Sticky Buns

Sticky buns are the ultimate in sweet gooeyness. These cinnamon-filled, caramel-pecan topped lovelies are no exception. Perfect warm or at room temperature.

A sticky bun topped with caramel and pecans on a plate, with more sticky buns in the background.

These gooey, dark gold buns feature thick cinnamon filling and a topping of rich brown sugar sauce sprinkled liberally with pecans. We guarantee these will rival (or surpass!) any bakery sticky buns you’ve ever enjoyed.–King Arthur Baking Company

How long do sticky buns last?

Well, it all depends on how fast you can stuff them into your cake-hole. If you happen to be one of those elusive eaters who can be trusted to not overindulge around anything sweet, then you can look forward to these sticky buns lasting at least a couple of days. They’ll still be fine after that but will turn a touch dry and lose some of their doughy lushness.

Sticky Buns

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 16 H, 30 M
  • Makes 12 buns
Print RecipeBuy the The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion cookbook

Want it? Click it.


  • For the starter
  • For the dough
  • For the filling
  • For the glaze


Make the starter

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, water, and yeast, stirring until fairly smooth. Cover the bowl and let the mixture rest at room temperature (cooler than 75°F [24°C]) overnight, or for 12 to 16 hours. The starter should be puffy and bubbly.

Make the dough

If using a mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the overnight starter with all the dough ingredients and knead until the dough is soft and smooth, 2 to 5 minutes.

If kneading by hand, in a large bowl, mix the overnight starter with all the dough ingredients and knead until the dough is soft and smooth, about 7 minutes.

Cover and let the dough rise for about 1 hour; it will become slightly puffy but won’t double in bulk.

While the dough is rising, prepare the pans: two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans or a 9-by-13-inch (23-by 33-cm) pan. Spray with nonstick pan spray or lightly grease with vegetable shortening or butter.

Make the filling

In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.

Make the glaze

In a separate small bowl, whisk together the syrup, rum, if using, and melted butter. Pour the glaze into the pan, or divide it evenly between the pans if you’re using 2 pans. Sprinkle the brown sugar and pecans on top of the glaze.

Tester tip: Lining your pan(s) with parchment paper will make for easier removal of your sticky buns.

Lightly slick your work surface with butter. Move the dough to the work surface and roll it into a rectangle approximately 14-by 20-inches (35-by 50-cm).

Spread it with the prepared filling, leaving an uncovered strip about 1 inch (25 mm) wide along one short end of the dough. Starting with the short end without the filling, roll the dough into a log and slice it into 12 slices, each about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (25 to 31 mm) wide.

Place the buns in the prepared pan(s), leaving about 1/2 inch (12-mm) between them. Cover the pan(s), and let the buns rise for 90 minutes; again, they won’t rise much, they’ll just seem to spread a bit.

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Bake the buns, tenting them lightly with aluminum foil for the final 5 minutes if they appear to be browning too quickly, until golden brown, 22 to 35 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the buns with a knife, then carefully (the sugar is hot!) turn them out (upside down) onto a wire rack placed over a parchment-covered baking sheet to cool, scraping any glaze that may have stuck to the pan onto the warm buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Print RecipeBuy the The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

OMG - these are delicious! And yes, they are now officially a favorite. I really liked the dough; so pillowy and aromatic. Overall, the recipe is pretty easy and it all come together nicely.

These sticky buns really are terrific. And don't just take my word for it—I made these to take to coffee with friends and their comment was “better that any bakery sticky bun they have ever had.”

Dang, these sticky buns deserve every decadent adjective that comes to mind. They're over-the-top indulgent and insanely sweet and gooey. Picture tons of sticky caramel and chopped pecans twisted inside tender dough. To eat, I found myself methodically uncoiling the rolled dough, bite after bite, savoring this extravagance. How could I rationalize eating a second bun? I couldn’t. I ate another one the same way. I knew these buns needed careful monitoring and allocation or I'd have family conflict. There could be no sneaking or casual nibbling.

These days, I find myself avoiding baking recipes that require precision and more planning than I have bandwidth. This wasn't the case here. The recipe was approachable and forgiving—especially during the assembly phase. The steps were super easy for this beginning baker to execute. I felt quite accomplished with my results. And they looked just gorgeous!


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