Pecan Sticky Buns

The amazing sticky bun recipe is back! I had put this on my blog years ago (eek, has it really been that long?), and now it's here to stay! As I had written previously, the thought of making a brioche dough can be intimidating, but I promise that if you follow the steps to a T and aren't afraid of a pound of butter, you'll be enjoying these in no time.

let's start with the brioche sponge

Warm milk (100-110F)--1/3 cup

Dry yeast--1 packet, which is 2 1/4 tsp


Flour--2 cups

Put the warmed milk, yeast, egg and 1 cup of the flour in the bowl of your mixer. Mix with a spatula; sprinkle the remaining cup of flour on top.

Set the sponge aside for about 30-40 minutes, until the flour has cracked, which tells you that the yeast is working.

The dough

Sugar--1/3 cup

Salt--1 tsp


Flour--2 cups

Butter (room temperature)--1 1/2 sticks, or 6 oz

Add the sugar, salt, eggs and 1 cup of the flour to the sponge. Attach the dough hook and mix for about 3 minutes on low speed. Slowly add the remaining cup of flour.

Once all flour is incorporated, mix on medium for 15 minutes, NO LESS. If the dough does not look as though it is coming together nicely and slapping the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon or more flour to the bowl.

Now it is time for the butter. The butter must be soft and smooth so that it easily incorporates to the beautiful dough that you have worked so hard to make. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time until all is in the mixer. *Note: it may seem as though your dough has fallen apart, but I promise you that it has not, keep on mixing it on medium for about 5 minutes, it will come back together!* 



Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours, at room temperature.

Once this has happened, deflate the dough by placing your fingers underneath and lifting the dough, and pushing down. Again, cover tightly and either refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight.


Let's make sticky buns!

12 TBL of softened butter (6 per half of the dough)

Take the chilled dough out of the fridge and cut it in half, working with one half at a time.

On a floured work surface, roll the dough out so that it is approximately 11"x13" and 1/4" thick. 

Evenly put the 6 tablespoons of butter all over the dough that you just rolled out. I enjoy just smearing it all over with my hands, it's the most effective way! 

Fold this dough into thirds, like a business letter, roll out to 11"x13" again, then do the same fold. Now wrap in plastic, put in the fridge and do that same exact process with the second half of the dough.


Sugar--1/2 cup

Cinnamon--1/2 tsp

Pecans--1 cup, chopped

Egg--1, beaten

Mix the sugar, cinnamon and chopped pecans together in a bowl.

Remove the first piece of dough from the fridge, again, roll out to 11"x13", brush the dough with butter (minus the top 1/4), sprinkle half of the sugar mixture all over the area with egg.

Starting from the base of your rectangle, roll the dough into a log. Do the same with your second piece of dough.

Separately wrap both of the logs in plastic and store in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Let's get baking

Butter--2 sticks, or 8 oz

Brown sugar--1 cup, packed

Pecan halves--about 60


First, take one of the logs out of the freezer, or both if you're looking to make about 24 sticky buns! Let it thaw for about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Now it's time to prep the pans. (This may sound like it's a little too much butter, but I can promise you that it's not!) Melt one stick of the butter into the bottom of a pie pan, and then sprinkle evenly with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar.

Once the logs are soft enough to cut them, do so. Cut about 1 1/2" thick wide slices. 

When all are cut, press 3 pecan halves into one of the flat sides, press into the pan. Do so with all of the slices.

Now it is time to wait some more. The sticky buns need to rise for about 2 hours, which will cause them to move right up on one another, but that's good! You will know when they are ready to be baked by this foolproof method: wet one of your fingers slightly and press into one of the sticky buns. When the spot you pressed only comes back halfway, you know it is baking time!

Put into a 350F oven for about 35 minutes, until they are GBD (golden brown delicious).

Once finished, take out of the oven and VERY carefully, invert them onto a serving plate. This part can be tricky, and if you get the gooey glaze all over like I do, that's okay, it can be drizzled right back on! Don't waste any time, have a bite!


Bon Appetit! 


Inspired by Baking With Julia