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Whole-Wheat Brown-Sugar Sticky Buns

  • prep: 30 mins
    total time: 3 hours 10 mins
  • yield: Makes 10
Photography: Jonathan Lovekin





  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl
  • 1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1/2 envelope)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 large egg, beaten


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped


  1. Step 1

    Dough: Lightly brush a medium bowl with butter; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, combine flours, wheat germ, yeast, salt, brown sugar, water, egg, and butter. Mix on medium-low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl once, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  2. Step 2

    Filling/topping: Brush a 9-inch round cake pan with butter; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth and fluffy. Spread half of mixture over bottom of pan; sprinkle with half of pecans.

  3. Step 3

    Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. With an offset spatula, spread remaining brown-sugar mixture on top, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Starting at a long edge, roll up dough like a jelly roll, then cut crosswise into 10 pieces. Place pieces in pan cut-side down, spaced evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are just touching and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  4. Step 4

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns until golden brown and topping is bubbling around sides of pan, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. With a serving plate centered over pan, hold plate and pan together and carefully flip over. Lift off pan and scrape out any remaining topping onto buns. Serve immediately.



Reviews (3)

  • Erika H 31 Mar, 2014

    Tried again with much better results! They need to rise in a very warm spot (like oven that is slightly heated.) I love how many whole wheat and "healthier" recipes Martha includes in her magazine, while still making it delicious. My kids beg for these and I don't feel bad about feeding them these for breakfast.

  • Erika H 26 Feb, 2014

    My dough didn't even come together? Did she mean to use the paddle attachment instead of the dough hook? I had to add another 1/2 -3/4 cup warm water, and the dough was still "off."

  • littleedie23 14 Feb, 2014

    I was so excited to make these...I followed the directions exactly...and my dough never rose! What a disappointment. This looked like such a great recipe, and I wish I had been able to read other reviews, since this recipe received so many stars I thought it would be wonderful.