Cinnamon Sticky Buns

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

  • 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

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • DD

    does the butter that you add to the yeast with the milk, etc have to be melted or solid?

  • Di

    Awesome and easy! Except a very small drop of hot sticky syrup did land on my toes! They are in an ice bath now!

    • Elise Bauer

      Ouch! Always have to be careful when dealing with hot syrupy liquids. Whenever I something like this happens to me, I’m reminded why chefs wear clogs in the kitchen and not flip flops like I do.

  • Pat

    I made these last night and we ate them this morning. They are Simply Delicious gooey and warm. I can’t wait to make them again, because our family of four devoured these, in fact oh, I think I’ll make a double batch haha. Thank you Elise


  • Veronica

    Trying to make these, but not sure if they will rise at all since the yeast may be old. Looking forward to these as I am craving them.

  • Wesley

    Is there any way to make these without a electric and mixer ?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Wesley! Well, I guess most things made with machines were once made entirely by hand. It would take considerable effort to make this recipe without a mixer. You could try to use a hand mixer or a beat the dough with a wooden spoon through adding 3 cups of flour. Make sure your butter for the dough is very soft. Then when the recipe says to switch to a dough hook you start kneading the dough by hand, and adding the remaining cup of flour. Dough like this is very sticky.

  • Brushjl

    I just needed the topping mix for. King arthur flour’s cinnamon bun loaf recipe. The topping worked perfectly, thanks!


  • Rebecca

    I just made these twice in the last week and they were delicious! I like that they can go in the fridge overnight and be baked fresh in the morning. The second time I had them in the fridge a full 24 hrs and they turned out just as good. The dough is sort of like a cinnamon roll that you can unravel as you eat it! The only change I made was for the topping, I used 4 T. of maple syrup instead of the honey and corn syrup and I made one and a half times the amount of topping because we like them gooey. I will definitely be keeping this recipe!


  • Aurora

    I have made these before and they were wonderful! Now hubby is sugar/diet restricted and it is just the 2 of us 70 year olds. Can I cut the recipe in half w/o ruining it?


  • J ackie

    I made 3 batches of these, two I gave to the neighbors(unbaked) for Christmas. These buns were unbelievably good. I did make a few changes: I used 3 whole eggs, I added 1 rounded teaspoon Cardamom to the dough, and 1/4 cup heavy cream to the sugar and butter syrup. I increased the amount of flour to make the dough the right consistency. The batch I made for home I froze 2/3 of the unbaked rolls. I refrigerate any rolls that will be baked the next morning. Frozen rolls I thaw and let rise on the counter over night.


  • Gabrielle

    So I love this recipe. I make them every year. I had a question can I make the dough and freeze it? I need to make it tonight but we won’t eat it until Christmas day…. what do you recommend ?


    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Gabrielle! If it’s just a day or two, I’d recommend just keeping the dough in the fridge. This said, yes, you can also freeze it! Just be sure to allow time for it to thaw (overnight) before making. Enjoy!

  • Emily

    I just made these and let me tell you, they are absolutely delicious! I didn’t use the pecans simply because my family doesn’t like them and it was still so flavorful. I didn’t have any cornstarch on hand so I added more honey in addition to a little white sugar and water and it worked fabulously. I also added a little cinnamon and vanillla to the topping and they were just a flavorful addition. I didn’t think it was too sweet (then again, I have a big sweet tooth) and I can’t speak for the orange zest because I subbed it for a little lemon juice and it wasn’t noticeable, which is preferred. All in all, I totally recommend trying this recipe and adding your own flair to 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. :)


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Jean

    Made these yesterday and baked them this morning….Little too done. But still good.
    Recipe calls for 4+ cups flour but 3+ is more like it. Love the orange zest in dough.
    I will make them again and cut down on flour and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
    This dough is very easy to make and delicious Love the yeasty cinnamony goodness..
    I don’t make bread dough very often so I am pleased it turned out so well.
    Had to add milk at the end when I put the dough hook on but still turned out well. Thank you for the recipe and I will add it to my favorites. Jean

  • stephanie f

    These are amazing! The orange zest adds the perfect balance to the sweetness. OMG these are a must make.

  • karen

    I made this recipe last week, WOW, large generous buns! I made the dough, I forgot salt, it didn’t matter and let it rise overnight in the fridge. In the morning I rolled the dough out, filled cut and placed on the caramel nut topping. I baked them without benefit of letting them rise on the counter. OMG they grew like crazy in the oven. Thank You for a great recipe!

  • Madelyn

    Hello, just made this recipe and they came out great! I only used 3 1/2 cups of flour and 20 minutes of baking, which means you need to keep an eye after 20 mins. There’s soft and chewy on the inside and a bit harder on the edges. I recommend it! Thank you!

  • Angie

    My experience may help answer some others’ questions. I made these all in one day, rather than refrigerating the formed rolls. Everything worked fine! After forming the rolls, I let them rise in a warm place about 45 min., and then baked as usual, except mine were done in just 25 min. And FYI, I made them just as regular cinnamon rolls, without sticky nut topping, and then just topped the rolls with frosting. YUM!


