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Caramel pecan sticky buns are homemade sweet rolls filled with a brown sugar cinnamon filling and topped with a rich caramel sauce and pecans. Sweet, nutty, and rich, this is the best sticky bun recipe!
The BEST Caramel Pecan Rolls
There are certain times of year when I get out my Bosch mixer and whip up these homemade sticky buns. My husband is the happiest guy in the world when I do because homemade sweet rolls are his ultimate comfort food. These sticky buns have become such a favorite in our family that we have them every Christmas morning!
These Caramel Pecan Rolls are downright heavenly. They taste straight out of a gourmet bakery but are made at home for a fraction of the price! These will become a family favorite and a recipe to pass down.
There are certain tips and tricks to making perfect caramel pecan rolls. Making homemade bread, rolls, sticky buns, or cinnamon rolls can be intimidating but I want to make it easy for you. I have learned so many things from baking with my Mother and she has shared her many years of baking wisdom.
What are sticky buns made of?
Caramel pecan sticky bun dough ingredients:
- Eggs: We want to be using large eggs in this recipe. Eggs will help provide the structure and moisture to the rolls so that they’re more sticky rather than crumbly.
- Brown sugar: This is what helps make the dough resemble that of a sweet roll rather than a baguette. Brown sugar is also key in making the dough be moist and chewy.
- Buttermilk: I always refer to it as the “magic” ingredient. It helps to give the dough its fluffy rise while simultaneously providing an incredibly soft but delicious tang to the sweet rolls. It’s the perfect balance.
- Salt: As it does in all recipes, salt brings out the flavors of the sticky buns.
- Instant yeast: You want to make sure that you are using fresh yeast. I’ve given more tips on that in the “FAQ” section below.
- Butter: Gives the rolls a richer flavor and helps the dough not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- All-purpose flour: Flour gives the buns its structure.
Caramel pecan sticky bun sauce:
- Butter: This is what helps it get that caramel consistency. Very important in giving the rich flavor, too!
- Brown sugar: This is key in making the rolls into STICKY buns! Brown sugar is more moist and chewy than regular sugar, helping create that sticky caramel texture.
- Buttermilk or heavy cream: Use whichever one you have on hand, there isn’t a preference. This just helps the sauce be smoother, creamier, and keeps it from hardening.
- Pecans: You’ll want to chop these up so that they can be in each bite! If you prefer, walnuts can also be used.
Sticky bun cinnamon filling ingredients:
- Butter: Not only is it a huge contributor to the texture of the filling, but the flavor of the butter makes the filling taste rich and decadent.
- Brown sugar: A necessity in the filling because of its sweetness and stickiness.
- Cinnamon: Adds the perfect flavor, complimenting the caramel, butter, and pecans perfectly.
How to make Perfect Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns:
- Set aside the TIME to let the dough RISE two times. The first rise is for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size. The second rise is after the rolls are rolled out and they will need about two more hours. The rising process will be at least 4 hours so plan ahead.
- This recipe can be made in a large bowl but my preferred method is to use my Bosch mixer. It makes making bread such a breeze since it does the work for me. If you’ve ever wanted a Bosch, they are offering a discount package deal for my readers. Click HERE to find out the special Bosch pricing.
- Pour the Homemade Pecan-Caramel Sauce all over the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. All of the ooey gooey sauce is at the bottom of the pan and once they come out of the oven, you invert the pan so the caramel pecan filing is at the top.
Let’s start off with what makes sticky buns different than a regular bread recipe. A sticky bun dough is different than a traditional baguette dough. A caramel sticky bun dough is enriched with butter and eggs, which creates a richer, more tender dough. I find it easier to work with!
The real difference, however, comes down to the topping. Both cinnamon rolls and sticky buns can be filled with a buttery cinnamon brown sugar mixture. Cinnamon rolls are topped with a white sugar frosting or a cream cheese frosting. Sticky buns have a brown sugar pecan glaze that makes it sticky and delicious!
In this recipe, you definitely want your yeast to be fresh! This is so important as this is what makes the bread rise. If you aren’t sure, place the yeast in a small amount of warmed water (about 110 degrees) and a touch of sugar. Watch it for a few minutes to see if it starts to foam. If there is no action or movement, start over with new, fresh yeast.
These caramel pecan rolls freeze well. Place them in an airtight container or freezer safe ziplock bag and freeze them.
They can also be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Caramel Pecan Rolls
- 3 Large Eggs
- 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 3/4 cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoon Instant Yeast
- 6 Tablespoons Butter, melted
- 4 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Buttermilk or Heavy Cream
- 1 cup Pecans, coarsely chopped
Brown Sugar Filling:
- 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
For the Dough:
- In a large bowl, Bosch mixing bowl, or KitchenAid mixer, whisk the eggs until mixed together. Add brown sugar, buttermilk, yeast, and melted butter. Whisk together. Sprinkle in flour and salt. Stir until a ball of dough forms together.
- If making by hand in a bowl, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2-3 minutes. If using a Bosch or KitchenAid, mix for two minutes on a medium speed. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until double in size, about two hours.
Pecan Caramel Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, until it is completely dissolved and beginning to bubble, about 2 minutes. Pour in the buttermilk or cream (be careful as it may splatter) and pecans. Stir until the caramel mixture is smooth and mixed together. Pour into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
Brown Sugar Filling:
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together. Set aside.
Assemble Sticky Buns:
- Turn the raised dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle that is approximately 16 inches long and 12 inches wide. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam shut and turn the dough so it is seam-side down. Use a very sharp knife to cut into 12 slices. Place facing up in prepared dish with caramel pecan filling on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, about 2 hours. After the rising process, the rolls should be puffy and touch each other.
- While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until rolls are puffed up and cooked through, about 24-28 minutes. Watch carefully as the rolls can brown quickly. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then invert the sticky buns onto a serving platter. Scrape the rest of the filling all over the sticky buns. Serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Happy Baking, my friends!