The Quickest, Easiest Sticky Buns Ever: meet the sticky biscuit

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

And sometimes a picture simply isn’t worth a plugged nickel (as we old fogies were wont to say, back in the day).

This is one of those times.

I take all of the blog pictures you see here with my iPhone 5. It does a great job – most of the time.

My phone’s very forgiving of operator error, producing uniformly good photos no matter how many times I drop it (buttery fingers); smear icing across its tiny little lens, or tremble like a leaf while holding the phone in one hand and trying to pour maple syrup – artfully, mind you – over a stack of pancakes with the other.

But one thing the iPhone’s camera won’t tolerate is dim light. Yeah, it’ll take photos in low light, for sure. And they’ll be muddy colored and large-pixeled – impossible to sharpen and lacking tone.

When creating recipes for this blog, I try to time my photos so I shoot when a certain type of sunlight (high clouds) and a certain time of day (late morning) combine to make my kitchen counter the perfect photo “studio.”

But, deadlines being what they are, that doesn’t always happen. Take these sticky biscuit photos, for instance.

Now, these easy easy EASY treats are truly lovely, in real life. Glistening like finely rubbed mahogany, they ooze syrup unctuously. Underneath their sugary, nutty crust, a golden interior shines.

But could I capture any of those wonderful colors on the day I baked these buns?


Not on your life.

Dull as dishwater (yeah, another one of those old-fashioned 20th-century sayings).

So you’re just going to have to take my word for it: these buns are quick and easy to make. They’re buttery and caramel-y and wonderfully tender.

And they LOOK every bit as good as they taste.

The camera never lies. But it definitely fibs!

OK, enough with my photo woes. Let’s make The Quickest, Easiest Sticky Buns Ever, a.k.a. sticky biscuits.


But first, a word from our sponsor: King Arthur Flour. In this particular case, King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour, a lower-protein (read: soft) flour, with baking powder and salt already mixed in.

Which is why it’s awesome for biscuits. Mimicking top-quality soft Southern flour – but with the addition of both salt and leavening – it’s the key ingredient in my favorite foolproof Never-Fail Biscuits, the basis for these buns.

Preheat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the upper third. Lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan or 8″ x 8″ pan.

First we’ll make the topping, since it actually goes into the bottom of the pan. Melt 3 tablespoons butter, and pour it into the prepared pan, tilting the pan so the butter covers the bottom surface.


Sprinkle the following atop the butter:

1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Sticky Bun Sugar*
1/2 cup diced pecans, optional

*Or substitute 2 tablespoons brown sugar + 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or the liquid sweetener of your choice) for the Sticky Bun Sugar.


To make the dough, combine 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached Self-Rising Flour and 1 cup heavy or whipping cream. Stir together to make a smooth dough. Turn it out onto a lightly greased work surface.

Gently pat/roll the dough into a 12″ x 8″ rectangle.

To make the filling, stir together the following:

1/2 cup Baker’s Cinnamon Filling*
2 tablespoons water*

*Or substitute 4 tablespoons softened butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon for the Baker’s Cinnamon Filling mix and water.


Spread the filling atop the dough, and roll the dough into a log. Position it so the seam is facing down. Slice the log into 12 pieces.


Place the buns in the pan. Bake them for about 15 to 18 minutes, until they’re bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Remove the buns from the oven, and immediately turn them out onto a serving plate. Quickly scrape any leftover syrup from the pan onto the buns.


Serve warm.

Note that these buns are very fragile when hot, and won’t pull apart easily like typical sticky buns. To serve warm, wait a couple of minutes, until the topping’s solidified a bit; then turn the round over so you can see the individual buns…


…and use a knife to cut them apart.

And there you have it: sticky biscuits, a.k.a. The Quickest, Easiest Sticky Buns Ever.

While I highly recommend our self-rising flour, I realize it’s not widely available nationwide (yet!) – and some of you prefer not to shop online. If there’s no self-rising flour in your pantry, check our store locator for a possible source near you. Or try our Quick and Easy Sticky Caramel Bun recipe, which uses our unbleached all-purpose flour.

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!


  1. Sarah Heat

    I can’t thank you enough for posting this recipe today. It’s the first day of school for my kids, and my daughter has been asking for cinnamon rolls for breakfast for days! I ran out of steam last night to mix up yeasted dough. But, reading this post this morning gave me an easy opportunity to make the rolls. They’re in the oven right now, and my daughter will be so happy to have one before we walk to school. Thanks!

  2. Rockycat

    The linked recipe states a yield of both 8 and 12 rolls, depending where you look. The correct yield is 12, right?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The blog does show 12 buns (cutting the log of dough into 12). The recipe directions (step 8) suggests 12 slices or buns. Thanks to your sharp attention to detail, we’ve alerted our web team so yield amounts match on the recipe info and recipe directions. Then again, if you want really big buns – 8 may be just the right size for your hungry morning eaters! Happy Baking – Irene@KAF

    2. PJ Hamel, post author

      Twelve buns is what I finally settled on, Rocky. I was flipping back and forth, and forgot to update that one final spot atop the recipe – thanks. PJH

  3. Judy

    I’m lactose intolerant and usually bake with LACTAID milk. LACTAID doesn’t make a cream so I usually don’t make recipes that call for creams. Do you think these buns and the Never-fail Biscuits would bake and taste the same if I used the milk?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Judy- Unfortunately, I wouldn’t recommend using Lactaid in either of those recipes, both the texture and flavor I feel will really suffer. Your best bet would be a lactose-free cream, which is out there, but just a bit harder to find. If you have any further questions, please feel free to give our Baker’s Hotline a call at 1-855-371-2253 and we’d be happy to further assist you at that time. Happy baking! Jocelyn@KAF

    2. Linda Longhouse

      Hi Judy –
      I have been lactose intolerant for over 25 years. I am happy to share with you that heavy whipping cream is lactose free. All the whey (which contains the lactose in milk) has been removed leaving the lactose behind! Also, just as an FYI – butter is so lactose free! Check the sugar grams on the nutrition label and you’ll see it’s 0, therefore it’s lactose free. Enjoy!!

    3. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re not nutritionists here, so you’re on your own for this one! Happy eating- Laurie@KAF

    1. Lynne Whitcomb

      My 80ish old mom has been wanting to make Sticky Buns, but can no longer knead yeasted dough, due to her arthritic hands. SO, I was just delighted to see this recipe posted this morning!! I look forward to having her over to make these, after a trip to King Arthur’s to purchase flour!! Thanks for creating a fun day for my mom and I!!!!

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Hello Lynne! Thank you so much for sharing your plans to bake your mom and whip up this deliciously ooey-gooey recipe. There’s nothing more fulfilling than knowing we were able to help bring family and friends together around the joy of baking, so we sincerely thank you for making our day and hope you have a wonderful time making up a batch of these sticky buns. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  4. Susan

    Looks delicious, however the written recipe needs simplification or better organization…..difficult to follow in this format.

  5. Gambles

    Who would have thought biscuits could be made into Sticky Buns? PJ of course! Very impressive! KAF bakers rock.

    I want to try these today as I haven’t really been too thrilled with any of my other attempts at Sticky Buns. Now this sounds like a great recipe to try sticky buns again so I’m quite excited.

    That said, here’s my question: My main goal is LOTS of ooey gooey-ness. To achieve that should I increase or double the whole sticky part or possibly just increase the butter, brown sugar, and/or the sticky bun sugar? I don’t use nuts so nothing really has to stick. I want lots of gooey, but am I asking for a messy problem by trying to get lots? Any ideas would be much appreciated.

    Secondly: Is there any advantage to chilling the Sticky buns before putting them in the pan and baking?

    Thanks very much

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      If you want more ooey-gooey goodness, I would suggest increasing the topping, but leaving the filling as is. Too much filling would make it difficult for you to roll up your log of sticky buns. The recipe works very well without a chilling step before baking. If you want to shape the buns and delay their baking, it should work fine to chill the unbaked buns.~Jaydl@KAF

  6. Allan

    Tasted these at KAF store demo in Norwich, VT yesterday. They are delicious and simple to make. Thank you for posting this recipe.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Allan, I hope you had a great visit to our store/café/bakery. Thanks for the positive feedback! PJH

  7. redg

    im so excited with this. no waiting time for yeast to rise. can I use the Nestle’s table cream(mostly purchased in huspabic grocery stores) in place.of the heavy cream? I like this better cos it has longer shelf life.

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Hi – Table cream has about 20% less fat than heavy cream, so your biscuits won’t be as tender; and the amount you use may differ a bit (you may need to use less table cream), but give it a try. I’m thinking the result will probably be very acceptable. Enjoy – PJH

    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Absolutely, Jennifer, great idea. Freeze them once they’re all prepared and in the pan. Pop them into the oven frozen; no need to thaw. They’ll take somewhat longer to bake (not sure exactly how much longer; keep your eye on them), and I’m sure they’ll be delicious. Have a wonderful vacation! PJH

  8. JudiM

    Just purchased the self rising flour at the baking center in Norwich. I had seen the recipe for biscuits which are my favorite. Now I can’t wait to make the sticky buns. Can they be made the night before and baked off in the morning?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Absolutely! You can make the buns at night and place them in the pan, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator overnight to do the second rise. Pull them out in the morning and let them come to room temperature a bit if they aren’t quite fully proofed (although they may be ready right out of the fridge), and bake them off too enjoy!!! Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  9. Jane Roberts

    The sticky bun recipe looks delicious. Would KAF bakers have a recipe for tea biscuits with currants? Seems like it might be the same components for the sticky bun dough.


    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Jane- These sticky buns in particular (which are a little different than your normal yeasted ones) would work, but I think you might find a traditional tea biscuit would be more scone-like. I think this recipe would be a great place to start and you could add in as many currants (you can even steep them in tea overnight for a bit more complex flavor if you like): If you have any other questions, please call our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  10. Loretta Bassler

    PJ can even make a recipe fun and exciting to read! I am sitting here enjoying my morning coffee and looking forward to making these wonderful-sounding sticky biscuits the next time I am with my grandkids. Love King Arthur and all your e-mails and publications.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      And we love all our fellow bakers like you passing on the joy of baking to all those around you! Hope you have a wonderful time making these with your grand kids…what kid wouldn’t love being covered in delicious sticky bun goo? Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  11. Dianna

    Love the substitutions, thank you. I don’t normally keep self-rising flour on hand and need a sub for that as well. Love sticky buns and love to make and share them so this recipe will get a workout.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Dianna, you can make your own self-rising flour by following this recipe. Note that if you use all-purpose flour it will have a higher protein content than our self-rising flour and you may have to add more liquid to the recipe because of this, possibly as much as an extra tablespoon liquid per each cup of all-purpose flour substituted. Barb@KAF

  12. Debi

    I’ve looked for your Self-Rising flour in Baltimore but have not been able to find it. Do you have a list of stores/states where it is available now? Thanks.

  13. Stella

    This recipe looks great! Can these buns be made in a muffin pan so that they are individual bun as opposed to pull apart buns?

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Certainly! A muffin pan is great for portioning into single serving buns. Be sure to grease the bottom well and get the buns out while they are still warm so the sugar does not set up in the bottom of the pan. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  14. Kevin

    Thank you KAF. I’m so glad I found this recipe again! It’s easy and awesome. It’s been my “go to” special breakfast recipe (Christmas, Easter, …) since I first found it because everyone in the family loves it, but I couldn’t find my printed copy when planning for Thanksgiving. I’m relieved to be able to carry-in what is becoming a tradition.


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