Ridiculously Easy No-Knead Sticky Buns

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Yield: 8 big buns per 8" pan

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Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois' wonderful book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," is the inspiration for these sticky buns. We took the authors' dough recipe, and tweaked it a tiny bit; then added our own favorite filling and topping. If you're someone who enjoys over-the-top sweet rolls, without a lot of fuss, this recipe's for you.

Note that you have some choices for the filling. Our Baker's Cinnamon Filling mixed with water yields a dark, thick, rich cinnamon filling. But if you choose not to use it, simply mix granulated sugar with cinnamon (NO WATER!), and sprinkle it over the dough for a lighter, milder filling.

Read our blog about these sticky buns, with additional photos, at flourish.

Ridiculously Easy No-Knead Sticky Buns

star rating (88) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 8 big buns per 8" pan
Published: 01/01/2010




  • 2/3 cup Baker's Cinnamon filling* mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • *Substitute 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon for the Baker's Cinnamon Filling and water, if desired. If you use sugar and cinnamon, DO NOT ADD THE WATER.


  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey, or corn syrup, light or dark
  • 3 tablespoons Sticky Bun Sugar*
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup pecan halves or coarsely chopped pecans
  • *Substitute brown sugar for the sticky bun sugar, if desired

Tips from our bakers

  • Want to make four batches of buns instead of three? Simply divide the dough into four 1-pound pieces (instead of three 22-ounce pieces), and bake each batch of 8 buns in an 8" round pan, instead of in a 9" round pan. There's no need to change the amounts of any of the filling or topping ingredients.
  • Want warm sticky buns in the morning? Shape the buns, place them in the pan, cover, and let rise overnight in the fridge. Next morning, remove from the fridge, preheat your oven, and bake till golden brown. It might take about 5 minutes longer than the recipe indicates; just keep your eye on them towards the end.
  • The filling/topping amounts listed above are enough for one pan of buns. Simply scale up the amounts if you're making more than one pan of buns at a time.


1) The flour/liquid ratio is important in this recipe. If you measure flour by sprinkling it into your measuring cup, then gently sweeping off the excess, use 7 3/4 cups. If you measure flour by dipping your cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess, use 6 3/4 cups. Most accurate of all, and guaranteed to give you the best results, if you measure flour by weight, use 33 ounces.

2) To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, in the order written, in a very large bowl (at least 6 quarts). Stir to make a sticky dough. You can do this in a stand mixer and then transfer to a larger bowl; or simply use a big bowl and spoon (or dough whisk).

3) Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 2 hours at cool room temperature.

4) Refrigerate the dough for at least several hours, to chill it and make it easier to work with. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.

5) When you're ready to make sticky buns, make the filling. Combine the Baker's Cinnamon Filling and water, stirring till smooth. Set aside.

6) To make the topping: Spread the melted butter and syrup (or honey) in a lightly greased 9" round cake pan. Sprinkle the sugar(s) atop the butter, then scatter the nuts atop the sugar(s). Set aside.

7) To make sticky buns: Spray your hand with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and dip it into the dough in the bucket. Pinch off/pull out 1/3 of the dough; this is about the size of a large softball or a large grapefruit, a scant 22 ounces. For best accuracy, weigh on a scale. Place the remaining dough back in the refrigerator, to use another time. Or wrap and store in the freezer. This dough recipe is enough to make three 8" or 9" round pans of sticky buns.

8) Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and rol1 it into a rectangle approximately 15" x 10".

9) Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a narrow margin around the edges uncovered.

10) Starting with a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log. Don't roll it too tightly; if you do, the centers of the buns will pop up as they bake.

11) Cut the log into 8 pieces.

12) Space the buns in the pan. Lightly press each down till they're touching one another.

13) Cover the pan, and allow the buns to rise till they're quite puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

14) Uncover the pan, and bake the buns for 40 to 45 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown.

15) Remove the pan from the oven, and turn it over onto a piece of parchment, or onto a cooling rack set over a piece of parchment or waxed paper (to catch any drips).

16) Lift off the pan, and scrape any nuts or sugar in the pan onto the buns.

17) Serve immediately, or let the buns cool a bit. Wrap any leftovers securely, and store at room temperature.

