Think mini sticky buns without the time-consuming yeast dough. Rich, tender, cakey, with a bit of caramely brown sugar goop. These little cheaters are made with a quick stirred-together cream biscuit concoction. Too simple for words.–Alice Medrich

david caricature

Why Our Testers Loved This

There are a ton of reasons our recipe testers devoured these sweet treats. They found the recipe to be “well-written and easy to follow.” The testers all loved how quickly they came together, making them perfect for breakfast or brunch.

Leanne A. joined in with her comment, “These sticky pecan bites are definitely going into our morning rotation! These flaky, sweet cinnamon bites are some of the quickest breakfast treats I’ve made in a long time.”

What You’ll Need to Make This

  • Pecans–offer a buttery flavor to the bites, You could substitute a different type of nut, such as walnuts, but if you do, be sure to choose nuts of a similar size.
  • Ground cinnamon--If you prefer your bites to have more of a cinnamon-roll flavor, double the amount of cinnamon.

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Place a pecan half in each well of two muffin tins. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the cream. Mix until a soft dough forms. Let it rest for a few minutes.
  3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
  4. Roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle. Spread the dough with butter, then sprinkle with salt and the sugar mixture. Roll the dough up tightly and chill while the oven preheats.
  5. Heat the oven to 400°F.
  6. Slice the dough into 24 pieces. Place a piece into each muffin tin well, cut side up. Bake until browned.
  7. Remove from the oven and immediately turn out the pecan bites from the tins. Serve warm.

What to Expect from These Sticky Bites

A half-eaten sticky pecan bite with a few in the background.

Everyone, it seems, expects something a little different from a sticky bun. So while these buttery little bites are really quite irresistible, just to be clear, they’re not the puffy, yeasty rolls of your childhood that, incidentally, took hours to make, roll, rise, and bake. These are more like scones with their denser, chewier substantialness, their shy sweetness, and their dough that comes together in mere minutes.

And you can tweak them to your preference.

  • If you’re particularly fond of caramel loveliness, double the filling.
  • Like your sticky buns exceptionally moist? Err on the low end of the baking time.
  • Partial to pecans? Chop some and add them to the filling. And so forth and so on. You get the idea.

Common Questions

Can I use a different type of nut?

Yes. Use nuts of a similar size, such as walnuts, in place of the pecans.

How should I serve these?

These sticky bites are meant to be served warm. Offer them at breakfast or for a mid-morning snack with coffee or tea.

Helpful Tips

  • Roll your dough tightly to help hold all the filling and to allow them to fit inside the muffin tin.
  • Turn the pecan bites out of the pan immediately after baking or they will stick to the pan as they cool.
  • The bites are best eaten the day they are made but can be kept in a covered container for up to 1 day. Rewarm in the microwave or in a low oven until just heated through.
24 sticky pecan bites arranged in rows.

More Great Pecan Treats

Write a Review

If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David

24 sticky pecan bites arranged in rows.

Sticky Pecan Bites

5 / 4 votes
These sticky pecan bites, which are kind of like mini-pecan sticky rolls, are the best way to get your caramel-y, buttery, nutty fix fast. Easy as can be.
David Leite
CourseBreakfast
CuisineAmerican
Servings24 bites
Calories81 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes

Equipment

  • 1 miniature muffin pan with 24 cups or 2 miniature muffin pans with 12 cups each

Ingredients 

  • 24 pecan halves
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed brown or muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, very soft, plus more for the muffin cups

Instructions 

  • Place a pecan half in each muffin cup, top side down. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
  • Make a well in the center. Pour the cream into the well. Use a rubber spatula to fold and stir the flour mixture and cream together just until the dry ingredients are completely moistened and a soft dough is formed. The dough won't look perfectly smooth. Let the dough rest for 2 to 3 minutes to firm.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon.
  • On a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough to a rectangle about 12 by 7 inches and 1/4 inch thick.
  • Use a small offset spatula or your fingertips to spread the dough with the soft butter, then sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the brown sugar, leaving a 1/8 to 1/4 inch border.
  • Starting at one short end, roll the dough tightly. Gently stretch the dough to lengthen the roll slightly to about 12 inches in length. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Lightly butter the muffin cups.
  • Cut the dough roll crosswise into 24 equal pieces. (It's easiest to do this by cutting the dough in half, then cutting each half in half, then cutting each portion into 6 pieces. This math is easier than it sounds.) Place each piece of dough in a muffin cup, cut side up.
  • Bake the sticky buns for 12 to 15 minutes, until browned. Rotate the pan(s) from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. (The longer you leave them in the oven, the crisper the edges but the drier the dough.)
  • Immediately turn the buns out onto a sheet of parchment on a heatproof surface. (And we do mean immediately, otherwise the buns may stick to the pan.) Serve warm.

