Cinnamon and pecan butterscotch buns

These sticky buns from Ainsley Harriott make a great weekend breakfast treat. Kids just love to get involved with all the mixing, kneading and rolling
By Ainsley Harriott
Cinnamon and pecan butterscotch buns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 9
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes including proving time
  • Effort: easy


  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 level tbsp active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp clear honey
  • 500 g strong white flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened

For the butterscotch sauce

  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 4 tbsp soft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar
  • 100 g chopped pecans

For the filling

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar or light muscovado sugar


1. Warm the milk either in a small pan on the hob, or in a jug in the microwave. Add the yeast and honey, mix well and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes, until the yeast has formed a thick foam on top of the milk.

2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the sugar and salt and mix well. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Add the eggs and butter. Stir until thoroughly combined, then tip on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

3. Wash and dry the bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, place in the bowl and over with cling film. Leave in a warm, draught-free place for about 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small pan melt together the butter, golden syrup and sugar. Add half the pecans, pour into a 23-cm square baking tin and set aside.

5. Now mix all the filling ingredients together, then cover and chill until needed.

6. Turn the dough on to a floured work surface and knead very lightly for 30-60 seconds. Shape into a rectangle measuring about 30 x 50 cm with a long side nearest to you. Brush the top edge with a little water. Spread the filling mixture over the dough, leaving a border of at least 1 cm around the edges, and scatter with the remaining pecans.

7. Roll the dough up, starting with the side closest to you, and keeping the roll even and firm but not too tight. Trim the ends, cut the roll into nine equal slices and place them evenly spaced and cut-side uppermost on top of the sauce in the tin. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes, until the buns are well risen and springy to the touch.

8. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

9. Bake the buns on the middle shelf for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly in the tin, then turn out on to a large tray. They can be served warm or at room temperature.

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