Gooey Goodness – Daring Bakers’ Cinnamon Rolls And Sticky Buns

Cranberry Pistachio Sticky Buns
Are you ready for Fall yet? Well, you might with these Cinnamon and Sticky Buns, courtesy of the Daring Bakers, September edition. If I were you I would trust the numerous other Daring Bakers out there (over 100 by now), tempting you with pictures of gooey goodness and telling you how wonderful and soft these are. If anything, trust me: I have made them 4 times since the recipe was announced by Marce from Pip In The City, our hostess this month. Each month takes on a different aspect as far as the challenges and recipes are concerned. Sometimes, it is the challenge of coordinating schedules, sometimes it is trying to be creative with presentation or design, this time it was just difficult to keep them around long enough to share, let alone take pictures!

Everything about this recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker´s Apprentice made me want to make it again and again. Lisa got us started on a comical note as poor lady was suffering tremendously from her back and made the buns within the first week of September while high on painkillers. I expect her post to draw tears from my eyes, but her experience seriously made me crave sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. I made my first batch a couple of days later, in the evening, with the intention to photograph them in the morning and bring some to the neighbors before. When I got up, my husband was long gone…so was my tray of walnut sticky buns when they should have been awaiting their photo shoot! I thought that by no, he would now the rules of baking/blogging: don’t take any, don’t give any, don’t hide any until it has been photographed…nope! I got a sweet note form one of his students a few days later “Thank you Mrs. Tartelette, the sticky buns were delicious and it was great to start the day like this…” Well, I wish I had been there too!!

Cinnamon Rolls
Now, you understand my challenge this month…but it deter me to make them again and again. I froze the cinnamon buns and proceeded to make the buns, this time with cranberries and pistachios. Probably my favorite combo of nuts/berries and it worked really well taste wise and packed a punch of visual appeal when I served them to my parents for brunch a couple of weeks ago. I changed the filling to cardamom instead of cinnamon a few times and it was jsut out of this world. We all loved the buttery goodness, (well, that’s a given with one pound of butter in the caramel part), the moistness of the dough and all the cinnamon flavor we tasted with every bite. I found that there was more than enough cinnamon sugar (used inside the rolls and buns) as well as powdered sugar glaze for the rolls. Turned out B. adds glaze as he eats away so if our mate is anything like mine, who knows?!!

Cranberry and Pistachio Sticky Buns
Cinnamon and Sticky Buns (from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)
Days to Make: One (1)Active/Resting/Baking Time: 15 minutes to mix, 3 1/2 hours fermentation/shaping/proofing, 20 – 40 minutes to bakeRecipe Quantity: Eight(1) – twelve (12) large rolls or twelve (12) – sixteen (16) small rollsMaking the Dough

6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter or margarine
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast*
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk (DMS) and 1 cup water
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you want to use, cardamom, ginger, allspice, etc.)
White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns or caramel glaze for sticky buns (at the end of the recipe.)
Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (for sticky buns.)
Raisins or other dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or dried cherries (for sticky buns, optional.)
*Instant yeast contains about 25% more living cells per spoonful than active dry yeast, regardless of the brand. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising.

Making the Dough: Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).
Note: if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast.
Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Fermentation: Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Form the Buns: Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.)

Prepare the Buns for Proofing:
For cinnamon buns: line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.
For sticky buns: coat the bottom of 1 or more baking dishes or baking pans with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high with a 1/4 inch layer of the caramel glaze. Sprinkle on the nuts and raisins (if you are using raisins or dried fruit.) You do not need a lot of nuts and raisins, only a sprinkling. Lay the pieces of dough on top of the caramel glaze, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.

Proof the Buns: Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

Bake the Buns:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.
Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky buns, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon buns are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelize it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the buns out of the oven.

