Honey Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns at

Honey Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Author Ben & Christina Lakey adapted from Bon Appetit


For the Sweet Dough:

  • 2/3 cup milk whole is best
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar 1/4 cup, divided into 1 tablespoon and 4 tablespoons
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature one stick, cut into small pieces, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted, for coating dough

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

For the Caramel Topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/ 3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest or 3-4 drops orange extract optional

Other for Assembly:

  • 8 x8x2 baking pan plus bread pan or a 9x13x2 baking pan I prefer two smaller glass pans
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped toasted pecans divided 3/4 cup for filling and 1 cup for pan bottom and topping
  • 1 teaspoon egg + 1/2 water for eggwash


For the Sweet Dough:

  1. In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, heat milk in 30 second increments until medium warm (just starting to get uncomfortable to touch).
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon sugar.
  3. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend.
  4. Let mixture sit for about 5 minutes, then add eggs and whisk until smooth.
  5. In your stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook, combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt.
  6. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients.
  7. Set mixer to low, and while running, add the butter pieces, one at a time, blending well with each addition.
  8. Once all is added, mix on medium speed for another minute to ensure that the ingredients are well-combined.
  9. Turn up mixer to medium-high speed and knead for about 5 minutes, until silky and smooth.
  10. Brush a medium bowl with half of the melted butter. Place dough in bowl. Brush remaining butter over top of dough.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (About 2 hours if immediately chilling the dough and then taking out later to rise.)
  12. *Note: The dough and/or sticky buns can be made a day in advance. It is easier to handle if it has been chilled and then you do the first rise. However, if you are not chilling it, just make sure to generously flour your surfaces as the dough can get very sticky.
  13. While dough is rising, prepare filling and caramel topping.

For the Filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until light and fluffy. Set aside.

For the Topping:

  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add brown sugar, cream, honey, salt and orange zest/extract.
  3. Once mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture begins to thicken slightly and turns golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour one cup of the glaze into the baking pan(s), tilting to coat sides.
  5. Reserve remaining glaze for topping.
  6. Sprinkle about 1/2 chopped toasted pecans over bottom of baking pan(s).

For Assembly:

  1. Punch down dough.
  2. Generously flour work surface, and dust the top of the dough with flour.
  3. With hands, gently stretch dough into a long rectangle, until about 1/4 inch thick - the dough is usually soft enough to do this all by hand! (You may use a rolling pin if needed, especially if the dough has been refrigerated).
  4. Get prepared filling and spread over dough with a spatula, making sure to get to edges.
  5. Sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped pecans uniformly over surface.
  6. Roll dough carefully, length-wise, to create a long tube. (Once again, dough is very sticky. You may need to slowly work the dough into the roll and/or flour your hands a little more to help if it has stuck to your surface at all.)
  7. Using a sharp serrated blade, cut into 1-inch thick rolls. Place into your prepared pans leaving a little space between each bun (overcrowding hinders cooking).
  8. Loosely cover pan with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let rise until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes. (If making ahead, you may also place in the fridge at this point. When getting out to rise, they will need to probably rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.)
  9. While buns are rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  10. Whisk together egg and 1/2 teaspoon water.
  11. Brush tops of buns with egg wash.
  12. Bake for 35-40 minutes, checking half way through.
  13. If buns are browning unevenly or too quickly, tent them with foil.
  14. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  15. Invert onto a serving plate, or serve straight from the pan.
  16. Drizzle remaining topping over buns and sprinkle with remaining nuts (can do ahead of time, or individually with each bun while serving).