Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls

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I can’t decide what to call these but, are they the best Friday food ever or what?

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls. I can’t pick a name because I keep wanting to call them cinnamon rolls but they aren’t. The way I see it, there are two types of people, team cinnamon rolls and team not-cinnamon rolls. When I was younger, my whole family was comprised of team cinnamon rolls people but now we are a mix of major fans and haters. My sisters hate cinnamon and one of my brothers got ruined on cinnamon rolls for a while from eating them while he was sick, so now I’m forced to question where I stand. I’ve always been on the cinnamon rolls side but then I made these……

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (4) This is yet again something that has been on my to-do list forever and kept getting pushed. I think it was the pecan factor. Some of you know that pecans are one of those (many) things that you can’t buy here, like none at all. Zilch. I know, isn’t that dumb? They don’t grow here and I’m pretty sure that it’s because of Chile’s strict laws on importing foods that they don’t get shipped here. So stupid. I use walnuts in their place a lot, but it’s not the same. There are some things that just aren’t the right without pecans, you know?

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (3) I think that’s one of the main reasons I’ve put these off. I have about 1/4 of a bag of pecans left from my last trip to the States and I’ve been rationing it by sheer power of will since the holidays. I just found out that I might be getting more though. In a few weeks some close friends of ours are hosting a big group of missionaries who’re coming to Chile from the States and they’re being kind enough to bring us a few pounds worth of items in their luggage.

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (6) Everyone else wants clothes or specialty electronic pieces but not me, my mind of course went right to food. Ingredients actually and pecans are on the top of the list. So yay, fresh pecans for me and maybe a few other little things too. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to finish the ones I already have. Obviously they won’t last forever so I might as well do it now.

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (2) Oh, and about that group. I’m really excited and a little anxious about them coming because the whole bunch of them, plus another group from around here, will be coming to our house at least twice and guess who’s going to be doing a lot of cooking?

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (5)  Yay and yikes at the same time! I have been brainstorming ideas and trying to decide what to make but I haven’t officially picked anything. I should probably get on that soon, shouldn’t I? Yeah, step away from Pinterest, Tori!”

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls, So these sticky buns, morning swirls, caramel spirals, cinnamonless cinnamon rolls, whatever you want to call them. They are kind of amazing. They give me the urge to ask ‘Would you like some bread with your butter?’  because they are like 99% butter. So bad but so good. I would still say that I’m on team cinnamon roll still, but I’m highly considering a Switzerland sort of arrangement. What about you? What team are you on and what would you call these?

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (9)

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 12

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls


  • 1 cup warm milk (not hot)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (about 6 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • Caramel:
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened until spreadable
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl), dissolve yeast in milk and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until bubbly. Beat in eggs and sugar, then butter and salt until combined. Add flour a cup at a time until your dough comes together. It won't be as dry as your usual bread dough, still slightly sticky, but that's how it's supposed to be. Cover bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size. (Alternatively, you can refrigerate the dough overnight and have it ready for a quick breakfast.)
  2. Meanwhile, make your caramel. Combine butter, milk, salt, and brown sugar in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Bring mixture to a soft boil, stirring gently, and boil for about 5 minutes until the the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla, then set aside. Grease a 13x9 inch glass pan (or 2 8x8 inch or 2 10-inch round cake pans) and pour half of the caramel sauce into pan(s). Sprinkle half of pecans over caramel and reserve the rest.
  3. Divide dough in half and roll out one half on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle, roughly 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1/4 cup of butter in an even layer on top and sprinkle with 1/4 cup pecans and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Starting from the short end, roll it up until you reach the other end. Then using a sharp knife, cut into 6 spirals and place in prepared pan (spiral face-up). Repeat with other half of dough until you have 12 rolls. Cover pans and allow them to rise while oven preheats.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). When oven is hot, Pour remaining caramel evenly over tops and bake for 18 - 25 minutes until edges start to brown. Remove pan(s) from oven and allow the to cool for about 5 minutes. Loosen edges with a knife and place a large plate or tray over pan, then carefully flip pan upside-down and lift off of rolls (don't forget to scrape the extra caramel from the pan!)
  5. Serve hot and have plenty of ice cold milk or hot coffee at the ready!

Sticky Caramel Pecan Sweet Rolls (7)

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  1. says

    I learn something new every day. I had no idea that there were such strict importing laws in Chile! So glad you were able to use some pecans and oh my, these are drool worthy! My son just asked me for cinnamon rolls the other day…he would go crazy over these!

  2. says

    Wow! These look incredible! I had no idea that Chile had such strict rules over pecans!? Yeah for your friends coming to bring you some more! I would have a hard time choosing between these and a regular cinnamon roll, for sure!


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