Cool the buns:
For cinnamon buns, cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.
For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

Toppings for the Buns:

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns:
Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.
Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.
When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

Caramel glaze for sticky buns
Caramel glaze is essentially some combination of sugar and fat, cooked until it caramelizes. The trick is catching it just when the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes to a golden amber. Then it will cool to a soft, creamy caramel. If you wait too long and the glaze turns dark brown, it will cool to a hard, crack-your-teeth consistency. Most sticky bun glazes contain other ingredients to influence flavor and texture, such as corn syrup to keep the sugar from crystallizing and flavor extracts or oils, such as vanilla or lemon. This version makes the best sticky bun glaze of any I´ve tried. It was developed by my wife, Susan, for Brother Juniper´s Cafe in Forestville, California.
NOTE: you can substitute the corn syrup for any neutral flavor syrup, like cane syrup or gold syrup.
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature.
2. Cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon, orange or vanilla extract. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
3. Use as much of this as you need to cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/4-inch layer. Refrigerate and save any excess for future use; it will keep for months in a sealed container.

Cinnamon Rolls
I might make another batch before this coming week is over! Thanks Marce for picking up such a recipe. Thanks Lisa and Ivonne, founders of the Daring Bakers, for managing this wonderful group with such gusto and taste. Check the blogroll to read more sticky goodness!

I was lucky enough to photograph the buns and rolls on pictures framed by my mom. See, her talent is that she is a framing artist. My dad paints watercolors and that’s how she got started, she took classes to be able to display his work. After many years, the class became more of a group of friends, challenging themselves with new techniques. Last year I ordered a set of prints from a French artist, Anne-Soline, 3 fairies and 3 dancers, and she brought them over this trip, double bubble-wrapped. They made it one piece, which enabled me to play around with the layout of the pictures.





93 responses to “Gooey Goodness – Daring Bakers’ Cinnamon Rolls And Sticky Buns”

  1. MyKitchenInHalfCups Avatar


    Sit down.

    I mean WOW WOW! and WOW!

    I’ve now fallen for cranberries and pistachios! Those are fabulous!
    This was a really great challenge!
    Your Mom & Dad sound so grand. And the husband who doesn’t get the rules, really? You just make them over and over, too funny!

  2. Anonymous Avatar

    beautiful buns, and framed prints! the cranberry/pistachio combo sounds fabulous and looks like jewels.

  3. tunetworker Avatar

    This is just great, thanks a lot for this info!

  4. Anh Avatar

    Helen, what a great idea to incorporate pistachio and cranberries into the buns! I love these!

  5. KJ Avatar

    Your buns look so good. You have some great ideas for fillings and spice mixes. I think I will be trying some of them in the future.

    Your Mum is obviously very clever and talented. Your framed pictures are lovely.

  6. Katie Avatar

    Your sticky buns look fantastic! I love the pistachio cranberry combo you used. They look very festive.

  7. Kelly-Jane Avatar

    Fabulous buns, and beautiful pictures too 🙂

  8. Rosa's Yummy Yums Avatar
    Rosa's Yummy Yums

    Just magnificent and wonderfully gooey!!!



  9. Peabody Avatar

    Our minds must have been out of sync this time around…we didn’t do the same thing! 🙂
    Love the gooey buns with the pistachios and cranberries.

  10. Anne Avatar

    Ah, cranberries and pistachios was a really good idea – I love the photos!

  11. Ilva Avatar

    They really look gorgeous and your different fillings are very inspiring!

  12. Hilda Avatar

    Oh yummy, il va falloir que j’essaye des cranberries avec des pistaches, je n’y avais même pas pensé, et comme d’hab, tes créations sont superbes. Ma mère aussi faisait de l’encadrement quand j’étais petite et mon père lui faisait des maquettes (qu’il créait) et de la reliure but that’s not his job, it was just for fun.

  13. Amanda at Little Foodies Avatar
    Amanda at Little Foodies

    Beautiful pics! Were you cross that the buns went without their photo call or did you just laugh?
    I knew your parents would be talented too.

  14. Dagmar Avatar

    They look fantastic; great photos!! What a lovely idea to use cranberries and pistachios!

