Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

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From scratch Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns baked in a skillet make a sweet breakfast treat. You’ll love the caramel topping that bakes in the bottom of the pan, but when flipped, becomes the topping!

Introducing October’s Sweet Roll: The Sticky Bun.

This year we’ve been sharing all kinds of variations of our homemade sweet rolls. Have you tried them yet? They’re amazing. And easy. I promise.

But the way to my husband’s heart is sticky buns. Caramel pecan sticky buns to be exact. The ooey, gooey, nutty cinnamon rolls that need a glass of milk alongside them. I’m so excited to share this classic recipe with you!

plate of caramel pecan sticky buns with a serving spoon

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • the same soft, sweet dough you know and love
  • a smaller recipe that only makes 8!
  • cinnamon filling on the inside
  • homemade caramel sauce bakes underneath
  • loaded with pecans
  • bakes in a skillet
closeup of pecan loaded sticky buns

What is the difference between cinnamon rolls and sticky buns?

Today we’re talking sticky buns…the cousin to cinnamon rolls. Sticky buns are called “sticky” because they bake in a gooey sauce poured into the bottom of the pan. Once the rolls are baked, you flip the rolls upside down, revealing that gooey “sticky” sugar coating.

Cinnamon rolls aren’t baked in that gooey, nutty sauce, but rather either frosted or drizzled with glaze after baking.

Tips for Making Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

  • The first step to making sticky buns is to make the yeast dough. My favorite yeast is Red Star Platinum Superior Baking Yeast. It bakes up big, beautiful breads every time. Be sure your yeast is fresh for the best results!
  • We find it easiest to use a stand mixer to mix and knead yeast doughs. You can use your hands to knead the dough if you don’t have a stand mixer, just be sure not to add too much flour. The dough should be slightly tacky so the rolls don’t end up dry.
  • While the dough is rising, make the caramel pecan sugar mixture. You’ll melt sugar, corn syrup and butter in a saucepan until the sugar is melted. Allow the mixture to simmer (low boil) for 2 minutes. Then remove from the heat and add the cream.
  • Line your 10″ skillet with parchment paper that you’ve sprayed with cooking spray. This will help the rolls come out easily. Pour the sauce into the prepared skillet and sprinkle the pecans overtop.
  • Roll out the dough, top with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, then roll up the dough jelly roll style and cut into 8 pieces.
  • Place the dough slices into the skillet and allow the rolls to rise again for 20-30 minutes or until the dough is slightly puffed. The exact time to rise will depend on temperature, humidity and even altitude, so just be sure to watch them closely.
  • Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes. Baking time will really depend on the type of pan you used and your oven. We used a regular oven and a cast iron skillet. The rolls took a full 25 minutes of baking.
  • Allow the rolls to rest for 15 minutes. Then turn them over onto a serving plate so the caramel sauce ends up on top. Be careful with the hot skillet…it’s very, very hot!
pecan sticky bun on a plate with a bite on a fork

The Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns are best served warm alongside a cup of coffee or milk. 🙂

closeup of plate of pecan sticky buns
closeup of plate of pecan sticky buns

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

4.84 from 24 votes
From scratch Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns baked in a skillet make a sweet breakfast treat. You’ll love the caramel topping that bakes in the bottom of the pan, but when flipped, becomes the topping!
Servings 8
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients
 

DOUGH:

  • 1/2 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter (well softened, but not melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING:

  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter (softened)

CARAMEL PECAN TOPPING:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. Allow to it for about 5 minutes or until it starts to get foamy. 
  • Whisk in the sugar, butter, salt, and egg. 
  • Stir in the flour until the dough comes together. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. 
  • Place in a greased bowl and let rise until double in size, about an hour. 
  • Punch the dough down and knead a few times until smooth. 
  • Make the pecan topping by combining the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until the sugar is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for two minutes. 
  • Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the heavy cream.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper in a 10" skillet. Spray with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the skillet and sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Set aside.
  • Roll the dough into a 10-inch by 16-inch rectangle (if the dough pulls back too much and doesn't stay rolled out, let it rest for 10 minutes and try again). 
  • Spread the 4 tablespoons of butter on the rolled out dough. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll up tightly starting on the long edge.
  • Using a very sharp knife, cut the log into 8 rolls. Place them on top of the pecan filling in the 10-inch skillet and let them rise until puffed slightly (about 30 minutes). 
  • Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Check the rolls at 20 minutes. If they look like they are getting too browned, cover loosely with foil for the remaining baking time.
  • Remove them from the oven and let them sit for about 15 minutes. CAREFULLY flip the skillet over on a serving plate so that the buns are sticky side up (CARAMEL TOPPING IS SUPER HOT).
  • Serve warm.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the recipe making 8 rolls, with 1 serving being 1 roll. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.

Nutrition

Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 704IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Calories 574
Keyword homemade bread, sweet rolls

Other Sweet Roll Recipes

Tools to Make these Sticky Buns

  • Stand Mixer: Ok, you don’t 100% need this, but it does make life easier to knead yeast doughs.
  • Red Star Yeast: My favorite yeast! It’s so forgiving and I have perfect baked goods, every time.
  • Saigon Cinnamon: The best flavored cinnamon.
  • Pastry Mat: This makes clean-up a breeze.
  • Dough Cutter: I JUST got one of these. What have I done without it all these years? Works as a scraper too, to get stuck-on dough off surfaces.
  • 10″ Cast Iron Skillet: This makes a pretty presentation for the sticky buns.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Shelby
1 year ago

Wondering, do you think this recipe would bake the same if I just removed the pecans? Thanks!

Carissa
1 year ago

Hi! Wondering how you would freeze this recipe (cooked/uncooked?) for future parties and how long? thanks!

Natalie M Faris
1 year ago

What if you do not have a cast iron skillet. Can they be baked in the oven…..what type of pan?

Luella Keup
10 months ago

5 stars
Perfect!! Great caramel and it turned out wonderfully. Thank you.

Stefanie
9 months ago

Can this be doubled? I was surprised you suggested a 9×13 pan could be used for 8 rolls…

Jakob fouts
6 months ago

Could you let it set and rise overnight

Sarah
14 days ago

These are amazing! I kept feeling like they weren’t going to turn out as the recipe doesn’t have a lot of detail in some spots and I was kind of fumbling through it, but they turned out amazingly well! They’re actually very easy and probably the best caramel rolls I’ve ever made! I’ve made this recipe twice – once with pecans and once without (not my personal preference but the nut haters in my life loved them). In case it’s helpful to anyone, the parts of the recipe that tripped me up were related to the yeast. Instant yeast needs… Read more »

Lourdes
13 days ago

5 stars
This Sticky caramel pecan buns is perfect! My husband’s favorite! THANK YOU!