    • Kerri

      I just did this same method, I quadrupled
      the recipe because I made it for a bunch of people. One roll I made a huge pan of the sticky buns and with another roll I did just cinnamon rolls and followed the same procedure you mentioned above and wow! They are beautiful!!

  • Lucy

    I just got done eating one of these ANMAZING sticky buns. I changed it up a little though. I omited the orange zest and instead of using pecans (which I did not have on hand), I used peanuts which I roasted. They came out so yummy!!! This is a really great recipe and very elaborate method. Next time I am going to go less with the sugar because after a few bites my palet was a little overwhelmed. But that’s just me because everybody else loved them.

  • Teresa

    GREAT recipe! New family favorite! Only needed 3 cups of flour, and used the “old fashioned” methods of mixing and kneading. Turned out so tasty– need lots of self-control to only eat one at a sitting! Will make again …and again …and again!

  • Frank

    Can these be frozen then thawed to rise?

  • don

    the best way to reheat is, is put a little butter in frying pan. cut in half. cover with lid till lightly toasted. mmmmmmm!!!!!!!!

  • Connie

    I am an experienced baker and have been trying to find the perfect sticky bun recipe. I have tried many recipes, but these turned out perfect! The dough was nice and easy to work with. My family prefers walnuts to pecans so I used those instead. I also sprinkled some nuts in with the filling. The topping stayed gooey and delicious! Many recipes I’ve tried the topping got hard like peanut brittle. I may try adding a tablespoon of cream to the topping as one reader mentioned just to see how it turns out. I also had to pull them out of the oven after 25 minutes because they were starting to get too brown. This recipe is going in my “special recipe” binder! Thank you so much!

  • Diana

    I made these for my family after a long morning snow plowing. Just delicious and easy to make. Thank you

  • Jay

    I just made these for New Year’s Day brunch and they turned out amazingly well! So handy to just pop them in the oven in the morning. The really did rise quite a bit in the fridge, I was surprised. Instead of measuring the flour, I weighed it since I read a few reviews about there being too much flour. I use the conversion of one cup all purpose flour = 125 grams and it was just perfect! I don’t have a mixer so I added the first 375 grams to my bowl and mixed with a wooden spoon until I got tired and then worked in the last 125 grams while I was kneading it for the 3-5 minutes. Didn’t need any more, or any less!
    When I took them out of the oven after 30 minutes they were toasty brown on top so I flipped them onto a cutting board. The dough on the underside looked underdone, but in fact it wasn’t, they were right on the money!
    Thanks for the great recipe, will use it again definitely.

  • Charlie W.

    This is a fantastic recipe! In my opinion (and that of everyone I make these for) it is THE perfect sticky bun recipe. It has everything I looked for in a sticky bun recipe. I don’t know how many years ago it was that I first found this recipe, but it has become a tradition for quite a number of years where I prepare them on Christmas Eve, throw them in the fridge and then take them out and bake them Christmas morning. The family LOVES them and I have shared them with friends and neighbors.

    To everyone looking around for a good sticky bun recipe, this is it. If you follow the recipe and have good yeast (still live) they should turn out great. Dough is not flat, it is light and exactly what you would expect to see for this recipe.

  • Sandy Bell

    Great rolls! We live in Australia where there is no such thing as Cinnabon or Saint Cinnamon, or even Pillsbury frozen rolls! Yep, we are still in the land of make it yourself a lot of the time, which is not an issue

    My husband is American and he’s been pining for cinnamon rolls for ever! So, last night I found this recipe and this morning – fabulous :) :) :).

    I didn’t have any honey so I used maple syrup and they were delicious and Daryl is a very happy man!

    Thankyou very much – going straight to the pool room! (Now, if you were Australian you’d get that movie reference instantly, but assuming most readers aren’t, check out this DVD for a heartwarming little aussie film – The Castle)


  • Lindsay R

    Absolutely Amazing! the came out PERFECT! and it’s the first time I’ve ever made sticky buns. A recipe I will keep forever!

  • A2THEB

    Wow! These sticky buns are fantastic. I have been a pastry chef for years and I don’t usually eat anything that I make but…. I found myself going back to these treats over and over again. Awesome! I would so recommend to the novice or professional. Very easy to make.

    • Tonya Moskoff

      I made these for my restaurant as a weekend special dessert .. omitted the nuts, added cooked bacon lardons, alittle extra zest to the dough, maple replaced the honey and corn syrup and a bourbon glaze to add even more love after they came out of the oven. Big hit !!

  • Joanne F.

    Made these today and they came out wonderful! Best tasting rolls I’ve had homemade and fun to make…..Thanks for sharing!

  • Laura

    I made these rolls on Christmas Eve. We have a four hour drive to get “home” for the holidays. I made the rolls, put them in the pans, covered the pans with plastic wrap and then foil, put them in the car and drove home. It was a cool enough day that the car, while not as cold as my fridge, was cool enough to keep the dough from overrising. I improvised and added a few extra nuts (too many, next time, following the recipe to the letter), but absolutely loved this recipe. The dough was heavenly, smooth and even. It is probably the best tasting cinny roll dough I have ever made. This is going into my recipe box, it is now “mine”. Thanks.


