Sticky, sweet and full of fall flavors, these maple pecan sticky buns are the perfect treat to snuggle up with on a cold day. With a light and tender dough and a sweet maple filling, these sticky buns are irresistible and will leave you licking your fingers clean.
Nothing feels more like fall than a warm, gooey cinnamon roll and a chai latte. These maple pecan sticky buns are the perfect treat and one of my favorite things to wake up to in the morning (see note later for letting the dough rest overnight in the fridge). Made with a cinnamon-filled sweet yeasted dough and a sticky pecan maple topping, these maple pecan sticky buns have a burst of flavors and textures in each bite.
Similar to a cinnamon roll, the sticky bun recipe uses a simple yeasted dough and cinnamon sugar filling but gets baked in a pecan maple caramel that brings everything together. For my maple pecan sticky bun recipe, I’ve used Domino® Golden Sugar as my main source of sweetness. Domino® Golden Sugar is a less-processed alternative to granulated white sugar and can be used as a cup for cup replacement where your recipe calls for granulated white sugar (so you can use it in all of my recipes!). It’s available on Amazon. Paired with maple syrup, Domino® Golden Sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness to these maple cinnamon rolls.
To make the dough
The base of these sticky buns is a sweet yeasted dough. Enriched with butter and whole milk, this dough is perfectly rich and tender once baked. Using a mixer if you have one, combine the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Attach the dough hook and add the egg, butter and milk to the mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until a dough begins to form, about 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing for another 8 minutes, kneading the dough until it is soft. Your dough may be slightly sticky from all the wet ingredients, but if it’s too wet you can add additional flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it has more of a tacky feel.
Any yeasted dough needs some time to let the yeast activate and rise. If baking the same day, place the dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, toss to coat to keep it from drying out, and cover with plastic wrap. You can let it sit in a warm place or on the counter for 1-2 hours, until it doubles in size. Alternatively, if you want fresh maple pecan sticky buns for breakfast or don’t have time to make them the same day, you can place the covered dough in the refrigerator and let it rise overnight, where it will be ready the next morning.
Making the cinnamon sugar filling and pecan maple topping
While your dough rests, now you can get started on your filling and topping. Start with the pecan maple topping. Grease the bottom of your baking dish (I use a 9×13 inch pan) and spread the toasted pecans evenly on the bottom.
Add the rest of the ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer for 3 minutes. It’s important that you stay by the stove and whisk occasionally. Remove the caramel from the heat and pour directly over the pecans. Set this dish aside to cool while you make the cinnamon sugar filling.
For the cinnamon filling inside the dough, I again use Domino® Golden Sugar as a less-processed alternative to regular granulated sugar. Simply mix together the cinnamon and sugar until evenly combined.
Forming the maple pecan sticky buns
Once your dough has risen, roll it out onto a floured surface like a counter and into an 18×12 inch rectangle. Spread the entire surface with softened butter and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top. Press it gently down to make sure it sticks to the butter.
Starting with the longer edge closest to you, roll up the dough into a tight log and pinch along the entire seam to make sure it’s sealed. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 equal sized pieces and place each sticky bun cut side-up in the pan with the maple topping. The topping bakes on the bottom, but when finished baking you invert the pan and the bottom becomes the top!
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the maple pecan sticky buns rise for another 30-45 minutes, until almost doubled in size. This is also a great time to preheat your oven.
Bake and enjoy
Once risen, bake the buns for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know they are ready when the smell takes over your kitchen, the tops have browned, and a skewer or toothpick inserted into the dough comes out clean (make sure not to stick it all the way into the filling at the bottom of the pan).
Keep an eye on the maple cinnamon rolls as they bake, since the tops may begin browning too quickly. If that does happen, simply cover the top loosely with aluminum foil and continue baking.
Let the baked cinnamon rolls cool for 5 minutes, allowing the caramel topping to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges to loosen. Using oven mitts, carefully invert the pan onto a large plate and let the caramel drizzle down the sides. Let cool a bit longer before serving.
These maple pecan sticky buns are best enjoyed the same day they are made, which is why I’ve provided the note about the overnight rise. If you have any leftovers, which has never been an issue for me, you can freeze them and rewarm in the oven when ready to eat.
Using a less-processed Domino® Golden Sugar and maple syrup as sweeteners, these sticky buns are perfectly sweet for anyone like me with a constant sweet tooth. Bursting with fall flavors like cinnamon and maple and a variety of textures, from the tender dough, crunch pecan topping and gooey caramel, this maple pecan sticky bun recipe is one I’ll be making regularly to get me through the winter.
More Delicious Recipes
- 3 1/4 cups (450g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup (50g) Domino® Golden Sugar
- 2 teaspoons (6g) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/55g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups (170g) pecans, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream or whole milk
- 1/2 cup (100g) Domino® Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (100g) Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick/55g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
Make the dough: Place flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix until combined. Attach the dough hook to the mixer. Add egg, butter, and milk to the mixer bowl and mix on low speed until dough starts to come together, 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing for another 8 minutes on low-medium speed until dough is soft. If the dough it slightly sticky that’s ok. If it’s very sticky add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and up to 1/4 cup more.
Place dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, and toss to coat (the fat will keep the dough from drying out). Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place or on the counter for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size. Keep in mind that rising will be slower in cold weather. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight; it will rise slowly and be ready for the next step by morning.
Make the pecan maple topping: Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch pan. Spread pecans in the pan. Set aside. Place the rest of the ingredient in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat, and pour into pan over the pecans. Set aside.
Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix together sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the risen dough into an 18×12 inch (45×30 cm rectangle). Spread the entire surface of dough with softened butter, then sprinkle on the sugar-cinnamon mixture and press gently so it all sticks to the butter. Starting with the longer edge, roll up the dough to form a log and pinch to seal the seam. Cut into 12 equal size pieces and place cut side-up in the pan, on top of the maple pecan topping. Cover and let rest to rise for 30-45 minutes, until almost doubled in size.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when the smell is irresistible, the tops have browned, and a skewer inserted into the dough comes out clean. If the rolls brown too quickly while baking, cover them loosely with aluminum foil. Allow rolls to cool for 5 minutes in pan, then run a knife around edges to loosen and using oven mits, carefully invert the pan onto a large plate. The caramel will drizzle down the sides. Serve slightly warm.
Rolls are best the same day they’re made. Freeze any leftovers and rewarm them when ready to eat.