HomeHEALTHY FOODPerfect Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

Perfect Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

These Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns (nuts optional!) are soft and delicious with soft dough, buttery cinnamon filling, and drizzle.

I’ve been working on a tried-and-true Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun recipe for a long time, and these amazing Caramel Buns do not disappoint!

Lots of great tips, pictures and descriptions below!

Caramel Pecan Crust

There are three main components to this recipe:

  • Caramel Pecan Crust
  • dough
  • dough filling

For the caramel, rest assured, we’re not going for homemade caramel that needs to be tested with a candy thermometer or anything like that.

Instead, butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup are heated until melted and smooth (no bubbling or simmering!) Cream and vanilla are stirred in and the entire mixture is spread over the bottom of a 9X13-inch pan .

Sprinkle coarsely chopped pecans over the top and set it aside so the caramel can cool to room temperature.

For a regular Caramel Sticky Bun recipe, the pecans can be omitted.

Bottom glass 9X13-inch pan with caramels and pecans.

Perfect Soft Dough

While the caramel cools slightly, knead the dough for sticky buns.

It’s a dough similar to this small batch cinnamon roll recipe, and it’s very easy to make and an absolute joy to work with! Not only that, it makes deliciously soft and fluffy Baked Cinnamon Rolls/Sticky Buns.

As long as you don’t over-flour the dough (or add yeast when the milk is too warm), you’ll be on your way to the best Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns of your life.

Mix the dough in the KitchenAid and let it rise.

Once the dough has risen, pat it into a rectangle, spread with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll up like a traditional cinnamon roll.

Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces.

Cut the cinnamon rolls into rounds.

Place rolls on top of caramel pecan mixture in four rows of three buns.

Let the buns rise until puffed and the edges are touching.

Bake until lightly golden on top (and that caramel will be buzzing and bubbling too – get excited!).

Assembling sticky buns in pan with caramel, letting rolls rise, rolls baked, turning rolls over with caramel on top.

How to make Caramel Sticky Bun

An important key to this recipe is knowing when to make the caramel buns.

If you wait too long, the caramel will harden, making it really difficult to get the buns out without overwhelming carnage. (If this is the case, simply return the pan to the hot oven and allow the buns/caramel to warm slightly before attempting to flip again.)

If you don’t wait long enough, the caramel will get runny and the tops of the buns will be soggy.

I suggest waiting 10-15 minutes after the buns come out of the oven. This gives the caramel time to thicken without hardening.

process: Place the parchment lined baking sheet (or serving tray) upside down on top of the pan of buns and, holding the sides of both the baking sheet and 9X13-inch pan, invert, give a light tap on the counter, so that the rolls pop out onto the baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any excess caramel/pecans out of the pan and onto the top of the sticky buns.

Pulled a Caramel Pecan Sticky Bread from the whole batch onto parchment paper.

Perfect Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

These sticky buns are glorious.

The ratio of caramel to buns is just right (I know, I know, I’m Almost Done with the overuse of the word “buns” here — making me laugh every time I type it, which I know says more about my overall maturity than anything else #movingon anyway).

And the pecans give the best hint of toasty crunch without overwhelming the soft, fluffy buns.

Drizzle caramel onto bottom side of sticky bun on white parchment paper.

The sticky buns are *obviously* served warm for the ultimate Caramel Perfection experience. But, they’re also very tasty if you refrigerate them at room temperature.

And. They heat right up when popped in the microwave for 12 1/2 seconds. So many options here! Which basically means there’s never a wrong time to make them.

This recipe has been a long time coming (so many of you have requested a go-to sticky buns recipe over the years), and I’m excited to bring it to you!

Making these Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns will make you feel like a rock star in the kitchen (and eating them will make you taste good.) Many of happiness and joy). I hope you love them!

