Sticky Buns

With Christmas just around the corner, I will share my favorite sticky bun recipe. These are such a treat and delicious on Christmas morning, or any morning really.  Before I lived on the boat I had never attempted to make rising breads. I told myself it was too difficult, or above my knowledge, or it took too much time.  While all of those things are somewhat true, this recipe is TOTALLY worth it.  Its simple, basically fool proof, and it is worth the wait! You’re going to need one and a half sticks of butter, but my math was wrong one time and I tried making this with just one stick and it turned out pretty good! However, they’re much more indulgent with the full amount.

You make these sticky buns with the glaze at the bottom of the pan, then flip the rolls over when they come out of the oven.



  • 1 cup milk (powdered milk works perfectly for boat use)
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 package of yeast (approx 2 tsp)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 – 3 cup flour


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


To start, melt your butter and milk together in a small saucepan.  Don’t bring to boil; we aren’t trying to do anything other than gently melt the butter and milk together. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Before adding this melty mix to the rest of the ingredients, you will need to test the temperature with your pinky finger.  If it is scalding hot on your pinky, then let it set a bit longer until a comfortable warm/room temperature.  We don’t want it too hot or else it could kill our yeast!  Once its a nice warm temperature (but not scalding hot), then I add in the yeast to proof.  Living on a boat I always like to proof my yeast, that way I know its good and active.  It only takes 1o minutes and will ensure you get a good rise. So just dump the yeast in the bowl and give it 10 minutes.  When you come back it should be frothy, foamy, or otherwise indicative that its alive and breathing.


Add your sugar and salt.  Start adding your flour 1/2 cup at a time; the dough will be sticky.  When it gets too thick to stir, start kneading.  I try to contain my mess, so I knead it right there in the bowl.  Once everything is kneaded in and you’ve got a smooth ball of dough, coat the ball of dough with oil as well as the bowl and let rise for one hour, or until size has doubled.


While the dough is rising, we can prep the glaze by mixing butter and brown sugar.  Spread it evenly in the bottom of an 8×8 dish.  Top with pecans and set aside.


Once the dough has doubled in size, roll it out on a lightly floured surface.  I like to lay down wax paper and roll my dough out on it, which makes for easy peasy clean up.  Roll out the dough into a thin rectangle, roughly the shape of a 9×13.  Smear your butter all over the rectangle. Top with the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly.  Starting at one end, tightly roll into a jelly roll, and situate seam side down.  Cut into equal 1 1/2-2in sections.  I usually start by cutting my roll in half, cutting the half in half, etc. until everything has been cut evenly.  Set rolls in the 8×8 dish. You should have approximately 10, give or take.  Cover and let the rolls rise as you preheat the oven! Or if you have a fridge, this is where you could cover with plastic wrap, set in the fridge overnight, and then bake first thing in the morning.  Bake at 350 for 25-30minutes.  Once finished baking, invert rolls and serve warm.  Merry Christmas!