We’re butter pecan fanatics, so it only seems fitting that one of our favorite “splurge” breakfast treats are Butter Pecan Cinnamon Buns! They’re just like classic cinnamon rolls, but with a TONS of crunchy, gooey, chopped pecans on top. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas morning!
Butter Pecan Sticky Buns
Although I bake a plethora of sweet treats every week, a good cinnamon bun is my one-true-weakness. A good cinnamon bun is my… dessert kryptonite, if you will.
That being said. I put major emphasis on the word good, because, well, let’s be honest – there are a lot of crappy cinnamon buns running around out there looking for love that they just don’t deserve. Sometimes they’re dry… or lacking in flavor… and more often than not, they’re both. And I don’t know about you, but anything dry and lacking isn’t worth my time or treadmill minutes. Uh uh. #CinnamonBunSnob and #ProudOfIt
The good news is making a great batch of cinnamon buns at home is easy! I know a lot of people think it’s like baking magic or something, but I swear – you don’t need to be a kitchen wizard to get your cinnamon bun groove on.
What you need to make pecan cinnamon buns
All you need are a few simple kitchen staples and a touch of patience.
The main ingredients are all purpose flour, active dry yeast, milk, butter, sugar, and salt. These simple ingredients will create a soft dough that bakes up beautifully tender and golden brown!
For the pecan topping, you’ll need melted butter, brown sugar, cream, salt, vanilla, and pecans! No yucky corn syrup here!
If you have a stand mixer, that will make your journey with these buns much easier. But if you don’t own one, don’t fret. I’ve made this very recipe by hand – the old fashion way – and it totally works. Just be prepared for a good hand work out! Sheesh! 5 minutes of dough kneading is killer.
How long will this REALLY take?
So, remember earlier when I said you needed a pinch of patience for this recipe? Yes? Ok. So let’s touch on that.
I won’t twist your arm and make false promises of these buns being ready in 1-hour. It’s just not going to happen. Because the dough needs to be made and then it needs to rise in a warm area for one hour. Or until it’s double in size. Next you’ll need to roll out the dough and spread the filling onto the center. Once it’s stuffed, you’ll roll up the dough into a tight jellyroll and slice it into 12 even pieces. Make sure you place the rolls cut side up! Then set aside to rise for another 30 minutes.
Then you’ll pop the baking dish into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. So all in all you’re looking at a 2 hour baking journey… but most of the time is inactive!!!
So all in all, these are a touch time consuming but TOTALLY WORTH IT! Especially for special occasions like holidays or at home celebrations! Enjoy!
More Butter Pecan Recipes:
- Brown Sugar Butter Pecan French Toast
- Butter Pecan Slice and Bake Cookies
- 6-Ingredient Butter Pecan Fudge
- Butter Pecan Cookies
- White Chocolate Butter Pecan Blondies
Butter Pecan Cinnamon Buns
For the Dough:
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
- 3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- (1) 0.25 oz package rapid rise yeast
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
For the Filling:
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/2 cup butter, VERY soft
For the Butter Pecans:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups pecan halves
- 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the Dough:
- Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan carefully heat the milk over medium-high just until it comes to a boil.Remove from heat and add in the butter. Stir until it is completely melted, then let mixture cool until it's between 115 and 120 degrees (F).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine 2 and 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt; use a whisk to combine. Whisk in the egg. And then slowly pour in the milk/butter mixture, mixing well to combine.
- Place to dough hook into the bowl and turn the mixer on low speed. Add the remaining flour, a 1/4 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, and using a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
- Once all of the flour has been added, increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead the dough into a smooth and neat ball, about 5 or 6 times.
- Place the ball of dough back into the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with a piece of saran wrap. Set aside for 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
For the Filling:
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together brown sugar, spices, and softened butter until its evenly combined. It should resemble a thick paste.
- Once the dough has risen - roll out dough into a very large rectangle (about 16 x 9-inches).
- Spread the middle of the dough with the butter/sugar mixture, leaving a three inch barrier around the tops and sides.
- Tightly roll up the dough (jellyroll style) and gently pinch the seams to seal.
- Using unscented dental floss (just gently slide a piece underneath, lift it over, then pull to make nice, even slices) or a serrated knife, cut the roll into 12 equal size pieces.
- Place the pieces, cut side up, in the prepared pan. Cover again tightly with saran wrap, and let rise for another 30 minutes. While they’re rising, preheat your oven to 350 degrees (F).
