Sticky Buns Recipe For Christmas Morning

This Sticky Buns Recipe was just made for Christmas morning breakfast! It’s one of my favorite recipe holiday recipes that you should give yourself permission to dive into at least one time a year!

Yes, they take a little work, but for me, I find it’s well worth the effort. Looking for something quicker? Try my overnight cinnamon buns they rise while you sleep or my Sticky Buns with Puff Pastry which are even easier! 

Sticky Buns piled high on a platter ready to be served

This recipe comes from my Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu I did for the Kin Community YouTube Channel a few years back. You can watch the full video below!

Need more menu ideas? Watch all my Kin Community Menu Videos.

More Recipes from this video include:

STEP 1: Make the Dough and Allow it to Rise

You’ll make the dough, knead it and then allow it to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

Sticky Bun Dough being placed into a glass bowl

What’s The Difference Between a Cinnamon roll and a Sticky bun?

The main difference between the two boils down to the sauce or frosting. A traditional cinnamon roll will be glazed with cream cheese frosting on top.

How to Make Cinnamon Rolls Recipe served in a cast iron skillet on a wood surface

A sticky bun typically has nuts and is covered in a sticky caramel sauce. 

How Do You Make Caramel Sauce for Sticky Buns? 

You’ll melt butter and sugar in a saucepan, add orange zest and juice, simmer and then add heavy cream. Whisk until a caramel sauce develops. 

Remove from the heat and allow to cool. How easy is that? The orange zest and juice add a wonderful flavor to the sweetness of the caramel. 

STEP 2: Make the Sticky Sauce. Fill Muffin tin.

Once your sticky bun sauce is done you’ll pour 1 tbsp of sauce into each muffin well. This will become the topping of the bun, since your buns will ultimately become inverted, with the bottoms becoming the tops. 


  • When your sauce has cooled pour it into a Pyrex pitcher. This makes pouring the sauce into the wells so much easier.
  • You could also make the sauce the day before. Place in the pitcher, cover, and refrigerate. Then just warm it up in the microwave so it’s pourable.

Sticky Bun Sauce being poured into muffin tin

Then you’ll add chopped pecans on top. You could also use walnuts if you prefer. Just make sure they are finely chopped so they stick easily to the sauce when your buns are inverted. 

Pecans in muffin well for sticky bun recipe

STEP 3: Add the Filling

Roll out the dough into a large rectangle. Spread softened butter on top and add the filling. I love to also add orange zest to the filling since it gives these decadent buns a nice freshness to them.

Grating orange zest on top of filling for sticky bun recipe.

Then gently roll up your dough into a large log.

Rolling log of dough for sticky buns

STEP 4: Cut and Bake

Slice sticky bun log and add them into a non-stick muffin tin and bake!

Placing sticky bun dough slices into muffin tin before baking

How To Release the Sticky Buns

This can be quite a talent! Here’s my favorite way to do it for an easy flip.

First place a cooling rack on top of the muffin tin

cooling rack placed on sticky buns

Then place the cookie sheet on top of the cooling rack.

cookie sheet being placed on top of sticky buns before flipping them

Then with one fluid motion, flip the whole thing upside down. Remove the muffin tin…

Releasing sticky buns from muffin tin

…and now the sticky buns are “right side up, and already on a cooling rack, allowing you to pour some extra sticky sauce on top and allow the cooling rack to catch the drippings. Genius!

Pouring sticky sauce on sticky buns

You can allow the sauce to set for 5-10 minutes, then bring them to the table and let everyone dig in! Merry Christmas! 

Pouring extra sticky sauce on sticky buns on a rack



Sticky Buns piled high on a platter ready to be served

Sticky Buns

Yield: 12 buns
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

A delicious treat for Christmas morning breakfast! These sticky buns are worth indulging in at least once a year!



  • 3  ½ cups (420 g) flour
  • 2 ¼ tsp (1 package) (1/4 ounce/7g)  dry active yeast
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) + 1 ½ tsp (8 g) of sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (6 g)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • ½ cup of raisins (75 g)
  • 1 ½ cup warm water (between 110-125F or 43-51)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) melted butter, divided

Sticky Sauce

  • 12 tbsp (180 g) butter
  • 1 ½ cup (250 g) of brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp (20 g) orange zest
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) of heavy cream
  • 2 cups (300 g) of chopped pecans


  • 1 tbsp (12 g) brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) white sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 g) cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp (10 g) orange zest
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped pecans
  • ½ cup (60 g) raisins
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) softened butter


  1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, orange zest, raisins. Then add water and slowly mix into a dough, and then into a ball.  Add 1 tbsp (15 ml) of melted butter to the top of the dough, and then knead on a floured surface for 20 turns.
  2. Place other 1 tbsp (15 ml) of butter in a clean bowl, and grease the sides of the bowl with it.  Place dough inside and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, make the sticky sauce. Melt butter and sugar in a sauce pan, add orange zest and juice, simmer and then add heavy cream.  Whisk until a caramel sauce develops.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Then make the filling.  Combine sugars and cinnamon.  And set aside.
  5. Place 1 tbsp (15 ml) of sticky sauce in each well of a muffin tin, then add 1 tbsp (10 g) of chopped pecans on top. You will have some sticky sauce left, set aside for topping the buns once they are baked.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on well-floured surface; roll out to a 13 x 15 rectangle (32.5 x 37.6 cm). Smear with softened butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, then zest, then raisins then nuts.
  7. Roll up, like a jelly roll.  Slice into (12) 2” (5cm) slices.  Fit, cut side up, into muffin wells.
  8. Bake at 375 (190 C) for 12-15 mins until golden brown and puffed up.  Allow to cool.  Then place cooling rack on top of muffin tin, and then top with sheet pan, flip the tin while holding rack and sheet pan, and now all your buns will be right side up on the cooling rack.
  9. Pour additional sticky sauce on top of the buns and allow to set for 5 mins.  Transfer buns to a cake stand. And dig in!


  • Be sure to use a non-stick muffin tin.
  • Do not grease the muffin wells otherwise the sticky sauce rolls off the buns after they are baked. Plus there's so much butter in the recipe it releases as it bakes and allows the buns to release from the pan with a jiggle.
  • But it can be helpful to run a knife around the buns before flipping the tin.
  • These buns live up to their name! They are sticky and are meant to be eaten with a knife and fork!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 234mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 2g
Brownie cake scooped into a mug with ice cream

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  1. Hi! These look so amazing and remind me exactly of the sticky buns my family used to have for Christmas morning. How far in advance do you think I could make these?

    1. Aww so glad t hear it! These were a mainstay at our house too growing up! OK so the best bet would be to either make the dough and let it rise overnight on your counter. Then wake up the next day, fill, roll, cut and bake. OR bake them the day before. Leave them in the tin (don’t flip out) allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate. And then pop them in a 350F oven, covered for 20 minutes to warm through and THEN flip and serve! Hope that helps!