  15. Nazca Avatar

    Love the pistachio addition. How you managed not to eat them all before they got anywhere near the buns is a question for another time 😉

  16. Jen the Bread Freak Avatar
    Jen the Bread Freak

    Oh dear, now you’ve done it! I’m going to have to make these again with cranberries and pistachios! What a great idea, and they are so beautiful 😀

  17. Anonymous Avatar

    Oh wow helen, those buns are a thing of beauty! I especially like the cranberry and pistachio topping- that definitely looked heavenly!

  18. Anonymous Avatar

    Oh, I’m ready for fall! I’m ready!!!

    And I’m ready for a pan full of those buns especially the ones with the pistachios and cranberries.

    Beautiful, comme toujours, my friend!

  19. Lis Avatar

    Simply beautiful as always! They look so tender and melt in your mouth-y! hehe

    Love the sticky buns the most though, they turned out SO PRETTY!


  20. slush Avatar

    Lovely, just lovely! I agree, I would like to try the pistachio/cranberry combo now. As always, fantastic job!

  21. Anonymous Avatar

    Love the cranberries and pistachios combo. Coupled with the stickiness of sticky buns.. lethal but lovely 🙂

  22. fanny Avatar

    your sticky buns look so pretty – like tiny jewel boxes…
    Im in awe.


  23. Meeta K. Wolff Avatar
    Meeta K. Wolff

    Pistachios and cranberries – an awesome combination. I just love your buns Helene!

  24. Laura Avatar

    I have a definite hankering for pistachio sticky buns Helen, I would have stolen a whole plateful of them had I been anywhere near your kitchen too!

  25. Anonymous Avatar

    Delicious and beautiful…what more can I say?

  26. Anonymous Avatar

    The cranberry and pistachios make it look so healthy! Wonderfully done!

  27. monica Avatar

    your buns are gorgeous! i love the cranberry/pistachio combo….and the cardamom was a huge hit over here, too.

  28. Anonymous Avatar

    Very classy as always, my dear. The sticky buns with the pistachios belong in a cookbook, they look too pretty to eat… though I think I might eat them anyway not to make you feel bad, I´m that nice 😉

  29. Brilynn Avatar

    The cranberries adn pistachios look sooo good on top, what a great combo!

  30. Anonymous Avatar

    Gorgeous. I like the topping on the sticky bun.

  31. Sheltie Girl Avatar
    Sheltie Girl

    Fabulous – I’m inspired to bake the recipe again, but this time make your version of the sticky buns.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

  32. Finla Avatar

    When i saw in a another blog about the daring bakers cinamon roll , i knew i should check out yours, as your always look and i can feel it wil taster super delicious.
    I must say i was correct :-)))) It is looking super delicious.

  33. Unknown Avatar

    Love your sticky buns Helene – they look so perfect for the holidays! And I also love the prints, what a great backdrop for your baked goods!

  34. myriam Avatar

    they look so elegant – as always! loving it! m
    PS: did you get the apron?… i hope it didnt get lost in the US mail..

  35. african vanielje Avatar
    african vanielje

    everything you do looks so daintily perfect and delicious. It is reassuring to hear your buns went AWOL. Good thing too because the cranberry and pistachio are gorgeous

  36. Mehgan Avatar

    OMG, look at all those toppings on the sticky buns! Heaven!

  37. kellypea Avatar

    Helene, the colorful combination of nuts and fruit are so beautiful, as is the art of your mother’s framing. I’m always amazed when you speak of just how many times you bake. I already feel like I never leave the kitchen. Goodness! I’m definitely going to try cardamom next time…

  38. Belinda Avatar

    Helene, what outstanding examples of both versions of these buns! The cinnamon buns look so delicate and delicious, and the sticky buns! Wow! You really took them to the ultimate level with the cranberries and pistachios…they are stunningly beautiful…so festive and cheerful. Gorgeous! I am so thrilled to be a part of the Daring Bakers! 🙂 Your parents have each passed down a bit of their creativity to you, Helene…that’s so wonderful.

