Sticky is good

If you happen to see buns all over the place today, do not panic, you are not losing your mind, it´s just that the Daring Bakers are at it again, and with some 50 new members, this is looking like world domination at this point.


I was in charge of hosting this month, and while I loved picking the challenge, it´s definitely hard to come up with something I thought everyone would enjoy, and at the same time something I hadn´t done before and wanted to try for a while. I didn´t want to choose something difficult just for the sake of it, I just wanted this month to be fun and relaxing.

The answer: cinnamon and sticky buns, using a recipe by Peter Reinhart from The Bread Baker´s Apprentice. I know many people have serious issues with yeast, so I wanted to help encourage them to get over it already, and I had never tried cinnamon or sticky buns before so that situation needed to be remedied ASAP.



Now, on to the recipe, I loved it. The dough is a breeze, with or without a stand mixer (and without would be the case with me, it´s the perfect excuse for an upper-body workout before the bun-munching that will most certainly come next). It´s incredibly silky but isn´t loaded with butter (though the sticky bun version does have tons of extra butter in the glaze).

I had given everyone the chance of changing the spices and the nuts/dried fruits however they wanted, so the first batch I made was half cinnamon buns, half sticky buns and for the sticky buns I used chai spices instead of just cinnamon for the sugar filling. The spices would be: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.


For my brother´s birthday, I made a second batch, and went local and used dulce de leche and coconut for the filling of the regular buns, and a touch of salted butter in the sticky buns glaze. Of course, this being Argentina, the dulce de leche buns were the ones that disappeared in a matter of minutes, but the sticky buns were also remarkable, and the regular buns could easily have been classified as sticky because damn did that dulce de leche drip or what! I took some pictures of my friends enjoying the dulce de leche buns, but they are all quite blurry, so I could only salvage this one, that while blurry, it´s still hilarious (it´s my brother Nicolás and my friend Pablo, please notice the pinkie finger sticking up as the fine lady Pablo is).




But, back to the recipe, this is actually a Daring Baker recipe that can be made often, and the dough can be retarded in the fridge or frozen so it´s quite convenient too. And you can really go crazy with the filling as the dough is very versatile, i´m thinking chocolate chips with cinnamon sugar would be great, or precooked apples with cinnamon and cardamom… you get the idea.


From what I´ve seen and heard, the rest of the girls (and boys) made some remarkable buns, so please check them out here.

Full recipe after the jump.

Cinnamon and Sticky Buns

(from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)

Days to Make: One (1)
Active/Resting/Baking Time: 15 minutes to mix, 3 1/2 hours fermentation/shaping/proofing, 20 – 40 minutes to bake
Recipe Quantity: Eight(1) – twelve (12) large rolls or twelve (12) – sixteen (16) small rolls

Making the Dough


  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast*
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk (DMS) and 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you want to use, cardamom, ginger, allspice, etc.)
  • White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns or caramel glaze for sticky buns (at the end of the recipe.)
  • Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (for sticky buns.)
  • Raisins or other dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or dried cherries (for sticky buns, optional.)

*Instant yeast contains about 25% more living cells per spoonful than active dry yeast, regardless of the brand. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising.

Step 1 – Making the Dough: Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).

Note: if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast.

Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Step 2 – Fermentation: Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Step 3 – Form the Buns: Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter.

To shape the buns: (A) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. (B)Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and (C) roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.)

Step 4 – Prepare the Buns for Proofing:

  • For cinnamon buns: line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.
  • For sticky buns: coat the bottom of 1 or more baking dishes or baking pans with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high with a 1/4 inch layer of the caramel glaze. Sprinkle on the nuts and raisins (if you are using raisins or dried fruit.) You do not need a lot of nuts and raisins, only a sprinkling. Lay the pieces of dough on top of the caramel glaze, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.

Step 5 – Proof the Buns: Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

Step 6 – Bake the Buns:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.
  • Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky buns, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon buns are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelize it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the buns out of the oven.

