Oh my! These Ridiculously Easy Sticky Pecan Rolls taste like they are a labor of love from a fine, fancy bakery but they come together quickly with the convenience of frozen puff pastry.
I've been hearing about an incredibly swoon-worthy bakery from my husband, Scott, ever since we met (over 45 years ago). This legendary establishment was located in Park Falls, a small town in northern Wisconsin where Scott and his family vacationed each summer when he was growing up. I'm not sure of the origin of its name, "The Electric Bakery" but, according to Scott, locals and vacationers would drive for miles to enjoy the famous bakery's sweet confections. So when Scott took the first bite of one of these Sticky Pecan Rolls, rolled his eyes and said "I feel like I'm back at The Electric Bakery", I knew we had a hit!
Scott isn't the only one who's flipped over these Sticky Pecan Rolls. I tested the recipe on numerous guests who have visited these past two weeks and they also loved these rolls. It seems that everyone who tries them lets out a little moan of delight with the first taste! Electric Bakery, eat your heart out!
I'm pretty sure that making the Sticky Pecan Rolls at the Electric Bakery was a labor of love. The baker was probably up long before the birdies, fiddling with yeast, dough, a big electric mixer and several rises before the rolls ever hit the oven, much less the display case, where hungry customers would be enticed.
I know, I know... these sticky buns don't look like they'd be easy to make, either. But trust me, they're not just easy, they're ridiculously easy! Frozen puff pastry is the magical ingredient in this recipe that takes away most of the work. It puffs up light and flaky in the oven and the thick buttery, brown sugar caramel sauce that forms on the bottom, drenching the crisp pecans, is definitely drool-worthy!
If you're new to The Café you may not be aware that we have a separate category of recipes labeled Ridiculously Easy. You can read more about these recipes in this post but if you have a family or enjoy entertaining, you're going to fall in love with this special collection. My in-a-nutshell description of our Ridiculously Easy collection is "recipes that make you look like a kitchen rock star with minimal effort on your part". See what I mean, what's not to love?
How it works
Let's take a look at exactly how these Stick Pecans Rolls come together. Here are the simple steps:
- Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray.
- Combine soft butter and brown sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add a scoop of the brown sugar mixture to each muffin cup followed by a sprinkle of chopped pecans.
- Open up the thawed puff pastry and lay both sheets out on a work surface. Brush each sheet with melted butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up each sheet into a log then cut each one into 6 portions.
- Lay the pieces, with the cut side up on top (and down) on top of the brown sugar/pecan mixture and give each one a little push with your hand to flatten.
- Refrigerate, then bake just before serving.
This past weekend we hosted a brunch for some friends. I wanted to enjoy the guests that morning so I prepared these Sticky Pecan Rolls the day before (up to the baking step), covered them with plastic wrap and refrigerated them. On Sunday morning, I simply preheated the oven, pulled them out the refrigerator and popped them in the oven. It wasn't long before a ridiculously delicious aroma was emanating from my kitchen and happy friends were gathered around the table.
Although these Sticky Pecan Rolls make a fabulous breakfast or brunch treat, they are also great for DESSERT! I happened to have a few left over one evening when friends were visiting. I warmed them slightly in the microwave and placed each one in a bowl with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of warm Butterscotch Sauce (another ridiculously easy recipe!). Talk about licking the bowls clean - I didn't have to rinse the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher!
Pick up a box of puff pastry and a bag of pecans next time you grocery shop. You probably have everything else you need to make these Ridiculously Easy Sticky Pecan Rolls. Make them and you just might be taken back in time to the best little bakery you've ever had the pleasure of experiencing!
Café Tips for making these Ridiculously Easy Sticky Pecan Rolls
- Look for sheets of puff pastry. Puff pastry also comes in little round shells. Those are great, but not for this recipe. The most common brand of puff pastry here in the U.S. is Pepperidge Farm. You'll find Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry at most larger grocery stores, usually in the same section as the frozen pie crusts.
- As noted above, puff pastry comes frozen so be sure to allow enough time for it to thaw before starting the recipe. It's best to thaw puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator. It can also be thawed at room temperature, just don't let it sit out too long. Puff pastry likes to stay cold.
- Because puff pastry likes to go into the oven cold (it "puffs" best when the cold pastry hits the hot oven), it's important to let the sticky pecan rolls chill for 15 minutes before placing them in the oven.
- Since you don't need an electric mixer for the sticky pecan topping, you want very soft butter. You can soften butter by letting it sit out at room temperature for a few hours. If your kitchen is chilly or, if you forget to soften it in advance, you can also soften butter by microwaving it at 10% power for 2-3 minutes, depending on the power strength of your microwave.
- No need to buy fancy whole pecans for this recipe. Chopped pecans are much more economical and will work great for these Sticky Pecan Rolls.
- If you're in the market for a new muffin pan, I really love this OXO Good Grip Muffin Pan. I've had mne for several years now and it always comes out of the dishwasher looking like new. I like that the cups are a little bit narrower than most muffin pans which helps the muffins come out tall with nice rounded tops.
Thought for the day:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth
and does not live in temples built by human hands.
And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything.
Rather, He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth;
and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
God did this so that they would seek Him
and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from any one of us.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy any of these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
Oh my! These Ridiculously Easy Sticky Pecan Rolls taste like they are a labor of love from a fine, fancy bakery, but they come together quickly thanks to the convenience of frozen puff pastry.
- 5 tablespoons soft butter
- 6 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar packed
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 1 package 17.3 ounces/2 sheets frozen puff pastry, defrosted
- 2 tablespoon melted butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray the 12-cups of a regular-size muffin pan generously with non-stick spray. Place the muffin pan on a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper (to catch any drips).
In a medium size bowl, combine the soft butter and brown sugar and stir well. Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cups, about 1 tablespoon in each. Distribute the pecans evenly on top of the butter/brown sugar mixture.
Unfold both sheets of puff pastry with the folds going left to right on a work surface. Brush each one lightly with the melted butter. Sprinkle each with half of the brown sugar (¼ cup) and then half of the cinnamon (1 teaspoon for each sheet).
Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll by pinching the seam together then placing it seam side down. With a sharp knife, slice each roll into 6 equal pieces. Place each piece with a cut side up on top of the brown sugar/pecan mixture in the muffin cups.
Refrigerate the pan for 15 minutes. (At this point, you can leave them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours covered with a piece of plastic wrap before baking. When ready to bake proceed with preheating the oven and baking as directed below.)
Bake for 18-24 minutes until the sticky buns are a medium golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Place a piece of parchment (or foil) on top of the sticky buns in the pan. Place a sheet pan on top of the parchment paper (or foil) and invert the pans so that the sticky buns are facing down on the parchment (or foil) lined sheet pan. Allow the muffin pan to sit for 2 minutes then slowly lift, allowing any extra caramel mixture to drop onto the rolls. If there’s any pecans left in the muffin pan, transfer them with a spoon to the top of the sticky buns. Serve warm or at room temperature. ENJOY!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Recipe adapted (a lot) from the Pittsburg Post Gazette