a tin full of Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns

An Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns Recipe

Plain old cinnamon rolls can step aside – this fluffy Sticky Buns recipe buns is loaded with toasted pecans and chunks of California prune and topped with a glossy, buttery, sticky glaze for beyond-bakery flavor. This Incredible Pecan Sticky Bun recipe is definitely the way to take your breakfast-baking game to the next level.

Are Sticky Buns the same as Cinnamon Rolls?

A metal pan with freshly baked Incredible Sticky Buns on a cooling rack

Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns both typically feature a fluffy yeasted dough and cinnamon, but there are some key differences between the two breakfast treats. Cinnamon Rolls are baked and then a sugary glaze is drizzled on top. In contrast, a caramelly glaze is poured into the bottom of the pan. The rolls are placed on top and then baked. Additionally, Cinnamon Rolls rarely feature nuts, while they are a common addition to Sticky Bun recipes.

How to make Sticky Buns

Make the dough

First, you’ll need to make the dough. Let it rise until it has doubled in size and then store it in the fridge for two hours.

Make the Sticky Topping

While the dough is chilling, make the Prune Sticky Topping. Toast the pecans. Then, add all of the ingredients to a sauce plan. Let the mixture come to a boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes. Pour one cup of the Prune Sticky Topping into the pan and reserve the rest.

Make the Filling

Beat all of the ingredients except for the lemon zest in a mixer until they are fluffy. Then, fold the lemon zest into the filling.

a pan of Pecan Sticky Buns with a slice removed

Assemble your Sticky Buns

Roll the dough into 12 x 16 inch (30x40cm) rectangle. It should be 1/4 inch (6mm) thick. Spread the filling and 3/4 cups (about 180 g) of pecans on top of the dough. Roll the dough tightly into a log, pinching the ends together as you go. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into 9 pieces. Add the buns to the pan and let them rise for an hour. After they’ve risen, brush the buns with an egg wash and bake for 50 minutes. After they’ve cooked, pull the buns out of the oven. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then pour the remaining Sticky Topping and pecans on top. Finally, sprinkle with flaky sea salt, let cool and enjoy!

one pecan sticky bun and a spoon coated in glaze
a tin full of Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns

Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns

Plain old cinnamon rolls can step aside. These fluffy buns are loaded with toasted pecans and chunks of California prune and topped with a glossy, buttery, sticky glaze for beyond-bakery flavor. This Incredible Pecan Sticky Bun recipe is definitely the way to take your breakfast-baking game to the next level.
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Holiday
Servings 9
Calories 882 kcal


For the dough:

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 TBSP sugar divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 9 TBSP butter 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch chunks, at room temperature + 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the prune sticky topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 14 California Prunes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 8 TBSP 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Prune Marmalade
  • 3 TBSP dark brown sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • Flaky sea salt


For the dough:

  • Heat the milk in a small pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble, and an instant-read thermometer reads 110–115°F (45C). Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon. of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, whisk to blend, and let sit for 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy. Add eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar. Add the milk mixture and turn the mixer on low to combine. Turn up to medium speed and add 8 tablespoons of the butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between each addition. Mix for 1 minute; then turn up to medium-high and knead on medium-high for about 5 minutes. If the dough remains sticky, add flour 1-2 tablespoons at a time until it’s soft and silky, and no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  • Brush the bottom of a large bowl with half of the 1 tablespoons melted butter. Place the dough in the bowl and brush with the remaining half tablespoons of butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 75-90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

For the prune sticky topping:

  • While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 350°F (180C). Spread chopped pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar, cream, honey, and salt. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 3–4 minutes until glaze is golden brown and glossy. Pour 1 cup (250ml) of the glaze into an 8”x8” inch (20×20 cm) baking pan, tilting to coat all around. Set aside the remaining glaze. Sprinkle 1/2 cup (70 g) of the toasted pecans and the chopped prunes over the bottom of the pan and let it cool.
    Making the Prune Sticky Topping for the Sticky Buns

For the filling:

  • Using an electric or stand mixer set to medium speed, beat the butter, prune marmalade, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Fold in the lemon zest and set filling aside.


  • Lightly flour a large work surface. Roll out the dough, forming a 12×16 inch (30x40cm) rectangle about 1/4 inches (about 6 mm) thick, with the long side turned toward you. Gently spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 1" (2.5 cm) border along the side farthest from you. Sprinkle 3/4 cups of the chopped pecans (90g) over the filling.
  • Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, tightening as you go and tapping in the ends as they taper. Pinch the seam without filling to seal, and roll the log so that the seam side is down.
    Rolling the dough and filling into a log
  • Using a sharp knife, cut across the log to create 9 buns, flouring or cleaning the knife in between slices to prevent sticking. Turn each bun cut-side up and pat the tops to flatten. Transfer the buns to the prepared baking pan, spacing evenly apart (and so they’re not touching each other).
    Buns are placed in a pan on top of the sticky topping
  • Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and let the buns rise in a warm area for 45-60 minutes, until they’ve doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C). In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1/2 teaspoon of water; brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash. Bake on a middle rack, rotating the pan 25 minutes in and tenting with foil if they start to brown too quickly until the buns are golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 185°F (85C)—about 50 minutes in all. Let cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the remaining glaze over and sprinkle the remaining pecans. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack, until the glaze sets, then sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt.
    Incredible Sticky Buns before topping is poured on top to glaze them
  • Serve the pecan sticky buns warm or at room temperature.
    A metal pan with freshly baked Incredible Sticky Buns on a cooling rack


Store in an airtight container or wrap the baking dish tightly in plastic wrap to keep rolls fresh.


Calories: 882kcalCarbohydrates: 87gProtein: 10gFat: 58gSaturated Fat: 26gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 649mgPotassium: 356mgFiber: 5gSugar: 50gVitamin A: 1470IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 110mgIron: 3mg
Keyword cinnamon rolls, james collier, sticky buns
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