These sticky buns are sweet smelling, decadent, and hard to resist. They’re the perfect combination of soft, buttery, pull apart dough and that classic sticky, (maple) sugar topping loaded with pecans. Good luck just having one!
Prep Time 25 mins. | Time for Dough to Rise 2-3 ½ hours | Bake Time 25 mins. | Makes 12 sticky buns
1. If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water and add a pinch of the maple sugar. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, making sure the mixture has bubbled (this ensures the yeast is active).
If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip right to mixing the dough ingredients.
2. Combine the yeast (instant or dissolved mix) with the rest of the dough ingredients. Mix and knead until you have a smooth dough. You can do this by hand, in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, or in a bread machine set on the dough cycle.
In a stand mixer, at second speed, it should take about 5-7 minutes. The dough should just barely clean the side of the bowl. If kneading by hand, or in a bread machine, you’ll know the dough is ready when it forms a smooth ball.
3. In a lightly greased bowl, leave the dough covered at room temperature. Allow the dough to rise for 1-2 hours or until its roughly doubled in size. Don’t rush this step, give the dough plenty of time to become puffy. If you kneaded by hand, be prepared to give the dough the full 2 hours to rise.
4. While the dough is busy rising, lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans or pie plates. I find that pie plates with handles will make the final step of flipping the baked buns much easier.
5. Prepare the glaze by whisking together the maple syrup, melted butter, and maple sugar. (You can add a splash of rum, whiskey or cognac at this stage if you’d like to intensify the flavors – this is purely optional).
6. Split the glaze equally between the two prepared cake or pie pans and sprinkle the chopped pecans on top. (This will ultimately become the top of our sticky buns.)
7. Whisk together the maple sugar, cinnamon, and flour.
ROLLING IT ALL UP
8. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased or floured work surface. Pat or roll the dough out into a large rectangle (roughly 16 x 12 inches). Don’t worry about having squared edges – it won’t matter once the dough has been rolled up.
9. Spread the filling on top of the dough. Leave a roughly 1 inch strip of dough uncovered on the long edge. This will help to hold the dough in the rolled form.
10. Roll the dough along the long edge, moving towards the uncovered edge.
11. Slice the log into 12 slices (a little variation here is fine - I always seem to cut the role unevenly but that also means that folks get to choose between smaller or larger buns.)
12. Space out the buns in the prepared pans. Cover and let the buns rise until they spread out (they don’t need to be fully touching each other). This will take about 60 – 90 minutes.
13. While the buns are left to rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
14. Bake the sticky buns uncovered for 15 minutes and then check on them. If they look like they’re getting too dark around the edges, you can cover them lightly with aluminum foil. In my oven, the foil isn’t necessary and the buns stay golden brown without any cover.
15. Continue baking for another 10 minutes (25 minutes total).
16. Remove the buns from the oven. Carefully (the sugar is hot) flip the buns onto a plate or parchment covered sheet pan or cooling rack. Some of the glaze and nuts may have stuck to the pan, feel free to scrape these last bits on top of the sticky buns.
17. These sticky buns are best served warm. To store, wrap air tight. The buns will firm up as they cool and you can always heat them up in the toaster oven or microwave if you prefer to eat them warm.
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