Site Overlay

Whole Wheat Maple Walnut Sticky Buns

You’ve heard of sticky buns? Yes. And cinnamon rolls? Yes. Ever wonder what the difference is? So did I, until I made these.

Cinnamon rolls have a dough made with milk and butter – making for a tender, cakey roll. They are always topped with a glaze or cream cheese frosting and don’t typically contain nuts or raisins. Sticky buns have a stiffer dough – less fat and water instead of milk. To make sticky buns, you place some of the filling into the pan before placing the rolls in – they are sticky indeed and best served warm. Nuts/fruit are integral as they form the glaze (instead of you adding it to the baked rolls).

I am more of a cinnamon roll gal, to be perfectly honest, but that didn’t stop me from inhaling two warm sticky buns before I knew what happened. Literally, I was like Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed when she mistakenly takes down several pot brownies and then proceeds to eat a whole pie. She wakes up and is like, “SOMEONE ATE MY ENTIRE PIE!”. That’s how it was, except for the pot brownies.

I made these to thank my neighbor who chopped up our icy sidewalk but he wasn’t around when I knocked and I refused to give him cold sticky buns (seriously, these need to be served warm). I froze them individually and now they’re waiting for me in a bag in the freezer. Whenever we heat them up I’ll come back to this post and let you know how it went.

Lastly, these are decidedly more healthy than some other sweet options out there. Walnuts are FANTASTIC for you, and with mostly whole wheat flour there is added fiber and nutrients. I subbed natural maple syrup for some of the brown sugar (brown sugar isn’t really healthier than white – it’s just white sugar with molasses mixed in – higher iron but that’s about it). Make, eat, pat yourself on the back for your good decision.

Whole-Wheat Maple Walnut Sticky Buns

Makes 10

Adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine


2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour

3/4 c. all purpose flour

2 tbsp. toasted wheat germ

1 heaping tsp. quick rise yeast

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar

1/2 c. warm water

1 egg, beaten


1 stick unsalted butter, very soft*

1/4 c. maple syrup

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. toasted walnuts, chopped

*It needs to be out of the fridge for about 1 hour to achieve softness. I microwaved mine at half power to achieve needed softness because I had forgotten. Both work fine in this instance.

1. To make the dough, combine flours, wheat germ, yeast, salt, and brown sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer (with dough hook attachment) or large mixing bowl.

2. Crack egg into measuring cup with warm water and beat with fork to combine. With mixer running (or while stirring – if making by hand), add water/egg mixture to dry mixture until combined.

3. Add melted butter and knead on medium low for five minutes or until dough comes together in a smooth, elastic ball. Knead at least 10 minutes on lightly floured counter if kneading by hand.

4. Grease a mixing bowl with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 200 degrees. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. When oven reaches 200 degrees, turn off oven and add bowl of dough. Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.



5. To make filling combine all of the ingredients to make a paste.

6. Spray a round cake pan with nonstick spray. Spread half of the filling around the bottom of the pan.


7. On a lightly floured countertop, roll dough into a 10 by 14 inch rectangle. Spread remaining filling across surface of dough. Roll up, starting with long-side, and pinch edges and ends to seal. Slice with a very sharp serrated knife (or use this thread trick – my preferred method) into ten parts. Place, cut side up, spaced evenly, into prepared cake pan.





8. Cover with plastic and do the warm oven trick again OR place in the refrigerator over night (or for at least 6 hours). Rolls should rise and fill the pan.


9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake rolls for 23-25 minutes or until starting to turn golden and filling is bubbling.


10. Let cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes, then invert onto serving plate. Scoop out any remaining filling still in pan and place on top. Serve immediately. Best served warm; if you can’t serve immediately, keep in airtight container and heat in oven before serving.