Photo Collage of Butterscotch Glazed Pecan Sticky Buns

These Pecan Sticky Buns are a treat to make for a special breakfast or brunch. Sweet dough is rolled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and topped with butterscotch glaze and toasted pecans.

This is one of those recipes where once I saw the picture, I had to make it immediately.

Sticky Buns - On a White Platter with Sweet dough rolled with cinnamon sugar and topped with butterscotch glaze

My husband’s credit card company mails us free Food & Wine Annual Cookbooks, and while flipping through one I received in 2011, I came across a recipe for Butterscotch Sticky Buns.

I admit to loving really indulgent dessert-like breakfast recipes (hello Cinnamon Roll Pancakes), so I pretty quickly skipped ahead to check if I had the ingredients. Lucky me, I did.

What’s extra appealing about these buns is how they are baked. Instead of baked on a flat pan, the dough is rolled and placed in a muffin tin, so they rise up very tall and proud like a big frosted cupcake.

Pecan Sticky Buns - on White Platter with Pecans and Butterscotch On Top

Except it’s all sweet dough, a bit golden on the edges and soft in the middle, with a butterscotch sauce drizzle on top, and a bit of pecan to accent the flavors.

Since the pecans go right on top, you could easily skip them if you’re not a fan of nuts. But I love all things sweet pecans (hello Pecan Praline Candy).

Or, if you want extra pecan flavor, you can always chop some up very finely and roll them right into the dough with the cinnamon sugar filling.

How to Make Pecan Sticky Buns:

Start by making the sweet dough in a stand mixer, which is made from milk, yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, flour, and salt:

Sweet Dough Made In the Stand Mixer with Paddle

Roll out the dough in the same long rectangular fashion as cinnamon rolls, and sprinkle on cinnamon brown sugar:

Rolled Out Sweet Dough with Cinnamon Sugar Filling

By the way, if you wanted to add extra pecans to the dough, chop 1/2 cup very finely, and sprinkle them on top of the cinnamon sugar.

Cut the dough into strips and roll each strip up tightly into a roll:

Rolled Up Dough Tightly with Cinnamon Sugar

Nestle each roll into a muffin tin and let rise for about an hour:

Raw Sticky Buns Roll in Muffin Tin With Cinnamon Sugar Filling

Most sticky buns aren’t baked in muffin tins, but I love the shape that it gives the buns.

Of course, if you prefer, you can bake them side-by-side in a quarter sheet pan instead (affiliate).

Then bake the sticky buns until they puff up and the cinnamon sugar gets sticky.

You can get a view of how it should look right here, with a sticky glazed bottom, and a golden color on top:

Homemade Sticky Buns On Muffin Tin Showing Sticky Caramelized Bottom

And then the fun part happens…you drizzle the sticky buns with butterscotch glaze, which is simply a handful of ingredients boiled together in a saucepan for about 5 minutes.

Pouring Sticky Bun Glaze On Top of Baked Good

The butterscotch sauce is made from brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, whiskey, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, salt, and baking soda.

Let the glaze soak a little bit into the buns and top with chopped, toasted pecans.

Best Sticky Bun Recipe Presented on White Platter with Butterscotch Glaze and Pecan Topping

Crepes, English Style Scones, Dutch Baby Pancake, and this Granola Recipe are a few of my other favorite recipes to make for breakfast. Enjoy!

Savory Breakfast Recipes:

Sticky Buns On a White Platter with Sweet dough rolled with cinnamon sugar and topped with butterscotch glaze

Butterscotch Glazed Pecan Sticky Buns

These Sticky Buns are made from a sweet dough rolled with cinnamon and brown sugar, and topped with a butterscotch glaze.

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  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp quick rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (6 tbsp softened, 2 tbsp melted)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 20 oz all purpose flour, by weight (4 cups, measured)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

For the glaze:

  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp bourbon whiskey
  • 1.5 tsp corn syrup
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1/16 tsp baking soda


  • Heat the milk to 110 degrees. Place the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer along with the yeast. Add the sugar and 6 tbsp softened butter. Mix at medium speed until the butter is broken up, about 1 minute.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time. Next, add the flour and salt, and mix on low for 2 minutes. Bump the speed up to medium, and beat for another 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes (it will barely rise).
  • Lightly flour a work surface, and roll the dough out into a 10 by 24 inch rectangle.
  • Mix the light brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter, and spread evenly all over the dough. Cut the dough into 12 strips (so each strip is 2 inches wide and 10 inches tall). Roll each strip up tightly and place into buttered muffin tins. Let rise for 1 hour.
  • Bake the buns in a 325F oven for 25-28 minutes, until golden on top. Plan to prepare the glaze 5 minutes before the buns are done so you can add the glaze to the buns while they’re hot (that way the glaze soaks in a bit).
  • For the glaze: Bring the brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, bourbon whiskey, corn syrup, and butter to a bubble over medium high heat, and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla, salt and baking soda. Stir for 1 minute until it has dissolved. It’s now ready to be poured onto the sticky buns.
  • Finish the sticky buns by sprinkling the tops with the toasted pecans. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from an American Express Food & Wine Annual Cookbook in 2010. 


Calories: 470kcal, Carbohydrates: 64g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 199mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 31g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Post updated in October 2019. Originally published April 2012.