Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

Breakfast has never been more indulgent! These are my glorious make-ahead maple pecan sticky buns. This homemade sticky buns recipe will convert even the purist of cinnamon roll lovers. For best results, read through all of my instructions before beginning.

Breakfast and brunch have never been more indulgent and delicious than with these make-ahead maple pecan sticky buns! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Why have basic cinnamon rolls when you can have brown sugar, butter-y, caramel-ish pecan sticky buns? There’s absolutely no comparison. They’re tastier than you could ever imagine and give regular ol’ cinnamon rolls a run for their money. If you’re on team cinnamon roll, I guarantee this recipe will change your mind.

You’ll be on the big buns side in no time. And consequently, your buns may even get bigger.

Sticky buns > cinnamon rolls.

These Maple Pecan Sticky Buns Are:

  • Rich and decadent
  • Maple-y and nutty
  • Packed with warm cinnamon spice
  • Made with pure maple syrup
  • Piled high with a sticky, brown sugared, caramel-y, buttery, maple pecan topping
  • A make-ahead or overnight breakfast recipe– perfect for holiday entertaining
  • Simple to prepare and can be started the night before
  • An extra special Christmas breakfast or Easter brunch recipe

Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Three Parts to Pecan Sticky Buns

There are 3 parts to today’s maple pecan sticky buns:

  1. The dough.
  2. The filling.
  3. The maple pecan topping.

Let’s quickly walk through each.

Dough: This is the same trusty dough I use for my overnight cinnamon rolls and maple cinnamon rolls. Which means (1) it’s dependable– I’ve used this dough at least 30x in the past couple years and am extremely confident with it. (2) it’s a make-ahead recipe, but doesn’t necessarily have to be. You can begin prepping these maple pecan sticky buns the night before OR you can completely prepare them in the morning. Choose which is best for your schedule. And (3) it’s loved. There’s a reason I turn to this dough recipe time and time again. The dough is buttery and soft– the softest, richest dough on my website.

Filling: Let’s grab dark brown sugar for the filling instead of granulated sugar. Why? Intense flavor! If you don’t have a bag of dark brown sugar, you can use light brown. We’ll combine the sugar with soft butter and cinnamon to fill the rolls.

Topping: Maple and pecan, you make us all completely weak at the knees. I decided to introduce maple into the traditional pecan sticky bun topping because I wanted to avoid using corn syrup– and because I often crave maple in the morning! Corn syrup is typically used to make that gooey caramel topping, but there’s no reason why pure maple syrup can’t be subbed in. We’d be missing out on so much flavor.Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to Make Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

I have a lot of step photos to walk you through the process– you can find them below the written recipe. (Just keep scrolling down.) I include these step shots because I feel working with yeast intimidates most. And I don’t want you afraid of the stuff. Sticky buns aren’t scary!

Let’s review the basics of making sticky buns:

  1. Make the sticky bun dough.
  2. Let the dough rise (1st rise). Transfer the dough onto a floured surface, knead it, then place it in a lightly greased bowl. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Make the topping, then pour it into a greased baking pan.
  4. Roll the dough into a rectangle, about 12×18 inches. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
  5. Spread filling onto the dough.
  6. Tightly roll dough & cut into rolls. This should form an 18-inch log. Cut into 12 even rolls. Arrange them in the baking pan on top of the topping. (These rolls bake upside down!)
  7. Let the rolls rise (2nd rise).
  8. Bake. The rolls take about 25 minutes to bake. Tip: halfway through the bake time, cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t over-brown.
  9. Flip rolls & serve. Let the rolls cool for 5 minutes. Using oven mitts, invert the pan onto a large serving platter. The warm topping will deliciously melt down the sides! Serve warm.

Baking with Yeast Guide

Reference this Baking with Yeast Guide whenever you work with baker’s yeast. I include practical answers to all of your common yeast questions.

Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Overnight Instructions

Maple pecan sticky buns are a great choice for holiday entertaining because they can be prepared the night before serving. To prepare the night before serving, simply place the shaped (unbaked) rolls on top of the pecan topping as instructed (step 5), cover the rolls tightly, then refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The next morning, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and allow them to rise on the counter for 1-2 hours before baking.

Print
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maple pecan sticky buns on a white serving tray

Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 buns
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Breakfast and brunch have never been more indulgent and delicious than with these make-ahead maple pecan sticky buns! For step-by-step photos, scroll down below the recipe.


Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup (240ml) whole milk*
  • 2/3 cup (135g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons active dry or instant yeast (2 standard packets)*
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 and 1/2 cups (558g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled), plus more for work surface

