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

  • 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 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

Filling:

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

Topping:

  • 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

Method

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.

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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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165 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Elizamaebeth

    The dough turned out great! One little tweak I made was, instead of melting the topping ingredients in a pot. I mixed everything in a stand mixer and did not use any honey. I was thinking that too much syrup-y ingredients would make the topping too hard after it set. With the method I used, the topping came out perfect! Nice and STICKY!!!!!!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  2. Anna

    Is it possible to make this without the stand mixer? Or will the dough come out too tough?

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Amanda

    Hello, I was wondering if I could make this recipe with cake/pastry flour rather than all purpose because I don’t have any at home.

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Cynthia H

    Can you help me? Twice I made this recipe. The dough is always delish! The topping is always hard and glassy! What am I doing wrong? How can I make the topping just gooey…not hard? I notice I am not the only person having the problem but I did not see any replies to the problem.

    Show Replies (3)
  5. Sophie

    Legitimately one of the best things I’ve ever baked! I was a bit terrified to attempt this recipe because it seemed difficult but it was not nearly as hard as I expected! These buns are absolutely addictive. I did what some commenters suggested and baked them at a lower temp than in the recipe and the texture of the buns was perfect. The only thing I had an issue with was the topping was a bit hard to eat, it seemed to solidify more than I wanted (this may be because I used dark brown sugar) but when I reheated them in the microwave it softened.

    xxxxxyyyyy

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