These made-from-scratch Pecan Rolls are warm, fluffy, and oozing with a gooey, buttery cinnamon sugar topping. They’re a sweet and decadent breakfast or brunch treat, perfect for any occasion.
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Easy Sticky Pecan Rolls
The very first thing you’ll notice is the irresistible aroma that fills your kitchen as these heavenly pecan rolls are baking. They come out of the oven golden brown and filled with a mouth-watering combination of cinnamon and butter flavors. Chopped pecans give each bite the perfect amount of crunch, which works in wonderful contrast to the pillowy soft rolls.
Whether you’re treating your family to a special weekend breakfast or making them for the holidays or a special gathering, these pecan rolls are the ultimate sweet and sticky treat. If you love the warm cinnamon flavor of these rolls, you should also try this Dollywood Cinnamon Bread or these Cinnamon Sugar Muffins.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Made from scratch – Though this recipe has a few extra steps and requires time for the dough to rise, the payoff is huge. They are so good!
- Great for special occasions – These pecan rolls are an awesome choice if you’re hosting a special brunch, holiday breakfast, or other special occasion.
- Soft, gooey, and sweet – Everything from the soft texture of the rolls to the sweet and sticky topping is baking perfection.
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Sharp knife
- 9 x 13-inch pan
- Serving platter
For the Rolls
- All purpose flour – Creates the base for the pecan roll dough.
- Active dry yeast – This is key to light and fluffy cinnamon rolls.
- Granulated sugar – Feeds the yeast to help the dough rise.
- Salt – Enhances the flavor of the dough.
- Milk – You’ll want to use whole milk because of the extra fat.
- Egg – A large egg at room temperature works best.
For the Filling:
- Butter, melted –You can use salted or unsalted butter to make the filling.
- Brown sugar – We use light brown sugar but feel free to use dark brown if you prefer.
- Cinnamon – Adds warm Fall flavor to the filling.
For the Topping Pecan topping:
- Brown sugar – The molasses in brown sugar adds a warm depth of flavor.
- Corn syrup – Creates the perfect sweet and sticky topping.
- Butter – Softened to room temperature and mixed with the other ingredients to create the final toppings.
- Chopped pecans – Gives the rolls the perfect amount of crunch.
Step One: Mix the Dry Ingredients for the Dough
- In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and stir to combine
- Fit your stand mixer with the dough hook.
Step Two: Add the Milk and Eggs and Knead
- Warm milk to about 110º degrees and add to the flour mixture. You do not want to use hot milk here because if it’s too hot, it will keep the yeast from developing.
- Add the egg.
- Turn the mixer to 2 (or low speed) and mix until combined. Continue mixing to knead the dough for 5 minutes. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl as it kneads, but it should still be tacky.
Note: If the dough is overly sticky, add a small amount of flour to reach the desired consistency.
Step Three: Let the Dough Rise
- When the dough is done kneading, remove the bowl and shape it into a ball.
- Cover the top of the dough with a towel or plastic wrap.
- Let the dough rise until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours, depending on your kitchen temperature.
Step Four: Make the Topping
- While the dough rises, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and softened butter from the topping ingredients and mix until smooth.
- Pour the sugar mixture into a greased or parchment paper lined 9 x 13 baking dish, and sprinkle with pecans
Step Five: Roll the Dough and Add the Filling
- When the dough is ready, punch it down and roll it on a lightly floured flat work surface into a rectangle.
- Brush the sweet rolls with melted butter.
- Combine cinnamon and brown sugar from the filling ingredients in a small bowl, and sprinkle over the dough.
Step 6: Slice Into Rolls
- Roll the soft dough up carefully to not lose any of the cinnamon filling. Using a sharp knife, cut it into 10-12 slices.
Tip: You can also use unflavored dental floss instead of a sharp knife.
Step 7: Let the Rolls Rise
- Arrange the rolls in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the sliced rolls with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until nearly doubled in size.
Step 8: Bake
- Preheat oven to 350º, and place the risen rolls in the oven to bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the pecan sticky rolls from the oven and let them cool in the baking pan for about 8 minutes, then dump them onto a tray or cookie sheet. The topping that was at the bottom of the pan will now be on top. Allow them to finish cooling.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- Maple pecan – You can replace the corn syrup with maple syrup in the pecan topping.
- Caramel sauce– Though the brown sugar makes them taste a lot like caramel pecan rolls, you can add even more by drizzling caramel sauce over the top of the rolls once they come out of the warm oven.
- Cream cheese drizzle -You can heat up a little store-bought or homemade cream cheese frosting and drizzle it on the rolls like a gooey cinnamon roll.
- Cinnamon orange – You can add a fresh pop of flavor with grated orange zest in the filling. You’ll want to use the zest of a whole large orange.
- Other spices – If you want to go heavier on the spices, you can add some nutmeg and cloves to the cinnamon. Keep in mind that a little bit goes a long way with these spices.
How do I Store Baked Pecan Rolls?
Once they have cooled to room temperature, store the rolls in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with plastic wrap. These pecan rolls are at their best when they are eaten within 2-3 days.
You can also freeze them in a freezer-safe container for up to 2-3 months. To thaw, leave them at room temperature or warm them in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Can I Use Store-Bought Dough?
If you’re in a hurry, you can use store-bought pizza dough or pre-made cinnamon roll dough, but there really is nothing like scratch-made dough. Trust me, once you try them, you’ll see what I mean.
Can I Make These Pecan Rolls Without a Stand Mixer?
Yes, you can! While a stand mixer makes things easier, start by mixing the ingredients with an electric hand mixer, then continue to knead the dough by hand. It may require a bit more effort, but the results will still be delicious.
More Breakfast Recipes
- Pumpkin Pancakes
- Dollywood Cinnamon Bread
- Pumpkin French Toast Casserole
- Twisted Bacon
- Grits Casserole
- Sausage Gravy
- Hot Chocolate Donut Holes
- stand mixer
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast 1 packet
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons butter melted
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup corn syrup
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup pecans chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt, and stir to combine.
- Fit stand mixer with dough hook/spiral.
- Warm milk to about 110º degrees, and add to flour mixture.
- Add egg and milk.
- Turn the mixer to 2 and mix until combined (Note: my mixer’s instructions say to use the dough spiral on 2 only. I don’t know if it’s the same for dough hook mixers).
- Continue mixing to knead dough for 5 minutes.
- The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl as it kneads, but still be tacky.
- If dough is overly sticky, add a small amount of flour to reach the desired consistency.
- When dough is done kneading, remove bowl from mixing and dough hook, shape into a ball, cover, and let rise until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours depending on your kitchen temperature.
- While dough rises, combine brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter from the topping ingredients, and mix until smooth.
- Pour into a greased or parchment lined 9×13 baking dish, and sprinkle with pecans.
- When dough is ready, punch down, and roll on a lightly floured surface into a 12×12 inch rectangle.
- Brush with melted butter.
- Combine cinnamon and brown sugar from the filling ingredients, and sprinkle over dough.
- Roll dough up, and cut into 10-12 slices.
- Arrange rolls in prepared baking pan.
- Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until nearly doubled.
- Preheat oven to 350º, and place risen rolls in oven to bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan for about 8 minutes, then dump onto a tray such as a cookie sheet to finish cooling.
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