I grew up on cinnamon rolls. My mother would proudly knead them into existence at least once a month and twice before Christmas. She said hers were the best and I wholeheartedly agreed. What could be better than a spiral of dough slung rich with cinnamon and cream cheese frosting? I held this fervent loyalty until I was in my mid-twenties and a darling neighbor stopped by with a plate full of caramel sticky buns. The end. That was all. I forgot about mom’s cinnamon rolls and fell head over heels in love with rich, thick caramel draped around soft mounds of cinnamon-scented dough. Feeling jeal that I had myself a neighbor like that? Don’t be! I stole her recipe. And, now I’m gonna share it with you. See, as much as I heart caramel sticky buns, I heart you even more. Enjoy!
For the Caramel Cinnamon Rolls:
1 batch The Best Basic Roll Dough
4 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup butter, very soft
2 cups brown sugar
Roll the dough into a long, flat rectangle (about 3/4” thick). Use a spatula to spread a thin layer of butter across the dough. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon over the dough. Roll the dough tightly. Slice into 2” pieces. Place sliced rolls spiral-side-up in a well-greased pie tin or baking dish. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes, or just until the edges of the rolls are slightly browned. Remove and pour warm Sticky Caramel Icing over the rolls before serving.
For the Sticky Caramel Pecan Topping:
½ cup butter
½ cup sour cream
1 ½ cup brown sugar
1 cup dark karo syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 ½ cup pecans (optional)
In a large pan, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. Bring just to a boil. Add pecans, if desired. Remove from heat and pour over fresh cooked buns.