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Pecan Sticky Buns

Do you have breakfast plans this weekend? Or are you looking for something sweet to add to your Easter brunch next weekend? If so, you’re in luck, because I have the recipe for the best-ever sticky buns.

These are one of my favorite breakfast treats. My mom made them on occasion when I was a kid, and I was always excited when they made an appearance on the breakfast menu.  I’ve tried a number of other sticky buns since then, and I have yet to find any that are as good as these. They are full of caramel and pecans, with a hint of cinnamon. And they are perfectly gooey and sticky.

Sticky buns may seem intimidating, but they are really pretty simple to make. If you can make a cinnamon roll, you can definitely make these. It starts with a rich yeast dough which is filled with chopped pecans, butter, brown sugar, and a little cinnamon. The topping is just brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, a little more cinnamon, and a ton of pecans.

As always, you can leave the pecans out of both the topping and the filling, or substitute another nut of your choice. Most of the sticky bun recipes I see do not include cinnamon, especially in the topping. I really like it in there, but you can definitely leave it out as well. And you could put whatever you like in the filling – add a handful of raisins or other dried fruit if you’re so inclined, or even some mini chocolate chips if you want to really take it over the top.

 

These are so good, and you probably have everything you need already in your pantry. Make these this weekend or for Easter brunch (or both!). I promise you will love them!

Print Recipe
Pecan Sticky Buns
Servings
Ingredients
Rolls
Topping
Filling
Servings
Ingredients
Rolls
Topping
Filling
Instructions
Dough
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Scald the milk (bring it just to a simmer) and add the butter. Let cool to warm room temperature while the butter softens and partially melts.
  3. Transfer milk mixture and yeast to stand mixer. Add sugar and eggs and mix well with the paddle attachment. (You can also do this by hand with a large spoon).
  4. Add salt and 4 cups flour and mix well with the dough hook attachment (or a spoon).
  5. Continue to knead dough, adding up to 1/2 cup additional flour, until dough is only slightly sticky, about 5 minutes with the mixer.
  6. Place in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Topping
  1. Combine all ingredients except pecans in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Boil for 1 minute.
  3. Pour into a greased 9"x13" baking pan and sprinkle with pecan halves. Set aside.
Filling and Assembly
  1. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans in a small bowl.
  2. Roll dough, once doubled, into a 12"x 22" rectangle.
  3. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with filling.
  4. Roll up, jelly-roll style, starting on the short end. (You should end up with a roll 12" long.)
  5. Cut into 1" slices and place, cut side up, onto topping in prepared pan.
  6. Cover and let rise again until doubled. See note to prepare the night before and bake in the morning.
  7. Bake at 350-degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes (no longer!) for the topping to harden slightly.
  9. Invert onto serving platter, scraping any pecans and topping left in the pan onto the top of the rolls.
  10. Enjoy warm! Rolls will keep up to 3 days covered at room temperature, but do yourself a favor and microwave them for a few seconds to rewarm before eating. 🙂
Recipe Notes

Note: To make these the night before, follow instructions until the second rise (in the pan). When rolls are not quite doubled in size, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next morning, remove from refrigerator and preheat oven. Once oven is preheated, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • Substitute pecans for your favorite nut, or leave out completely.
  • Leave out cinnamon in the topping and/or filling if you prefer. If leaving the cinnamon out of the topping, consider adding a pinch to 1/4 teaspoon of salt for that salted caramel flavor.
  • Add fillings of your choice - raisins, dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, etc.
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Zucchini Bread – Made with Spaghetti Squash!

Hi Everyone! I know I’ve been pretty absent here this summer, but I promise I am getting back to baking and will be bringing you lots of new recipes soon! I am so ready for fall – fall weather, fall flavors, fall color. It’s my favorite time of year. 🙂

But for those of you still clinging on to summer, and the bounty of your vegetable garden, I have one more summer recipe for you. Actually, with the cinnamon, it tastes like the start of fall, but it’s a great way to use up your squash.

This was originally my mom’s zucchini bread recipe, and people LOVE this bread. It’s got a nice strong cinnamon flavor and is super moist because of the zucchini. I was gifted a spaghetti  squash from a co-worker, and of course I was immediately challenged to bake something with it. I wondered if I could use it in place of zucchini in baked goods. So I did a little research, crossed my fingers, and went for it. 

This is the second recipe I’ve tried using that substitution, and I can’t tell the difference between the original and the spaghetti squash version. Yes – it works! The only difference is that you have to cook, and shred, the spaghetti squash first, whereas the zucchini is shredded and added to the batter raw. Also, you need to measure the squash by weight, since it is much more dense than shredded zucchini. 

Yes, you can absolutely use zucchini as originally intended. And while I used walnuts in mine, as always, the nuts are optional or changeable. Pecans are always delicious in sweet breads. Hazelnuts or macadamia nuts would be really interesting too.  This recipe uses only cinnamon, but you could change that up too. Add in a little bit of nutmeg or cloves for more of a fall flavor. And you can absolutely bake this in standard 8″x4″ loaf pans. I couldn’t resist trying out this beautiful new swirl pan I just got. And I have to say that I am loving it.

Serve this warm or at room temperature. Or toast it and spread on a little butter. Or cream cheese. Or, if you want to go all out, drizzle on some cream cheese icing for a decadent treat. I think I need to go make another batch of this and do just that….


Print Recipe
Zucchini Bread - with Spaghetti Squash!
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar together until thick and very light yellow in color.
  2. Whisk in oil and vanilla until combined.
  3. Stir in shredded zucchini or squash.
  4. Combine dry ingredients and stir into batter along with nuts, if using, just until combined.
  5. Pour into two 8"x4" greased loaf pans.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees F for 60-70 minutes. (See notes).
  7. Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. Serve warm or room temperature.
  8. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days at room temperature or a week refrigerated.
Recipe Notes
  • Zucchini should be grated raw, with or without the peel.
  • Spaghetti squash should be cooked (steamed or baked) and shredded before adding to batter.
  • If you are using larger loaf pans (like the pan I used, or a 9"x5" pan) the bread will cook faster. Start checking after 35 minutes.
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