Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

Bake my melt-in-your-mouth maple cinnamon rolls next.

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

I’ve got a bun in the oven.

No really, I do!

(I’ve been waiting 18 weeks to type that. And also, I am overwhelmed by your response to our happy news. Thank you so much… all of you… for your kind words, stories, comments, and endless support. Monday was the most wonderful day because of you. Thank you for being part of that very special moment announcing this. ♥)

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

I also have maple pecan sticky buns on the menu this Easter weekend. To test the recipe out, I made a batch last week and again the other day. (Froze the rest!) The whole batch is better than I even imagined and give regular ol’ cinnamon buns a run for their money. Why have regular cinnamon rolls when you can have brown sugar, butter-y, caramel-ish pecan sticky buns? There’s absolutely no comparison.

Sticky buns > cinnamon rolls.

If you’re 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.

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

I have a lot of step photos for you today to walk you through the process. To avoid overwhelming you, I share all the step shots below the written out recipe. But I do encourage you to take a peek at them. They will help guide you along. I took all these step shots of my process the other day because I feel working with yeast intimidates most. And I want you to no longer be afraid of the stuff! Sticky buns aren’t scary.

Before We Get Started…

There are 3 parts to these maple pecan sticky buns.

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

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 in 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. In fact, the softest, richest sweet roll dough on my website.

Filling: Let’s grab dark brown sugar for the filling instead of light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Why? Intense flavor! Of course if you don’t have a bag of dark brown, you can use light brown. But I highly recommend switching things up. Major molasses, moisture, deep beautiful flavor. We’ll combine it 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 craved maple! If we’re being honest, I was out of corn syrup so I improvised. And I’m grateful for doing so. 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. There’s mouthwatering flavor there we’d be missing out on.

You know what the coolest part is? You bake these sticky buns upside down!

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

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 stuff smell divine. Who needs cream cheese icing when you have THIS?

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

NOTE! It may look like a lot of ingredients, but they are mostly all repeats in each process like dark brown sugar, butter, milk, etc. 🙂

Scroll down for my step photos and additional tips for making these at home!


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


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



  • 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


  • 2 cups (250g) chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (135g) packed dark brown sugar*
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) whole milk*
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


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


  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). With a whisk, 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 fresh active yeast. On low speed, beat in the softened butter until it is slightly broken up. Next add 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 dough loosely with plastic wrap, a paper towel, or aluminum foil and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 2 hours. Here’s what I do: turn the oven on to 200°F (93°C). Once heated to that temperature, turn the oven off. Stick the covered dough inside the oven and allow it to rise in this warm environment.
  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 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour on top of 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. I used a ruler for accuracy. 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 in the prepared baking pan.
  6. Cover the rolls very tightly with aluminum foil and allow to rise in a warm environment again for about 30-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F (191°C). Bake rolls for about 25 minutes 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 brown too much. Remove pan from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack 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.


  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.
  3. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5qt Tilt-Head Glass Measuring Bowl | Glass Mixing Bowls | Wooden Rolling PinGlass Baking DishMelamine Serving Platter
  4. Milk: Whole milk (or 2%) is definitely a must for this rich dough and absolutely needed for the topping. Instead, 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.
  6. Brown Sugar: Dark brown sugar is strongly recommended for best flavor, but light brown can work in a pinch.

First, prepare the dough. Very straightforward dough we’re working with here using yeast, warm milk, sugar, eggs, butter, flour, and salt. It’s a very soft dough.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Let it rise until doubled in size, usually about 1 and 1/2 hours.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

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

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Boil it all together on the stove, then pour over a layer of delicious Diamond of California pecans. Taste test, of course.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Topping is all set. Now back to the dough. Punch it down to release air bubbles. Roll it out. Smear butter on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Roll it up tightly, slice, and place the rolls on the maple pecan topping.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Let the rolls rise *overnight* in the refrigerator or for 45ish minutes right then. Whichever works best for you. They’ll get all puffy like this:

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Bake them.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

Flip them.


Eat your heart out! Your work here is done.

You’ll also love my overnight cinnamon rolls!

