven and invert: Remove pan from oven and immediately (and carefully as not to spill hot topping on your toes!) invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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117 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Monica

    I made this recipe after work one day and it took a long time! Solely due to the waiting time for it to rise. So I baked in the morning. They came out soft, delicious, and the topping was to die for!!! I did leave out the orange zest because I didn’t have any oranges. My only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is because I would have liked the buns a tad bit sweeter. The topping was sweet but the bun wasn’t sweet enough. Over all I’d make again with more time and more recipe in the dough. :)

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Danielle

    These are amazing!! Made a half batch last night and they are perfect this morning. Followed the recipe exactly except we used almonds because that was all we had.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Keith

    made these exactly to recipe first, but we preferred without the orange zest for the next 10 or so batches. light fluffy crumb, and correct sugar and spice. my 7 year old grandaughter made them and won overall baking grand champion at local fair. only takes 20 to 25 minutes in oven if not refrigerated first. also keep your dough on sticky side for fluffy crumb. my grandaughter is better at separating yolks than me, her grandpa, to her delight. thank you for this recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Gretchen

    I made them over 2 days. Very nice but I think the Tablespoon of Orange zest makes for an Orange Cinnamon Sticky Bun. Just shocked at how orange the recipe is. The outcome would probably be better and more delicate with just a hint of orange, if you used 1 Teaspoon instead.

  • Liz

    Delish! My dad’s favorite. Like others, I made this recipe all in one day, simply allowing the cut pieces to rise for 45 mins after placing them in the baking pan. The dough was silky smooth and the resulting rolls light and fluffy. I omitted the orange zest because I did not have any oranges, but I’m not sure it was missed – these were oh so good without it. I am a savory girl, but I ate two hot out of the oven! Yum.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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