Sticky buns have my heart. They are the first yeasted baked good I ever made, and the only one to this day that I consistently take the time out to make. Because bread rolled into a cinnamon swirl is just one of life’s greatest pleasures.
I’ve started doing this new thing with my dough: I put 1/2 cup of cooked potato, that I mash, into it. It makes the sticky bun dough SO soft and moist. And it keeps the dough fresh-tasting for longer, too. So by the end of the day, your dough is still fluffy and not dried out.
Seriously. I’m in love with these maple cinnamon sticky buns. They have all the goodness of a classic cinnamon sticky bun, but with an added maple flavor that is just so quintessential fall.
If you are looking to make these maple cinnamon sticky buns for a weekend breakfast or brunch, I would suggest going all the way through Step 8 (the second rise before they go into the oven), the night before. Then, place the dough in the freezer overnight to halt the rise. In the morning, take them out, allow them to come to room temperature, then bake them off. It will make your morning so much easier, and you’ll end up with equally delicious buns.
Technically you could keep them in the freezer for a few weeks before baking them. So like, buns on demand. HA.
How to make sticky buns
There are four parts to this maple cinnamon sticky bun recipe. In total, these homemade sticky buns take around three hours to complete, but most of that time is spent letting the dough rise. So don’t be intimidated by this recipe if you’ve never made sticky buns before! The four parts of this recipe are as follows:
Making the dough
When making a yeasted dough, you first need to activate the yeast. To do so, combine buttermilk, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of your standing mixer and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the buttermilk looks slightly frothy on top. (If you don’t take the time to activate the yeast, your sticky buns might not rise!).
Then add in the salt, flour, and mashed potato, and mix until just combined. Add in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, and let the dough hook do all the work for you. You’ll want to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and slightly sticky. You should be able to stretch the dough without tearing it at this point.
Let the dough rise in an oiled bowl for an hour, or until it’s doubled in size. To help the dough rise, you’ll want to cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Keep in mind that this is the first of two rise times!
Making the maple gooey sauce
While the dough is rising, you’ll want to make the maple gooey sauce (aka the delicious stuff that makes these sticky buns, sticky buns!). For this, you’ll need melted butter, heavy cream, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Stir everything together, and then pour the gooey sauce straight into the pan you’ll be baking the homemade sticky buns in.
Making the maple filling
The filling for these maple cinnamon sticky buns is simply a mixture of softened butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Mix that up until you have sort of a butter paste, and slather that goodness over the sticky bun dough after it’s risen and been rolled out. The maple filling has a tendency to pool in some places, but that’s okay! Once you roll up the sticky buns you won’t notice it.
Making the maple cream cheese frosting
The base of this decadent frosting is softened butter and cream cheese. You need to use room temperature ingredients here, otherwise the frosting won’t whip up properly. You’ll also need powdered sugar, maple extract, and a pinch of salt. Whip everything together until light and fluffy, and then frost the maple cinnamon sticky buns while they’re still warm.
Unlike cakes and cupcakes, you want to frost sticky buns when warm and have the frosting run a bit. That’s what makes these so good!
Hope you’re all having lovely Novembers so far. Isn’t this weather fantastic? My mom is visiting us in Detroit this weekend and I am SO excited to host her! If you are familiar with the area and have any fun ideas for activities or walks around here, let me know—we’d love your suggestions.
Happy Thursday, people. Hope you have a great rest of your week!
Love and brownies,
For the dough:
- 1 cup buttermilk, warmed to 110°F
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cooked potato, mashed*
- 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
For the inner maple bit:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
For the gooey maple sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
For the maple cream cheese frosting:
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Pour buttermilk, sugar, and yeast into a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should foam, signaling that the yeast is active.
Add in the mashed potato, salt, and flour. Turn mixer to low and allow to come together. Once mixture is combined, add in butter 1 tablespoon at a time, letting the dough hook run on low speed the entire time. Continue to knead for 5 minutes. Dough should have a smooth but slightly sticky surface and be stretchy to the touch.
Coat a large bowl with oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area to proof for 1 hour.
In a small bowl, combine the inner maple ingredients– butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon. Set aside.
To make the maple gooey sauce, combine the butter, heavy cream, maple, and brown sugar. Mix to combine, then pour into a 9″x 13″ pan. Set aside.
Flour a large work surface. Roll the dough out into a 12″x 18″ rectangle. Spread the inner maple mixture over the dough, coating it evenly. It may not stick completely to the dough and might pool a little in some places, but this is totally fine.
Working from the long edge, roll the dough into a log, pinching the ends so it stays together. Using a serrated knife or dental floss(even better!), cut the dough into 12 equal buns. Place into the the pan over the gooey sauce.
Allow dough to rise a second time. Cover the pan with a cloth and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until the top is nicely golden brown. You’ll want a deep golden color, as the outside of the loaf can be cooked and the inside still doughy. Use your discretion.
While the buns are baking, make the maple cream cheese frosting. In a standing mixer, whip the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, maple extract, and salt, whipping for an additional minute.
Once out of the oven, allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes, then top with maple cream cheese frosting and serve!
*For the potato part, here’s what I do: pierce an uncooked potato with a fork all over, then place in the microwave and set on the “potato” setting. Cook until the potato is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool slightly, then remove potato skin completely. Mash the potato until no lumps remain, then measure out 1/2 cup of the mash. This is what you’ll put into your dough.