cinnamon sticky buns


my family isn't big on holiday traditions, but ever since i can remember we've made sticky buns every christmas morning. this recipe takes a bit of foresight - you can either make it the night before and pop it in the oven the next day or wake up a little early and give yourself at least three hours if making them the day of - but they're worth it!

for the dough:
1/4 cup warm water
1 package of dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
4 cups flour (+ extra for kneading)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 stick of butter
3 large egg yolks
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. orange zest
first add 1 package dry yeast, a pinch of sugar, and 1/4 cup warm water into a large mixing bowl. allow the yeast to proof for five minutes and let it sit until it's foamy.

mix in the flour, sugar, milk, butter, egg yolks, salt, and orange zest until it reaches a doughy consistency. pour onto a floured surface and knead for about five minutes. set into an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap for an hour.

while the dough is rising, you can start making the filling and topping.

for the filling:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 stick melted butter, separate

for the topping:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsbp. corn syrup
2 cups of walnuts (set aside)

take the dough out of the bowl and punch down. allow it to rest for about twenty minutes, then roll out into a large rectangle (approx. 10"x14") and brush with the melted butter. sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top and roll the dough up longways. set seam down and cut into slices

to make the topping, mix the brown sugar, butter, honey, and syrup in a saucepan and heat on low until melted. pour the mixture into a greased glass pan (approx. 9"x13") and then pour the walnuts in an even layer on top of the mixture.

place the buns in the pan on top of the walnuts. if you have the room, try to space them for them to rise. cover with plastic wrap and set into the refrigerator. you can either let them rise for a minimum of one hour to overnight.

regardless of the amount of time you let the buns rise, give them 5-10 minutes to get back up to room temperature once you take them out of the fridge while you preheat the oven to 375° F.

bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. after removing the pan from the oven, carefully invert the pan onto a tray or serving platter.


  1. My wife and I just got finished making the dough part of this recipe and basically wasted the ingredients. If you look at the ingredient list (and have any experience in baking) you will probably surmise what I learned the hard way, there isn't enough liquid to hold together the dry ingredients. This recipe produces a ball of crumbling garbage.

    We double checked our measurements against the recipe and are sure we followed it to the letter.

    Can anyone out there verify that they have made this recipe and it turned out as pictured?

  2. These are the exact measurements that I always use (and have for years), and that I used when I took the photos for this post. 1 cup of liquid (1/4 water + 3/4 milk) and 3 egg yolks are more than enough for 4 cups of flour and a little sugar.

    If you're having a problem getting the correct consistency for the dough, I'd recommend adding the dry ingredients in small increments to make sure that you're mixing them thoroughly.