Sticky Buns

Amy’s gooey and maximally nutty Sticky Buns are a classic Pennsylvania Dutch dish.  This recipe has become her most-requested item when group camping.  Even though it is made from scratch ingredients, it is a no-knead recipe that is easy to put together in advance, and can be kept in the refrigerator or cooler for up to several days before baking.  Making ahead makes this an especially easy breakfast treat, as there is no need to get up early to get the dough going.  Simply light the coals.

Each batch makes 8-10 large sticky buns; 9” cake pan.


1 batch 2 batches
Milk 240 g 480 g
Honey 75 g 150 g
Butter, melted 4 oz 8 oz
Eggs, beaten 2 4
Vanilla 1 tsp 2 tsp
All Purpose Flour 525 g 1050 g
Yeast 2 tsp 4 tsp
Salt 2 tsp 4 tsp
Butter, melted 6 oz 12 oz
Brown Sugar 220 g 440 g
Honey 115 g 230 g
Cinnamon 1 tsp 2 tsp
Salt ½ tsp 1 tsp
Chopped Pecans 105 g 210 g


Dough: Warm milk, honey, and butter until the butter is melted.  Allow it to cool to a lukewarm temperature, then whisk in eggs and vanilla.

In a large bowl, stir yeast into the flour, then add the salt and stir again.  Stir in wet ingredients until dough forms.  Cover the bowl and allow to rise until doubled in bulk (at least 4 hours in a warm spot).

Caramel:  Warm butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon and salt until butter is melted and ingredients are smooth.  Spread half this mixture into the bottoms of the a 9” cake pan. Scatter the pecans evenly over this mixture and set aside.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle (less than 1/4″ thick). Spread the remaining caramel mixture evenly over the dough, leaving 1” around the edge.  Roll the dough along the long side into a log. Use dental floss or a serrated knife to cleanly cut the log into 9 evenly sized pieces. Arrange swirled-side down in the prepared pan.

Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to bake (if baking immediately, skip this step).

Bake:  Bake in a 12” dutch oven (on a trivet) with 9 coals below and 15 on top for 40-60 minutes, until the center is fully cooked through (test by cutting into it with a knife and checking).  Swap out coals every 30 minutes to maintain even heating.

If the top of the buns begin to brown a bit dark but they are still too gooey when you poke in with a knife, remove the coals from the top of the Dutch Oven and allow it to bake with only bottom heat until the sticky buns are done.

Invert the sticky buns immediately onto a serving platter (be careful because the hot caramel is very gooey and can easily get on your oven gloves).


Notes:  The gooey sugar syrup is going to bubble out of the 9″ cake pan and into the Dutch Oven.  To prevent this from being a cleanup project, line the Dutch Oven with a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment paper.  That will help to keep the cleanup easy.


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