Easy Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

This recipe combines two of my great autumn loves: caramel apples and sticky buns.

The beauty of using leftover pizza dough is you don't need to wait for a second rise. Your dough will have already done that. The "sticky" sauce comes together quickly, as does the filling. Assemble, bake, and in about an hour you could be eating these beauties fresh from the oven. These buns are best freshly baked. You can store them covered, up to a day, and reheat in the oven prior to serving.

About the author: Alexandra Penfold is mild-mannered literary agent by day, food ninja by night. Never one to skip dessert she's the Brownie half of Blondie & Brownie, a Midtown Lunch contributor, and co-author of New York à la Cart: Recipes and Stories from the Big Apple's Best Food Trucks. You can follow her on Twitter at @BlondieBrownie.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Easy Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 16
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 hour and 15 minutes
Special equipment:2 8-inch cake pans, food processor with grater attachment
This recipe appears in: American Classics: Easy Caramel Apple Sticky Buns


  • For the Caramel Sauce:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • For the Buns:
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 2 inch wedges
  • 1 1/2 pounds pizza dough


  1. 1

    Move oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spray cake pans with non-stick cooking oil. Set aside.

  2. 2

    For the caramel sauce: In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in sugar. Once sugar has dissolved whisk in milk. Let mixture come to a light boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until syrup thickens. Remove from heat and divide sauce between cake pans, tilt the pan as needed to coat the entire bottom of the pan.

  3. 3

    For the buns: In a large bowl combine melted butter, sugars and cinnamon. Feed the apple pieces through a food processor fitted with the grater attachment. Add grated apple to bowl and stir to combine with butter mixture.

  4. 4

    Roll the dough out into a 10- by 16- inch rectangle with the long side facing you. Spread apple filling on top of the dough leaving a 1/2- inch on the top edge. Roll the dough along the long side to form a 16-inch log. Use a serrated knife to cut 16 rounds from the dough. Place one round in the center of each cake pan and surround it with 7 rounds. Bake until buns are a deep golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes.

  5. 5

    Remove pans from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Place a heatproof plate over platter over each pan and invert. Serve immediately.

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