How to Make the Most Unbelievably Easy and Yummy Sticky Buns Ever

Imagine yourself sitting down to open gifts with the family on Christmas morning, knowing that breakfast has already been taken care of — and you didn’t have to get up early to do it. Imagine only taking LITERALLY 15 minutes the night before to throw something together — something that everyone will think is to. die. for. This ridiculously easy recipe for make-ahead overnight sticky buns is what you’re looking for!  The only “tricky” part is timing when to put them in the oven, so they’re done just as everyone is finished opening their gifts!

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!

These sticky buns are made with frozen roll dough which rises overnight… and then the heat of the oven turns the brown sugar, butter, and butterscotch pudding mix into a decadent gooey caramel sauce… and the pecans add the perfect crunchy topping… are you drooling yet? :-)

I literally have been making these sticky buns every Christmas for at least the last 15 years.  The family will not let me not make them, lol.  They truly are the most delicious things ever!!  (And no, I’m not given to hyperbole… much…) :-)  I really do think that once you try them, you’ll want to make them a Christmas tradition in your home.  They meet every requirement I have for a recipe: they are easy and quick to make, have no weird or expensive ingredients, and did I mention THEY’RE YUMMY?!  :-)

Christmas Morning Sticky Buns

***Prepare these the night before you want them for breakfast.  That might be Christmas Eve, or it might the night before a special birthday, or any time you are craving the sticky goodness… (my mom used them at her bed & breakfast!)

            3/4 cup chopped pecans

             1 package (12 rolls) FROZEN roll dough — DO NOT THAW

1 box (3.4 oz) butterscotch instant pudding mix

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!1. The night before you want to eat these (sorry for the obnoxious repetition, but I don’t want anybody to be disappointed by starting these on the morning they plan to have them!), grease a bundt pan.  Sprinkle pecans in the bottom.

 

 

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!2. Arrange 11-12 FROZEN rolls on top of pecans (however many will fit comfortably).

 

 

 

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!3. Sprinkle dry pudding mix over top of rolls.  (The “cook & serve” type of pudding will work in a pinch, but it will not make the nice sticky caramel like the instant pudding will.  Instead it will be rather runny — but it will still taste yummy.)

 

 

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!4. Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and pour the whole thing over top of the rolls.  PLACE IN A COOL OVEN OVERNIGHT.

 

 

 

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!

This is what you will see in the morning.  Yea, baby!!

 

 

 

5. REMOVE THE ROLLS FROM THE OVEN.  This is very important.  If you do not remove them before preheating, you will not be a happy camper!  After removing the rolls from the oven, preheat to 350 degrees.  When the oven is up to temperature, return the rolls to the oven and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 5-10 minutes, then flip over onto plate.

And then it’s time to indulge in this thoroughly amazing, yummy, tender, sticky, gooey, mmmmm-delicious treat!!  Perfect with a cup of coffee or a cool glass of milk… oooo this is killing me….

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!

These easy make ahead overnight sticky buns are one of the best ideas for Christmas breakfast. Using Rhodes frozen rolls, dripping with a gooey pecan, cinnamon, and brown sugar topping -- this will become one of your favorite holiday recipes. While they bake, you can open gifts with the family -- then enjoy the decadence!

Now that the kids are older, I have to make two batches of these sticky buns to keep the whole family happy.  But since they’re so easy and quick — and I want my fair share, lol — I don’t mind doing it! Try them for your family this year and see what they think — and also notice how relaxing your Christmas eve and morning are. I think you’ll start a new Christmas tradition! :-)

43 thoughts on “How to Make the Most Unbelievably Easy and Yummy Sticky Buns Ever”

  1. We have “little dogs,” cocktail smokies wrapped in the cheapo four pack of biscuits type of biscuit. Cut the biscuits in half and wrap the “little dog.” The best part is opening the biscuit can! ;) We always have snacky appetizer type food on Christmas, sausage, cheese and crackers, veggie tray, shrimp cocktail, cookies, etc.

      1. Ann,

        We have breakfast for supper a lot. How many hours does the dough need to rise? Would 8 be enough?

        Thanks so much for your time!

        1. Yes, 8 hours rise time should be enough. The roll dough package tells how long they take to thaw/rise, but I have been known to prepare them after midnight and bake them at 8am (when the kids were little and we’d already been up unwrapping for hours, LOL), so I think you’re good!

  2. Yum! I wish I had made these last night!

    I am definitely going to give these a try. Maybe as a New Year’s treat. Our Christmas morning tradition is called Holiday Morning French Toast (on McCormick’s website – we use raisins instead of cranberries.) First one down sticks it in the oven, we do stockings, then eat breakfast, then do gifts.