Topping

  • 2 cups (250g) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) whole milk*
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: Heat milk to about 95°F (35°C)– use microwave or stovetop. Pour the warm milk into the bowl of a stand electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (OR you can use a handheld mixer OR no mixer, but a stand mixer is ideal). Manually whisk in the sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, about 5-10 minutes. If the yeast does not dissolve and foam, start over with active yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. The butter won’t really be mixing into the mixture, so don’t be alarmed if it stays in pieces. On low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. *If you do not have a stand-mixer with a hook attachment, knead the dough by hand in this step.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands for 1 minute. Form the dough into a ball and transfer it to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  3. Meanwhile, make the topping: Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread pecans in an even layer in the pan. Set aside. Combine the rest of the topping ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted, then bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 2, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, give it a quick whisk, then pour over pecans. Set aside.
  4. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12×18 inch rectangle. Make sure the dough is smooth and evenly thick.
  5. Add the filling: Spread softened butter all over dough. Top evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Tightly roll up the dough to form an 18-inch-long log. Cut into 12 even rolls. Arrange them on top of the pecan topping.
  6. Cover the rolls with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment again for about 45-60 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake rolls for 25 minutes or until they are golden brown. About halfway through the bake time, I like to cover the rolls loosely with aluminum foil so the tops don’t over-brown. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Using oven mitts, carefully invert the pan onto a large serving platter. The warm topping will deliciously melt down the sides. Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Overnight Instructions: To prepare the night before serving, prepare the rolls through step 5. Cover the rolls tightly and refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The next morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow to rise on the counter for 1-2 hours before continuing with step 7.
  2. Freezing Instructions: Baked rolls can be frozen up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm up before enjoying. You can also freeze the unbaked rolls and here’s how: bake the rolls in step 7 for only about 10 minutes at 375°F (191°C). Cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze. To serve, take the rolls out of the freezer and put into the refrigerator a few hours before serving. Then, finish baking them right before serving.
  3. Special Tools (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand Mixer, 5qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl, Glass Mixing BowlsRolling Pin, Glass Baking Dish, and Melamine Serving Platter
  4. Milk: Whole milk (or 2%) is best for this rich dough and topping. If needed, you can use half-and-half for the dough and heavy cream or half-and-half for the topping. Do not use lower fat milk for the topping; it won’t set up properly.
  5. Yeast: If using active dry yeast, the rise times will be slightly longer. I always use an instant yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  6. Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar is wonderful for extra flavor, but light brown sugar can work in a pinch.

Keywords: maple pecan sticky buns, maple sticky buns

First, prepare the dough. You need yeast, warm milk, sugar, eggs, butter, flour, and salt. This is a very soft dough.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cover the dough in a greased bowl, then let it rise until doubled in size, usually about 1 and 1/2 hours.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

While it rises, prepare the maple pecan topping. Here’s what you need, plus some whole milk.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Spread pecans into a greased baking pan. Boil the rest of the ingredients on the stove, then pour over pecans.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Topping is all set. Now back to the risen dough. Punch it down to release air bubbles. Roll it out in a large rectangle. Spread softened butter on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Roll it up tightly, slice, then arrange the rolls on top of the maple pecan topping.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cover and let the rolls rest overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for 45-60 minutes. They’ll get nice and puffy like this:

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake them.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Flip the entire pan over onto a serving plate and that hot, sticky, brown sugared, caramel-y, buttery, maple pecan topping is revealed. And man, does this smell divine! Who needs cream cheese icing when you have THIS?

maple-pecan-sticky-buns-4

Eat your heart out! Your work here is done.

Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com
Unbelievably soft, rich, and decadent maple pecan sticky buns with extra brown sugar caramel topping! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

167 Comments

  1. I love ALL your recipes. You’re godsend i swear.. quarantine life has forced me to get back into something I love and that’s baking! Fortunately I found your site when covid hit and I cannot put my wish and flour down.
    This recipe was hands down amazing – followed it very closely with a few substitutions:
    Subbed maple syrup with honey (1:1). Added a dash of allspice and nutmeg to the filling. Used 2% with a bit of leftover heavy cream because I didn’t have whole milk around. I took a chance on my yeast mixture which wasn’t fully foamy but the rolls still came out perfect. Baked it on convection 375° for 18 minutes, didn’t cover with foil and it came out 10/10. Perfect amount of golden edges and gooey inside. Be sure to pack these rolls right next to each other prior to baking because they’re fun to pull apart!
    I’ve yet to turn my baking dish over and have the pecans at the top – I don’t have the courage!!!

  2. Sally, I love all your recipes. I’m an avid fan and have probably baked half of the things on your blog. This recipe is the first time something ever went wrong – the topping seems to have split. It’s very grainy and smells a bit odd, and I can see the fat from the butter oozing out. I didn’t make any substitutions at all and I used whole milk, and measured everything with a scale. Only difference was I used light brown sugar instead of dark but I can’t imagine that being an issue.
    Any idea at all what could have gone wrong? My boyfriend has been asking for these for weeks and I will probably try again, but any thoughts on what to do next time would be really appreciated 🙂

    1. Hi Raluca! Thank you so much for trying this recipe. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed so many from my website! I’m glad to help out with this one. The topping may have been overheated (stove too hot) or perhaps there wasn’t enough stirring as it heated. If you try the recipe again, see if you can stir the mixture more often as it boils. Then give it a quick whisk before pouring over the pecans. Should stay together nicely.

  3. Hi Sally – I just made these for dessert tonight (because why wait until breakfast?) and they are oh so decadent and wonderful! Another winner from your site. I had made your cinnamon rolls once before so I was fairly confident about making the dough. I had to sub half and half for the milk since that’s all I had and that worked just fine. I made a note to toast the pecans (I use raw pecans) so that they will stand up to the liquid better and have a deeper flavor.

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