These Sticky Buns are an easy, overnight recipe, and they’re a delightful choice for a weekend breakfast or brunch.
What are Sticky Buns?
Sticky buns are a sweet breakfast treat. They’re sweet rolls that are baked in a sugary/buttery/pecan mixture. They’re referred to as “sticky” because of all of the sticky juices that are poured on top as they are popped out onto a platter.
This Sticky Buns recipe is an easy, overnight recipe. Simply make the night before and bake in the morning. They’re perfect for feeding family over the holidays or as a surprise weekend breakfast treat for your family!
How to make Sticky Buns with frozen bread dough:
This recipe is so easy because you don’t have to roll anything out, and there is no kneading involved. In fact, you don’t have to make the dough at all! Use frozen bread dough. The frozen rolls are placed into a pan and drizzled with a buttery/sugary mixture. Then you get to let them sit overnight to rise.. That’s all the work you have to do- it’s so easy!!
The next morning, you’ll pop the Sticky Buns into the oven to bake. When they come out of the oven, you’ll invert the pan onto a platter and then scrape all of the sugary juices on top. Place the platter on your breakfast table, and let all of the hungry people tear apart the sticky buns to sample. They’re so delicious!!
Are Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls the same thing?
Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls are not the same thing. Sticky buns are made with dough (sometimes frozen dough) and the balls of dough are placed into a pan with a butter/sugar mixture drizzled over the top (sometimes the syrupy mixture is placed into the bottom of the pan). You’ll also see recipes for Sticky Buns where the dough is rolled out, sprinkled with cinnamon/sugar and cut like cinnamon rolls. They’re left to rise, just like cinnamon rolls.. In the end, they’re dumped upside down onto a platter with the sticky syrup drizzled over.
When you make cinnamon rolls, you’re rolling out the dough, brushing with butter and sprinkling with cinnamon/sugar. The dough is then rolled up and sliced into rolls. The rolls are set side-by-side in a pan and left to rise. After baking, cinnamon rolls are usually iced or drizzled with glaze. If you’re more interested in making cinnamon rolls, be sure to check out my recipes for Old Fashioned Cinnamon Rolls and Make-Ahead Cinnamon Rolls.
Look at all of that decadent, gooey stuff! That’s what you’ll get in every bite of a sticky bun!
Can Sticky Buns be frozen?
I’m gonna say that you technically could freeze the sticky buns after they’ve already risen… and then just seal them well with plastic wrap and foil. Then you’d have to let them come to room temperature again before baking. But there isn’t any real reason to freeze them, and it’s just going to take a lot of extra effort to do so.
This recipe is extremely easy, so just make them the night before and bake them in the morning. I recommend you avoid the freezer!
If you’re looking for more decadent breakfast recipes, you might like to try my Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or these No Yeast Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing. Crockpot Cinnamon Roll Cassserole, Caramel Apple Monkey Bread and Fruit and Cream Cheese Breakfast Pastries are great breakfast recipes too!
Here are a few more breakfast recipes that can be made the night before. These are the best Overnight Breakfast Recipes!
- Overnight Oats with Toasted Coconut and Blueberries
- Overnight Caramel French Toast
- Overnight Blueberry French Toast
- Overnight Ham and Cheese Bake
- Overnight Eggnog Coffee Cake with Nog Glaze
- Overnight Coffee Cake
- Cinnamon Raisin Overnight French Toast with Apple Filling
- 20 frozen dough rolls (such as Bridgeford)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- One 3-ounce box Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding (don't use instant pudding)
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, melted
- Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Place the frozen rolls in the pan.
- Mix the dry ingredients together (sugar, pecans, pudding and cinnamon) and sprinkle over the rolls. Drizzle the melted butter over the rolls. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter overnight (or place it in a cool oven).
- In the morning, remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- When the rolls are done, dump them onto a large platter upside down and drizzle the extra gooey juices on top. Serve immediately.
This was so easy to put together. I halved as just two of us. Turned out great!!
We have had this recipe in our family for generations. We make them on Christmas morning. Try putting the brown sugar, pudding, and pecans spread at the bottom of the 9 x 13 and then place the rolls on top and drizzle the butter over the top of the rolls. After cooking flip the whole pan over onto a tray and all that yummy sticky pecan goodness is right on top.
This would be good with cinnamon butter in the middle when still hot.
I have been making this recipe since the 1970s. It called for using a Bundt pan instead of the 9 x 13. I like the idea of the latter size pan better. My recipe also uses cook and serve butterscotch pudding. I have boxes of that in my freezer as it’s hard to find. Try the recipe. It’s fantastic.