  • mike

    I love these buns – Skip the honey, you do not need it. I always make two – One with rasins inside and on top, and one walnut on the top.
    They dont last long so make sure you eat whatever you make in a couple of days or they will dry out, but a microwave zaps them back a bit (but never the same)

  • Cat

    I don’t have and electric or handheld mixer…I always rely on my trusty wooden spoon. Could I use that to mix, then maybe use my hands? Thank you!

    This dough is more like a bread dough than a cookie batter, so I would suggest using your hands, not a wooden spoon. Knead it the way you would knead bread dough. ~Elise

  • Carol

    Good recipe. I should have skipped the honey since I don’t care for it and it was quite overpowering even with so little being called for. Not many were eaten because of it, though. I would add raisins next time.

  • Jean D.

    I was disappointed with the dough for this recipe. Perhaps it was because I used unsalted butter but the dough was rather flat (without good flavor) even with all that sugar in it.


  • Evy

    I saw the picture of these and thought,wow, th ese will be so hard to make. Well, it’s not the easiest recipe in the world. But is it ever worth the effort! SOOOO beautiful and delicious! I took a picture of them and posted it to Facebook so all my friends could be envious! Thank you for the recipe. I will make these every Christmas! (and inbetween!)

  • Andrea Pereira

    I made this recipie but the dough was way too sticky for me to roll out, i think because the ratio varies between USA measuring and Australia’s measuring tools. Even adding more flour during the rolling the dough step didnt help dry it out as the dough just kept absorbing it. :( any advice?

  • Lila

    Hi Elise, I discovered your blog today and i want to make these sticky buns since its going to be a long weekend here in Canada and everyone will be at home. Perfect timing :). However I’m a little confused, after I make the topping and place it on 9″ x 13″ pan, I’m i suppose to keep the slices of dough on top of the toppings and bake them together for 35mins?

    Yes. You need to roll the dough as directed and put the circles of dough slices on top of the toppings to sit, and then cook. In the last step you will be inverting the sticky buns so that the pecan topping is now on top. ~Elise

  • Pam

    Thanks again for another delicious recipe. My husband and I could have eaten them all ourselves! Luckily, my car was going into the shop this morning, so I took a dozen to my favorite technician.
    Question for you on preparing the topping, when stirring the ingredients on low until the sugar and butter are melted, should I continue to stir until I can no longer taste the granules of sugar? If so, approximately how long does this take? Thanks, Elise.

    Hi Pam, good question. It’s been a while since I made these so I’m guessing that you should stir until you no longer taste the granules. No idea how long that takes. ~Elise


  • Lisa

    I was craving sticky buns, and after having a rather disappointing pecan bun at a Corner Bakery while on vacation in Chicago, I came home and searched for a recipe that appealed to me. As I adore both cinnamon and pecans, this recipe seemed made for me.

    I used rapid rise yeast and a food processor with a dough blade for this recipe. I mixed all the dry ingredients (except the last cup of flour), heated the water and the milk in the microwave for about 40 seconds to bring the temp to 120, and mixed it in before the eggs and the last cup of flour. Let the processor knead for about 1.5 minutes, when the dough ball started to wrap around the blade and my food processor started walking.. oops! The dough was sticky, but still cleaned the sides of the processor.

    I didnt have corn syrup in the house, so I just added an additional Tbsp of orange blossom honey (it went well with the zest). I didnt read carefully enough and ended up mixing the pecans into the topping mixture on the stovetop. No calamity there, however, everything still baked up fine. I also only chilled them for about an hour which didnt seem to have much affect on their shape. They didnt seem to fill the pan well, but once they started baking, there were no worries about that.

    These were pretty tasty, though I think I might have liked a bit more filling.. seemed a bit doughy, which might be related to the knead time, or perhaps I should have used a bit less flour.

    I gave most of them to my neighbors, since I didnt want to eat them all myself! And I would have too! Definitely hit the spot on my stickybun craving. thanks :)

  • Anastasia

    Oh my god! These cinnamon buns cannot be beat! Even if you are not a nut lover, you have to add the pecans. The pecans almost become a candy the way they are coated in the caramelized brown sugar. They are amazing! You will never have to look for anothe sticky bun recipe again!

  • sahar

    can I use the whole egg? instead of only using the egg yolk?

    I haven’t tried using whole eggs, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

    • Madelyn

      Hi, I did this recipe today and used only 1 whole egg and it came our perfect. Use a glass dish rather than metal.

  • Karen

    This recipe is AMAZING!!!! I have tried others in the past, but have been disappointed every time. These are the BEST!!! Very simple to do, and being able to do all the work a day ahead so they can be popped into the oven and baked in the morning…what could be easier? Just stumbled upon your website yesterday; this is the first recipe I have tried. My husband is a pecan and cookie lover, so my next project will be the butter pecan cookies. Might I add this – if anyone reading this comment has not tried this recipe, let me encourage you to do it. These are truly the best – and this recipe is a keeper!!!! Thank you, Elise for sharing this recipe!

  • Allie

    These look great! I was wondering if they could be made without using any nuts or will the glaze burn and dry out on my glass pan during the baking time?

