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Dad always made these for us for Christmas breakfast. This year, as I make it, two funny memories come to mind, both of which happened when we had Christmas in Hilton Head with my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin.

We had a rental condo whenever we did this. The first funny Sticky Bun Memory = the year dad had to  roll out the dough with a wine bottle because the rental unit didn’t have a rolling pin.

The second funny Sticky Bun Memory = the year we (accidentally) set the rental unit’s oven on fire. One of the muffin tins had a small hole in it; the sticky goop melted, dripped down onto an oven element and ignited. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like a small oven fire!


Sticky Buns

Yield: 36


2 cups milk, scalded

1 envelope yeast

1/3 c lukewarm water

3 T sugar

1/4 c butter

1 t salt

2 eggs, beaten

5 c flour



9 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon (nuts optional)



2 parts light brown sugar to 1 part butter to 1 big blop of light corn syrup (e.g. 20 T brown sugar to 10 T butter to 1/4 c or so of corn syup)


Note: since this makes about 3 doz, so have 3 muffin tins handy.

Note 2.0: they also make a hot holy mess of your countertop at the end…so having wax paper or parchment paper will make clean up a breeze. Don’t underestimate the power of the Parchment Paper!! ha


1. Scald the milk (heat it up until it bubbles a bit). Set aside to cool down.

2. Soften yeast in lukewarm water.

3. In a large bowl, combine milk, sugar, butter and salt and stir cool to lukewarm. Add in the yeast. Beat in the eggs and add flour gradually.

4. Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and not sticky (OR: Transform your life. Go and get a Kitchen-Aid standing mixer. Take out the mixing paddle and replace it with the dough hook and let it rip for 5 minutes. You’ll call to thank me later). Add more flour (in small increments) if necessary.

5. Place dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Let rise in a warm place two hours or until double in bulk (Drafty Kitchen remedy: while you’re mixing the dough, preheat your oven to about 150. Turn it off when it’s set…by the time you’re done letting your Kitchen-Aid work its magic, the oven will be a pefect “proof box”)

6. Punch dough and roll out with a rolling pin into a long narrow strip about 2″ wide (note: if you don’t have a yard-long counter…and I DON’T…save yourself some aggravation and divide the dough into halves or thirds, as your counterspace permits)

6a. This would be a good time to preheat the oven to 350

7. Sprinkle dough strip(s) with the cinnamon/sugar/nuts optional mix. Roll up tightly as you would a jelly roll and slice into about 1 1/2″ slices

8. In the muffin tins: put 1T of the brown sugar/butter/corn syrup goop mix

9. Put dough slice in each muffin tin

10. Allow rolls to rise about 30 min and then bake at 350 for 20 minutes

11. When done: invert the pan onto the wax/parchment paper. CAUTION – the sugary goo doesn’t feel good if you get it on you…flip with care 😉