Sweet, gooey, soft, and crunchy Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns are here just in time for the holidays! This recipe is so easy (we’re using a shortcut ingredient) and the payoff is huge. Ready in just about 30 minutes, get ready to dive into these decadent Sticky Buns!
If you’ve ever been intimidated by the idea of making homemade cinnamon rolls or sticky buns you will love this easy version. Store bought crescent dough is baked with a homemade brown sugar “caramel” along with lots of chopped pecans.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Ease: Crescent roll dough is used in place of homemade yeast dough. All you have to do is make the caramel sauce and assemble.
Flavor: Brown sugar, honey, butter, pecans, and a touch of cinnamon.
Texture: Soft, gooey, crunchy, sticky – a little bit of everything!
Basic ingredients: Aside from the store bought crescent dough you only need a handful of additional ingredients.
Fast: No waiting for dough to proof and rise, these sticky buns are ready in just about 30 minutes!
*Full recipe below in recipe card*
Make the brown sugar caramel and pour about half of it into a 9-inch cake pan (the rest of the caramel will be used after the sticky buns have baked). Sprinkle pecans onto the caramel and set aside.
Lay out two pieces of crescent dough (meeting at their longer sides) and pinch/press the two pieces together to form one large rectangle of dough. Pat it out with your hands until the dough is about 13 inches x 16 inches.
Spread the dough with a thin layer of softened butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Starting at one of the longer ends, roll the dough tightly, until you make it all the way across.
Slice the dough into eight pieces and place them cut side up on the caramel and pecans.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then carefully invert onto a plate. Serve warm with reserved caramel sauce.
Ingredient overview: crescent dough sheets
This recipe uses store bought crescent roll dough. It can be purchased in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near tubes of biscuits. I prefer Pillsbury crescent dough sheets because there are no seams, which make the dough really easy to spread and roll.
If you can only find crescent roll dough (not sheets) you can still use it. Be sure to pinch together the seams (where each individual roll would break apart) and use care to pinch and seal the pieces of dough together when rolling it.
Serving and storage
These sticky buns should be served warm. The caramel will thicken as it cools but will thin out again once reheated.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat individual portions right before serving.
Easy Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon water
- pinch salt
- ⅔ cup chopped pecans
- Two 8 oz packages of refrigerated crescent dough sheets, see note
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line a 9-inch round cake pan (or similar size pan) with parchment paper and lightly grease the pan. Note: It is important that the pan has sides that are about 2-inches high.
Make the caramel sauce:
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat slightly and simmer for two minutes. Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking pan (reserve the rest for after the buns bake). Sprinkle pecans over the sauce in the pan.
- On a lightly floured surface, lay out two pieces of crescent dough (meeting at their longer sides) and pinch/press the two pieces together to form one large rectangle of dough. Pat it out with your hands until the dough is about 13 inches x 16 inches.
- Spread the dough with a thin layer of softened butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Starting at one of the longer ends, roll the dough tightly, until you make it all the way across. Slice the dough into eight pieces (I usually discard the very ends of the log). I recommend cutting the dough using a piece of unflavored dental floss. Slide the floss under the log of dough, grab both ends of the floss in each hand, crossing them over each other above dough. Pull it taut until the slice is cut. Continue to slide the floss along the length of the log of dough until all pieces are cut.
- Place the buns cut side up on the caramel and pecans, spaced an inch or two apart. I place seven around the outside and one in the middle.
- Bake for about 20-22 minutes in the lower third of the oven. The tops of the sticky buns should be golden brown, check the insides of the rolls for doneness. Cool for 5 minutes (no longer), then carefully invert onto a plate. Serve immediately with reserved caramel sauce. Note: caramel sauce will need to be reheated. I do so in the microwave.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.