    You can easily make these without the nuts. ~Elise

  • Bella

    These are amazing! As a vegan I replaced the egg yolk with 3 tablespoons of ground flax mixed with 9 tablespoons of water and then replaced the honey with maple syrup. Also, made the dough in the breadmaker and the buns turned out perfect! Thanks for an amazing recipe. Going to make it again next weekend.

  • Sheri

    I have a friend that tried the sticky buns I made…she is having a fundraiser for homeless kittens/cats and GUESS who’s making a ton of sticky buns for them? …ME…lol
    Thanks so much,

  • Anonymous

    can u make the dough ahead of time and freeze it for a few weeks? Also I made them b4 and OMG!!!I made them again the same day!

    Great question, I don’t know! I haven’t tried freezing the dough. ~Elise

  • Martha

    Wowzer! I was the HERO at a friend’s brunch last week! These are amazing and so easy. I’m guessing the long, overnight chill helped rest the dough and make them so airy in the a.m. Used Chestnut honey and it gave it a most nutty and rich flavor. Thanks so much, about to make them again for tomorrow for family and friends!

  • Sheri

    OMG!OMG!OMG!These are wonderful!I found this recipe and I couldn’t wait to make them….they tasted amazing.I made a second batch the same day…passed the recipe on to my family and friends.My hubby said they tasted just like his MOM’S!And from now on I will always have yeast on hand….just in case…lol.Just 1 thing if you like the gooooey topping “double” it…it’s that good!

  • GammaTessie

    Made these Christmas morning for our brunch, they were lovely! A new tradition in our home. Thank you.

  • Sara

    I thought the honey flavor was overpowering in this recipe. Also the filling needs to be doubled and also the topping sans honey. I would use corn syrup instead. The dough however, was perfect. I made a brown butter icing and drizzled it over the rolls and that was a nice addition or so my family thought. I wanted to really love them but I’m sorry I didn’t.

  • Marianne

    I made these last night, they’re delicious!

    I couldn’t wait for them to sit overnight so I just let them sit half an hour in room temperature and in the refrigerator for about an hour and then baked them. They still tasted amazing.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the orange zest so I’ll leave that out next time.

    Thank you for the recipe, I’ll definitely make these again!

  • ruen

    Is my name becoming recognizable to you yet, Elise? Last night after dinner, I commented to my brother that I needed to stop at the grocery store for some pecans. His response: “Oh geez, not that website again!” Then immediately afterwards asked me what I’m baking and when it would be done by.

    I think the general consensus from the family is that cinnabon’s buns are tastier (“they have stickier insides,” my dad says), but I am never going to throw this recipe out. Mum and pop were arguing up a storm this morning, but when the smell of those sticky buns starting coming out, they seemed to herd away all the angry words. Soon all you could hear from the kitchen were things like “Whatever Jessica’s making smells FANTASTIC!” and “I can’t argue while those are in the oven.” And then once they came out, commentary on what’s good (a lot) and what can be improved (very little). By then everyone was too busy licking their dishes clean to even remember what they were arguing about in the first place.

    So there you have it, Elise. Your sticky bun recipe is the perfect argument diffuser. The secret to happiness can be found in your oven.

    (PS: those asking about leaving out corn syrup: I didn’t have any on hand, so I just substituted with a T of maple syrup. The topping was gooey and sticky and delicious!)

  • Michelle

    I LOVE all your recipes! First try wasn’t so successful because of the yeast. I added hot water instead of warm water to the yeast and then to make it worse I added too much flour so the dough stayed as hard as a rock! But the second try, I made sure I follow the directions step by step and it came out perfect! All my friends loved it! Thanks to you.

  • cori

    These are great. The first time I tried to make them by hand and knead the dough my self lol I think that I ended up using 5 cups of flour. They were super sticky to work with but they came out great though. The second batch (yes they are that good) I made in the bread machine with 4 cups of flower and it was too much oh and half of the zest (to strong of a flavor for me) Still came out great. The third batch I put 31/2 c of flour and they were a little doughy after baking but Still awesome. Come on I made three batches within 1 week. I had to have everyone try them.

  • Manu


    I love baking and loved your site a lot!!!

    I like this recipe as lot and want to try it too… I am allergic to eggs… hence would like to know if eggs can be substituted with something else?

    Hello Manu. Hmmm, if you love baking, what do you usually substitute for eggs in baking recipes that require them? This recipe does use egg yolks. I’m afraid I don’t know what to suggest as an alternative. ~Elise

    • Eve

      Flax seed 1 teaspoon to every egg mixed with a tad of water

  • Mallory

    These were amazing! Made these for a Mother’s Day brunch, very big hit, and easy, too!


  • Natasha

    Hi Elise,
    This recipe looks fantastic, I can’t wait to try it! I’ve noticed that in many of your photos where you are dealing with dough, you knead your dough on a “cheat sheet”. Where can I purchase a mat with diameter/size outlines similar to yours?

    That is an old pastry sheet from Tupperware. You can find similar items on Amazon. ~Elise

  • Michelle

    Thanks for the GREAT recipe!!! I made these for Christmas and my husband LOVED them! He usually never likes sweet stuff. SOOOO good!!

    When I went back home to Toronto to visit (we live in Seattle) I made them for my family but I totally forgot about what I read in the comments about Canadian flour. I totally wasted a whole batch of ingredients for the dough.. who knew American and Canadian flour is so different!! :P I followed your reader’s advice and it was great.

