This sticky bun recipe uses homemade dough with grated apples inside of it. The filling is made with butter, cinnamon, a hint of nutmeg, grated apples and crushed pecans. The topping is a layer of pecans and homemade caramel. This recipe is seriously scrumptious and impossible to resist.
I love apples, they really are nature’s finest fruit in my opinion. So much flavour packed into such a simple bite. You can eat them plain or turn them into amazing recipes. There really is no limit to what you can do with a bushel of apples these days. Recipes range from desserts to side dishes, and everything in between. Apple pie is probably everyone’s favourite comfort food. Who can resist a delicious apple pie? The aroma alone is delightful.
The only thing I don’t like about apple pie is it’s not socially acceptable to eat it for breakfast. I wish it was, but it tends to be frowned upon. So I decided to make a recipe that had all the flavour of an apple pie but was completely acceptable to eat for breakfast. In fact, you could eat these for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. These sticky buns are that good. You’ll want to eat them every day, all day long.
This recipe is incredibly impressive to make when you have guests. It’s also super versatile. You can swap the pecans for other nuts if you like. Walnuts work beautifully with this, as do pistachios. You can even add dried fruit if you like. There are no rules here, if you don’t like pecans leave them out. Want more pecans, go ahead and add them. Recipes like this one are easily adaptable to your taste. So don’t be afraid to play around with the extra elements of it.
This recipe uses Pacific Rose Apples. They sent me a case of them to use for recipe development. I had so much fun playing in the kitchen the week they arrived. I made so many amazing recipes, and was so impressed with the taste and quality of their apples.
I have three tips for you before you start:
- Be sure to drain any excess moisture from the apples. It’s really important that the grated apples be as dry as possible.
- This is an overnight recipe. Everything in it is made from scratch, but it’s so worth it. You make the dough and caramel one day, assemble everything then place it in the fridge overnight. When you remove them in the morning there is more rise time so make sure you account for that.
- You can make this recipe in a pie dish, springform pan, or square baking pan. However, I highly suggest using muffin tins if you can. Each sticky bun will come out of the muffin tin perfectly round.
Recipe for Pacific Rose Apple Sticky Buns adapted from Fine Cooking
2 hrPrep Time
22 minCook Time
2 hr, 22 Total Time
- 3 1/2 cup (875 mL) of all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 1/4 oz (35 g) package of fast rising (instant) yeast
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) warm milk (125ºF/50ªC)
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Pacific Rose apples, all excess moisture must be removed
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
- 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) nutmeg
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated Pacific Rose apple, all excess moisture must be removed
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) crushed pecans
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) salted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) heavy cream
- 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) pecan halves, or roughly chopped pecans
- Pour 1 cup of the flour in a medium bowl, add yeast. Set aside.
- Heat milk to about 125ºF (50ºC) in a pan over medium-low heat on the stove. Once the desired temperature is reached pour the milk over the flour and yeast in the bowl you set aside.
- Mix until well combined, then cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm spot in your kitchen for 30 minutes.
- Drain all excess moisture from the grated apples by placing them in cheesecloth and squeezing until all the liquid is out. You can also use the same technique with paper towels. Either option works well for removing moisture.
- Uncover the bowl, add apples, butter, sugar, egg and salt to it and mix by hand until combined. Stir in 3 1/4 cups more of the flour you divided into the bowl. Mix by hand until dough is combined. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead by hand. Keep the remaining 1/4 cup of flour you divided earlier nearby to add as needed while you are working the dough. Now start to roll the dough over on itself, continue kneading it this way until the dough becomes soft and easy to work with, you can add bits of flour as you go as you feel you need to. It takes about 5 minutes to really work it into a soft, workable dough.
- Lightly butter a glass bowl and place the dough inside of it. Cover with plastic wrap, and set the bowl in a warm place in your kitchen, allow it to rise until it doubles in size. This should take anywhere from about 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape, about 16 x 11 in size, or so.
- Spread the softened butter evenly over the dough with a spatula. Leave a 1/8-inch edge on the long side that is farthest away from you. You'll need that edge to seal the dough.
- Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl and spread over top of the butter, as evenly as possible, leaving a 1/8-inch edge. Toss the grated apples (remove all excess moisture first!) over the sugar mixture, leaving a 1/8-inch edge. Spread the crushed pecans over top of the apples, leaving a 1/8-inch edge.
- Starting on the long edge, roll the dough lengthwise to form the rolls. Tighten slightly as you roll. Once you get to the edge you left, dab it with water to help seal it. Pinch the ends to seal completely. Place the sealed side down. Using a knife, serrated works well, trim each end off so any uneven bits are gone. Discard those pieces. Now cut the rolled dough into 12 equal size pieces. Cover with plastic wrap while you make the caramel.
- Combine sugar and water in a medium size saucepan and place over medium-high heat until all the sugar dissolves. This should take approximately 3 minutes. Bring the syrup to a boil and allow it to bubble up without stirring it. You can swirl it if needed, but don't stir it. Keep a close eye on it to watch it for it to start to turn a light amber colour. Watch closely because caramel can burn very quickly. Once the mixture begins to caramelize and turn amber, remove it from the heat and add the cold butter. Add the heavy cream, the mixture will bubble up then smooth out. Stir until it's smooth, if it doesn't smooth out quickly you can place the pan over low heat until it does. Add the vanilla extract and salt, mix well. Allow the caramel to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Putting it all together:
- Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray. Place some pecans in the bottom of each well. Spoon in about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of caramel into the bottom of each well over top of the pecans. Now uncover your dough and place one roll in each well, cut sides down, so they sit on top of the pecans and caramel. Don't worry, the pan gets inverted later so the caramel and pecans end up on top of the rolls. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. Cover the remaining caramel and set aside for the morning.
- Remove the pan from the fridge and place in a warm spot in your kitchen. Allow the dough to rise again, it should double in size once again. This should take between 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Once the oven is at desired temperature place the pan on the middle rack, and place a foil lined cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch any drips from the caramel bubbling up.
- Bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until tops are brown. Remove from the oven. Invert the pan immediately over a baking sheet or platter. Reheat remaining caramel and pour over top before serving.
- These are best served hot on the day you make them.
- Any leftover sticky buns can be stored in an air tight container and placed in the fridge. They can be reheated in the microwave easily.
This recipe was developed by Kim Beaulieu. Kim is the creator behind the blogs Cravings of a Lunatic and Kiss My Smoke. She lives in Ontario with her hubby, two hooligans, and a vast assortment of furkids. She splits her time between grilling and baking, when she’s not glued to Netflix rewatching The Walking Dead, again and again.