orange pecan sticky buns cooking with cocktail rings diamond nuts

Orange Pecan Sticky Buns

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California Nuts. 

This recipe gives classic sticky buns a zesty upgrade with the addition of orange and pecans. The nuts add just the right amount of texture and crunch to a sticky breakfast treat. A 12-inch pan might seem large for the cinnamon buns at first – just wait until they rise! From start to finish the buns just about triple in size.

Every Christmas it is tradition in my house that we have orange rolls after we open presents on Christmas morning. While in the past we have opted for the store bought version, this year I will definitely be making this recipe instead!

These sticky buns can certainly be made and eaten the same day but I usually like to make the dough the night before and then let them rise and bake the next morning. I get very “hangry” (anger brought on by hunger) in the morning so I like to do a little work as possible before eating!



For the dough:

1 cup whole milk

2½ teaspoons active dry yeast

¼ cup granulated sugar, divided

3½ all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling

1½ teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Vegetable spray, as needed


For the filling:

1 cup light brown sugar

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons orange zest

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 cup chopped pecans


For the glaze and topping:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

1 cup chopped pecans



For the dough:

In a small saucepot over medium heat, add the milk and heat so it’s warm but not simmering (110ºF). Add 2 tablespoons the yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar, whisking to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.

Add the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.  Add the milk mixture and the egg and mix on low until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the melted butter and continue to mix on low speed until a dough ball forms.

Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. If the dough is still sticky, sprinkle it lightly with additional flour.

Lightly grease a large bowl with the vegetable spray and add the dough to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm place. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Punch down the dough then refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out into a 16-inch x10-inch rectangle that is about ¼-inch thick.  


For the filling:

In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and orange zest. In another small bowl stir together the butter and the orange juice.

Brush the surface of the dough with half of the butter mixture and sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture in an even layer, patting the sugar mixture down to ensure it sticks. Evenly spread the pecans over the top then drizzle with the remaining butter.

Starting with the end closest to you of the long side of the dough, roll the dough up into a tight coil. Cut the log into 9 even slices, about 1¾-inch thick. Lightly spray a 12-inch cast iron pan with vegetable spray and arrange the dough coils in the pan. At this point the rolls can be covered and refrigerated overnight.

Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and place in a warm place until the dough has risen again, about 1 hour (it may take longer if the dough was refrigerated overnight).

Preheat oven to 375º. Bake until the rolls are golden brown and fluffy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.


For the glaze:

In a small bowl whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, orange juice, and orange zest until an icing forms. Drizzle over the top of the sticky buns and top with pecans. Serve warm.


Serves 9.


This sponsored post was created in partnership with Diamond of California Nuts – all opinions expressed are my own.



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