    Making them again today :) Thanks again!!

  • Liz

    Amazing recipe, so delicious. They have become a snow day tradition in our house. We’ve found that most kids don’t like the nuts, so I leave at least half the pan nut free.
    The scent of these baking, when vented outside, draws hungry people into the house faster than anything I’ve ever seen.

  • Candice Kraak

    So beautiful! Its a dark rainy day down here in Australia so I thought this is the perfect day to fill the house with warm smells and delicious treats! These buns are wonderful and so is the way you have displayed the step by step pictured instructions. It was like having mum right there to walk me through it. Thanks Elise!

  • Xephyr

    Is the brown sugar you use the granulated one or or the one that comes in a block? I’ve used granulated one before but it never seems to MELT into the gooeyness i would want it to. Maybe my oven temp is too high.

    The brown sugar we get here comes in a box or in a bag, it is a bit moist. ~Elise

  • pei

    Hey Elise! I’m going to repeat what everyone else has said – this looks AMAZINGLY + SINFULLY DELICIOUS! I’m from halfway across the world, and just wanted you to know your foodblog is an inspiration. Your banana muffins? – Absolutely to-die-for. :D

    Thanks Pei! ~Elise

  • Jenny S.

    I prepared these last night and baked them this morning. Wow you’re Dad wasn’t kidding when he forbid you to make these buns again. I had 3 in one sitting, i couldn’t get enough! They came out looking beautiful and tasted amazing. I visit your site daily and every recipe I’ve tried has turned out exceptional! Thank you.

  • Katherine Stszysnki

    The sticky buns are awsomw and now with the family cominge for the holidays I was wondering

    1. Can I bake and freeze? If so, how do I thaw and warm
    2. Can I freeze unbaked, thaw in the refrigerator overninight and then bake fresh for breakfast in the morning?

    Thanks again for the wonderul recipe I sure it wil WOW my family.

    Hi Katherine, the last time we baked and froze some of these was a long time ago. I’m sure I just popped it into the microwave to warm up. As for freezing unbaked, I don’t know what to tell you. Haven’t done that. ~Elise

  • Phyllis

    This recipe looks so good. I can’t wait to try it. However, I don’t like cooking with eggs. Is there a substitute that will not alter the quality?

    Not with this recipe. ~Elise

  • Lisa


    I love your website. The sticky buns look so tasty. I would like to avoid using corn syrup. Any recommendation? Thanks!

    Corn syrup (the stuff you get at the market, not HFCS) is used in many baking recipes because it is what is called an “invert sugar”. It helps with consistency and helps keep the other sugars in a recipe from crystalizing. So, there are no (practical for the home cook) substitutes. You can always just try leaving it out, but I have no idea how that will work for you. ~Elise

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve made these before and they were great, but now I’d like make a version without the topping and frost them with cream cheese frosting instead. Would these bake at the same time/temp without the topping? Could I cool the buns in the pan? It would be easier to transport if I could keep them in the original baking pan.

    Again, these were fantastic when I made them before!

    I think you’ll just have to try it and see. I’ve only made them the way described in the recipe. ~Elise

  • Tom Sforza

    This is one of the best recipes for cinnamon sticky buns. I had one problem though and I would like a reply. I used dark corn syrup instead of light corn syrup. After a few hours the top of the buns became very hard. Is it the dark corn syrup or the honey. The honey I used is about a year old. At days end it was very hard to bite through the top of the buns. Thank you for your help. Tom

    Hi Tom, I don’t know what caused that. The butter should have prevented the sugar from hardening. ~Elise

    • barb

      cooked the sugar mixture too long — makes it like candy

  • lyssa

    (Comment to aleece)
    Could it be that perhaps your glaze simply is not thick enough? If you thicken it a little it shouldn’t be so easy for the dough to soak it up, and I don’t think you would need to undercook or overcook them.

  • aleece

    These sticky buns have a great flavor, I’m especially impressed with the taste of the dough, it’s similar to brioche, but like all the sticky bun recipes I have tried they never turn out glossy, but rather the dough kinda soaks up the glaze, and sometimes the center of the buns are soggy/mushy, I’ve tried lowering the temperature, raising the temp, and even adjusting the oven rack to the lowest shelf, I’ve also tried undercooking them, and overcooking them, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, can anyone help. I do love this recipe though, and I would like to get it right. Please Help!

  • Sarah

    Absolutely love this recipe! I do it the easy/lazy way: throw all the ingredients into my bread machine and use the dough setting. I only use brown sugar, butter, and a tiny bit of water for the topping and it comes out sticky and gooey and delicious. I’ve baked the buns immediately after preparation as well as after refrigerating as the recipe calls for–both with great results. The extra time in the refrigerator does make them come out a little less dense and I can pop them in the oven the following morning for a quick, fresh, yummy breakfast treat. Totally easy and totally delicious, what more could you ask for?

  • Heather

    This recipe is now in my collection with a few stars next to it. It’s so good! I was a little apprehensive about putting them in the fridge as they didn’t rise as high as my other cinnamon bun recipe did, but the next morning they were risen to perfection. They were an instant favorite and not difficult to make. Thanks again for another fantastic recipe!