Notes

  1. Rolling the dough–Roll your dough tightly to help hold all the filling and to allow them to fit inside the muffin tin.
  2. Serving and storage–The bites are best eaten the day they are made but can be kept in a covered container for up to 1 day. Rewarm in the microwave or in a low oven until just heated through.
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy

Adapted From

Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 biteCalories: 81 kcalCarbohydrates: 9 gProtein: 1 gFat: 5 gSaturated Fat: 2 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 13 mgSodium: 29 mgPotassium: 40 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 5 gVitamin A: 141 IUVitamin C: 1 mgCalcium: 18 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2010 Alice Medrich. Photos © 2021 Cenk Sönmezsoy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

On first reading, I thought this was a rather lightweight recipe. I mean, a biscuit rolled with cinnamon sugar didn’t seem very special. I was, however, pleasantly surprised. Everyone loved the little bites, including their flavors and texture.

Next time, I’d use more nuts. It’s best to eat these right away, but the recipe is so quick and easy that making them last-minute is no problem.

These sticky pecan bites are definitely going into our morning rotation! These flaky, sweet cinnamon bites are some of the quickest breakfast treats I’ve made in a long time. Flour, cream, and baking powder—who knew it could be so simple?

While the “dough” was resting, I mixed the sugar and cinnamon, then rolled it all out in a flash. I had to squish my slices a bit so they would fit into the mini-muffin pan, but I did end up with 24 pieces easily.

They baked in 15 minutes. Not all of the pecans stuck to the rolls, but you do need to turn them out of the pan while they’re still warm, or the sugar will stiffen and everything will stick. Definitely eat them that morning (while warm) and you’ll have a tender, flaky, sugary treat.

I absolutely love sticky buns, and when I saw this pecan sticky bites recipe, I knew I had to make it that very day. I loved it. It was very easy to follow, and the pecan bites were so tender and yummy.

When I make them again, I’ll double the cinnamon because I prefer a more pronounced cinnamon flavor. They really are best eaten the day they’re made—however, with a few seconds in the microwave, they were still delicious the next morning with coffee.

At the end of a cold day when one craves something hot and sweet, this is an easy, quick recipe you can turn to. These pecan sticky bites are meant to be eaten warm.

I followed the recipe fairly closely, but the only changes I made were using walnuts instead of pecans, and using slightly less brown sugar.

These cute little pecan sticky bites are so simple to make that it’s almost embarrassing. The dough is basically the same as that of cream scones. Of course, you don’t get the comforting yeasty flavour and puffy billowiness of yeast rolls, but these come together so quickly. They’d be a snap to make for breakfast or brunch for company.

I like that you sprinkle the rolled-out dough with salt as well as the butter and Muscovado sugar. The only drawback is that I’d love for them to be stickier—there’s not quite enough goo for me! The yield was 24 mini-muffin-sized bites, but I wound up with 20.

These little upside-down pecan rolls are tasty sweet bites.

This is another one of those recipes I couldn’t mess up if I tried. Well, I didn’t exactly try to make a mess of it, but I did make several missteps along the way, and these still came out pretty well.

Next time, I’ll make sure the dough is rolled tightly, and that the diameter of the roll allows them to fit into the mini-muffin tins without difficulty. Mine were far too large and had to be squished into the mini-muffin cups. I possibly could have mismeasured. I also don’t think I rolled the dough tightly enough, as a fair amount of the cinnamon filling fell out after I cut them.

In addition, I also may have been too cautious about stretching the dough, since I had to stretch it pretty thin if I wanted to get 24 pieces out of it.

I baked these for a party and made them again today. Everyone liked them.

The second time, I added more heavy cream, more brown sugar, and more butter. I also brushed them with heavy cream so they browned much nicer. I found the first batch a little too dry, but the second batch was much better—light and gooey.

The rolls can be made so quickly, so I’ll use this recipe again.




About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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9 Comments

    1. Donna, we didn’t test them in full size pans, so we can’t give you accurate baking times. If you try it, do let us know how they turn out.