These apple sticky buns perfectly combine apples, pecans and caramel for the most amazing breakfast you will ever eat.
This was a sponsored post for Pacific Rose Apples and Produce Made Simple, preciously posted in 2016. Thanks to all the companies, and readers, who help support Cravings of a Lunatic.
You can get the recipe for these Overnight Apple Pecan Caramel Sticky Buns on the Produce Made Simple website. I used to contribute to their website from time to time.
This recipe uses Pacific Rose Apples. They sent me a case of them to use for recipe development. Honestly, I had so much fun playing in the kitchen the week they arrived.
I made these these Overnight Apple Pecan Caramel Sticky Buns. If you love cinnamon rolls you will LOVE these sticky buns!
This recipes will make you feel accomplished and all the effort you put into them is worth it. The flavour is out of this world!
It's not easy, or quick, but it is worth every second you take to make it. Don't get me wrong, it's mostly inactive time for this one.
It's a bit step heavy. However those steps will pay off in the end product. Not even kidding. This recipe will change your life.
- Flour - I used all purpose flour for this recipe. I would not recommend substituting anything else or it could affect the results.
- Yeast - This recipe uses instant (quick rise) yeast. You can buy it in individual packages or buy a large container and freeze what you don't use.
- Milk - I used 2% milk in this recipe but you can use 1%, whole milk, or skim if you prefer.
- Apples - This recipe was sponsored by Pacific Rose apples. If you cannot find them you can use a similar type of apple.
- Butter - I used unsalted butter and salted butter for this recipe. It will not affect the recipe greatly if you use one or the other.
- Sugar - This recipe uses granulated white sugar and brown sugar. The brown sugar can be light or dark. The dark will just give a richer flavour.
- Eggs - I used large eggs for this recipe. You want to beat them slightly with a whisk.
- Spices - This recipe calls for salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Pecans - You can buy whole pecans and chop or crush them yourself. Or you can buy them already chopped or crushed.
- Water - Regular tap water is fine.
- Heavy Crean - This is also called whipping cream. It aids in making the caramel so don't substitute or skip this ingredient.
- Extract - I used vanilla extract but feel free to use almond extract if you prefer.
How to Make Overnight Apple Sticky Buns:
For the Dough:
- First, add 1 cup of the flour to a bowl. Set aside.
- Then, heat the milk to about 125 degrees F in a saucepan on the stove. Remove from heat and over the bowl of yeast and flour.
- Next, mix the flour, yeast and milk until well combined. Place the bowl in a warm area of your kitchen for about 30 minutes.
- Grate the apples, and remove any excess moisture by placing the grated apples in a pieces of cheesecloth and squeezing out all the water. Alternately, you can use paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Next, grab the bowl of flour, yeast and milk mixture you set aside earlier, add the grated apples, butter, sugar. egg, and salt. Mix this by hand until it's well combined. Then, stir in remaining flour (reserve ¼ cup of it for dusting the counter and working the dough) and mix by hand again.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead. Roll the dough over on itself and continue kneading till the dough is soft and easy to work with. You can add more flour as needed.
- Then, lightly butter a glass bowl and toss the dough inside of it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it aside in a warm area of your kitchen for it to rise. It should double in size, which will take about 45 to 60 minutes.
Filling the Dough:
- Grab the dough that you set aside to double earlier. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin that is lightly floured and use it to roll the dough into a rectangular shape. It should be about a 16 by 11 inch rectangle, or so.
- Next, spread the softened butter over top of the dough with a spatula. You can also use melted butter if you prefer. Leave a little bit of an edge on the long side so you can seal the dough.
- Then, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, mix well. Spread the mixture over top of the dough.
- Next, sprinkle the grated apples over top of the dough, leaving an edge again so you can seal the dough.
- Spread the crushed pecans over top, leaving an edge so you can seal the dough.
- Start on the long end of the dough and being to roll it lengthwise, tightening as you go. Once you get to the edge, use a little water to help seal the seams. Pinch the ends for a good seal.
- Then, place the sealed end down on the counter. Use a serrated knife and cut uneven ends off. Now slice the dough into 12 equal size pieces.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap while you make the caramel.
For the Caramel Sauce:
- In a medium size saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Place over medium heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Stir as needed. It should take about 3 or 4 minutes for the sugar to dissolve.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and allow it to bubble up without stirring it. Swirl the pan if needed. Keep watching (and swirling if needed) until the mixture turns an amber colour. Now, quickly remove it from the heat and add the cold butter. Then, add the heavy cream, the mixture will bubble up and smooth out as you stir. Add vanilla extract and salt, mix well. Then allow the caramel to cool slightly.
Putting it Together:
- Spray a 12 cup. muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place some pecans in the bottom or each muffin well. Then, spoon a little caramel into each well.
