Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pecan cinnabun Easter Sunday

After much searching, I've finally happened upon the quasi-perfect pecan cinnamon bun recipe. I say "quasi" because I want to account for the possibility that somewhere out there lurks a truly ideal recipe that will make you cry with happiness.. This may not be your nirvana, but I'm happy to report that these buns have elicited a few tears of joy (mine actually, when I realized that all that bloody work had indeed paid off).

But I'll let you judge for yourself.

Note: This recipe is taken from a contribution (Cinnamon Rolls III) to I'm transcribing it here with a few notes, because I found it really confusing to go through all their different versions and comments. So all you have to do is TRUST ME and start baking. I make the dough in my bread machine (more later on my obsessive and rather unnatural love for my Zojirushi) and then let it rise and finish off the recipe.

If you use a bread machine you have to make the dough with all the caveats proper to it: liquids first, flour on top of liquids, none of the other ingredients touching the liquids OR the yeast. Each dry ingredient placed on the sides. I added a tiny tiny pinch more yeast, but just a bit. I used the kind for bread machines.

Pecanbuns (16 rolls)

  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons milk


  1. In the pan of your bread machine, combine water, melted butter, vanilla pudding, warm milk, egg, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, bread flour and yeast. (ok, order matters as I said above… incorporate butter in the milk, make sure it’s not too hot).
  2. Set machine to Dough cycle; press Start. When Dough cycle has finished… HERE I let it rise for two hours or so… turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 17x10 inch rectangle. Spread with softened butter. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over dough.
  3. Roll up dough, beginning with long side. Slice into 16 one inch slices and place in 9x13 buttered pan. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes (Note: I found it works better if you just let it rise until it doubles, typically three hours, depending on your kitchen.)
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. While rolls bake, stir together cream cheese, softened butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla and milk. Remove rolls from oven and top with frosting. I found 18 minutes was perfect, but my oven tends to run hot.

Caramel sauce for caramel pecan topping

I make my own, but you can find a good one here. I strongly advise you to use white sugar for caramel. Brown sugar has too many impurities and will not give you that "authentic" caramel taste :)

Enjoy. I have a batch rising right now... :)))

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