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Maple Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns – sticky maple caramel sauce cooked over soft, fluffy rolls with cinnamon, cardamom, & orange zest.
One of my husband’s favorite treats is Pecan Rolls. Though I’ve made my Cinnamon Rolls and Raspberry Sweet Rolls many times before, I’d never tried my hand at pecan rolls. After getting the Dessert Person book I knew this would be the first thing to make (I love Claire’s desserts!). This is an adapted version of the Maple-Walnut Buns from the Dessert Person Cookbook by Claire Saffitz.
I altered the recipe slightly, including cinnamon and cardamom in the rolls instead of just cardamom. The cardamom makes it bright and fresh and the cinnamon adds a little of that deeper sweetness.
The star of this recipe is the maple caramel mixture and the fluffy brioche dough. The caramel sauce is made with real maple syrup and during the bake in the oven it boils into a thick caramel glaze.
The dough is fluffy and light, infused with lots of butter – it gets brown on the outside and stays light on the inside.
Maple Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns
Maple Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns-sticky maple caramel sauce cooked over soft, fluffy rolls with cinnamon, cardamom, & orange zest.
*Adapted from Claire Saffitz Dessert Person Cookbook.
- 1 cup whole milk, warm
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4½ cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 large eggs
- 2½ cups pecan pieces (rough chopped)
Filling and Caramel
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons orange zest, finely grated
Warm milk in microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute until warm (but not hot, about 105°F). Add yeast and let proof for 5 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl or stand mixer combine flour, salt, sugar, and butter pieces. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs and yeast/milk mixture. Mix on low speed or with a large spoon until well inforporated and sticky.
Keep mixing until dough pulls cleanly away from bowl (it will still be sticky).
Turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured surface and lightly knead into a small ball.
Place dough into a medium bowl and spray with cooking spray Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until about double in size (1-1.5 hours).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Scatter pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.
Caramel Maple Sticky Topping
Grease a 9×13" pan (metal works best) with cooking spray or butter. Set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, vanilla, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove from heat and pour into the bottom of the 9×13" pan.
Scatter the toasted pecans evenly over the mixture. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine cardamom, cinnamon, orange zest, and remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Massage with fingertips until zest is working into the sugar.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Set aside.
Once the dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll with a rolling pin into a large rectangular shape, about 20×9". Dust with flour as needed to keep from sticking as you roll.
Brush the melted butter onto the dough. Then scatter the cardamom/cinnamon filling over it evenly. Use your hands or a spatula to rub it gently and press it onto the dough.
Roll up the dough into a tight spiraled log. Squeeze the seam of the log shut.
Using a serrated knife (I like to use a cheese knife), cut the log into 12 even rolls.
Place each piece in the prepared pan on top of the pecans, spaced evenly about an inch apart.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Once buns have risen the 2nd time and are double in size, bake for 30-35 minutes. They will be brown on top (see image).
Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes in the pan.
Then cut the sizes away with a butter knife to loosen.
Place a wire wrack on top of a baking sheet and invert the entire pan onto the rack in one motion.
Remove the pan slowly and scrape off any nuts that stuck.
Let the buns cool on the rack. Enjoy!
(Store in an airtight container for up for 3 days – taste great reheated for a couple seconds in the microwave.)
These Maple Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns are a must have treat this year. Be sure to let me know if you make them and tag me on Instagram if you make these Cinnamon Rolls!