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Whole Grain Sticky Buns

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: Charlotte Rutledge

Whole Grain Sticky Buns Recipe

These sweet and tender buns are no ordinary breakfast pastry. Their filling is lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and their topping is a gooey, rich caramel with a touch of orange. Studded with pecans and packed with whole grains, this is a bun that's sure to please everyone.

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directions on our blog

At a glance

9 buns


Choose your measure:



  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon grated orange rind (zest), optional
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans


  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans


  1. Weigh your flour; you'll find its weight by toggling to ounces or grams at the top of the ingredient section above. Or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
  2. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, stirring until everything comes together.
  3. Knead the dough until smooth, adding additional water if needed — the dough should be soft and supple.
  4. Cover the dough and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until puffy, but not necessarily doubled in bulk.
  5. While the dough is rising, prepare the topping and filling.
  6. To make the topping: Set a saucepan that's at least 4" deep over medium heat and add the butter.
  7. Heat the butter until it's melted, then stir in the remaining topping ingredients, except the pecans. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
  8. Turn the heat to low and continue to boil the topping until it's glossy and slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  9. Pour the topping into a lightly greased 8" square pan and sprinkle the pecans evenly on top.
  10. To make the filling: Combine all the ingredients except the chopped pecans and stir until blended.
  11. Beat the filling on high speed of a stand or handheld electric mixture for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  12. To assemble the buns: Gently deflate the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll or pat it into a 9" x 12" rectangle.
  13. Spread the filling evenly onto the dough then sprinkle on the chopped pecans, leaving a bare 1" margin along one of the short edges.
  14. Starting with the filling-covered short edge, roll the dough into a log, pinching the edge to seal. Slice the log into nine equal pieces. For easiest slicing see "tips," below.
  15. Place the buns into the prepared pan, leaving about 1/4" to 1/2" in between them; they won't fill the pan completely.
  16. Cover the pan, and let the buns rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour; they should be noticeably puffy.
  17. Near the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 350°F.
  18. Bake the buns for 26 to 30 minutes, tenting them with foil towards the end if they appear to be browning too quickly. The finished buns will be a deep golden brown and the filling will be bubbling up around the edges of the pan.
  19. Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  20. Loosen the buns from the edges of the pan then carefully (the caramel is VERY hot!) turn the buns out onto a serving plate, scraping any extra topping and nuts from the pan back onto the buns.