Overnight Whole Wheat Sticky Buns with Black Sugar


Wheat sticky buns

Cinnamon rolls are not common fare in Argentina. In fact, most Argentines hate cinnamon. Who hates cinnamon? It just seems so common. But I suppose I grew up with Big Red, Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Pumpkin Pie.

Cinnamon rolls and/or Sticky buns are one of my favorite breakfast comfort foods. But there are a few problems:

1) they usually have a sinfully high level of butter,

2) they are best about 30 minutes after taking them out of the oven, which means if you make them alone…you have to eat them all,

3) they are so good that you don’t want to share anyway,

4) if you want them to be really good, they need fermenting time.

In order to be able to enjoy these buns with your first morning coffee, you can make them the night before, refrigerate them all night, roll out of bed and pop them in the oven. I adapted this recipe from Bon Appetit with some whole wheat flour and used black sugar, which you can find in a natural food’s store or asian supermarket, instead of brown- to combat its sinful goodness.

sticky bun


  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Heat milk in microwave or small saucepan until warm, but not hot to touch.

Transfer milk to a small bowl and stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs; whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

If you don’t have a standing mixer, fit your food processor with the standard chopping or dough blade. Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add milk mixture; process until combined. With processor running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Process until dough is soft and silky, 2–3 minutes longer. Dough will be sticky but should not be greasy. If it is greasy, process for an additional 1–2 minutes.

Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap and chill.

Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours.

Chill dough for 2 hours.


  • 1 3/4 cups chopped pecans (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup (packed) black sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and slightly darkened, 10–12 minutes. Let cool completely. Set 1 1/4 cups nuts aside for buns.

Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in black sugar, cream, honey, salt, and orange zest, if using. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until glaze is golden brown and glossy, 3–4 minutes. Pour 1 cup of glaze into baking pan, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Set aside remaining glaze. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted pecans over bottom of baking pan and let cool.

Bun filling

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) black sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 1 large egg
  • Coarse sea salt

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Set filling aside.

Punch down dough; transfer to a floured work surface. Lightly dust top with flour. Follow Bon Appetit’s step-by-step guide for assembling buns with filling and 3/4 cup pecans.

DO AHEADCan be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill buns and remaining glaze separately. Store remaining pecans airtight at room temperature.

Next morning:

Take buns out of fridge and loosely cover pan with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let buns rise in a warm, draft-free area while oven is heating up.

Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Whisk egg with 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake, rotating pan halfway through and tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until buns are golden brown, filling is bubbling, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of buns registers 185°, about 50 minutes.

Let cool for 5 minutes.

Spoon remaining glaze over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.

Lightly sprinkle sea salt over. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.

0 Comments Add yours

  1. Suzanne kagan says:

    I could take a big bite of that right now …. Looks so delish!

  2. Pamela says:

    Yummy treat! I will try this recipe, thanks!

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