Incredible Pecan Sticky Buns

Plain old cinnamon rolls can step aside. These fluffy buns are loaded with toasted pecans and chunks of California Prunes and topped with a glossy, buttery, sticky glaze for beyond-bakery flavour. This Incredible Pecan Sticky Bun recipe is definitely the way to take your breakfast-baking game to the next level.

Makes: 9Prep Time: 30 minutes + 2 1/2 hours rising time and 2 hours refrigerating timeCook Time: 75 minutes


  • For the dough:
  • 160ml whole milk
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 sachet active dried yeast
  • 2 large eggs
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 110g + 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • For the California Prune sticky topping:
  • 200g chopped pecans
  • 100g (approx 14) California Prunes, chopped
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 150g dark soft brown sugar
  • 180mls double cream
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • For the filling:
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 160g prune marmalade or prune puree
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • flaky sea salt
  • flour for dusting


For the dough:

  1. Heat the milk in a small pan over medium heat until it starts to bubble, but don’t let it boil.
  2. Pour the milk into a mixing bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of the sugar.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, whisk to blend, and let sit for 5 minutes, until yeast is foamy.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, whisking until smooth.
  5. Chop the butter into 2cm chunks.
  6. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, and remaining 4 tbsps of sugar. Add the milk mixture and turn the mixer on low to combine.
  7. Turn up to medium speed and add the butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between each addition. Mix for 1 minute; then turn up to medium-high and knead on medium-high for about 5 minutes. If the dough remains sticky, add flour 1-2 tbsps. at a time until it’s soft and silky, and no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.
  8. Brush the bottom of a large bowl with half of the 1 tbsp. melted butter. Place the dough in the bowl and brush with the remaining half tbsp. of butter.
  9. Cover with clingfilm and let the dough rise for 75-90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

For the prune sticky topping:

  1. While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Spread out the chopped pecans over a baking tray and toast until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar, cream, honey, and salt. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer 3–4 minutes until glaze is golden brown and glossy.
  4. Pour 250mls of the glaze into an 20cm x 20cm baking tin, tilting to coat all around. Set aside the remaining glaze.
  5. Sprinkle approx 75g of the toasted pecans and the chopped prunes over the bottom of the pan and let it cool.

For the filling:

  1. Using an electric or stand mixer set to medium speed, beat the butter, prune marmalade, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes.
  2. Fold in the lemon zest and set filling aside.


  1. Lightly flour a large work surface. Roll out the dough, forming a 30cm x 40cm rectangle about 6mm thick, with the long side turned toward you.
  2. Gently spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a 2.5cm border along the side farthest from you.
  3. Sprinkle 100g of the chopped pecans over the filling.
  4. Starting with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a log, tightening as you go and tapping in the ends as they taper. Pinch the seam without filling to seal, and roll the log so that the seam side is down.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut across the log to create 9 buns, flouring or cleaning the knife in between slices to prevent sticking. Turn each bun cut-side up and pat the tops to flatten.
  6. Transfer the buns to the prepared baking tin, spacing evenly apart (and so they’re not touching each other).
  7. Cover the pan loosely with clingfilm and let the buns rise in a warm area for 45-60 minutes, until they’ve doubled in size.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1/2 tsp. of water; brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash.
  10. Bake on a middle rack until the buns are a golden brown, rotating the tin after 25 minutes, and tenting with foil if they start to brown too quickly – about 50 minutes in all.
  11. Cool for 5 minutes, then spoon the remaining glaze over and sprinkle the remaining pecans.
  12. Leave to cool further in the tin on a wire rack, until the glaze sets, then sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt.

Serve the buns warm or at room temperature.