- Once risen, bake in the preheated oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the tops and edges. Allow buns to cool a few minutes, then top with butter pecans and serve!
For the Butter Pecans:
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
- Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sugar has melted and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt and whisk to combine.
- Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they're completely coated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour on top of the cinnamon rolls and serve!
Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says
CHRISTMAS MORNING–that is what these scream to me. Obsessed with these! Pinningggg
Baby June says
Man oh man those are some crazy good-looking cinnamon buns! Gingerbread…butter pecan…now that’s a match made in heaven if I’ve ever seen one. 😀
Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe says
I love a good cinnamon bun. This warmly spiced version sounds amazing!
Faith @ Pixie Dust Kitchen says
Cinnamon rolls are my dessert krypotonite as well! Love that these are stuffed with butter pecans and ginger- perfect for the holidays.
Liz @ Floating Kitchen says
Holy cow. These are totally worth the wait! Love me a “good” cinnamon roll. Your photos are gorgeous!
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
Be still my heart, these look incredible!
Oh I can imagine how they melt in the mouth.. 🙂
Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen says
Oh.My.Word. Completely swooning over these buns! I want to eat them all!
Can I use active dry yeast?
Wow! it looks amazing. i thought that we can only make buns with Eastern style.
Hats off to you! I love cinnamon buns and your photos look heavenly! Can’t wait to try this recipe myself.
I can just imagine myself enjoying the holidays with those gorgeous cinnamon buns and some books. They look insanely perfect and delicious wow!!!
Can you make these ahead of time, like the day before and if so how do u store it until you bake it?
Do you think the dough could be made the day before and stay overnight in the fridge before baking?
Chef Eric Levine says
I usually eat this dish on the weekends. I tried many times before but not by this time when I followed your recipe. Its taste is better than the previous times I did. Simple, easy to make and delicious.
So good!!! Made these today, so yummm will definitely make again
Varun Sharma says
Butter Pecan Cinnamon Buns are so yummy and i made it yesterday.
Anil Kumar says
Cinnamon buns looks mouthwatering and yummy. I love to try this.
gorgeous! saving this for the weekend, a butter pecan fan too!
Just made these today and they were delicious! The butter pecan sauce is really good. I baked mine in a cast iron skillet and they were ready in about 20 minutes and didn’t get too hard or too brown. Thanks for the recipe. I will be making them again.
Jenna Barton says
Hello, these look great would they work using non dairy butter and milk subs?
Hi Jenna. I haven’t tried, so I can’t say! But let me know how it goes if you experiment!
Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes says
in step 5 can I refrigerate overnight and bake in the am? Thank you! These look amazing. I grew up eating really good sticky buns from an Amish farm stand near our house in PA, and these look just like them! Hope to make this evening and have for Christmas breakfast!
Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes says
To follow up, I did end up refrigerating them in step 5 before letting them rise. I put a sheet of plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray over them. Then I let them rise as the oven preheated for about 35 or 40 minutes (they were cold.) They baked up beautifully. They came out absolutely beautiful! By the way the dough is so easy to work with! I used my stand mixture. It rolled out beautifully. Not too sticky! Anyway, the outcome: Such a decadent treat for Christmas morning. My kids thought they had won the lottery! And they warmed up leftovers in the microwave for a few seconds the next day. Thanks so much for a great recipe.
Jane S. says
Taking your lead and just put these in the fridge for overnight. Can’t wait to bake off in the morning!
Did the buns rise well while pre heating the oven? How long did it take them to rise?
Kathi McGough says
Can these be frozen and, if so, should they be frozen after baking?
These don’t freeze well.
Completely addicting. This is a dangerous recipe, once you’ve had it, you can no longer say no.
LoAnn Robison says
Do you add the coarse my chops pecans to the caramel along with the pecan halves? I made these last night and they are delicious.
Question: can the rolls be frozen prior to baking?
I have a hard time finding heavy cream were I live. Any substitute that I could use.
Doug Shawver says
Can you get these ready to bake. And like freeze them?
Made these today – FABULOUS! Everyone loved them! Thanks for the clear instructions and great recipe
Emily H says
Made these for my boyfriend and I a couple weeks ago and they are TO DIE FOR!!! The only thing i will say is that for some reason i had way too much sugar/butter mixture to spread on the dough even following the instructions, so maybe just make a little less! SO GOOD!!
Dorinda Spaid says
These are EXCELLENT. I’ve made them several times now and each time they turn out perfectly and they get gobbled up by family and friends.
My husband’s favorite sweet.
He asks for them often.
A keeper for sure! ❤️