Cinnamon Sticky Buns


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

  • Yield: Makes 15 sticky buns



  • 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 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting


  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter


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


1 Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 teaspoon 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.

sticky-buns-1.jpg sticky-buns-2.jpg

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.

sticky-buns-3.jpg sticky-buns-4.jpg

sticky-buns-5.jpg sticky-buns-6.jpg

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.

sticky-buns-7.jpg sticky-buns-8.jpg

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.

sticky-buns-9.jpg sticky-buns-10.jpg

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

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.

More from Elise

144 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCinnamon Sticky Buns

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Harriet

    This recipe is good that it even works when you execute the steps out of order ;-) See, I started a pan of sourdough cinnamon buns (using a totally different recipe) but after they rose I realized that what I really wanted was sticky buns. I searched out this lovely recipe and began with Step 4, making the topping. When the topping was mixed and melted in the saucepan, I used a spatula to lift my already-risen sourdough cinnamon rolls from the baking pan, and quickly spread the topping mixture on the floor of the pan, and then settled the dough back into the pan. Pan went straight into the oven and came out full of fantastic sticky buns. next time I’ll start and end with this recipe. Here’s a tip: I was out of brown sugar but I discovered that by adding 2 Tbsp of molasses to 1 cup of granulated white sugar you get brown sugar.


  2. kathy

    This is a delicious sticky bun recipe. I made these several times already, they turn out perfect every time. I do not refrigerate them overnight, just cover them with plastic wrap and let rise till approximately doubled in size, 45 minutes or as needed. Then bake them as directed, I do cover them with foil about three quarters the way through the baking process so they don’t over brown.


  3. BG

    Thanks for this awesome recipe. It’s a keeper. The only thing I did different is I had to knead them by hand. I don’t have a mixer. I also left out the corn syrup for the topping, because I didn’t have any. This recipe still came out great. I was surprise how simple it was too. FYI to anybody making these – be careful when flipping them over. I dropped the pan and most of them went all over the floor. That was sad. Oh well, I saved a few of them. Next time I’ll be more careful.


    Show Replies (1)
  4. Sylvia

    These turned out amazing. However I think the bake time and temp is off. They were already a deep brown by a total of 20 minutes at 400 deg. Next time I will bake them at 350 for 20-25 minutes. And yes there will be a next time. Thank you.


  5. Maryann

    I’ve been making sticky buns for Christmas and Easter for years. This year I ventured to try a new recipe, I decided on this one. These knocked my old recipe out if the ball park. This is my new go-to recipe.!


View More
Cinnamon Sticky BunsCinnamon Sticky Buns