    Mmm. My cold cereal isn’t measuring up this morning!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sarah

    1. You’re welcome, Sarah! Yes, they would make a great treat for ANY holiday, or even just for a fun breakfast when you don’t have a lot of time in the morning. Thanks for the comment!

      1. Ann,
        I made these for New Year’s Day and they were a big hit! I will admit to being a little leery of getting a weird taste from the pudding mix, but it was delicious! The only change I made was to use almonds instead of pecans because of some nut sensitivities. Fantastic, and oh, so easy. Thanks so much!

        Sarah

  3. I used to make this exact recipe all the time and then for some reason the last five times I have made it, the sauce part does not come out saucy. It is all clumpy and gritty as if the pudding or brown sugar didn’t melt or I don’t know what it is. Any help/advice you could give?!?! This used to be our favourite and now it’s just a sad mess :(

    1. Hmmm, I’m not sure. I do know that buying the instant pudding vs. the cooked pudding makes a BIG difference. Other than that, perhaps you are not fully melting the butter and brown sugar together? I melt my butter in the microwave and then stir the brown sugar into that. What a bummer! Sorry I can’t be more help.

    2. YynnThe recipe that I got from a coworker says to use COOK AND SETVE butterscotch pudding, not instant. I bought instant pudding by mistake onetime and didn’t like how they turned out. Maybe you could try the other and see if it makes a difference. It did with mine. Hope this helps you out.

  4. Ann, I just loved your recipe. Next month, my daughter is turning 10 and we have a small birthday party in the house. I am surely going to prepare this sticky bun as my daughter love such rolls. And I am sure other kids will go crazy for this. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I have some caramel sauce a good friend brought me back from Mexico. It is so good. Could I use it instead? It is so good.

    1. Hi Sandy, No, I would not recommend using caramel sauce. I think the heat of the oven will cause the sauce to burn or caramelize into a hard substance. I could be wrong, but you’d have to try it to be sure, and if it were me, I wouldn’t want to waste yummy sauce on an experiment that might not work out. I suggest using the sauce over ice cream and sticking with the recipe as written. Hope this helps! :-)

    1. Yes, you can totally use whatever pan you want… EXCEPT be sure that it has fairly tall sides, OR that you give the rolls enough room to expand horizontally. In the bundt pan they are touching each other, so they rise upwards — and if the pan didn’t have tall sides, they would spill over and make a mess. I have also used bread loaf pans with good success. In a long pan with shorter sides, I would recommend NOT having them touch each other. If they are going to rise to the top of the sides, then all the caramel will spill over… so yea, give them EXTRA room.

  6. We’ve made this recipe for years. It is delicious. I think this is the first year we haven’t had them since we first had them.
    The only difference is that we use 18 of the dough balls.
    Don’t let the butter and brown sugar cook too long or it will go to a soft crack stage. Cook just long enough to dissolve the sugar. My mother-in-law was always cooking hers too long.

    1. I just melt the butter in the microwave and then stir the brown sugar and cinnamon into it. Then you don’t have that problem. But yes, aren’t they so good? We had them TWICE this year. :-)

  7. I have made these for years, but our recipe calls for 24 dough balls. Do 12 really fill the pan? Everything else is the same. Thanks

  8. Hi,
    I just happened to see your post on the sticky bun recipe today. Yummmmm!!! The sticky buns have been a Christmas tradition in our family for over 20 years, we can’t have Christmas without them! LOL. We always make 2 bundt pans of sticky buns, one with Pecans and one without. We also make breakfast casseroles the day before so all we have to do is put everything in the oven and wait for the families to arrive.
    My recipe called for the cook n serve butterscotch pudding mix, not instant, so that is what we have used for years and it always comes out great. My recipe says to sprinkle the pudding mix and then sprinkle on the brown sugar and pour the melted butter over all. I always put mine in the oven overnight, so nobody accidentally hits it.
    Now I will try the instant pudding and mixing the brown sugar to the melted butter to see if there is a difference.
    Thanks!!!

    1. Hi Peggy, I’ll be interested to hear if there is a significant difference between your method with the cook pudding and mine with the instant. I know that I like the thick caramel that is formed from the instant. Keep me posted!

  9. I used instant pudding as directed and it did not turn into a gooey caramel sauce. There were sections of dry pudding mix. The next time I tried, I used only 1/2 package of pudding. Better but pudding mix still did not turn into caramel. Should I use more butter? Good, good recipe and tasty but don’t understand why pudding mix didn’t dissolve.

    1. I don’t either. The melted butter mixture should cover the pudding powder, so that’s all going to melt together during baking. Perhaps you put it together in the wrong order?

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