  39. Karen Baking Soda Avatar
    Karen Baking Soda

    Oh my…. crave the pistachio cranberry ones… that one picture makes me drool!

  40. Nora B. Avatar
    Nora B.

    Beautiful! I like your version with the cardamom, pistachio and cranberries. You’re a genius!

    p/s: my partner has done the same thing (re: take my baked goods to work without asking first). I was not a very nice person to come home to that day….

  41. breadchick Avatar

    Helen, as usual you have out done each and every one of us! What a fantastic combination for the buns!! I would never have thought of that. Glad you are having such a wonderful time with your folks!

  42. Jenny Avatar

    Cranberries and pistachios! That’s the combination I wish I’d thought of! Actually, with Thanksgiving next weekend, maybe I will make these for breakfast that day!
    As usual, everything you made looks amazing. As does your Mom’s framing!

  43. Chris Avatar

    Helen -Helen – Helen! Your pictures are making my stutter…lovely!

  44. Anonymous Avatar

    Drat, I can’t see the photos 🙁 Is it me?

  45. April Avatar

    I love the cranberry/pistachio topping!! Beautiful job!

  46. Bruno Avatar

    Helene, your buns are sooo lovely!!

  47. Dharm Avatar

    What a great idea to make pistachio and cranberry buns!! I loved the writeup but for some reason the pictures wouldnt show up… pout. I’ll try again later!

  48. Mercotte Avatar

    ben alors ça c’est la meilleure, j’étais en train d’admirer ta photo de ces magnifiques cinnamon rolls et elle est partie comme par magie !! En tout cas pas grave je l’avais vue !!
    Superbe ça donne envie c’est sûr!!

  49. Dharm Avatar

    I can see the pictures now and all I can say is WOW! The buns are sooo great and look so fluffy and yummy. I WANT ONE NOW!!

  50. ilingc Avatar

    It’s really not my fault, I’ve only seen 3 of these today… but now I’m really hanging out for one of those pistachio and cranberry buns! Except there is no way I will be able to make some or even buy anything remotely close to yours to satisfy my craving for tonight.

    I think I need to lie down now. The thought of not being able to have any is beginning to overwhelm me a bit.

    You’d think that I would have learned to avoid your blog now when I’m hungry. LOL.

  51. sunita Avatar

    The buns look amazing…I can understand the buns doing the disappearing act… In my case, there were three pairs of hands(2 small and 1 big kid :-D) ready to pounce upon them…it was really challenging to photograph them.

  52. Brittany Avatar

    Goregous!! The cranberry-pistachio buns make me want to welcome fthe chilly season with a big hug and kiss!

  53. The Baker & The Curry Maker Avatar
    The Baker & The Curry Maker

    You’re so right – again and again! They look great!

  54. Thistlemoon Avatar

    The very first thing I said to myself when I saw the sticky bun was: “Are those pistachios? Tartlette REALLY is a baking goddess!”

  55. Truffle Avatar

    Oh those pistachios are such a wonderful choice. They are simply breathtaking!

  56. Anonymous Avatar

    Cranberry and pistachio? I would have never thought of that… your sticky buns are absolutely stunning. Thank you for your glowing comments on my buns, Helen! You are such a talented baker

  57. Mila Avatar

    Loved the buns!! They made me almost eat my computer…The combo is just perfect!!

  58. Anonymous Avatar

    Great picture of the pistachio and cranberry sticky buns. I am drooling on my keyboard…

  59. Anonymous Avatar

    I love the way your sticky buns turned out…bejeweled with emerald pistachios and ruby cranberries! 🙂

  60. Anonymous Avatar

    I am a Daring Bakers participant for the time as of October. Looking at your photographs, I cannot wait to begin ! These truly look amazing.

  61. Alpineberry Mary Avatar
    Alpineberry Mary

    Your buns definitely look very autumnal!