Step 8 – Cool the buns:

  • For cinnamon buns, cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  • For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

Toppings for the Buns:

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

Caramel glaze for sticky buns

Caramel glaze is essentially some combination of sugar and fat, cooked until it caramelizes. The trick is catching it just when the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes to a golden amber. Then it will cool to a soft, creamy caramel. If you wait too long and the glaze turns dark brown, it will cool to a hard, crack-your-teeth consistency. Most sticky bun glazes contain other ingredients to influence flavor and texture, such as corn syrup to keep the sugar from crystallizing and flavor extracts or oils, such as vanilla or lemon. This version makes the best sticky bun glaze of any I´ve tried. It was developed by my wife, Susan, for Brother Juniper´s Cafe in Forestville, California.
NOTE: you can substitute the corn syrup for any neutral flavor syrup, like cane syrup or gold syrup.

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature.

2. Cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon, orange or vanilla extract. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

3. Use as much of this as you need to cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/4-inch layer. Refrigerate and save any excess for future use; it will keep for months in a sealed container.


Filed under bread, Daring bakers, food, sweet

80 responses to “Sticky is good

  1. Thanks for hosting this month! I loved the buns (I tried the sticky bun variant) and so far this is the only DB challenge I’ll bake more times 🙂

  2. Anh

    Marce, thanks for a great challenge! I really enjoy making those.

  3. What better way to march toward world domination than with platters of cinnamon & sticky buns?!? Thanks for hosting and for choosing such a fun recipe!

  4. When you emailed me with pics of your buns this is the type I assumed they’d be. You took advantage of me! 😉

    lol I know I have sweet buns, it’s nice to know you have some too… I could go on… 🙂

    Oh, and I believe I told you before you told me what you’d decided on, that you’d have condensed milk/dulce de leche in the recipe somewhere… I knoew you wouldn’t be able to resist!

  5. KJ

    Marce, they look terrific. Thanks for choosing such a great challenge. I really enjoyed it. I’ve been wanting to make sticky buns for ages, but have never found a suitable recipe. You have lots of great ideas for fillings and spices. I think I will be trying some of them in the future.

  6. Wow, Marce…they look soooo yummy, and you did a super job as hostess, choosing these lovely cinnamon rolls and sticky buns…I am all set to make my very first post as a Daring Baker…thanks so much for the wonderful recipe this month. That photo of your bro and his buddy with the rolls is so funny! 🙂 It looks like your creations were enjoyed by all!

  7. Fantastic Fun! Thank you so very much Marce. This was excellent on every sticky little finger that it meet up with.
    Certainly looks like your brother and friend were enjoying!

  8. Thanks for a great challenge- sounds like it was a success for the whole group! And I agree that sticky sure is good!

  9. Thanks for the tasty challenge Marce! It was wicked good fun. All your rolls and buns look tasty as hell too!

  10. Oh Yeah! Great recipe, great results and great host!
    Made often is an understatement and everybody at my house loves you for it!
    Dulce de leche…hmmmhmmm!

  11. Hi Marce,
    Your sticky buns look fantastic. I love the idea of the coconut variation. Thanks for choosing such a fun challenge – it was great.

  12. Great challenge Marce, and your buns both look great!

  13. Thank you Marce! I loved this challenge. I’m always a bit scared of yeast stuff so to find a sweet dough recipe that I found a total doddle is great!
    I have some dulce de leche and as I didn’t try the sticky buns may just give that a go – very soon.
    Thanks again!

  14. foodbeam

    Marce, thank you so much for picking such a great recipe. Definitely a new favourite in my house.

    Now I can’t wait to try my hand at the sticky buns too.

