A photo of a sticky bun taking from above covered in a caramel glaze and chopped pecans.

Pecan Sticky Buns

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 38 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 12
These easy pecan sticky buns are best when they are warm and dripping with sticky caramel-y glaze. The stickier the better!



  • 3/4 Cup Milk Whole is best
  • 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 1/4 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Large Egg (set out as you scald the milk so it's not cold)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 2 1/2-3 Cups Flour

Caramel Sauce

  • 5 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Syrup light
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 1 Pinch of Salt


  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • Dash of Cloves
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Butter melted
  • 1 Teaspoon Flour


  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup Toasted Pecans *see note


For the dough

  • In a saucepan over medium low heat, add the milk and buttermilk and cook until the edges begin to foam a little. Do not boil.
  • Remove from the heat and add the sugar. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Add the yeast and allow to sit for 3 minutes.
  • Add the butter and stir until melted in.
  • In bowl of standing mixer, whisk egg.
  • Add milk/sugar mixture and whisk to combine.
  • Whisk in salt. Switch to your dough hook attachment. Add about 2 cups flour and mix until the dough comes together, adding up to 1 more cup (I generally only need 1/2 cup more) until a stiff dough is created.
  • Cover the bowl with a towel to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface.

For the caramel sauce:

  • Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for glaze in small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is thoroughly combined.
  • Pour mixture into nonstick metal 13- by 9-inch baking dish; using rubber spatula, carefully spread mixture to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Set baking dish aside.

To assemble and bake buns

  • Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl for the filling and mix; set aside.
  • Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface.
  • Gently shape dough into rough rectangle with long side nearest you.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll to 16- by 12-inch rectangle.
  • Brush dough with melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along top edge; with butter remaining on brush, brush sides of baking dish.
  • Sprinkle filling mixture over dough, spreading it evenly, leaving 3/4-inch border along top edge.
  • Beginning with long edge nearest you, roll dough into a tight cylinder to keep filling from falling out.
  • Pinch seam to seal and roll cylinder seam-side down.
  • Using serrated knife, slice cylinder in half, then slice each half in half again to create evenly sized quarters. Or, use string to slide under the dough, lifting, crossing and slicing through. Slice each quarter evenly into thirds, yielding 12 buns.
  • Arrange buns cut-side down in prepared baking dish; cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in warm spot until puffy, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle lowest position, and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; invert onto rimmed baking sheet, large rectangular platter, or cutting board. With rubber spatula, scrape any glaze remaining in baking pan onto buns; let cool while making pecan topping.

For the topping

  • Combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt in small saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking occasionally.
  • Off heat, stir in vanilla and pecans until pecans are evenly coated.
  • Spoon heaping tablespoon nuts and topping over center of each sticky bun. Continue to cool until sticky buns are warm, 15 to 20 minutes. Pull apart or use serrated knife to cut apart sticky buns; serve.


*To toast the pecans: Place the pecans in a skillet over medium heat and toast, swirling the pan occasionally, about 1-2 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
Pecan Sticky Buns
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 618 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 10g63%
Polyunsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 368mg16%
Carbohydrates 99g33%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 35g39%
Protein 11g22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.