  • Phyllis

    Can the dough be prepared in a bread machine on dough cycle? Either way I am anxious to try this recipe.

    No idea. ~Elise

  • Becky

    I just pulled the sticky rolls out of my oven and they are perfect!! The aroma is all through the house and smells wonderful.I tried a little piece and they are the best I have ever tasted in my 54 years of baking. Thanks so much for the easy receipe, I will be baking these from now on, no sense in looking any further for a decent receipe for sticky buns…these are the best! I put the ingredients in my breadmaker and let it do all the work,I didnt put them in the refrigerator instead just cut them, put in pan on top of that wonderful topping and let rise again and baked.I am working on my second batch now as I want to share with my grown kids. Thanks again P S I love the pictures you have with the receipe and yes they really do come out looking like the picture.

  • Pat

    These were a huge hit at New Year’s brunch! How great they can be refrigerated overnight and enjoyed by guests fresh out of the oven! Lots of ooh’s and ahh’s with that. I didn’t use all the flour as some have mentioned. Thanks for the GREAT recipe! Thanks also to Jane for the suggestion about cutting the dough with dental floss–it is AMAZING how well that works!

  • Shot

    This was a great recipe. I have made it several times now and found by accident that leaving the orange zest out gets rid of a bitter aftertaste which is the only thing I did not care for but could not place my finger on. Even with the orange zest in it, it is still the best sticky bun recipe I have found.

  • Lydia

    Yum, yum! I made these labor-intensive sticky buns for our little family Christmas. It was totally worth the effort – my husband and baby boy loved them.
    Thank you!!!

  • Dave McGregor

    Can you leave them in the fridge for a couple days? I want to make them early and hand them out Christmas Eve.

    These are going to be best freshly made. You can try refrigerating them and reheating them before handing them out, but it’s sort of like making fresh French bread and then eating it 2 days later. There’s a reason day old bread is cheaper. ~Elise

  • Cheryl

    In regards to Erin’s comment, my rolls did not do anything in the refrigerator because they don’t have to! They look the mostly the same after being in the fridge as they did before. The oven is where they rise. They are so good! I plan to use this recipe from now on. Thanks so much for the recipe! I look forward to trying more.

  • Debbie Peebles

    I would like to make these sticky buns as a Christmas gift and ship them to California from Colorado which by ground, takes about 3-4 days. If this safe? Would the buns spoil in transit? What if I froze them, then ship them out frozen? Would that make a difference on spoilage?

    Can you advise me on this?

    No idea. You’re on your own for this one. ~Elise

  • erin billsborough

    I made these last night and got up this morning to bake them and they did not do a darn thing in the fridge over night! I even tested my yeast first to make sure it is active. Do they need to be in overnight for a very long time? So, now I dont know what to do with them! I just want a great sticky bun recipe that works every time!

  • Ashley Nicole.

    I haven’t yet baked these (they’re in the fridge; I’m baking them tomorrow for after dinner) but I think the amount of flour depends on the type of wheat used, when it was grown, etc. Different types will have varying absorbencies usually. I decided to try for three cups of flour, but it was still too much like a batter, so I continued to add more until I got a moderately soft dough. It was a bit sticky, but it didn’t stick to me. I wound up using about three and three-quarter cups of flour. I also added a bit of corn syrup to the butter in the filling to get a more gooey, syrupy consistency.

  • Melanie

    It is an alright recipe. I like the orange zest. Found cooking for 30 minutes a little too long – dried out. Canadian flour must be different because I only got 3 cups of flour in my recipe too. Not too sure if I would make again though.

  • Jane

    A very nice recipe… One might also try substituting about 1/2 cup of the flour with some quality cocoa powder (i use epicure). Then when you roll out the dough & cover with butter & sugar mix., sprinkle some milk choco chips (epicure are fab too!)& then roll & cut… i mean, if we’re going to cheat our diets, we might as well do it right, right??? yummy!

  • Molly

    Best looking sticky buns I have ever seen! Recipe was very easy once I figured out to not kill the yeast. Makes an excellent and impressive gift. Thanks!

  • Rebecca

    When I made these sticky buns the first time, I got the same responses from my dad as you did yours–“Don’t make these again…they’re too good!” However, the second time, my dad wanted them as a nighttime snack so I baked them immediately after they were prepared rather than refrigerating them overnight as the recipe directs. This time, they were not nearly as sticky and disappointing compared to the first batch. Could the lack of overnight refrigeration be the reason?

    Might have something to do with the yeast needing time to rise, in the fridge it is slow and controlled. Don’t know about the stickiness. ~Elise

  • Jill Saunders

    Fantastic recipe! The only change I made was to add a teaspoon of vanilla extract and about a tablespoon or so of cream to the gooey topping. I have just packed up our house ready to move, so I didn’t have many tools. I mixed and kneaded the dough by hand and used a wine bottle for a rolling pin. (I will find a use for the wine later this evening!) ;-) I know that my husband is going to be thrilled to see those beautiful creations sitting on the counter when he comes in the door!

