Soft, fluffy cinnamon buns drenched in cinnamon syrup baked with pecan nuts make these sticky rolls the most indulgent, delicious treat.
for the brioche dough
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 10 g (2 tsp) instant dried yeast
- 1 egg
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp softened butter
for the syrup
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
for the filling
- ½ cup butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup pecan nuts roughly chopped
- Combine the milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until frothy.
- Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Start kneading with the dough hook then add the egg and butter.
- Knead for 5 minutes until the dough starts coming away from the side of the bowl. (If the dough is too sticky, add 1-2tbsp) flour.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rise overnight. If you want to make the buns immediately, allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- To make the syrup, combine all the syrup ingredients (except for the butter) in a saucepan and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the syrup is the consistency of maple syrup. Add the butter and mix well then remove from the heat.
- When the dough has come up to room temperature, roll it out on a floured surface into a large rectangle of approximately 1cm thick.
- Spread the butter over the dough then mix together the sugar and ground cinnamon and sprinkle over the top. Top with the chopped pecan nuts.
- Roll the dough up tightly then cut into 4-5cm thick buns.
- Pour half of the syrup in the bottom of an oven-proof casserole dish.
- Place the buns on top of the syrup, allowing a little room in between them for the second proving stage.
- Cover the buns with a piece of plastic wrap then allow to rise for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Before placing in the oven, pour the remaining syrup over the top of the buns (re-heat if necessary) then place in the oven.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until the buns are golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Tips for making the best sticky cinnamon buns
- Enrich the dough: Adding egg and butter to the dough means the buns will be soft and buttery once baked, almost like brioche.
- Rolling: Try to roll the dough up as tightly as possible once you’ve filled it with the butter, cinnamon, sugar and pecan nuts. This will result in tighter, neater-looking rolls. When placing them in the baking dish, leave a few centimeters space in between the rolls to allow them to rise before and while baking. If you space them too tightly together, the coils will rise up and out of the buns. They will still be delicious, they just won’t look as pretty.
- Bake the buns in syrup: Baking the buns in the syrup allows the buns to absorb some of the syrup which results in the stickiest, most indulgent cinnamon buns.
- Add-ins: Pecans are my preferred add-in for these buns but raisins, walnuts and even chocolate chips will all be delicious.
Freezing and making ahead
- Freezing: Assemble cinnamon buns with syrup in a foil container then cover well with plastic wrap and foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the buns in the fridge overnight then bake until golden brown and sticky.
- Making ahead: The dough will keep well for up to a day in the fridge. The assembled rolls can be covered and kept in the fridge overnight as well if preferred before baking.
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