The Best Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Buns

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Experience the softest cinnamon buns topped with a sticky, caramelized pecan crunch. These extraordinary buns come together easily without needing a stand mixer.

Why You Should Try This Recipe

  • Unbelievably Soft: These buns are softer than any cinnamon rolls you’ve likely tried. My sister-in-law, who has high standards due to a family recipe, was blown away by how soft they are!
  • Delicious Pecan Topping: The topping is a perfect blend of sticky, crunchy, nutty, and caramelized goodness. Toasted pecans add an irresistible crunch even after baking.
  • Sinfully Delicious: These buns are so good that you might never want plain cinnamon rolls again.
  • Easy to Make: This recipe is simple and fuss-free, designed for anyone to make without a stand mixer.
  • No Stand Mixer Needed: Knead the dough by hand, and it turns out perfectly.

The Best Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 buns



  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • Optional: ⅓ cup cream for extra softness

**Sticky Pecan Topping:**

  • 2 ⅓ cups pecan pieces and halves toasted at 350°F for 5-7 minutes
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter softened or slightly melted
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


**Make the Dough:**

  • – Microwave milk for 20-30 seconds until warm (100-110°F). Add to a bowl with yeast and sugar, whisk, and let rest for 10 minutes until foamy.
  • – Add the remaining dough ingredients to the same bowl. Mix into a dough with a large wooden spoon.
  • – Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until soft, smooth, and stretchy.
  • – Place dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes until doubled in size.

**Make the Sticky Pecan Topping:**

  • – Line a 9×13″ baking tray with parchment paper and brush with butter. Spread toasted pecans in the tray.
  • – In a saucepan, combine remaining topping ingredients and cook over medium-low heat until melted and combined.
  • – Pour the sauce over the pecans and spread evenly. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

**Prepare the Filling:**

  • – Mix softened butter with cinnamon, sugar, and salt. Microwave for a few seconds if needed to mix smoothly.

**Assemble and Bake:**

  • – Once dough has risen, punch down and roll out on a floured surface into a 12×16″ rectangle.
  • – Spread the filling evenly over the dough.
  • – Cut into 12 strips (1″ wide, 16″ long) and roll each strip into a cinnamon roll. Arrange rolls in the prepared tray in a 4×3 formation.
  • – Let rolls rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes until puffed up.
  • – Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • – Optional: Pour heavy cream over the rolls for extra softness.
  • – Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden and firm.
  • – Let rest for 5 minutes, then carefully flip onto a serving platter. Remove parchment paper and serve.


Store buns in an airtight container in the fridge, and microwave for about 20 seconds before enjoying.

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