Sticky Pecan Rolls 12.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Baking Basics Newsletter Oct 18, 2019

These delicious sticky buns start with an enriched dough made with yeast, eggs, butter and milk. The fat makes the dough soft, supple and pliable with an even, slightly slow rise. Cooler days make turning on the oven feel cozy, resulting in sweet, nutty and irresistible warm rolls. This is fall weekend baking at its best.

This recipe is from Week 5 of Voraciously's Baking Basics newsletter series. For more recipes like this one, sign up here.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12 servings; makes 12 rolls

  • For the dough
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • Scant 3 cups (360 grams) flour, plus more for dusting the counter
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whole milk, at room temperature, or more as needed
  • 1/3 cup (65 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into medium chunks
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup (99 grams) lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For the topping
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (113 grams) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (125 grams) coarsely chopped pecans


Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the yeast with warm water until combined. Add the flour, milk, brown sugar, egg, vanilla and salt. Using a silicone spatula, stir the mixture into a shaggy dough.

Place the bowl on the stand mixer and mix on low speed, slowly adding chunks of butter as the dough comes together. If the dough looks too dry, add another tablespoon of milk.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead the dough until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 4 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand into a cohesive, relatively smooth ball, about 3 minutes.

Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Make the filling: While the dough rises, in a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt until combined.

Make the topping: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, honey, butter and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer gently until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans.

Generously flour a work surface and unwrap the dough onto it. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 x 15 inches. Spread the butter over the dough and sprinkle the filling mixture on top.

Starting with the long edge of the dough, lift and roll it into a tight log, seam-side down.

Using a sharp knife, trim off the uneven edges. Slice the log in half, and cut each half in half again, continuing until you have 12 equal pieces.

Pour prepared pecan topping into a 9-inch square pan. Nestle the cut rolls over the topping. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest while the oven preheats, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; position the rack in the upper third of the oven.

Uncover the rolls and bake for 30 to 32 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. While the rolls are still warm, run a butter knife around the edges of the pan and invert the entire pan onto a large serving platter. Scrape any nuts or caramel that remain in the pan on top of the rolls. Serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Food blogger and cookbook author Joy Wilson.

Tested by Raven Christmas.

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