Easy Sticky Buns (5 ingredients)

5 from 6 votes

Yes there are just 5 ingredients in this EASY Sticky Bun Recipe! These are your classic sticky buns: cinnamon rolls with a gooey caramel pecan glaze, but done in about 30 minutes.

This post is sponsored by Palmolive®, which helped me with the messy cleanup of this recipe! All opinions are my own.

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sticky bun with icing on parchment


Isn’t it funny how certain things make you remember situations or places? Like how a smell can transport you back to your childhood or a sound can make you think you’re back in your college dorm. For me, a lot of those memories are tied with food, which is why I tell so many stories with my recipes.

Sometimes I make a food because it reminds me of breakfasts with my parents, like banana bread or blueberry muffins. Or how apple pie reminds me of my husband and mint chip anything reminds me of Jordan’s birthday.

With recipes like these Sticky Buns, I’m reminded of summer. I know, strange, right? Sticky buns in summer? But it’s true.

When I was a kid, the county fair was in the next town over every August. We’d always go after work one night and I looked forward to that every year. I wasn’t much for the rides, no, my favorite two parts were the buildings with all the booths and the food.

One of the foods we always got were huge sticky buns. They were as big as my head it seemed, back then, all swirled with cinnamon and sticky goo. My mom and I would get a caramel pecan roll and my dad would get a plain one. I can still remember the taste of those rolls!

The second I turned these out onto the plate I was transported back to those warm summer evenings with the sights and sounds of the fair…and those delicious cinnamon rolls!

These Easy Sticky Buns are a cheater version of those rolls: 5 ingredients and done in about 30 minutes!

plate of caramel pecan buns

While I love making from scratch cinnamon rolls, I also love taking some help whenever I can get it. I’m really more into making new memories with my family than taking lots of time to make brunch or making every single thing from scratch. You guys know that about me; I love making from scratch recipes but I also love my shortcuts!

These rolls only take about 30 minutes to make – sticky buns without yeast! – because I started them with canned cinnamon rolls. By making the caramel sauce from scratch and using a refrigerated dough, it’s so easy to make a delicious recipe that will create new family memories much faster.

Now, if you’ve ever made sticky buns you know that they’re messy. They’re sticky and gooey and both the caramel pan and the baking pan end up being a gooey mess. The caramel dries if you don’t wash it fast enough which can make you miss piping hot rolls with your family because you’re too busy doing dishes.

Well, I have a solution for you: wait for that sticky mess. Just let it sit and forget it, make those memories and let Palmolive® handle the mess.

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns in pan on counter

Since we’re speaking of memories that are sparked by taste, sound, and smell, I have to tell you my Palmolive® memory. To me, just a whiff of that green soap makes me think of my mom. Like, the smell sparks a memory so vivid I feel myself at my parents house helping my mom do dishes. You’d think she used Palmolive® perfume, but nope, she’s just used it on her dishes my entire life (even today, when I go visit, there’s a bottle on the sink).

I can totally see why she uses it though: it allows you to make more family memories eating and enjoying each other’s company. Leave the dishes in the sink and go have fun: Palmolive® will handle the mess. Seriously though, no matter what I make, whether it’s these sticky buns or a cheesy pasta dish, I’m thankful there is Palmolive® from Albertsons. It has a powerful grease fighting formula and is gentle on your hands while you wash. Did you know that it can lift away food that’s been stuck on dishes for 24 hours?

caramel pecan roll on spatula

Old fashioned sticky buns have a homemade caramel sauce on top that’s baked with the buns. These might be semi-homemade but they’re just as delicious.

What is a sticky bun anyway?

These amazing rolls, also called caramel pecan rolls, are like cinnamon rolls but they’re baked in a caramel sauce. Instead of serving them from the pan, you instead invert the hot pan onto a serving plate and the caramel ends up on top of the rolls, all gooey and warm.

(Picture making a pineapple upside down cake, but with cinnamon rolls, and you can get the visual.)

Easy sticky buns don’t need yeast or rise time!

That’s what I love most about this recipe: how easy and fast it is. Because I start with canned cinnamon rolls, it cuts out the majority of the time it takes to make homemade rolls. All you have to make is the caramel sauce for the top, which takes about 5 minutes!

plate of sticky buns with icing

How do you make the caramel for sticky buns?

There are several ways to make the caramel pecan topping. One way uses heavy whipping cream, and those are easy and good but this is a more authentic and classic sticky bun recipe.

To make the caramel you need:

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • Corn Syrup (or honey)

The caramel is made by melting the butter and mixing in the brown sugar and corn syrup. You let it boil for a minute and then pour it into a pan and top it with pecans.

How does a caramel pecan roll get the topping on top?

This is the extra messy part (hence why I love Palmolive®): you place the raw cinnamon rolls on top the caramel and bake them. Once they come out of the oven you turn them – while hot – onto your serving plate. Some of the caramel will stick to your pan, especially if you’re not using a nonstick pan.

Instead of taking the time to wash the pan, go eat the rolls while they’re hot. Palmolive® will take care of both the baking pan and the caramel pan, even if they sit.

Palmolive bottle with messy pan

Palmolive® Ultra Strength has several benefits:

  • Easily cuts grease
  • Provides a residue-free clean
  • Leaves your dishes smelling fresh and clean (like my mom’s kitchen)
  • Lifts away 24-Hour stuck-on food

How you know when caramel pecan rolls are done:

The rolls are done when the tops are golden brown and the center seems cooked. Wait no more than 5 minutes before inverting the pan over a serving plate.

Palmolive bottle with pan

My caramel hardened on my caramel rolls! What do I do?

Don’t worry – this happens often with this kind of caramel. Just be sure to eat the rolls warm from the oven. If the caramel hardens and becomes sticky, simply reheat the rolls in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm it.

How do you store sticky buns?

If they last longer than one meal, loosely cover them on the counter for about a day. Reheat as needed!

sticky bun with icing on a white plate

Love brunch? Try these easy breakfast recipes:

Have you made this recipe?

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Easy Sticky Buns

This easy sticky bun recipe has just 5 ingredients and is done in about 30 minutes. Carmel Pecan rolls with cinnamon rolls are the perfect brunch!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size 1 roll


  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted or salted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup corn syrup may substitute honey
  • 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 cans cinnamon rolls 8 rolls each can or larger 5 rolls per can


  • Preheat oven to 375°Spray a 9-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add the brown sugar and the corn syrup and stir until boiling. Boil one minute, stirring. Remove from heat and pour in the bottom of a 9×9-inch pan. Top with pecans.
  • Place cinnamon rolls into the prepared pan. If you’re using 8 small ones, it’ll be crowded, but squish them in.
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and seem to be cooked in the middle.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1roll | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 59mg | Potassium: 56mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 182IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword breakfast, brunch, cinnamon roll

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sticky buns collage
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Recipe Rating

14 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. I love this!! Not sure why but my Carmel did not thicken too much on the rolls. Excellent taste but wondering, I used honey instead of
    Corn syrup. Maybe I did not cook it long enough either still yummy!
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Dorothy: These cinnamon sticky buns look great and certainly easy enough. Can you tell us how to make the white icing you drizzle on the buns after they are baked? If the instructions and ingredients are here in the recipe, I missed it!
    Thanks and happy cooking

  3. Was one of the easiest sticky buns I’ve ever made I can’t wait to take them to work so I can share them

  4. These will be a hit with my grandkids!!! Thanks for sharing!! I would like to follow you and see more of your posts what do I need to do to accomplish this?? Thanks!!!

    God Bless You