  • YoungCook

    Wow! These were the first thing I have ever baked! Thank you for the detailed instructions, pictures, hints, and most of all for being such an amazing inspiration to a young cook like myself :)

  • Corina

    YES, you can use fast-acting yeast for this recipe….and I used candied walnuts instead…and chopped them up into really small peices! They tasted great with the sticky bottom! : ) Great Recipe!!!

  • Marilou

    Can fast rising yeast be substituted in this recipe?

    No idea. If you try it, let us know how it works out for you. ~Elise

  • Jessy

    This was great! Although I didn’t want to wait for the overnight fridge time, it was certainly worth it. I’m now going to become morbidly obese!

  • Barrie Cook

    OK, this recipe is fantastic! I’m a big sourdough fan, so I replaced the yeast/water with 1 cup of sourdough starter, and used less of the additional flour called for (since there’s probably 3/4c in the starter). I also am a health food geek, so I replaced the all-purpose flour with a soft whole wheat that I milled myself very finely (using a WonderMill), and replaced the sugar and corn syrup with Rapadura/unrefined sugar and maple syrup, respectively. And finally, I had no pecans, so used walnuts like the previous poster. Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s great!!

  • Yui

    Elise, thanks for the reply. I sometimes use margarine when I’m just trying out the recipe. I tried to search for kneading procedures because when I looked up this recipe I did it in a cellular phone so I did not see the pictures clearly. I laugh at myself hard when I saw some videos and other photos of how to knead and I think I kneaded it too much that’s why it turned out a little hard. I thought that when you said to push the dough away from me I had to push it as far as it could go. I think I also used a lot of flour because I remember its texture to be as hard as a pie dough ^-^ I`m gonna try it again tomorrow due to insistent demand of my husband and friends and I hope it will turn out softer and more tasty than the first time( I’ll use unsalted butter this time).

  • Elizabeth

    I made these and they were fantastic. Now I’d like to use this recipe as a basis for cinnamon raisin rolls with frosting, so without the nut topping. Would I have to make any changes to the temp/time for baking these without the nut topping? Thanks.

  • yui

    I only saw this recipe through my mobile phone and couldn’t resist to get started although I have never baked a yeast recipe. It’s just good! My neighbor keeps asking for more. Only difference I did is I used almonds instead of pecans and margarine. The bread was ok and soft but I just have a feeling thats it’s a little hard than its supposed to be. Is it because I used margarine? or because I didn’t knead enough? But it’s already delicious. I hope Elise can write its equivalents to grms. too. Thank you so much!

    Hi Yui, So glad you liked the recipe! I never bake with margarine, so don’t know what to tell you about that. Regarding the gram equivalents, there is a measurement converter on the left side of the website. ~Elise

  • Katie

    Awesome! I tried baking these buns for the first time two weeks ago. They were tasty.

    Thanks for the recipe.

    Nassau, Bahamas

  • Mel

    These are absolutely wonderful. I had avoided any and all recipes with yeast since I making my own hockey pucks that were supposed to be rolls – almost 20 years ago. But I tried these this weekend and found the recipe to be simple and the results were excellent. Thanks for another great one!!

  • Jeff

    I made those Cinnamon buns this morning… Man are they ever GOOooood!

    I didn’t let them sit in the fridge at all and they still turned out good. I also added raisins and substituted Walnuts for Pecans… definitely recommended!

  • Jocelyne

    I’m just wondering if it is necessary to place in the fridge or can I let them rise after cutting and bake them right away?

  • Susan

    The recipe is wonderful! I was inspired by Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. He did a show on Sticky Buns. I looked at the recipes, the one he did and the one Joanne Chang did, she was his competition. I wasn’t excited by either recipe. But when I found your recipe, I decided to try it. They were so…Great!!! I wonder if you could freeze them at the refrigerate stage?

  • Stephanie

    Everytime I make these sticky buns people keep commenting about how wonderful they are. My dad says they are the best he’s ever had. (He loved them so much he insited that I make these sticky buns for his birthday instead of a cake). Thank you soooo much for posting this recipe

  • Jenny

    I made these – followed directions except that I proofed the yeast in the measuring cup with 1 tsp sugar – followed directions from there – there was just too much flour – the dough was far too stiff by the time I added the 4th cup. Then they didn’t rise – I’m going to try again but will use only 3 cups flour – taste was very good.

  • Ryan

    Greg: your problems with flour are probably due to the fact that volume is a very bad way to measure flour. There can be vast differences in the amount of flour in two different cups with equal volume. I recently received a digital kitchen scale, and I don’t want to do hardly anything except by weight anymore. It’s just so easy and accurate!

  • Lisa

    These buns were delicious! I’m no where near a pro-baker but I’m wondering if our Canadian flour is a lot harder? Like one of the posters above, my recipe would have been perfect with exactly 3 cups flour but I forced the 4th and it was way too dry, I ended up having to add more milk to get it back. Next time I’ll stick with 3!! I’m sure any pro would have realized when to stop adding flour, lol.
    Thanks for the recipe, I’m definitely going to make this again!!
    p.s Is the dough supposed to be a very pliable, soft dough consistency? Mine felt very tough after my mixer was done with it.