Yield: 8 sticky buns per batch; the dough will yield three batches of buns.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 bun (95) Servings Per Batch: 8 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280 Calories from Fat: 80 Total Fat: 9g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 45mg Sodium: 360mg Total Carbohydrate: 44g Dietary Fiber: 2g Sugars: 13g Protein: 6g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/28/2015
  • carolyn629 from KAF Community
  • Hands down the easiest sticky buns I've made! They turned out great even with the little variations I added to them. I didn't have Sticky Bun Sugar so I called the hotline and Kye was kind enough to give me an equivalent. I made one batch with that and one without anything and they both turned out terrific. The historical society luncheon crowd devoured them. Thanks for another great recipe!
  • star rating 02/25/2015
  • Mama B from Ontario
  • Far, far too sticky. And once in the oven they spread into enormous blobs. I am not unfamiliar with yeast doughs by any means, and this dough was quite awful.
    We are sorry to hear that these buns were too sticky for you. It sounds like your dough was too wet, which caused them to spread in the oven. This could be linked to the type of flour you are using. We would love to troubleshoot this recipe with you so that you can have delicious sticky buns that are also ridiculously easy to make! Please feel free to call the Baker's Hotline at 855-371-2253. We look forward to helping you with this recipe. --Kye@KAF
  • star rating 12/27/2014
  • lulubi from chicago, Il
  • The dough was sticky but not too difficult to handle. The rolls had a wonderful oven bounce. Before going in the oven the rolls did not quite fill the trays. But 20 minutes into baking they became gigantic. They did not taste too "yeastly" to me.
  • star rating 12/26/2014
  • Brenda from Alto, MI
  • Made my first batch and the family loved them. Made a second batch and gave out for Christmas.
  • star rating 12/07/2014
  • Kauf from Lansing, MI
  • Same question as a reviewer below. Are the amounts for the filling and topping meant for all three pans, or just one? I'll change my rating when I get an answer :) The amounts of filling and topping is meant for one pan only...Happy baking! Laurie@KAF
  • star rating 07/26/2014
  • Elderberry from Pennsylvania
  • Very easy and tastes great.
  • star rating 07/07/2014
  • Julie from Lebanon, NH
  • These buns are absolutely amazing, once you nail the baking time. The first batch we made suffered from some of the problems other reviewers mention - they were dry and the topping turned into hard candy (delicious candy, but it pulled off from the buns and was a bit hazardous to the teeth.) We were disappointed, but had another pan full to bake off, so tried again. The next time, we reduced the baking time by a full 10 minutes, baking for only 30 minutes, and the results were astonishing. This was in the same oven, with the same batch of dough, so the baking time was really the only difference. This time they were doughy, puffy, and the topping and filling were perfectly ooey-gooey. I was a little worried when I flipped them over that they were underdone, as the bottom side looked a bit under-cooked and the topping was very liquidy, but, they were absolutely perfect. The tray was devoured instantly. One question though - are the topping and filling amounts provided meant for 3 batches like the dough, or a single batch? Only 2/3 cup pecan halves for 3 batches seems far too little, so we've been using that as the topping recipe for only a single pan.
  • star rating 04/05/2014
  • Rachel from Coopersburg, PA
  • The recipe as stated has much too much salt for my tastes. I thought it would be too much, tasted the dough, decided it was too much, and added more flour and liquid so that the salt was not so prominent. For most recipes, I use approx. 10g of salt (which is approx. 1 tsp) for 500g of flour (which is a little over 1lb of flour). This recipe more than doubles that amount of salt.
    We're glad you were able to adjust the recipe to your tastes Rachel. ~ MJ
  • star rating 02/23/2014
  • Karen B from northern Idaho
  • I have made this recipe a number of times over the past several years (making 6-12 Bake-and-Give pans at a time i.e. double to quadruple the dough recipe, to give away and/or store in the freezer for later baking). I've made it exactly as written; or added a cup or two of sourdough starter to the dough, used all egg yolks instead of whole eggs, more butter, substitute 1/4-1/3 white whole wheat flour for that amount of AP flour, sugar instead of honey; usually making several of those changes at a time. And it has come out great every time. On the last batch a week ago, instead of making sticky buns I made cinnamon rolls, adding your cinnamon chips and cinnamon flav-r-bites to the cinnamon filling, and received rave reviews from the giftees.
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