Sticky Buns

Sticky Buns from Wawajeanne
Source: Simply Recipes with Wawa’s notes in italics

I love these things and after making them once for a trip to Deep Creek with friends, they are now a requirement whenever we go away for the weekend together.

I make them up through the part where you are going to put them into the refrigerator, then wrap it up well and freeze it until the day before we want to eat them.  About noonish pop them into the fridge and they’ll thaw and then rise overnight.  Follow the directions from there.

original recipe here:


1/4 cup warm water not hot.  Don’t kill your yeast
1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing
3 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest  optional, but it’s good
1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 Tbsp. butter

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans, or walnuts or any other kind of nuts you like.  Softer nuts are better here though.  Almonds and the like would be too crunchy.  Or half and half nuts and raisins or raisins or other dried fruit.  Or no nuts or raisins at all.


1 Make the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.  If your house is freezing cold like mine it might take longer.  Everything involving the yeast will take longer.  Be patient grasshopper.

Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl  (or just be lazy like me and clean out the mixer bowl while the dough sits on the counter and spritz with PAM). Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the grease from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place (or three if you are as stingy with the heat as wawa). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board (or counter.  What’s with the board nonsense?) and let sit 20 minutes.

2 Make the filling. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.

3 Roll dough out into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.

(I don’t love this method.  I always make a giant mess, and I’ve decided it makes more sense to nuke the butter till it’s totally mushy but not quite melted and then mix it with the cinnamon and sugar till it forms a paste and then smear that all over the dough.  You do whatever seems right)

4 Make the topping. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9″ x 13″ pan and sprinkle pecans (or other nuts/fruits/whatever) on top. Emphasis mine. That part is important.  Use butter, not oil or pam.

5 Place dough slices, flat side down, on top of prepared topping. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise, and refrigerate overnight.

6 Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately (and carefully as not to spill hot topping on your toes!) invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.

The flipping part always seems scarier than it is.  Wear oven mitts.  Make sure the platter/cookie sheet/whatever that you are flipping them onto is either much bigger than the pan you cooked them in, or at least a little bigger and has a lip to catch any oozy sugary goodness.  And don’t over cook them.  Maybe the oven at our rental at Deep Creek runs hot or something, but they are always done waaaay before 30 minutes.  They are still tasty overcooked, but the topping wanders into the realm of tooth sticking toffee consistency.


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