TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Sticky goodness at its best!

This past week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection came to us from Madam Chow of Madam Chow’s Kitchen who selected Pecan Honey Sticky Buns from pages 51-53 of Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I was really looking forward to this one, since I’ve been intrigued for quite sometimes by how to make them, especially after watching an episode of “Throwdown with Bobby Flay.” Bobby lost to Joanne Chang in that episode, but damn did both sets of buns look AMAZING!

As much as I wanted to know how these were made, I never had the courage to learn to make them myself. The brioche intimidated me. However, Dorie’s recipe was so easy to do! I was impressed, and then I wasn’t so scared anymore.

My mom came over to help me shell pecans because she was looking forward to being my guinea pig. She then watched me roll out the dough and make the glaze. She thought I forgot to make the filling, because that part went by so fast.

We kept ourselves busy while the buns were rising. Almost 2 hours and many questions from Mom about when they’ll be done, they were place in he oven. Then we sat like two eager little kids, sniffing big at the amazing cinnamon-y-sticky-sweetness coming from the oven. DING DING DING! When it was done, she “spotted” me to make sure I didn’t mess up when flipping the buns out of the pan onto the baking sheet. As quickly as they were out, we each grabbed a piece!

YUM! This was a very good treat.

So here’s the recipe! Try it for yourself.


For the Glaze:
  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 table spoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups Pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup sugar (I used 1/8 cup Splenda Baking Blend)
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Buns:

  • 1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche Loves, chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight.

Golden Brioche Loaves:

  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
  • 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature but still slightly firm


To make the Brioche:
Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can – this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour (yes, you can peek to see how you’re doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point you’ll have a fairly dry, shaggy mass.

Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunk, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You’ll have a dough that is very soft, almost like a batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap into the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the covered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

To Make the Glaze:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

To Make the Filling:
Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To Shape the Buns:
On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months. Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you’d like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly.)

With a chef’s knife, using a gentle, sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch-thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and in all likelihood touching one another.

Getting Ready to Bake:
When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or buttered foil. Be careful – the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.


15 Replies to “TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns”

  1. When I lived in SC I had three pecan trees in my house/apartments yard. No one wanted to eat them. What? I know. I picked them all, shelled them with my parents when they were visiting and ate them for quite a while afterward.You did a great job on your buns.

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