These sticky buns are loaded with bacon, pecans, and cozy spices, then topped with a sticky bourbon-caramel glaze for an over-the-top breakfast or decadent dessert.
These Bourbon Bacon Pecan Sticky Buns are over-the-top in the best kind of way.
Sticky caramel, pecans, and cozy spices? Check, check, and check!
Although it’s not exactly an easy weekday breakfast (I recommend my Apple Chai Steel Cut Oats if that’s what you’re looking for), it is a breakfast that will fill you up so you’re ready to take on the worst winter has to throw at you. Bourbon is by definition the coziest of boozes, so between that and all the spices, these sticky buns are one of those cold weather breakfasts that will warm you up from the inside.
And then there’s the bacon, which makes everything better.
For the dough in this recipe, I went with one I already knew was the best ever—the Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll recipe from Lauren’s Latest—then loaded it up with caramel, bacon, pecans and a spiced brown sugar filling.
Although there’s a lot involved in this recipe, it’s the perfect way to spend a wintry morning, and the payoff when the pecan sticky buns are done? So worth it.
What You’ll Need
While the ingredient list looks long, a lot of them are repeated in different parts of the recipe. You’ll also find that you have a lot of these on hand if you bake often!
For the dough:
- Warm water – Use a thermometer if you have one! It shouldn’t be warmer than 102ºF.
- Active rapid rise yeast
- Granulated sugar
- Buttermilk – This should be room temperature.
- Egg – Your egg should be room temperature too!
- Canola or vegetable oil
- All purpose unbleached flour
For the caramel glaze:
- Brown sugar – Light or dark will both work; dark has a richer, more molasses-y flavor.
- Corn syrup
- Heavy cream
- Bourbon – No need to buy a big bottle if you’re not going to drink or use the rest! Go to your local liquor store and buy one of the little airplane-sized bottles.
For the filling:
- Brown sugar
- Ground cloves
For the bacon pecan topping:
- Prepared caramel glaze
- Pecans – You’ll chop these for the recipe, so save yourself some money and buy the less expensive pecan pieces instead of whole pecans.
How to Make Bourbon Bacon Pecan Sticky Buns
Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to make some decadent sticky buns!
Make the dough:
Proof the yeast. Add the warm water, yeast, and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast becomes foamy.
Add the remaining ingredients. Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and add the rest of the sugar and salt. Turn the mixer on low. Whisk the buttermilk, oil, and egg in a large measuring cup or bowl with a spout and pour this mixture into the stand mixer bowl while it continues to run. Pour in 2 cups of flour and mix on low until this is incorporated. Add the remaining flour in ¼-cup increments, stopping when the dough is sticky but not sticking to the sides of the bowl or your hands.
Let the dough rise. Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and place it in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a dish towel and place in a dark, warm place. Let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Make the caramel glaze:
Cook. Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and combine all of the glaze ingredients. Whisk constantly until the butter has melted and the mixture is well-combined.
Divide. Pour half of the caramel into the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch baking dish, then set aside the other half for later.
Make the filling and assemble:
Prepare filling. Whisk the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl.
Assemble. Roll out the dough to a 16×12-inch rectangle. Brush the melted butter onto the dough, then sprinkle the filling mixture over the butter, followed by half of the chopped bacon. Starting at the top of the long edge, tightly roll the dough into a log. When you reach the end, pinch the seam together, then flip the log so the seam side is down. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 12 rolls, then place each into the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let the sticky buns rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. At the end of this time, start preheating your oven to 350ºF.
Bake. Bake the sticky buns for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the rolls register 180ºF on an instant read thermometer. Remove the pan from the oven and cool slightly before moving onto the next step.
Make the bacon pecan topping:
Remove the sticky buns. Place a serving platter over the baking dish, then carefully flip them over so the sticky buns fall out.
Finish. Stir the bacon and chopped pecans into the reserved caramel. Spread the bacon pecan topping over the sticky buns and serve warm.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips for making perfect pecan sticky buns!
- Find a dark, warm place for the dough to rise. Some people use an oven, but my favorite place is on my dryer while it’s running.
- Don’t pack the sticky buns too tightly. They need space for a second proofing, so when you put them in the pan, spread them out a bit.
- About the caramel glaze. If the caramel glaze has cooled, it may be difficult to stir in the pecans and bacon for the last step of the recipe. Return it to the stovetop and reheat it on low until it loosens up and you can stir it more easily.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Place any leftover sticky buns in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. (You don’t want to wrap them in plastic—it will stick!) You can microwave them for just a few seconds to get the caramel all melty and gooey again, or just eat them as-is.
Can This Be Frozen?
If you’d like to freeze these pecan sticky buns, pop them in an airtight container and keep them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then warm them up in the microwave.