Pecan Stickiest Buns

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Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

If you’re making sticky buns, I think it’s best to go all the way and then some—there’s no such thing as a “light” sticky bun. These are loaded with pecans, brown sugar, and butter, and they are lethally addictive.


  • 1 batch Sweet Yeast Dough as in Bakery Crumb Buns, omitting the spices from the dough, prepared up to the end of step 5


  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (about 4 ounces/100 grams) pecan pieces, coarsely chopped

Sticky Bun Mixture

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces/225 grams) pecan halves, pieces, or a combination
  • One 9 × 13 × 2-inch (23 × 33 × 5-cm) pan, buttered and lined, bottom and sides, with buttered foil


  1. For the filling, use a small rubber spatula to stir together the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Flour a work surface and press the dough into a rough rectangle. Even up the sides and corners with your hands and lightly flour the dough. Gently roll it into a 12 × 20-inch (30 × 50-cm) rectangle.
  3. Dot the butter mixture for the filling all over the dough and use a small metal offset spatula to spread it evenly. Scatter the chopped pecans for the filling over the butter mixture.
  4. Roll up the dough jelly-roll style from one of the 12-inch (30-cm) ends without stretching it, pinching the end in place to seal it. Use a sharp knife to divide the roll into 3 equal pieces, then cut each into 5 equal pieces.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to mix together all the ingredients for the sticky bun mixture and scrape it into the prepared pan. Spread it evenly. Arrange the cut buns, cut side down, on the mixture, making 3 rows of 5 buns, and keeping them about ½ inch (1 cm) apart all around.
  6. Cover the pan with a towel or buttered plastic wrap and let the buns rise until doubled in bulk.
  7. About 20 minutes before the buns are fully risen, set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F (190°C).
  8. Bake the buns 25 to 30 minutes, until they are firm and golden and the sugar mixture in the bottom of the pan is bubbling gently.
  9. Place the pan on a rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Place a cutting board on the pan and invert. Lift off the pan. Carefully peel away the foil. If some of the pecans stick to the foil, just pry them off with a fork and replace them on the buns. Cool the buns completely.


Arrange the cooled buns on a platter and serve them for breakfast or brunch.


Keep the buns loosely covered with plastic wrap on the day they are made. Wrap and freeze for longer storage. Defrost, reheat at 350°F (180°C) for 10 minutes, and cool before serving.

Cinnamon Raisin Buns

Prepare the Recipe up to the end of step 5. Scatter the dough with 1 cup dark raisins—or omit the pecans and use 2 cups of raisins. Cut and arrange in the pan where the foil is only buttered, omitting the Sticky Bun Mixture. Allow to rise and bake as below. Let the buns cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then lift the foil on one of the narrow ends of the pan, and slide the buns, still on the foil, onto a rack to cool completely.