These sticky buns are loaded with pecan nuts and raisins, and covered in a sweet and sticky brown sugar topping. These are the ultimate cinnamon rolls using brioche dough that is packed with  flavorful cinnamon sugar filling.

Sticky Buns with Pecans and Rum Raisins

These sticky buns are cinnamon rolls made with brioche that is loaded with pecan nuts and raisins, and covered in a sweet and sticky brown sugar topping. 
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword sticky buns
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 278 kcal
Author sanna


Brioche Sponge

  • 1/3 cup warm milk heated to 110 F
  • 2 and 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

Brioche Dough

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter room temperature

Sticky Buns Filling

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans chopped to small pieces
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Sticky Buns Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • beaten egg for brushing the dough
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans whole or sliced in half

Sticky Buns Glaze

  • reserved rum water mixture from the raisins
  • 2 tbsp butter melted


Make the Brioche Sponge

  1. In the bowl of heavy duty mixer, add the yeast, milk, egg and 1 cup all purpose flour. Mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of flour over the top as if to cover mixture. Let this stand for about 40-45 minutes. There will be cracks on the flour surface at this point.

Make the Brioche Dough

  1. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and 1 cup of flour to the bowl with the yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, run the heavy duty mixer on low speed for about a minute until the mixture is just about incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour and run the mixer in medium speed. Continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 15-20 minutes. You will know when the dough is ready if it is coming together in the center of the bowl, and also attaching itself into the dough hook. You should see the dough slapping the sides of the bowl, like it is almost violently throwing itself to the sides white it still clinging and rotating with the dough hook. You should also hear the slapping sounds. 

  2. Now add the butter bit by bit. Make sure that the butter is in in room temperature, but not warm or oily. When you add the butter, the dough will fall apart again for a moment. Continue to beat until you hear the slapping sounds again. This should take about 5 minutes or so. The dough is now , once again, clinging together in the center and in the dough hook with the slapping sound. Dough is sticky but shiny at this point.

  3. Place the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Let stand in room temperature until the size is doubled, about 2 hours.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate it by lifting and then letting it fall back to the bowl. Cover the bowl again with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. The dough will double in size again ( After the long chill, you can now divide the dough in half. Use 1/2 for the sticky buns and reserve the other half for future use. You can freeze the dough for up to three weeks, tightly wrapped in plastic and foil).

Make the Filling

  1. In a small bowl, add raisins, 1/4 cup boiling water and 2 tbsp. dark rum. Cover and let stand for at  least 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine sugars, cinnamon and pecan on another bowl. When ready to roll the dough, drain the raisins and set aside the soaking liquid.

Make the Topping

  1. Stir together softened butter, sugar,  and corn syrup until everything is incorporated. Spread this mixture evenly on a greased 8 x 2 square baking pan.

Make the Glaze

  1. Reserve about 4 tablespoon of the soaking liquid of the raisins and stir in melted butter. 

Assembly, Rising and Bake

  1. In a floured surface, roll the dough to a 14 x 12 inch rectangle. Brush the surface with beaten egg using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture and the raisins all over the dough. Use your hands to spread it evenly.  Roll the dough into a log starting on the long side. Press the seams to seal the dough. Cut the dough into 4 equal portions, then cut each portion to three equal portion to yield 12 cut rolls.

  2. Place 2-3 pieces of pecans on each of the cut end of the rolls, pressing them firmly to adhere. Place each roll with the pecan side down on the prepared baking pan. Space them evenly and when all rolls are positioned, press them down so they are more plump and their sides are touching. 

  3. Let the rolls rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap for 2 hours. Place an oven rack in the lowest position of the oven.  Pre-heat oven to 425 F ( 400 F if you are using a dark pan).  Brush the surface of the rolls with the glaze using a pastry brush. Set the baking dish on top of a baking sheet and place in the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 375 F. Bake the rolls for another 12-15 minutes or until the buns are lightly golden. To prevent over-browning, cover the buns loosely with foil after the first 7 minutes (during the 375 F stage).

  4. Let the buns cool slightly  for a minute or two then turn it over on a serving plate. Sticky buns should be stored in a tightly covered container at room temperature. Re-heat leftovers in the microwave for 10-20 seconds.

Recipe Notes

Brioche recipe adapted from book Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan ( recipe from Nancy Silverton) and the sticky buns assembly adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum.

Preparation times does not include chilling and rising times for the dough.

Nutrition Facts
Sticky Buns with Pecans and Rum Raisins
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 278 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 174mg8%
Potassium 112mg3%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 18g20%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 425IU9%
Vitamin C 0.3mg0%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1.3mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.