Sticky bun

So, way back when Tuesdays with Dorie made Brioche Raisin Snails, I used the other half of the dough to make this week’s recipe: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns.

If you don’t make another thing you ever see on this site, make these.

Baptized in honey.

Christened with pecans.

Worthy a two-syllable damn.

Even after you eat one of these perfectly golden, buttery sticky buns, you’ll find yourself snacking on the gooey orphaned pecans at the bottom of the dish every time you walk by. Because willpower is so overrated.

And who needs to wear shorts?

Nom. Nom. Nom.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”


  • 1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves (recipe below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)

  • 1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan.
  2. For the Glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.
  3. For the Filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.
  4. To Shape the Buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can.
  5. With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (You should get 15 or 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.
  6. Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper, and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.
  7. Getting Ready To Bake: When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  8. Remove the sheet of wax paper, and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden; the glaze will be bubbling. Pull the pan from the oven.
  9. The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or buttered foil. Be careful–the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

Golden Brioche Loaves

  • 2 packets active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
  • 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. For The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can– this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you’re doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you’ll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.
  2. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You’ll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.
  4. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
  5. At this point, your dough is ready for making either the Pecan Honey Sticky Buns or the Brioche Raisin Snails. To make the Golden Brioche Loaves, continue to 6.
  6. The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch loaf pans.
  7. Pull the dough from the fridge, and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of dough into 4 equal pieces, and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time will depend on how warm the room is.)
  8. Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  9. To Make The Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.
  10. Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again, and cool for at least 1 hour.