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Waking up at Grandma’s house. Slowly opening my eyes and looking around the spare bedroom- which is stuffed with antiques Grandpa has collected over the years. Slowly sniffing the air. Yep, she made cinnamon rolls. Even better, she made caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.

I guess they’re also running around under the name of “Sticky Buns.” I didn’t know that until I was searching on Pinterest. But I’m sticking with the name they’ve been called my entire life.

I can’t thank my Grandma Jan enough for sharing this recipe with me. Though she has an easy version that uses Rhodes Frozen Cinnamon Rolls. I can’t find those rolls where I live in the South. Who would think you could find something in a town of less than 1,000 in backwoods Iowa that you can’t find in a city?! So the recipe below includes the rolls from scratch. Have a mentioned these cinnamon rolls are my Cinnabon copycat recipe? They’re delicious!

If you’re looking for rolls with cream cheese frosting, check out my Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.

Close-up of caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.

Don’t these caramel pecan cinnamon rolls look delicious! I want one just looking at the picture.

As I mentioned, she uses frozen cinnamon rolls. If you use those instead of the homemade recipe, then place them frozen on top of the prepared caramel pecan topping. Allow them to fluff up completely (she does it overnight), then bake according to directions below.

My husband has the nerve to smother butter on the top of the prepared roll. So you can try it that way if you’d like. I can’t stand it…it covers up the taste of the caramel!

5 from 2 votes

Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Cinnabon copycat recipe smothered with caramel and pecan.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel pecan cinnamon rolls, cinnamon rolls
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 rolls


Caramel Pecan Topping:

Cinnamon Rolls:

  • 1/4 C. warm water (100°-110°)
  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • 1 C. milk room temperature or warm
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/4 C. butter softened
  • 1 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
  • 4 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 pkg (3/4 oz. box) instant vanilla pudding powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla



Caramel Pecan Topping:

  • Bring butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and milk to a boil.
  • Pour into bottom of greased 9" x 13" baking dish.
  • Sprinkle pecans evenly over top of caramel sauce.

Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Mise en place! Make sure ingredients are in proper condition (softened, if needed).
  • In a small bowl, mix warm water and yeast. Allow to proof. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix remaining dough ingredients together with a dough hook until mixed. 
  • Add yeast and water. Knead with dough-hook until well-mixed and dough is pliable. 
  • Mix brown sugar and cinnamon. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to an 18" by 30" rectangle. 
  • Spread the very soft butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with pre-mixed brown sugar and cinnamon. 
  • Roll up the dough, starting at the long edge. Don't roll too tight (it needs room to expand), but roll tightly enough it holds roll shape. 
  • Once rolled, cut off ends (that might not be completely filled with flavor) and discard. 
  • Cut remaining log of dough into 12 even pieces. 
  • Place rolls into greased baking dish. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. (they won't double, but they should expand by at least 1/2). If needed, let rise an additional 30 minutes. 
  • Bake at 350° for approximately 30 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Allow to cool for 1 minute. Flip out onto large jelly roll pan so caramel pecan topping is on top.
Pin image for caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.
Pin image for caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.
Pin image for caramel pecan cinnamon rolls.