- Uncover your dough and place one roll in each muffin well, cut side down. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
- Cover the remaining caramel and place in the refrigerator overnight as well.
Morning Cooking Instructions:
- Remove the muffin pan from the fridge. Place it in a warm spot in your kitchen and allow the dough to rise again. It should double again. It should take about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pop the muffin tin in the oven and bake for about 18 to 22 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven.
- Grab a baking sheet and then invert the muffin tin over top of it.
- Reheat remaining caramel in the microwave. Pour over each sticky bun.
- Serve while hot or warm!
Note about Pan:
You can also use a 9-inch round baking pan instead of a muffin tin pan. I did it both ways and both work amazingly well.
How to Reheat Sticky Buns:
Leftover sticky buns can be reheated in the microwave. Add a small drizzle of water and microwave each one for about about 30 to 45 seconds.
You can also reheat them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place sticky buns in a pan and cover them with foil. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove, uncover and serve.
How to Store Sticky Buns:
Sticky buns can be stored on the counter for up to 2 days.
You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I Freeze Sticky Buns?
Yes, you can store sticky buns in the freezer.
Wrap them in plastic wrap first, then place them in an airtight container and seal the lid properly. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months.
More Amazing Apple Recipes:
- Cookie Butter Apple Muffins with Streusel Topping
- Apple Pies in Jars
- One Pot Pasta with Sausage, Peppers and Apples
- Easy Apple Sangria
- Fried Apples with Apple Caramel Sauce
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Overnight Apple Pecan Caramel Sticky Buns
For the dough:
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour divided
- ¼ ounce package of instant yeast
- ½ cup warm milk 125 degrees F
- ½ cup grated apples remove all excess moisture
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- ¼ cup butter softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup grated apples remove all excess moisture
- ½ cup crushed pecans
For the salted caramel:
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons salted butter cold
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup pecan halves or roughly chopped pecans
For the dough:
- Pour 1 cup of the flour in a medium bowl, add yeast. Set aside.
- Heat milk to about 125ºF 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. Set aside ¼ cup of flour for later (to roll out the dough), then add remaining flour to the bowl. Mix by hand until dough is combined. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead by hand. Use the ¼ cup of flour you put aside earlier 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.
Filling the dough:
- 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 ⅛-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 ⅛-inch edge. Toss the grated apples (remove all excess moisture first!) over the sugar mixture, leaving a ⅛-inch edge. Spread the crushed pecans over top of the apples, leaving a ⅛-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.
For 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 ½ 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.
Morning Cooking Instructions:
- 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.
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Get out of this world with these sticky buns! I am licking the screen as we speak!
Oh wow. Those do look like they're worth the time and effort. If a recipe is good enough there's no end to the effort I'll put forth. This looks like it meets that criteria!
My mouth is WATERING. These look divine!
Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes
These babies look totally worth all that effort!! I love me some sticky buns!
Emily @ Life on Food
I don't even know how you didn't just grab a spoon and start scraping of the caramel and pecans before you got any photos.
The Food Hunter
I totally can't stop staring at your buns! 🙂
Lauren Kelly Nutrition
Girl, these pictures are making me DROOL! I am obsessed with apples and now I am obsessed with these sticky buns!
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Really, no words! These look absolutely amazing!
Dear Kim, I'm and dying for one of these now! Gorgeous photos...these are irresistible. Pinned for later. xo, Catherine
Oh my goodness, these look AMAZING. They look so sweet and delicious!
Sarah Walker Caron (Sarah's Cucina Bella)
Those are gorgeous cinnamon rolls! I would gladly volunteer to hang out in the kitchen and taste test all your recipe development experiments!
Yum, these looks perfectly sticky!
Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence
I really wish I had this for breakfast today instead of oatmeal!! Those glossy buns are just perfect.
Nancy @ gottagetbaked
Lady, I'm obsessed with your buns, lol. As much as I love this recipe, I'm dying for your quick and easy version cause I'm a quick 'n easy kinda gal (hmmm…I probably shouldn't utter that sentence out loud in public). These photos are amazing, btw.
Mother of 3
These look soo soo good! Pined and I can't wait to try.
Kim @ The Baking ChocolaTess
These look amazing! Pinning!!!
Olivia @ best donuts in sydney
Its looks like on the commercial with high branded donuts. This looks so good and delicious. I really want to try this one.
Thanks so much.
I e made these for my son’s birthday breakfast for 3 years now! Everyone’s favorite!
That's so amazing to hear. Thank you so much for letting me know. I appreciate it.
All my favorite fall flavors in one amazing breakfast!! This is seriously fantastic!
Thank you so much!
These were amazing and mine turned out just like your pictures!
Thanks so much.