Gluten-Free Pecan Sticky Bun Recipe

Gluten-Free Sticky Bun Recipe Image Teri Gruss
Gluten-Free Sticky Buns. 2011 © Teri Lee Grus
  • 70 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins,
  • Cook: 25 mins
  • Yield: 12 buns (serves 12)
Ratings (6)

Our gluten-free pecan sticky buns are extremely decadent. Loaded with butter, sugar, pecans, milk and eggs, these classic special occasion breakfast and brunch pastries are great for holidays and special occasions, when there are lots of people around to help eat them!

The dough in this recipe is easy to work with and can be made up to two days before shaping and baking the buns when wrapped and refrigerated. (See note.)

This recipe was adapted to gluten-free diets from a recipe for "Extra-Sticky Caramel-Pecan Buns" by Elinor Klivans which appears in her book Fast Breads - 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious Bread.

(For best results use a kitchen scale to weigh gluten-free flours.)​

What You'll Need

  • Ingredients for Dough: 
  • 1/2 cup milk (whole)
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon
  • dry yeast (active)
  • 1 1/2 cups/237 grams flour (
  • gluten-free all-purpose blend plus extra for rolling dough, Gluten-Free Pantry All Purpose Baking Flour Blend used in this recipe)
  • 1/2 cup/66 grams 
  • sorghum flour (sweet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 large eggs
  • Ingredients for Filling:
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (cane)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • Ingredients for Caramel Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (cane)
  • 1/4 cup milk (whole)
  • 1 cup pecans (chopped)

How to Make It

  1. Grease the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish. Line the bottom of the dish with parchment paper and grease the top of the parchment. This makes for easy removable of the sticky buns after baking and easy clean up too. If you prefer, you can use an 11x7-inch baking dish to prepare this recipe.
  2. Place milk, sugar, and 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low for about 3 minutes, just until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Don't allow the mixture to boil. When milk mixture is lukewarm sprinkle yeast over the top. Make sure the milk isn't hot or it will kill the yeast. Let this mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
  1. Place eggs in mixing bowl and beat for about one minute.
  2. In a separate bowl combine gluten-free all purpose flour, sweet sorghum flour, salt, xanthan gum and guar gum. Whisk to thoroughly combine ingredients.
  3. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the bowl with eggs and beat on low until combined. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl. Beat on low until the dough mixture is combined. Then beat on high for about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl when needed. The dough should be very thick but will not form a ball.
  4. Use a spatula to scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead the dough and lightly sprinkle gluten-free flour over dough until it forms a smooth, soft ball.
  5. Use your hands to shape the ball into a thick rectangle. Sprinkle the surface lightly with more gluten-free flour.
  6. For an 8x8-inch baking dish, use a rolling pin to form a 12-inch long by 8-inch wide rectangle. If using an 11x7-inch baking dish, roll dough in a 14-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Occasionally dust the rolling pin and hands with gluten-free flour to prevent sticking.
  7. Gently spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over dough, leaving about 1/2-inch unbuttered on the outer edges of the long sides of the dough. This will help to seal the dough after it's shaped into a roll.
  8. Place 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon in a small dish and mix to combine. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the buttered dough.
  9. Starting on the long side of the dough closest to you, gently roll the dough, jelly-roll fashion. Roll slowly and evenly until a long roll is formed. Gently roll the dough towards you and when you see the seam side, gently press in on the seam and press the ends of the roll gently inward until the roll is a nice even diameter.
  1. To make the caramel glaze, place butter, honey, sugar and milk in a small saucepan. Heat on medium high until the mixture is boiling. Cook at a full boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool while you cut the buns.
  2. To bake sticky buns in an 8x8-inch baking dish cut the 12-inch roll of dough into 12 equal one-inch pieces. To bake buns in an 11X7-inch dish, cut the 14-inch roll in 14 equal pieces.
  3. Carefully pour warm caramel glaze into a parchment-lined baking dish. Sprinkle chopped pecans evenly over caramel.
  4. In an 8x8-inch dish, make 3 rows with 4 buns in each row. Leave about 1/2-inch between buns to allow for rising. If using an 11x7-inch baking dish, make 2 rows with 7 buns in each row. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and set in a warm location to rise for 1 hour.
  5. Hint: To improvise a warm location for rising, pour about 1-inch of warm water in a pan that's larger than the baking dish. Carefully set the baking dish in the larger pan with water. Be sure not to overfill the large pan with water to prevent it from spilling into a baking dish with buns!
  6. Preheat oven to 350° F / 176° C.
  7. When rolls are fully risen, they should touch each other. Bake in reheated oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top. Remove and cool on a rack for about 10 minutes. Carefully invert baking dish onto a large plate or platter. Serve warm. Reheat any leftovers briefly for best flavor.

Note: To make the dough up to two days ahead of time, wrap the dough and place in the refrigerator.

The day of baking, take the dough out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before you are ready to roll it out.

Reminder: Prevent Cross Contamination in the Kitchen! Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 347
Total Fat 21 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Unsaturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 102 mg
Sodium 277 mg
Carbohydrates 37 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 6 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)