  • Vvg

    hm…I’m guessing I used too much flour for the amount of egg I used…Were the buns supposed to come out chewy and dense? :)

  • Krista

    It’s great to find your site :) Thanks for the greeting on my site as well! I feel I’ve been visited by a celebrity chef ;)
    The buns were impossible not to keep going back for more. I couldn’t eat anything else today because they were so darn good I ate too many and everything else paled in comparison!
    I think I might be sure to have plans for company next time I make them!
    Looking forward to trying many more of your recipes Elise!

  • Mrs. Chrissy Vas

    Oh my god! These were heaven, and so easy to bake…………and so easy to eat way too many. Will power fading, I must have another one before I put them in the freezer. Thank you for such a wonderful EASY recipe! Early in the morning the smell of these delicious treats, got everyone out of bed and ready for the day. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  • Greg Hummel

    I tried these out two days ago and they were the best I’ve ever made and eaten!!

    Only one problem and that’s the amount of flour the recipe calls for. My recipe used 3 cups exactly and the dough was of perfect smoothness and density. Also, it’s the first time I ever got a dough-hook to work perfectly. Thanks for this one.

  • Anjo

    Hi, Elise. I was just wondering where I would let the dough rise during winter. Should I turn up the heat in a room and leave the dough there?

    Also, how do I know the pecan topping won’t stick to the pan instead of the buns when I turn it out? Do I cross my fingers and hope for the best, or will it turn out OK every time?

    Thanks for both your time and the wonderful recipes.

  • Ian Engels

    As a retired English baker I am minded of the similarities with the good old Chelsea Bun. The dough is very similar and your recipe is as good as the many others used but the filling is a base of apricot mask (Jam and Boiling water) covered in mixed spice powder and dried currants for the sharper taste and the topping of sugar syrup (White sugar disolved in water) applied immediately on removal from the oven and then caster sugar sprinkled liberally on top. Allow the buns to cool and then tear apart and eat. Coating the roll with butter or margerine before cutting helps in dividing the buns into individual treats.

  • Tina

    It’s me again! I had a blast making these sticky buns and they were a big hit at the Easter brunch. I have to admit though- I was a bit surprised at the amount of butter the recipe called for! But once in a while an indulgent treat like this is very special. I love to bake and cook and making this recipe was definitely one of my favorite cooking adventures. Thank you very much for this great site and keep up the great work!

  • Liz

    I read this recipe when you first posted it and started drooling… we finally had company this weekend (with just two of us, we didn’t want to be tempted to eat the whole batch!) and made them Saturday night for Sunday morning – they were awesome! In your introductory story you mention that you froze some – do you have suggestions as to how package (and then thaw) them so that they freeze (and defrost) best? Thanks so much for this site, I love it!

  • Priya

    I’ve been drooling over the recipes on your sites for quite awhile now, always thinking “I’m going to make that one day,” but when I laid eyes on those cinnamon sticky buns I just had to make it the first recipe I tried :) My mum said it was the first thing I made that both looked AND tasted good. I didn’t put the pecans in (although for two of the buns I put pistacio nuts due to the persistent nagging of my mother; she’s obsessed with pistacios; the nuts weren’t nice with the recipe *shock*, but the buns tasted heavenly.) The other half of the batch is still in the fridge because I was dying to try some today. Now I have to pray it doesn’t all go to my thighs.

  • Patti

    We halved the recipe and baked in a round cake pan – they were wonderful! Also left out the corn syrup and honey – I just didn’t want the honey taste, and my son can’t digest fructose, so we can’t use corn syrup. They were perfect anyway. I have a bread machine – I never bake in it – but I made it mix the dough for me.

  • Maggie

    I made the recipe this weekend and it was just like you said – wonderful, and difficult to not eat them all. I don’t have an electric mixer so I did just like you said – with a wooden spoon and my hands and they turned out great.

    The best part was that even though there were too many to eat at once, they have saved fairly well so far and have been nearly as wonderful the second time after reheating.

  • Annie

    I don’t have an electric mixer. I only have a hand-held one. Would I still be able to make it? Just reading your recipe is making my tummy growl.

    Hi Annie – the problem is that at some point the dough gets way too thick to deal with. Even my KitchenAid (the entry level one) struggles with it. What I would do is mix by hand with a wooden spoon, and then do what the old time bakers do and use your hands to knead the dough. ~Elise

  • Jane

    Elise, these sound similar to the ones I learned to make with my grandmother and sound just as tasty. Something you might try for slicing the rolls is dental floss. It sounds odd, but I have had a lot of luck with it. You lift the roll and slide the floss under to your desired size, then pull the ends past each other to cut off a roll. Unwaxed, unflavored floss is better but it all works. Makes the cut nice and even too. Thanks for all the great recipes.

  • Robin

    These are also good with some raisins either in the roll or with the pecans, or both! My familiy makes these for christmas morining breakfast every year.

  • Elizabeth

    Do they have to be refrigerated overnight or is this just a convenience for people who want them first thing in the morning? If they aren’t refigerated, how long would they need to rise at room temperature?

    Hi Elizabeth – they will hold their shape better if refrigerated, and they will rise in the fridge. Just put them in for a couple of hours. It is most convenient to get them ready the night before because then you can have them ready to go in the morning. ~Elise