Sticky Buns: I am seriously considering going on a sticky bun aka cinnamon roll binge. My mom made the best sticky buns. However, with 12 around the table, there was rarely enough for seconds. I would so wish for seconds. Should I savor each bite, carefully unrolling a chunk of cinnamony (is that even a word) sticky goodness, slowly chew it, then finish the roll by licking off the last bit of sweet stickiness from my fingers? Or should I devour it, with the hope of possibly getting another sticky bun?
Now when I make a pan of cinnamon rolls, I have seconds, thirds, and sometimes fourths. I think four sticky buns is officially a bun binge. Bwahaha!!!
Why were my moms’ sticky buns so yummy and addicting? It was the super-rich, super-thick, heavy cream from our milk cows. I can’t find cream as rich and thick as we had growing up, but the heavy cream from the store does make a very decadent sticky bun. Oh, and I’m sure the big handful of brown sugar my mom would add to the cream was another reason.
This recipe for sticky buns was originally from my grandma. The heavy cream/sugar mixture bakes into a layer of sticky, caramel-like goodness on the bottom of the cinnamon roll. Flip it over for the perfectly sticky – sticky bun. They are best warm and fresh from the oven. YUM!
The foundation for excellent sticky buns is the dough. It should be moist and soft but not mushy, able to rise before baking but still have enough structure to give the extra oven spring during baking. The dough is the perfect companion for the soft caramel on the bottom. Altogether it is a heavenly creation of deliciousness.
The heart of the sticky buns is the filling. Real butter, dark brown sugar, a good quality cinnamon. Mexican or Ceylon cinnamon is an excellent choice. Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of an evergreen tree in the Cinnamomum genus. Mexican Cinnamon also known as Ceylon Cinnamon is milder than Cassia or Vietnamese Cinnamon. I like a more intense cinnamon flavor so use Vietnamese Cinnamon. The Vietnamese Cinnamon also has a higher oil content which helps it disperse throughout your baked goods.
The crown jewel of the sticky buns is, of course, the STICKY part! Heavy cream and brown sugar spread generously in the bottom of the pan before adding the rolls of dough to the pan.
Put it all together and let me get started on my Sticky Bun Bin
BONUS RECIPE: The bread will make one sandwich loaf of soft, perfectly textured bread for sandwiches. Now that the kids are back in school, double the recipe and make half of it into a beautiful loaf of sandwich bread.
After the dough has doubled in size deflate the dough and shape into a 9-inch log. Place the log in a greased 8.5 X 4.5 inch loaf pan. Let rise in the pan about 60 to 90 minutes. About 20 minutes before the dough is done rising, preheat the over to 375 degrees. When the dough is 1 1/2 inches above to rim of the loaf pan, then bake the loaf in a preheated oven.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 20 minutes. The internal temperature should be 200 degrees. If the bread starts getting over browned, then tent it loosely with a piece of foil until done baking.
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- baking pans size 9 x 13 and 9 x 9
Sticky Bun Dough
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 ¾ cup brown sugar packed, divided into ⅔ cup, ⅓ cup, and ¾ cup
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon Vietnamese
- ¾ cup heavy cream divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup
- 1 ½ cup pecans optional I use halves**
Sticky Bun Dough
- Mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Mix wet ingredients together and add to dry.
- Use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to mix the dough. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. The dough will start out sticky and become smooth and not sticky but still soft. You may need to add an additional 1-2 ounces of water. If you add additional water mix on low for 1-2 minutes until the water is incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and mix another minute.
- Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl large enough for the dough to double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming on the dough. It will take about an hour for the dough to double in size.
- prepare the 9 x 13-inch pan by adding ½ cup heavy cream and ⅔ cup brown sugar to the bottom of the pan. The 9 x 9-inch pan add ¼ cup heavy cream and ⅓ cup brown sugar. Thoroughly mix the cream and brown sugar with a spoon or whisk.
- Sprinkle the optional 1 cup of pecans on top of the cream brown sugar in the larger pan and 1/2 cup in the smaller pan. May add less or more as desired.
- Once the dough had doubled in size lightly flour your work surface and put the dough on the work surface. No need to deflate prior to rolling out.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 16 x 21 inches.
- Spread the dough with the 4 Tbsp soft butter.
- Spread 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar on the dough.
- Sprinkle with the cinnamon and roll the dough into a 21 inch log.
- Cut the log into approximately 18 or 19 one inch thick cinnamon rolls.
- Place 12 rolls in the large pan on top of the heavy cream mixture. Place the rest of the rolls in the smaller pan.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cover pans with plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until almost doubled in size. Rolls will be barely just touching each other. This takes 20 to 30 minutes
- Bake for 10 minutes at 375°, then reduce the heat to 350° and bake another 30 minutes or until the rolls are browned on top and the cream on the bottom has a caramel color.
- Delicious warm or room temperature. Once cool enough to handle remove from the baking dish and turn upside down. Scrape out any extra topping left in the pan onto the rolls.
- Rolls can be stored at room temperature for 24 hours or refrigerated for 5 days, or frozen for 2 months.
- Reheat refrigerated rolls in an oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees for 5 - 7 minutes.