Why can’t you use instant vanilla pudding?
The end result will not be the same.
Best sticky bun recipe by far and so easy.
Could I use unsalted butter?
I want to send a photo. My sticky buns were not syrupy but the brown sugar glaze was dry. I used Rhoades rolls, but followed the rest of the recipe to the T.
Please help me out so mine can look like your picture. They taste great. More like a streusel topping .
I’m not sure Karol– if you watch the video, this is how mine turn out as the recipe is written.
Could I possibly double the recipe? Of the dry ingredients (everything but the dough) to make it more carmely?
Perhaps! I haven’t tried it.
We double the sauce recipe and use the 32 roll pack-or the 3 bread loaf pack…
you can follow directions on the package for defrosting the bread-then after spraying the pan and placing the walnuts/raisins/whatever on the bottom, put the bread in by pinching off pieces (spray your hands with pam first so the bread doesn’t stick to them
These were delicious! I added raisins instead of pecans but soooo easy and super yummy! Will be making again and again!!! (But going to try your make ahead cinnamon rolls first) Thank you got a delicious and easy treat!
This was not a great recipe. Sticky buns are typically made like an upside-down cake- the toppings and such are put on the bottom of the pan, and the finished rolls are flipped out. They’re often rolled and filled like cinnamon rolls, too. I figured I’d give this unusual method a go because I liked the addition of the vanilla pudding but I will not be making it again. The toppings do not melt down to the bottom. In fact, much of mine just caramelized and burned, leaving the top hard and the bottom half of the roll rather plain. I think this was largely due to the fact that the topping was essentially just dry sugar, making it hard for it to soak through. The 30 minute cook time was also way too long (that’s on me, I should have been checking- could have done 20 and been fine). Overall I was super disappointed in these sticky buns.
Really strange! Sorry they did not work out for you. Should turn out just like the video. The toppings sink to the bottom since the rolls are frozen when you add them.
Delicious! Just a hint…If you use frozen dinner rolls from Rhoads, they are much smaller in size. WIth that said, resist the urge to fill your 9×13 pan. Allow for the rising/baking space that they will need. When I used nearly an entire package of these rolls to fill my pan for my first attempt at the recipe, they didn’t bake evenly. The center was underbbaked…A LOT.
How does the inverted rolls have pecans on top of them. They should be on the bottom.
Did you watch the video? That’s probably a more accurate account of how they’ll look when inverted. The juices and pecans do tend to sink to the bottom though.
What type of bridgford rolls do you use?
Can you use lemon pudding instead of vanilla
You could try!
Hiya! Can’t wait to try this but wondering if they can hold for 20 mins? Planning to serve with a savory casserole that requires a higher oven temp. Thanks for the help!
That should be fine- I’d probably just cover them with foil.
DO NOT USE INSTANT PUDDING. It honestly does make a difference.
I have been making these for years. I cover bottom of pan with chopped walnuts and then lay bread dough on top. After mixing rest of ingredients together, pour over bread dough. I also put parchment paper on the bottom so after baking, flip pan over and baking pan comes out clean.
Where exactly has this recipe been all my life?!?! Thank you, thank you!
what is the gooey juices made of to pour over the sticky buns after you flip them?
The butter, pudding and sugar…
I make this recipe with cooked type butterscotch pudding mix . So yummy!
Great tip, thank you!
On the sticky buns it reads 13 oz pudding should it read 1 -3oz pudding?
yes, it reads as 1 3-ounce pudding
Hi Lori, this recipe sounds simple and delicious! Just a question, have you tried using instant vanilla pudding instead? Would the result be the same?
I haven’t tried instant, so I’m not sure!
Oh my gosh, so perfect for Christmas morning!
My kids can’t wait for me to try it again! They really loved it!
These are like the sticky buns my Mom used to make! Love them.
This is an easy, delicious way to enjoy a sticky caramel breakfast treat!
Sticky bun perfection!
These sticky buns are a classic in our house. SOOO GOOD!
These sticky rolls are addictive!
Oh, my gosh, these were amazing. I took a spoon and swooned over the caramel left in the pan!
Pretty sure you didn’t mean “2 rolls”. So what is it? 12? 20? Something else?
Ack! Yes, 20. Photos tell all. Fixed and Thank you!!
Wow, these look so decadent, I must make them next time I’m doing brunch. I can’t wait – all that sticky flavor. Thanks for a great recipe idea.
I love sticky buns! They look so gooey and delicious! Perfect for Sunday brunch ?