  15. Thanks for a great challenge. It is the first one in a while where I truly loved the finished product and no swearing was involved!
    Your buns look hot 😛

  16. Thanks for encouraging me to get over the yeast hump. I really liked this challenge!

  17. Marce, thank you for picking a great recipe! (especially for those of us that are yeast-fearing). Your buns look lovely (no pun intended) and dulce de leche sounds fabulous, as do the other concoctions you thought up. I will definitely try chai spices next time.

  18. World domination is so true. Marce you were a gracious hostess and I loved your challenge. These look so good!

  19. Thanks for the wonderful challenge Marce, it actually encourage me to make more yeasted goods. I have some sour dough starter fermenting right now. Your buns look gorgeous!

  20. EXCELLENT challenge, my love!

    But I have to agree with Mark, I was a bit taken aback when you sent the photos of your buns as I, too, was expecting the flour and yeast kind. 😛

    I had so much fun with this and can’t wait to make new renditions of it in the future!

    You’re awesome. 😀


  21. I’m taking notes in my menu planner to make these with dulce de leche. I could eat these year round!

    PS What is that insanely delicious looking caramel concoction on your blog banner? Is it a caramel sandwich?

  22. Thanks for setting a fun challenge, Marce, and one that was easy to share with others. Great buns. 🙂

  23. Yup you’re quite the heroine in my house too. Thanks for a fab challenge. Sticky buns are here to stay! I like your al fresco bun best!

  24. This was an awesome recipe! I’m so glad your recipe was my first challenge 🙂 The buns turned out so soft and with that sticky bun glaze…I was in heaven! 🙂

  25. Thank you so much for hosting! Chai spices sound absolutely brilliant – smart idea! 🙂

  26. I really enjoyed the challenge…thanks for choosing a great recipe…btw, your’s look gorgeous.

  27. Marce – Thank you for a wonderful first challenge for my introduction into the Daring Baker’s. I thoroughly enjoyed making the cinnamon rolls.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  28. A big thank you from me as well for choosing a recipe from Peter Reinhart! I really love this book, so it was a perfect theme for my first challenge.

  29. Yum! Dulce de leche! I’m so impressed–and hungry!

  30. Wonderful choice of recipe, Marce – thanks so much! I love your choice of spices!

  31. Marce, Wow! Those look fantastic. I loved your sticky bun baking tin too. Thanks for a wonderful challenge this month! I had a blast!!!

  32. Pingback: The Sour Dough » Blog Archive » Daring Bakers Go GaGa over Buns

  33. Marce! Those look so nice. Obvioulsy I love the Chai Spice idea, but Dulce de Leche and Coconut? Now that is pure genius!

  34. Marce,

    I sure did lose my mind! That’s because these buns were so unbelievably amazing! I have Reinhart’s book and I’d never tried this recipe so I thank you for pointing us to it.

    You’ve been a great Daring Baker host!

  35. Marce, Thanks so much for the great recipe. I hadn’t made either the buns or rolls before, but they’re a favorite, so this will be a good recipe to work with. I love the photo of the guys. Hilarious! Hmmm…a few others made the Chai spice combo. It sounds delicious. But the coconut? Whoa.

  36. Looks Great!! Great choice for my first challenge!!

  37. erincooks

    Thanks so much for hosting! These were so fun to make. The insides of your cinnamon buns look perfect. I think I needed more filling in mine!

  38. Thanks for this challenge Marce, I really enjoyed it. Hmm. coconut sounds good (ok add that to pistacchio, walnut, cranberry)

  39. Hi Marce,
    Thanks for hosting and choosing such a great recipe. Your buns are awesome too 🙂

  40. Thanks for this month’s challenge! I enjoyed it.

  41. Marce, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I loved this challenge.

  42. Great challenge Marce! This is a fun recipe because there are so many ways we can alter it and make it our own. I imagine now that the challenge is over, you’ll see a bunch of variations on sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. Yours look great as always.

