Sticky Buns

These upside-down rolls are a crowd pleaser. You can up the ante by adding to the cinnamon swirl more nuts, dried fruits, or even chocolate chips.



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4–6 cups bread flour


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1¼ cups (2½ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

Cinnamon Swirl:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  1. In a large bowl combine milk, 1 teaspoon sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in 1 stick butter, eggs, salt, and enough bread flour to create a firm dough. Add flour only to reduce stickiness. Turn onto a floured surface and knead 8–10 minutes. Return to bowl, dust the top with flour, and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

  3. Spray a 9″ × 13″ baking pan with pan spray, and line with parchment. Sprinkle the bottom evenly with the brown sugar, honey, dot with 2 sticks butter, and pecans. Set aside.

  4. Turn risen dough onto a floured surface and with a rolling pin, roll into a 9″ × 40″ rectangle. Melt remaining butter and brush over the entire surface. Combine 1 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over butter.

  5. Starting on a long edge, roll up the dough into a log. Slice log into 3″ wheels, and place on prepared pan, ½″ apart. Dust lightly with flour, cover with plastic wrap, and rise for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  6. Bake buns 15–20 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. While still warm, carefully invert onto serving platter or tray. Cool before serving.


The sticky part of sticky buns comes from melted sugar, which is extremely hot when it emerges from the oven. Even though the recipe calls for waiting 10 minutes before inverting, the topping will still be quite hot. Unfortunately, if the sticky topping is allowed to cool completely before inverting, the entire loaf will stick in the pan. So, turn it out while hot, but use caution. Use oven mitts and work over a sink, away from other people, especially small children.

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