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person holding a maple pecan sticky bun with a bite eaten from it

Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12 buns 1x


Maple pecan sticky buns are an easy, pull apart dessert flavored with gooey maple caramel and pecan halves.  This succulent old fashioned treat is the best Christmas morning breakfast.  Family and friends will devour these in a hurry!



For the Bread Dough

  • 4 1/8 cups bread flour (500g)
  • 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (10g)
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar (50g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (115g)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (60g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (177 ml)

For the Maple Pecan Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (160g)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (79 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk (45 ml)
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted (109g)

For the Cinnamon Butter Filling

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (29g)
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed (120g)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped (75g)


Making the Bread Dough (25 minutes + 1 1/2 hours proving)

  1. Warm the milk to 115 F.
  2. Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour in the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir in each one with your finger.  Stir in the sugar with the paddle attachment and add the softened butter, sour cream, and eggs.
  3. Start mixing the dough on low speed and gradually trickle in the warm milk.  Add just enough milk to create a soft, stretchy, and somewhat sticky dough; you may not need it all.
  4. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and knead for 5-8 minutes, until the dough has a glossy sheen and no longer sticks to the bowl.  You may need to add a sprinkle of flour to the bowl if the dough is excessively sticky.
  5. Most importantly, the dough should pass the windowpane test.  Test the dough by stretching a lump of it between the thumb and forefinger of each hand.  The dough should stretch until translucent without breaking; if not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm place and let the dough prove until it's at least doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.

Preparing the Maple Pecan Topping (15 minutes)

  1. While the dough is proving, prepare the topping.  Spread 1 3/4 cups of pecan halves on a small cookie sheet.  Roast the nuts at 350 F for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Keep an eye on the nuts so they don't burn.
  2. Lightly butter the base and sides of a 9x13-inch cake pan that's at least 2 inches deep.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the sugar, maple syrup, and milk.  Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved, then let the mixture boil for a couple minutes.
  4. Pour immediately into the prepared pan and sprinkle 1 cup of toasted pecan halves evenly over the top.  Let cool until the buns are ready.

Shaping the Sticky Buns (25 minutes + 1 hour proving)

  1. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down all over to knock out the gas pockets, then roll the dough to a 15x18-inch rectangle.
  2. Brush the dough with the melted butter, then stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed and sprinkle evenly over top.
  3. Chop the remaining 3/4 cup of toasted pecan halves into small pieces, then sprinkle over the dough.
  4. Tightly roll up the dough from one of the short ends and pinch the seam to seal.
  5. Cut off the ends with a piece of stout thread by placing the thread under the log and pulling it tight to make a loop.  Keep tightening the loop until it cuts through the dough.  Slice the log into twelve equal slices and place them evenly in the prepared pan.
  6. Place the pan inside of a large, clean garbage bag, inflate the bag, and tuck the ends underneath to seal.  Set aside in a warm place until the buns' sides are touching and the dough springs back when gently prodded with a fingertip, about 1 hour.
  7. About 10 minutes before the bread is done proving, preheat the oven to 375 F.

Baking the Sticky Buns (20 minutes + 5 minutes cooling)

  1. Bake the buns at 375 F for about 20-25 minutes, until they're a rich golden brown.  Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil if they're getting too dark.  The center buns should have an internal temperature of at least 190 F.
  2. Let the buns cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a large cookie sheet.  Serve the buns warm.


  • Always use bread flour.  This ensures a fluffy texture and high-rising buns.
  • In a hurry?  Make the dough the night before and let it rise in the fridge.
  • Only let the buns cool for 5 minutes before flipping them out of the pan, or the caramel will harden and you won't be able to get them out easily.
  • Bake the cut off ends in a large ramekin along with the buns.
  • Leftovers freeze very well and can be quickly defrosted for a delightful snack.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: caramel sticky buns, old fashioned sticky buns