  43. Pingback: The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz » Daring Bakers Challenge #10: Cinnamon and Sticky Buns

  44. Marce, your buns looks marvelous! Thanks for hosting the challenge.

  45. Y

    The dulce de leche buns look soooo good! Thanks for picking such a great and fun recipe 🙂

  46. Marce,
    Your buns look great and I must say a big thanks for hosting this month. The challenge was a lot of fun and I’m proud that I can now make buns as good as the ones you get in the stores! My kids loved them too!!

  47. Great choice for a challenge. Thanks so much, it was delicious.

    World domination it is. Rock on!

  48. Thank you for hosting such a great Db challenge. It can’t be easy. Your buns look delicious.

  49. Marce,

    Thanks for hosting this month’s challenge — I loved this recipe and had so much fun making the buns. And dulce de leche buns? They sound heavenly!

  50. You chose the perfect recipe!! Thanks for hosting this challenge. Ummm, please send some of those dulce de leche buns my way – I would love to try them!!

  51. Thanks for the great recipe. I’m going to make another batch tonight…your look so much better than mine, I’m inspired!

    Big Momma

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  53. Amy

    Marce you picked such a fantastic challenge I can’t thank or hug you enough! xoxo The dulce de leche buns sound delish! I am totally making those.

  54. Anne

    Hi Marce! Thank you for this wonderful challenge. I’ve always loved cinnamon buns… this recipe is a sure keeper 🙂

  55. Thank you for your recipe! I loved it, heck, everyone loved it! 🙂 J’adore!

  56. Ooh, dulce de leche. I’ll definitely have to try that version. Thanks for picking such a delicious challenge!

  57. The dulce de leche version sounds awesome, too!

    And the photo of the sticky bun on a plate in the woods? That’s a place in my version of Heaven.

  58. Oh my god Marce, these look amazing!!! Wow. I am one of those “fearful of yeast” people but I know I need to get over it.

    I think I need to eat these now : ). Which means I need to have made them… yesterday…

  59. P.S. Love the new format here at wordpress. I have been busy lately and not keeping up with food blogs like I should – it’s going to take me a bit to read through your recent posts but I’m looking forward to it!

  60. Great recipe choice for the challenge Marce. Sorry I couldn’t participate, but all the buns look tasty.

  61. Pingback: Cinnamon Buns and Sticky Buns « Katie’s Kitchen

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  63. I just found your site from La Mia Cucina, and I love your recipes, pictures and stories about Argentina. I’d love to go there someday, and seeing what it’s like to really live there is very interesting. I especially love to look at all the ways you use dulce de leche, and the sticky buns you made look incredible. I had seen some of the Daring Bakers posts on these, but I didn’t know it was your idea! Awesome job!

  64. Pingback: Wild Yeast : Cardamom-Pear-Pecan Sticky Buns for BBD (Recipe Not Included)

  65. I have made these buns several times (its the only bun recipe that I use since it always turns out perfectly!). My fillings have included the stand-by cinnamon and I have tried the dulce de leche. I also made them with nutella (with bailey’s icing) and orange marmalade and pecans (with orange icing). The orange are my favourites… I may try them with cranberries too!

    Check out a photo of the gargantuan bun (equal to a dozen buns) on my blog. It was so fun to make and hilarious to eat (but still tasted great).

    Thanks for the perfect cinnamon bun recipe!

  66. i just made these for this month’s SHF and they were DIVINE!
    My Yummy Life

  67. Pingback: Buns & Rolls: Daring Baker thinks they’re finger lickin’ good | Sass & Veracity

  68. Pingback: Cinnamon Buns with Chocolate « Katie’s Kitchen

  69. Wow, looks so yummy!! I don’t mind the sticky thing, this is delicious. This recipe is not easy for me to make but I have to try this anyway. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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  77. Pingback: Sticky Buns…Do I Dare? | 80 Breakfasts

  78. Pingback: Cinnamon and Sticky Buns (Daring Bakers) ~ Andrea Meyers

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