Grab a wet-nap because you don’t wanna miss these pecan praline sticky buns! Super soft and warmly spiced cinnamon rolls topped with a drool-worthy, authentic Southern pecan praline sauce. These sticky buns are insanely good and perfect for any brunch affair, those cozy weekends inside, and all of the holiday festivities!

pecan praline sticky buns on large white plate

Friends, how have you been?! This year has been a lot, kinda like the year before it, ha! Nevertheless, we’re all just trying to do our best. I’ve said it a million times but this time of the year has me in so many ways, completely. The holidays cause supposed cheer lol, the festivities galore, the end of year reflections with self, the foods, and everything else. But let’s bring it back to the food cuz duh.

I like how most of us live in collective harmony for all of the cozy, comforting eats during this season. Well, gird your loins! Y’all, I love working with and developing yeasty things. Listen, I have more cinnamon roll/yeast roll recipes on here than I can count. However, this is my first *sticky bun* recipe to be shared and I’m so very hype about it. They’re so scrumptious, you’ll love ’em, too!

DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by Go Bold With Butter. I’m forever reaching for, cooking, and baking with my beloved, butter. Around here, butter is absolutely best and gives my recipes so much richness and flavor. If you missed my *creamy lemon herb butter ravioli*, you’ve gotta make it, swoon.

Love yeast rolls? Holla at my classic cinnamon rolls, these bright & zippy af lemon sweet rolls, def these sweet potato cinnamon rolls, perhaps my strawberry sweet rolls, or maybe these garlic butter parmesan rolls– yes plz!

pecan praline sticky buns on large white plate with brown piece of parchment paper

Pecan Praline Sticky Buns 😛

Sticky buns are such a wild treat. Wild because they’re sort of unconventional, disheveled, messy, and unkempt…all terms I love btw. To me, they go against the grain and offer a little more oomph than the average cinnamon roll/bun. These sticky buns have a pecan praline topping that is out of this world. It’s rich, buttery, perfectly sweet, full of flavor, and loaded with pecans.

With a classic cinnamon bun underneath, the topping blankets over the buns and the two marry each other in glorious coupling. After baking and then inverting, you’ve got pecan praline sticky buns. Thus, no frosting/icing on them- just good ole caramel-like, texturally beautiful, crunchy goodness!

What Is A Praline?

A praline (pronounced: “prah-leen“) is a Southern, sweet confectionery of pure deliciousness. The praline is a sugary, creamy, rich, and pecan-laden candy. It’s super popular in the American South and also a tradition to some folks. Pralines are a coveted staple of New Orleans culture where Louisiana native pecan trees are abundant. A trip to NOLA without grabbing a praline is no fun at all.

Additionally, it’s important to mention other regions of the country like Texas and Georgia as they have cultivated praline roots as well. ⇢ Fun fact: there is a slight point of contention with these states and their pronunciation of praline being “pray-leen” and not the above mentioned lol. All in all, no matter which way you pronounce praline, you’re in for a lip-smacking, damn good time!

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the pecan praline topping: Butter, brown sugar, dark corn syrup, vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, salt, heavy cream, and pecan pieces. Everything gets put into the same saucepan sans the pecans (those go in last) and simmers together until well combined into a syrupy mixture…it’s delightful.
  • For the dough: Yeast (active dry or instant), granulated sugar, milk, butter, an egg, flour, and salt. Don’t stress, my instructions down below will guide you all the way. I promise you, making these praline sticky buns is so easy!
  • For the dough filling: Butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon.