  62. Deborah Avatar

    I was noticing the frame when I first saw your blog, so I’m glad you mentioned what it was – it really shows a great photo with meaning behind it! I really love the colors of the pistachios and cranberries – it looks like it worked to your advantage that the first batch disappeared!

  63. Unknown Avatar

    Your husband is the sticky bun thief!

    I do not think there is a better combo than pistachio and cardamom. Yum.

  64. Rose Avatar

    I love the cranberry and pistachio! Perfect for the holidays coming up. Great idea to use cardamom also. Thanks!

  65. Amy Avatar

    Ooh I love your cranberry and pistachio combo. It was getting late when I finished making my sticky buns so I decided to photograph them the next day, then I procrastinated and before you know it, they were all gone. I too will be making this recipe again and again.

  66. Susan @ SGCC Avatar
    Susan @ SGCC

    Your sticky buns look beautiful! They are my favorite morning treat. That is how I came up with the name for my blog. I was watching a cooking show and they were making sticky buns.

    I love the pistachio/cranberry combo. They would be great on a Holiday buffet.

  67. Preppy Napkin Avatar
    Preppy Napkin

    Look yummy!

  68. Anne Avatar

    Everything in this post is beautiful. You made such perfect cinnamon rolls and sticky buns 🙂

  69. Anonymous Avatar

    Une recette à faire absolument pour retrouver mes petits déjeuners aux USA! J’ai hâte! Magnifique!

  70. Maggie Avatar

    I have to say ‘oh my goodness me’. I wasn’t an envious person until I started visiting your foodblog.
    The photographs are stunning – thank you for sharing the recipes.

  71. LizNoVeggieGirl Avatar

    you’ve certainly done the cinnamon rolls and the sticky buns justice!! gorgeous autumn version you’ve made here, with the cranberries and pistachios :0)

  72. Anonymous Avatar

    These look AMAZING!!!! You always have such inspired ideas :).

  73. Anonymous Avatar

    Your rolls look like jewel-encrusted pieces of heaven. I love the idea of pistachio and cranberry together. Excuse me now, I need to go bake….

  74. Anonymous Avatar

    All you daring bakers outdid yourselves with this challenge, but yours is especially unique! What a great flavor combination!

  75. Aoife Avatar

    You made them four times? That’s amazing. And cranberry/pistachio sounds like it would be great for the holidays!

  76. cupcaketastic Avatar

    Cranberries and pistachios, my favourites, these look spectactular. I love your blog. Will be back soon.

  77. Elle Avatar

    Love the colorfulness of the sticky buns with the cranberries and pistacios, but really like the photo taken on the art your Mom framed. Classic.

  78. Julie Avatar

    All your photos are amazing! And I love the addition of pistachios and cranberries to your buns–both a garnish and a wonderful addition to the taste.

    Kudos to your mom on the mat-cutting class. That can be a frustrating hobby!

  79. Dolores Avatar

    Cranberry & pistachio sticky buns… I am going to weigh 400 pounds by the time I try everyone’s creative takes on this recipe. And I’m going to charge my Weight Watchers’ membership to the Daring Bakers… 🙂

  80. How To Eat A Cupcake Avatar
    How To Eat A Cupcake

    I’m so glad to see all my favorite food bloggers doing sticky buns!

  81. Anonymous Avatar

    MOzdId Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

  82. Anonymous Avatar

    rpS4kE Thanks to author.

  83. Anonymous Avatar


  84. Anonymous Avatar

    Good job!

  85. Anonymous Avatar

    Wonderful blog.

  86. Anonymous Avatar

    Wonderful blog.

  87. Anonymous Avatar


  88. Anonymous Avatar

    Please write anything else!

  89. Anonymous Avatar

    Good job!

  90. Anonymous Avatar

    Nice Article.

  91. Anonymous Avatar

    xLo3fD Magnific!

  92. Anonymous Avatar


  93. Suganya Avatar

    You must be tired of hearing this, but, Helen, your pictures are always good. Congratulations on yr winning DMBLGiT.

Leave a Reply