Pecan Sticky Buns Recipe


Indulge in the heavenly combination of sweet, sticky caramel and crunchy pecans with our Pecan Sticky Buns recipe. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or an afternoon treat, these sticky buns are sure to delight your taste buds and impress your guests. Follow this comprehensive guide to create a batch of gooey, delectable pecan sticky buns from scratch.

Overview of the Recipe:

Pecan sticky buns are a classic pastry that combines a soft, buttery dough with a sweet, cinnamon-infused filling, all topped with a luscious caramel-pecan glaze. This recipe involves making a yeast dough, preparing a rich filling, and creating a decadent topping. The buns are then baked to golden perfection and inverted to reveal the beautiful, nutty caramel top.

History and Origin:

Sticky buns have a long history that dates back to ancient civilizations. They are believed to have originated from German schnecken, a type of sweet roll, which was brought to America by German settlers. Over time, the recipe evolved, incorporating local ingredients and preferences, eventually becoming the pecan sticky buns we know and love today.



  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, roughly chopped


Step 1: Prepare the Dough

  1. Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of warm milk (not hot) with 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter and 1/3 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add Eggs: Add 2 large eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Combine Yeast Mixture: Add the frothy yeast mixture and 1 teaspoon of salt to the bowl. Mix until well combined.
  5. Form the Dough: Gradually add 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour to the mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms.
  6. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  7. First Rise: Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  1. Mix Filling Ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon. Mix until smooth and well blended.

Step 3: Prepare the Topping

  1. Cook Topping Mixture: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1/4 cup honey, and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Cook until the mixture is smooth and the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Prepare Baking Dish: Pour the topping mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of roughly chopped pecans evenly over the top.

Step 4: Assemble the Sticky Buns

  1. Roll Out the Dough: Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle, approximately 18×12 inches.
  2. Spread Filling: Evenly spread the prepared filling over the rolled-out dough.
  3. Roll and Cut: Starting from one of the long sides, tightly roll the dough into a log. Cut the log into 12 equal slices.
  4. Arrange in Baking Dish: Place the slices in the prepared baking dish on top of the pecan topping mixture. Ensure they are evenly spaced.

Step 5: Second Rise

  1. Cover and Rise: Cover the baking dish with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let the buns rise for another 30 minutes.

Step 6: Bake the Sticky Buns

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Bake: Bake the sticky buns for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.

Step 7: Serve the Sticky Buns

  1. Cool and Invert: Allow the buns to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Carefully invert the baking dish onto a serving platter so that the pecan topping is on top.
  2. Serve: Serve the sticky buns warm and enjoy their gooey, nutty deliciousness.

Pairing and Serving Suggestions:

Pecan sticky buns are best enjoyed warm, straight from the oven. They pair wonderfully with a hot cup of coffee or tea. For a more indulgent experience, serve them with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Variations of the Recipe:

  • Maple Pecan Sticky Buns: Replace the honey in the topping with maple syrup for a rich, maple flavor.
  • Chocolate Chip Sticky Buns: Add a handful of chocolate chips to the filling for a chocolaty twist.
  • Apple Pecan Sticky Buns: Incorporate finely chopped apples into the filling for a fruity addition.

Health Benefits and Notes:

While pecan sticky buns are undeniably a treat, they also offer some nutritional benefits thanks to the pecans. Pecans are a good source of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They provide antioxidants and can contribute to heart health when consumed in moderation.


Q: Can I make the dough ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the dough the night before. After the first rise, cover the dough tightly and refrigerate it. Let it come to room temperature before proceeding with rolling and filling.

Q: How do I store leftover sticky buns? A: Store any leftover sticky buns in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven before serving.

Q: Can I use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast? A: Yes, you can use instant yeast. It can be added directly to the dry ingredients without needing to be activated in warm milk first. Adjust the rising times as needed.

Q: Can I make sticky buns without nuts? A: Absolutely! If you have a nut allergy or prefer not to use nuts, simply omit the pecans from the topping.


Pecan sticky buns are a delightful treat that brings together the best of sweet, sticky caramel and crunchy pecans atop a soft, buttery dough. With this detailed guide, you can create a batch of homemade sticky buns that are perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re making them for a special breakfast or a sweet snack, these buns are sure to impress and satisfy. Enjoy the process of baking and the rewarding taste of these irresistible pecan sticky buns.

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