Half eaten Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun on white plate.

one year ago: Raspberry White Chocolate Blondie Bars
two years ago: Cranberry-Jalapeno Cream Cheese Dip
three years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Cookies
four years ago: Easy Cinnamon and Sugar Candied Pecans
five years ago: The easiest fudge ever {tons of add-in options}
six years ago: Perfect Vanilla {Bean} Caramel {Step-by-Step}
seven years ago: Overnight Cinnamon and Sugar Sweet Rolls
eight years ago: Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
nine years ago: Homemade Peppermint Patties
ten years ago: White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread Cookies

Caramel Pecan Sticky Bun with pecans on the sides on parchment paper.

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns


  • 1 cup Milk (not skim milk – 2% or whole milk is preferred)
  • ¼ cup ,57 Yes, (4 tablespoons) butter (I use salted butter)
  • ¼ cup ,53 Yes, granulated sugar
  • and a half small spoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 Huge Egg
  • 3 to 4 cup ,426-568 Yes, all purpose flour


  • 10 big spoon ,142 Yes, butter (I use salted)
  • 1 ¼ cup cup ,265 Yes, packed light brown sugar
  • cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ small spoon Salt
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 small spoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1 ½ cup ,120-180 Yes, coarsely chopped pecans


  • 4 big spoon ,57 Yes, butter softened
  • and a half cup ,106 Yes, packed light brown sugar
  • 2 spoon ground cinnamon
  • for flour, Heat the milk in a medium saucepan or microwave-safe bowl or liquid measuring cup until the milk is sizzling (which is basically heating it just before it boils – it will start to steam and small bubbles will form around the edges).

  • Pour milk into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or you can do this by hand with a large bowl and a wooden spoon).

  • Add butter, sugar and salt. Mix until the butter is melted, and let the mixture cool until warm (if you dip a finger in it, it should feel like a warm bath—not too hot, not too cold, just right).

  • Add yeast and let rest for 5-7 minutes until yeast is frothy (technically, you don’t need to let yeast activate before adding flour, but I find in yeast bread recipes with milk , the dough rises quickly/ better if I activate the yeast first).

  • With the mixer running, add the egg and then gradually add the flour until the dough just clears the sides of the bowl. The exact amount will depend on temperature, humidity, and how you measure the flour. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky without leaving much residue on your fingers. Do not overdo the dough!

  • Mash the dough for 2-3 minutes to make it soft and smooth.

  • Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover with lightly floured plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

  • while the dough rises, Prepare Caramel Pecan Mixture. In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Heat over medium heat until the butter has melted, the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is well combined (try not to let it boil). Remove from heat, whisk in cream and vanilla until well combined.

  • Lightly grease a 9X13-inch baking pan. Spread caramel mixture evenly in bottom of pan. Sprinkle pecans over top. Set aside until caramel mixture cools to room temperature or is slightly warm.

  • Roll or press dough into a 10X16-inch rectangle. Spread 4 tablespoons butter on top. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over butter.

  • Starting at one long end, roll dough into a semi-tight log (without stretching or stretching the dough!) Using a serrated knife or unscented dental floss or thread, cut log into 12 equal pieces.

  • Place rolls in pan (3 across, 4 under). Cover with a lightly floured plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until puffed and touching the sides of the rolls.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the rolls are lightly golden on top.

  • Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes (too long and the caramel will harden and make the buns tough – too short and the caramel will be too runny).

  • Loosen the edges of the roll with a butter knife. Place a parchment lined baking sheet (or serving tray) upside down over the pan of buns and grasping the sides of both the baking sheet and 9X13-inch pan, invert, giving a light tap on the counter, so that the rolls are turned out onto the baking sheet.

  • Scrape any excess caramel and pecans over buns. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Nuts: The pecans can be omitted for a nut-free version of Caramel Sticky Buns.
corn syrup: I haven’t tried it, but honey can be a good substitute for corn syrup if you don’t have it or don’t want to use it.

Serving: 1 become, Calories: 556kcal, Carbohydrates: 70Yes, Protein: 6Yes, thick: 30Yes, Saturated fat: 13Yes, Cholesterol: 67milligrams, Sodium: 310milligrams, Fiber: 2Yes, sugar: 44Yes

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Recipe Source: From Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (small batch cinnamon roll dough)

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