How To Make These Praline Sticky Buns

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. STEP ONE. Prepare the pecan praline topping. In a small saucepan, toss in all of the ingredients except for the pecan pieces. Allow the mixture to cook together until the butter melts and everything is well combined. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans. Boom, you did THAT! Set aside.
  2. STEP TWO. Let’s make dat dough. Use a stand mixer to bring the dough to life. Then place it into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap/kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm environment until it doubles in size.
  3. STEP THREE. Roll it out and fill. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a rectangle. Slather on the softened butter and sprinkle on the brown sugar/cinnamon. Roll up the dough into a nice & tight log.
  4. STEP FOUR. You need to cut it. Use a sharp knife or unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 9 total pieces >> I like to trim off a bit of the ends as they sometimes are not as full as the other sections.
  5. STEP FIVE. Prep the dish. Pour the pecan praline sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Then place the cut rolls directly on top of the sauce.
  6. STEP SIX. Get ’em puffy. This is the second rise. Place the dish in a warm environment for the rolls to get nice and puffy once more before baking.
  7. STEP SEVEN. Bake, bake! Ahh sookie sookie, we’ve reached the climax, y’all. Place the dish into the oven to bake them off, woot woot.
  8. STEP EIGHT. Invert, cool, and serve. As soon as you take the dish outta the oven, carefully invert the dish onto a large plate/platter. Then allow the beauties to cool before consuming << they’ll be hot hottt. Enjoy!
bite taken out of pecan praline sticky bun on white plate

Tips + Tricks For Recipe Success

⇢ Here is the lowdown on how to get the perfect buns (<< I made a funny!) 😂

  • The pecan praline topping: After making the sauce, set it aside in a bowl or container on the counter so it stays at room temperature while you work on the dough. If making these praline sticky buns ahead of time, then you can store the sauce in the fridge to use for later (more on this below).
  • Room temperature ingredients: Only the egg (for the dough) and the butter (for the filling) need to be room temperature. For the egg, this helps the dough to blend together seamlessly. An egg that is cold straight from the fridge may cause coagulation. >> I like to set these out on the counter about an hour ahead of time and, in a pinch, submerge a cold egg in warm water for a bit to speed things up <<. And the butter is softened so that it is spreadable.
  • Use fresh yeast!: Our cult fave, Ina Garten, says it: fresh is best!
  • Working with yeast: When making the dough, make sure that your milk is warmed to the appropriate temperature, noted below. If your milk is too hot, it can kill the yeast and your dough will be no good.
  • Follow rise times: For proper yeast effectiveness, allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size (first rise) and the cut rolls are puffy (second rise) before baking. This will make sure that the yeast organism in the dough is alive.
  • Invert the buns, stat: After baking the buns, don’t leave them in the dish. Right away, invert the buns out of the baking pan. You want everything to slip on out flawlessly. Otherwise, the topping will harden on the bottom.
black hand reaching for pecan praline sticky bun on large white plate

Make Ahead Praline Sticky Buns

>> Yes, indeed! These buns are perfect for family/social gatherings, holiday festivities (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc), and more. As such, you may want to prep ahead of the game by working smarter (not harder)…

First, I recommend making the pecan praline topping ahead of time. Make the sauce as directed in the recipe card, below. Then transfer the sauce into an airtight container and store in the fridge (I do not recommend freezing). This sauce will keep stored away in the fridge for up to 1 week.

⇢ When ready to use, simply rewarm the sauce in a saucepan or in the microwave if you’d like. Naturally, the sauce will harden in the fridge and it needs to be at room temperature when preparing these buns for baking.

Next, you can also prep the dough ahead, too. Make the dough as directed in the recipe card, below. Fill and cut the rolls as noted as well. Store the unbaked cinnamon rolls in a separate dish and cover with plastic wrap. The rolls can rest in the fridge overnight (no longer than 10-12 hours for the best texture/taste).

⇢ When ready to use, take the rolls out of the fridge to sit on the counter to come back up to room temperature (aka the second rise). To assemble everything: pour the sauce into your baking pan, place the unbaked cinnamon rolls on top (lightly pressing them into the sauce), and bake as directed.

How To Store & Reheat Leftover Sticky Buns

>> For any leftover praline sticky buns, here’s what to do:

Transfer any leftovers into an airtight container. They will keep stored at room temperature on the counter for 2-3 days. Otherwise, store them inside of the fridge for up to 1 week. ⇢ When ready to reheat: preheat the oven to 350°F and wrap the praline sticky buns tightly in foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until warmed through completely. Note: I do not recommend freezing baked sticky buns as it will change the overall taste/texture.

pecan praline sticky buns on white plate with piece of brown parchment paper underneath