Soft, fluffy, buttery cinnamon rolls you can begin ahead of time. Save time in the morning and have everyone wake up to warm, fresh, cinnamon goodness! Recipe on

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


  1. Oh damn Sally! That looks incredibly delicious 🙂 I need to try this!

    PS – There is a typo error under the heading Overnight instructions – “front he” just letting you know 🙂

  2. So pretty, Sally! This sounds amazing 🙂 I’m not a big nut person, though pecans are my favorite if I had to choose…but I wonder about making these with coconut, or even just streusel!!!!!! Oh my 🙂

  3. Can I use corn syrup (maybe honey) instead of the maple?  My dads bday is next week and he would love these!  However, he really dislikes maple.  Weirdo!  I’m not trying to be difficult I promise!  

  4. They look delish! I notice you used a pyrex dish. Is there any temperature change if you use a metal pan vs pyrex/glass? Or is the 24 degree less rule defunk?

  5. SO HAPPY FOR YOU SALLY! 18 weeks is fantastic. CONGRATS!!! I’m just weeks away from delivering my miracle baby that 4 years of infertility treatments and every RE in the country couldn’t give me even with multiple rounds of IVF. Every baby is a miracle and a gift from above and I’m thrilled for you. I used to think pregnancy was common and easy… wrong!!! (And I love this recipe annoucement as well, too cute).

  6. These are a must try…Can’t wait for them! Please post regularly on your own bun in the oven – I think all of us love hearing about it!! SO excited and happy for you two 🙂 My daughter sent me a text the other day “Did you know Sally @ Sallys Baking was pregnant??!”

  7. Congrats again Sally on the (one) very special bun in your oven! I’m sure your kid is going to come into the world with a sweet tooth as big as yours 😉 I love your homemade cinnamon roll recipe but MAPLE-PECAN sounds even better than vanilla-glazed. I love how you can make your recipe the night before and finish in the morning – I’d never have time to make and eat sweet rolls for breakfast all on the same day!

  8. Congratulations Sally!!! This is soooo exciting! Haha I love that your first post was buns in the oven!! I tried out your slow cooker cinnamon buns last weekend and they turned out FANTASTIC!!! I’ve never made cinnamon buns before in my life…legit not even out of a can…now I’m obsessed haha will definitely be trying these out very soon!!

  9. Hi Sally, I have been enjoying reading your e-mails and have come to the conclusion that we cook very similar and use a lot of the same ingredients. I have used some of your recipes and even tweaked some to my liking (I added some sugar to your fabulous buttery pie crust recipe) . One of my most popular requests from my family, friends and co-workers are my sticky buns. We are pretty close in our recipe however my sticky which makes the buns is a little different than yours. I use salted butter, both light and dark brown sugar, 3 tablespoons of clear Kayro syrup, vanilla and small amount of heavy cream (which kinda gives a little caramel flavor. I also have a signed copy of your book which I cherish. BTW, congratulations to you and Kevin on your upcoming blessed arrival. Happy Easter

  10. First of all, congrats on the special little bun on the way!!!!

    Second, if I wanted to prepare these the night before, but don’t have 2 hours in the morning to let them rise before baking them, what would you suggest??? Thanks again for all the amazing recipes!!! Have a blessed and Happy Easter!

  11. Sally, you always have the ability to post what I am craving for. Cinnamon rolls are a staple in my house. I have tried many of your awesome recipes. I thought I would make cinnamon buns for Easter, but I was mistaken, I didn’t know of the existence of these sticky buns. I really marvel at this genius idea, simply add a layer of caramel-nut deliciousness and turn them upside down, this is mouth-watering and so much better than any frosting!

  12. Just saw this pop up in my email. Why do I have to be on a diet? Geesh…these look magical…but not for my waist.

  13. All these advertisement banners are making me nutty :-/  They spoil the experience and makes going through your beautiful recipes not as enjoyable :-((((((

    1. Hi Monica, thank you for your feedback. I’m always testing new placements to see what fits my website tastefully and can appropriately work as my income. Thank you!

      1. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be insensitive about your income. Do what you gotta do! 🙂
         Love your recipes (baking your almond granola while I type) and have trust in your always classy style.

         Happy Easter!

  14. I got your email with the title “Maple Pecan Sticky Buns”; there’s not one word in that sentence that doesn’t scream “YUMMY”! Saving this recipe for a weekend 🙂

    Thank you for always sharing your delicious treats!

  15. These look to die for. I’ve only made your cinnamon rolls recipe twice before, they turned out super soft and delicious. My only problem was that they weren’t so attractive 🙁 you couldn’t really see the swirl, it was just a giant messy bun. If that were to happen again, you wouldn’t really tell with these. Ha! Thanks, Sally! Happy Easter! 

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally