Recipe Review

The Sticky Buns from Allrecipes Deliver Straightforward, Nutty Goodness

published May 18, 2023
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sticky bun on plate
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

With an average rating of 4.7 (out of 5) stars from more than 1,400 people, the Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns recipe from Allrecipes was an obvious contender for a sticky bun showdown. (Although they’re called cinnamon rolls, they have a sticky bun’s glossy caramel glaze and iconic chopped pecans.) The recipe’s straightforward ingredient list, simple preparation instructions, and relatively short time frame (just a little over three hours) were quite appealing. Could this unassuming recipe stand up to the other ones? More than a thousand people swear by it, so I was excited to dive in and give it a try.  

How to Make Allrecipes’ Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns

As noted above, these sticky buns took the least amount of time to make — just a little more than three hours (in the world of sticky buns, this is quick). The recipe begins by activating the yeast. Stir the yeast and some sugar into some warm water, then let the mixture stand until it turns foamy (at which point you know your yeast is alive and working).

Meanwhile, warm some milk in a saucepan and stir in granulated sugar, unsalted butter, and a little salt. Whisk together a couple of eggs, then add the yeast and milk mixtures and a portion of the flour. After that mixture comes together, add the remaining flour to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it by hand until smooth and elastic. Let the kneaded dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (which takes about an hour).

While the dough rises, make the glaze by melting butter in a saucepan and whisking in brown sugar. Then pour the glaze into a greased 13×9–inch baking pan and sprinkle pecans on top. 

Make the bun filling by combining brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, brush it with melted butter, and sprinkle the filling over the surface. Roll up the dough and cut it into slices. Transfer to the prepared pan with the glaze, then cover and let rise for another hour. 

Next, bake the rolls, which takes only about 25 minutes. Then turn the rolls out onto a serving platter to reveal the gooey glaze that’s now on top.

Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Barrett Washburne

My Honest Review of Allrecipes’ Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns

As someone who finds kneading to be meditative, I enjoyed the relatively simple prep and the knead-by-hand approach to the dough. This dough was lovely to work with, becoming smooth and shiny as I worked it. The baked buns themselves were fairly tender, but their texture was a bit coarser than the other recipes I tried.

The cinnamon flavor was prominent (there’s a tablespoon of cinnamon in the filling), so if you’re a cinnamon roll fan, you’ll love this recipe. I also enjoyed seeing the pecans on top as well as having some of the nuts swirled inside the rolls. 

The baked buns had notably less glaze on top than other recipes, which made these buns feel breadier and less gooey. And the bit of excess caramel that you’d want to spoon over the buns seized up a bit. If you make this recipe, you’ll no doubt be as pleased as all the other reviewers were. It’s a very good recipe, but just didn’t do enough to win this showdown.

If You’re Making Allrecipes’ Ooey-Gooey Cinnamon Buns, a Few Tips

  1. Toast the pecans. Toasted pecans have a crunchier texture (un-toasted nuts can feel squeaky) and far richer, nuttier flavor than raw ones. Try taking the extra step to toast them. I recommend toasting chopped pecans at 300°F for 15 to 18 minutes. Or look for pre-toasted pecans at Trader Joe’s. 
  2. Make cutting easier. Once you’ve rolled up the dough with the filling, you need to slice the roll into 15 pieces. To make the job of cutting through the soft dough easier, either use a thin, very sharp serrated knife, or try floss or kitchen twine (slide a piece of floss or twine under the roll, cross the ends over the top, and pull in opposite directions).
  3. Use an inverted sheet pan to flip. When the buns are done, you’ll have a 13×9-inch pan packed full of piping-hot rolls and caramel that you need to turn out of the pan. To make this job easier, cleaner, and safer, try this: Place a large sheet of parchment paper over the pan, and top it with an inverted sheet pan. With oven mitts firmly grasping the sheet pan and the baking pan underneath, flip everything over in one swift movement. Pull the baking pan off, and admire your gorgeous sticky buns.

Overall rating: 7.5/10