Peeps, I hope you all enjoy these pecan praline sticky buns– until next time! 🤟🏾

👇🏾 More Southern-Inspired Goodness

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pecan praline sticky buns on large white plate with brown piece of parchment paper

Pecan Praline Sticky Buns

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 2hr
  • Cook Time: 30m
  • Total Time: 2 hr 30m
  • Yield: 9 buns 1x
  • Category: Desserts and Sweets
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Southern

Description

Grab a wet-nap because you don’t wanna miss these pecan praline sticky buns! Super soft and warmly spiced cinnamon rolls topped with a drool-worthy, authentic Southern pecan praline sauce. These sticky buns are insanely good and perfect for any brunch affair, those cozy weekends inside, and all of the holiday festivities!


Ingredients

Scale

For the pecan praline topping:

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/4 cup pecan pieces

For the dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (whole milk preferred but 2% works, too!)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and lightly cooled
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. For the topping: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla bean paste/vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream together. Stir to combine and allow the mixture to simmer together until the butter melts and everything comes together, stirring every so often, about 7-10 minutes. Look for the pecan praline sauce to thicken some and coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the pecan pieces. Transfer the pecan praline sauce into an airtight container. If making these sticky buns on the same day, leave the sauce out on the counter. Otherwise, transfer the sauce into the fridge until you’re ready to use. If refrigerating, when ready to use, simply reheat the sauce in a saucepan before the next step, below.
  3. Pour the sauce into a 9×9 inch baking pan (or any comparable oven-safe vessel) use a spoon or offset spatula to spread the sauce into an even layer into the pan. Then set aside.
  4. For the dough: Make sure the milk is warmed up to around 110°F. I like to place my cold milk in a microwave safe vessel and microwave it for 45-50 seconds, it should be warm (if yours is too hot, set aside until it cools down and reaches desired 110°F temperature). In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle in the yeast and sugar and then pour in the warmed milk. Let mixture sit, undisturbed, for 7-10 minutes for the yeast to activate (when using active dry yeast)- the mixture will be bubbly and fragrant. *If using instant yeast– no need to wait for the mixture to bloom, proceed directly to the next step.
  5. Next, add in the melted butter, egg, flour, and salt. Place the dough hook attachment onto stand mixer and knead on medium speed until the dough begins to come together, about 6-8 minutes. Look for the dough to be smooth. Alternatively, if not using a stand mixer- knead the dough by hand for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased large bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and then a clean kitchen towel/linen- let the dough rise in a warm environment until it doubles in size, about 1-2 hours or longer depending on the temperature of your environment.
  7. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface work area. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 10×12 inches, now let’s prepare the filling.
  8. For the filling: Spread the softened butter over the dough, leaving a slight margin around the edges. I like to use my hands (with disposable gloves, if desired) to do this. Then sprinkle on the brown sugar followed by evenly sprinkling the cinnamon all over the top. Use your hand to gently pat the sugar/cinnamon mixture onto the dough.
  9. Roll up the dough into a tight log starting from the longest side with the seam side down. While in log position, use your hands to carefully stretch out the log, if needed. Then pinch the seam to nicely seal in the edges as much as you can. I like to cut off a bit of the ends of the dough because they are not as full in size as the other sections.
  10. Use a large sharp knife/unscented dental floss to cut the log crosswise into 9 pieces. Pro-tip: for precise, neat cuts >> you can score/measure out the cut markings on the dough beforehand.
  11. Add the rolls directly on top of the pecan praline sauce in the prepared baking dish, gently press them down into the sauce, just enough to make sure they’re touching. Cover the dish with plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Allow the rolls to rise again in a warm environment for another 1-2 hours until puffy. Towards the end of their rise time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  12. Uncover the rolls by removing the plastic wrap/kitchen towel. Bake the rolls until they’re golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
  13. Remove the pan from the oven. Very carefully, using oven mitts, invert the pan immediately onto a large plate or platter. If any sticky bits remain in the pan, simply scrape out onto the buns. Allow the buns to cool down before touching, about 10-15 minutes, as the sticky topping will be very hot. Then serve and enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: pecan praline sauce, how to make pecan praline sauce, pecan praline sticky buns, caramel pecan sticky buns, southern desserts