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

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

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

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

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

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.


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! For step-by-step photos, scroll down below the recipe.



  • 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 (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


  • 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or 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). 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 3 minutes. Remove from heat and 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.


  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

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

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

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

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

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

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

How to make maple pecan sticky buns on

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

Bake them.

How to make maple pecan sticky buns 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 smell divine! Who needs cream cheese icing when you have THIS?


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


  1. OMG!!! That looks delicious!!!! 🙂

  2. 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 🙂

    1. thank you!

  3. 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 🙂

    1. I thought about coconut when I tried these for the 1st time last week!

  4. 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!  

    1. Corn syrup or honey will work just as well, same amount. Enjoy!

  5. Rachael @ Rachael's Foodie Life says:

    Congrats again on your bun Sally 🙂
    Also these buns Oh. My. God. I am a huge cinnamon bun lover but just looking at these is converting me!! I am 100% making them this weekend and i will probably eat them everyday….

    1. Let me know how you like them!

  6. 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?

    1. I never change the temp when using glass pans vs metal pans with sweet/cinnamon rolls like this. 375F for these!

  7. Tori// says:

    I just can’t even right now! Jaw fully floor-bound!

  8. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says:

    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).

    1. so many congratulations to you and your family! 🙂

  9. Mama V @ Snowflakes & Coffeecakes says:

    Oh dang it Sally! Just when I thought I had my Easter menu finalized, and now this! Guess there will be some fabulous Pecan Sticky Buns in our future! Thanks for sharing – these look divine!

    1. Let me know if you try them!

  10. Michelle @ Brown Butter and Biscuits says:

    At the bakery I worked at everyone preferred the cinnamon buns but the pecan sticky buns were always my favorite!!! It’s something about the caramel and pecans that just gets me 🙂

  11. How do you get the most accurate temperature of the milk?

    1. I use a kitchen thermometer. As long as it’s fairly warm and not boiling hot, it’s fine.

      1. Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try these!

  12. Patricia @Sweet and Strong says:

    Oh you can never go wrong with maple anything! 

  13. 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??!”

    1. HA! 😉

  14. 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!

  15. Sammi Harasymchuk says:

    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!!

    1. I’m so glad you loved the slow cooker cinnamon rolls recipe!

  16. 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

    1. Thank you so much and happy Easter to you as well!

  17. Congrats on that little bun in your oven, Sally!

    1. thank you!

  18. Kelly @ Kelly Lynns Sweets and Treats says:

    Your buns looking amazing Sally!! Hahaha sorry….couldn’t resist that one 😉 I have never had a sticky bun before!!! Ahhhh…I need to make these! These buns look yummy! Xoxo

  19. Michele Welch says:

    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!

    1. Thanks Michele! Your other option would be one of the freezing options. Happy Easter to you as well!

  20. These looks so, so, SO delicious. And you deserve to state that you have a bun in the oven. ~smile~
    I’m happy for all of you.

    1. thank you Roseanne!

  21. Jenny from says:

    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!

  22. Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says:

    Sticky buns are so much better! This is one of my favorite breakfasts ever! And congrats on the little one =)

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. Oh my goood, it seems so good !

  26. “And consequently, your buns may even get bigger.” LOL!!! I just love your blog. :o)

  27. Looks delish! Congrats 🙂

  28. 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!

  29. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- these look so yummy! Congrats again on your baby! So cool!

  30. 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