If you're looking to use up some eggnog, these egg nog sticky buns are a great way to do so! Full of flavour... and calories. SO MANY CALORIES. The perfect Christmas morning brunch offering!
Originally Published January 14, 2021, Updated on 11/13/2022.
What I end up making usually depends on a few things - what do we have on hand, what is he in the mood for, what do I feel like making... etc.
I gave him a couple base options: "Muffins, loaf, or something more like a cinnamon roll?". He chose cinnamon roll, and we went from there.
My first thought was to put eggnog in the dough and in the frosting, but a glimpse of a jar of maraschino cherries reminded me of the sticky buns I used to have at my grandmother's place.
I hadn't made sticky buns in YEARS, so we decided to head in that direction.
Designing Egg Nog Sticky Buns
I gave him the option of the 12 smaller buns, or 6 monster buns. He wanted monster size.
He LOVES nutmeg, so I added a touch to the dough, as well as the caramel. I also adjusted the cinnamon filling to be more nutmeg-forward, playing up the eggnog flavour.
Finally, when it came to the nuts, we narrowed it down to either walnuts or pecans - both would work well with this. I found the pecans first, so that's what we did.
In it, I said that I think that there should be some minor-level sainthood designation for people who make such things for their spouses, while completely unable to eat it, themselves.
I tagged a friend - a pastor - in on my hot take, and she actually backed me up!
Definite sainthood for you - those look so amazing! If Dante can lay out the various circles of hell in The Inferno, there should be matching circles of sainthood to balance them. I'd be glad to nominate you!
Can agnostic people be saints? I don't know.
I do know that I swiped quite a few of the caramel-coated pecans that slipped off the buns, though.
I have been assured that they are worth every calorie and every gram of carb and fat, though.
They’d definitely make a fantastically indulgent treat for Christmas morning breakfast, or any Holiday season brunch get together!
The ingredient list in the recipe card may look long, but it’s mostly repetition of ingredients across the dough itself, caramel topping, and the assembly.
All of them are simple ingredients that will be easy to find in any grocery store. You will need:
1. You can use bread flour if you like.
2. You can use any kind of eggnog or plant based “nog” alternative that you like. Oat Nog and coconut nog can be fantastic! Just use something you actually like to drink.
3. If you’re not as into pecans, use Walnut Halves and Pieces.
How to Make Eggnog Sticky Buns
The full recipe is in the recipe card at the end of this post, here is a pictorial walk through!
Start Your Yeast
The recipe starts out with sugar, yeast, and water. This is one of the most important parts of the recipe, so make sure it’s all in place!
- The water has to be warm, but not hot. You want to encourage the growth of the yeast, without killing it.
Cool water won’t “wake up” the yeast the way warm does, and it won’t rise as much / quickly.
Hot water will kill the yeast, The sugar feeds the yeast.
Make sure to use yeast that has been properly stored and is fresh. Very old yeast doesn’t always work.
Anyway, you mix the three together and leave it for a few minutes, and this is what you should see:
Make the Dough
You can do this by hand, or - like I do - in a stand mixer.
However you do it, just mix together your flour, salt, and nutmeg. Pour in yeast mixture, egg nog, vanilla, and butter, stir well to combine.
In a stand mixer:
Affix a dough hook and just let it go on medium speed for about 7 minutes or so, until it’s smooth and stretchy.
I start timing once the mixing is done, and all of the extra flour has been “cleaned” off the mixer bowl:
Once the dough has come together - and you have all of the flour incorporated into it - dump it out on a clean work surface and knead it.
Basically, I’ll use the heels of my hands to push down and stretch the dough, fold it over, and repeat for about 15+ minutes.
It’s a great way to get out some anger, aggression, frustration, or ~feelings~ in general, but it is labourious... so I generally use the stand mixer!
When it’s ready, it’ll be smooth and stretchy.
You can test readiness by pinching off a small bit of dough, flattening it a bit, and stretching it. If you can stretch it really thin without tearing, it’s done!
Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and proof it.
Proof the Dough
“Proofing” is just letting the dough rise.
