These salted caramel sticky buns are made with a yeast dough and baked in a salted dark caramel sauce. Sticky buns are easier to make than cinnamon rolls, and they’ll absolutely melt in your mouth!
Cinnamon rolls are my specialty in the pastry realm, but recently I’ve been longing for sticky buns. Not having a recipe in my stash, I did a few internet searches. The search results were disappointing. They were all recipes for cinnamon rolls, with a sticky topping added, and the topping recipes were too complicated.
In my mind, a sticky bun is entirely different from a cinnamon roll. Cinnamon rolls are rolled out, spread with a filling of butter and cinnamon sugar, rolled up, cut, baked, and finished with a milky glaze or a rich cream cheese frosting. Sticky buns, on the other hand, are not rolled out but are shaped into individual buns and baked in a dish of gooey caramel topping with lots of nuts. It’s cool to mix the two upon occasion, but I need a straight-up sticky bun recipe with all the focus on the topping–no detraction from a cinnamon filling. Here’s what I came up with. The dough is adapted from my favourite pastry dough recipe (I don’t remember exactly where I got it).
Salted Dark Caramel Sticky Buns
These salted caramel sticky buns are made with a yeast dough and baked in a salted dark caramel sauce. Sticky buns are easier to make than cinnamon rolls, and they'll absolutely melt in your mouth!
Sweet Roll Dough:
- 1/2 Tbsp active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp butter softened
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 2 to 2 1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sucanat, rapadura, or dark brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- 1/8 tsp plus 1 pinch salt
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let it sit for a minute while you get your other ingredients ready.
Add remaining dough ingredients to yeast, stirring until smooth. If the dough is very sticky, add more flour, one spoonful at a time, until it becomes smooth.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for about five minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl; cover and let rise until double, 1 to 1.5 hours.
Punch the dough down, and let rest for another few minutes. While the dough rests, make the sticky topping. Heat all the topping ingredients except the nuts in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture bubble for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Cover and remove from heat.
When the topping has cooled slightly, pour it into two greased glass pie dishes or one 11”x7” dish. Sprinkle with nuts. Pinch off pieces of dough and use your hands to roll into about 16 balls. Place them on the topping. Cover the rolls and let them rise for 30 minutes.
Bake the rolls at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until just tinged with brown.
If you liked this recipe, be sure to check out my recipe for Quick Cinnamon Roll Biscuit Bites!