Looking to treat yourself on a relaxing morning? Look no further than homemade caramel pecan sticky buns, the ultimate indulgent breakfast. With pillowy soft dough, cinnamon sugar filling, gooey caramel, and crunchy nuts, every bite of these buns is pure bliss.
The process starts with an enriched, yeasted dough that gets layered with flavor. As the yeast ferments, it produces air pockets that make the dough rise into a billowy texture so soft it practically melts in your mouth. A filling of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts is spread over the dough, then it’s rolled up tight to encase the goods inside. Slices of this swirly dough are arranged in a pan and topped with an ooey, gooey homemade caramel sauce. As the buns bake, the caramel bubbles up between the layers, creating irresistible pockets of sweetness in each bun. A final garnish of chopped nuts adds crunch.
Now you may be thinking that making these bakery-style sticky buns at home seems intimidating. But have no fear! My detailed recipe outlines simple steps for conquering every component. With a bit of time and patience, you can impress your family with homemade caramel pecan sticky buns worthy of any bakery. From proofing the dough to assembling the buns, I will walk you through how to make these showstopping treats with less effort than you’d think.
What makes the dough so soft and pillowy?
Letting the yeast-leavened dough go through two risings allows gluten strands to develop, giving it that signature airy, cloud-like texture. reformuler
How do I mix up the filling?
A blend of melted butter, cinnamon sugar, and chopped pecans is classic. Feel free to customize with your own favorite spices or nuts!
What’s the trick to getting that amazing caramel sauce?
Heating brown sugar and corn syrup together creates a rich, glossy caramel that soaks beautifully into the buns.
How do I shape and assemble them perfectly?
Rolling the filled dough tightly and slicing evenly prevents gaps or uneven baking. Arrange slices snugly in the baking pan before the second rise.
How long do they need to bake?
At 350°F, they’ll need 25-30 minutes to turn deep golden brown. The topping of heavy cream gives them an extra touch of luxury.
Now that your questions are answered, here’s my tested recipe for how to make these picture-perfect sticky buns at home!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 packet rapid rise yeast (about 2 1⁄4 tsp)
- 3⁄4 cup whole milk, warmed
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup light corn syrup
- 1⁄2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1⁄4 cup heavy cream
- In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1 packet rapid rise yeast to combine. The yeast will activate once liquid is added.
- Heat 1 cup whole milk until warm to the touch, about 110-115°F. Gradually pour the warm milk into the flour mixture along with 2 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter. Stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. This allows time for the flour to fully hydrate and the yeast to begin activating.
- Crack 1 large egg into the bowl and mix thoroughly until fully incorporated. The egg adds richness and protein to help structure the dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes, working it until smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten for a chewy texture.
- Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. The warm environment helps the yeast produce gas to make the dough rise.
- Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. Mix with 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup light brown sugar until combined.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup light corn syrup with 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dissolved and bubbling.
- Remove the caramel from heat and stir in 1 cup chopped pecans. Pour this mixture into a 9×13 inch baking pan and spread evenly across the bottom.
- Punch down the risen dough to deflate it. Roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Spread the cinnamon sugar butter evenly over the dough. Tightly roll up the dough lengthwise into a log, encasing the filling.
- Cut the log into 12 equal slices. Place the slices cut-side up in the baking pan over the caramel and pecans.
- Cover and let rise for 30 minutes until puffy. The second rise develops flavor.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 25-30 minutes until deep golden brown.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then invert onto a serving platter so the caramel and nuts are on top.
- Drizzle with any remaining caramel in the pan. Serve warm and enjoy!
- For best results, use whole milk warmed to 110-115°F to activate the yeast properly. Cold milk may prevent the dough from rising.
- Kneading the dough develops gluten strands, creating a stretchy texture that rises well. Don’t skimp on this step!
- Make sure the dough doubles in size during the first rise for light, fluffy buns.
- Rolling the dough tightly prevents gaps where filling can leak out.
- Letting the shaped buns rise again allows them to puff up before baking