You’ll want a warm - not hot - area to do this.
As I tend to keep my house nice and cool, I generally cheat at this: I’ll turn the oven on for a few minutes to warm it up a bit, then turn it off and use it as a proofing oven.
Let it rise - undisturbed - until it’s doubled in volume. Give it a good 45 minutes - 1 hour for this, but don’t leave it much longer than that without checking on it.
OVERproofing the dough - letting it rise too long / too far - will result in deflated dough, and hockey puck buns.
Make the Topping
In a small saucepan, mix melted butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg together. Heat, stirring well, until smooth.
Pour brown sugar caramel mix into the pan, tilt pan to spread evenly over bottom of pan. Scatter pecans across caramel, set pan aside.
Assemble & Bake the Rolls
Once dough has doubled in size, roll or stretch dough out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 15 x 20″ or so.
Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter all over the dough – you might not use it all, that’s ok.
Mix together the sugar and spices, sprinkle it evenly over the melted butter.
Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 6 even rounds.
Press down slightly to spread / flatten them a bit. Cover pan with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes.
Once final rise is over, pop the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and perfect.
Allow buns to cool for 10 minutes, before inverting pan onto a tray or cookie sheet.
How to Serve Egg Nog Sticky Buns
These are great fresh out of the oven, or reheated after the fact.
If you don’t mind the extra calories, you can split them in half, butter the insides, and pan fry them until crispy. That’s how we did it, when I was growing up!
More Christmas Treats
Looking for more inspiration for your holiday goodies tray? Breakfast, sweet snack or dessert, here are a delicious recipes for you!
Candied Orange Slices
Candy Cane Biscotti
Creme de Menthe Nanaimo Bars
Easy Gingerbread Muffins
Festive Easy Fudge
Gluten-Free Candy Cane Cookies
Gluten Free Fruitcake
Gluten-Free Fruitcake Cookies
Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
Keto Candy Cane Cookies
Pecan Pie Cookies
Traditional Eggnog Mousse
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Egg Nog Sticky Buns
- ½ cup Warm - NOT hot! - Water
- 3 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- 4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
- 3 ½ cups All Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 cup Warmed egg nog
- ¼ cup Butter, Melted
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ¾ cup Butter, Melted
- ¾ cup Brown Sugar, packed
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 cup Pecan halves
- ¼ cup Butter, Melted
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cloves
- 1 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
Make the Dough
- Stir yeast and sugar into warm water, allow to stand for 10 minutes – it should get very bubbly.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and nutmeg. Pour in yeast mixture, egg nog, vanilla, and butter, stir well to combine.
- Dump dough out onto a floured surface, knead until soft and elastic, 5-10 minutes. (OR: mix it in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 5 minutes or so - That's how I do it!)
- Once dough is fully kneaded, place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.
Make the Topping
- In a small saucepan, mix melted butter, brown sugar, and nutmeg together. Heat, stirring well, until smooth.
- Line a 9 x 13" pan with parchment paper if you like. Spray well with cooking spray - whether or not you used parchment.
- Pour brown sugar caramel mix into the pan, tilt pan to spread evenly over bottom of pan.
- Scatter pecans across caramel, set pan aside.
Assemble the Rolls
- Once dough has doubled in size, roll dough out on a floured surface. Aim to make it a large rectangle, say 15 x 20″ or so.
- Use a pastry brush to spread melted butter all over the dough – you might not use it all, that’s ok.
- Mix together the sugar and spices, sprinkle it evenly over the melted butter.
- Starting with one of the shorter edges, tightly roll the dough up.
- Using a very sharp knife, slice the roll into 6 even rounds. Carefully place each roll into the pan, spacing them evenly.Remember: The bottom of the pan will become the top side, as these are flipped once baked.
- Cover pan with plastic wrap, allow to rise one more time – about 45 minutes. While waiting for the buns to rise, heat oven to 350F.
- Once final rise is over, pop the pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and perfect.
- Allow buns to cool for 10 minutes, before inverting pan onto a tray or cookie sheet.