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  • Mary Kay

Quick and EASY Pecan Overload Sticky Buns for Valentine's Day

Take your favorite store-bought refrigerator rolls to a new level when you make these QUICK and EASY Pecan Overload Sticky Buns for Valentine's Day. Mom used to make homemade pecan cinnamon rolls with delicious gooey brown sugar-corn syrup sticky sauce, and this quick and easy recipe really takes me back to those days. Today I get the wonderful aroma in the kitchen without all the work and mess.

It's easy to make them special for Valentine's Day. Just add my easy, no cook sticky bun caramel sauce that's baked on the bottom but ends up ooey and gooey and overloaded with pecans on top when you flip them out of the pan. They are so easy and fast.

This is a recipe Mom and Dad would have enjoyed. Mom because they don't take much time to make (she always made hers from scratch), and Dad because they have huge flavor, with all those pecans. I just don’t make cinnamon rolls from scratch as well as Mom did, so this is my way of repeating those delicious cinnamon rolls she lovingly shared with the family.

Imagine serving up these delicious sticky buns on Valentine's Day morning to your family, all drizzled with pink icing and M&Ms sprinkled on top. Just purchase a package of large refrigerated rolls for baking. Usually, you can buy a rolled can of 5 large cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator section of your favorite grocery store. You can bake the regular sized refrigerator rolls, too, but the large ones will bake quite a bit taller and more luxurious. That makes them so special for Valentine's Day.

This morning I actually baked 3 of these gargantuan rolls in my 6" cake pan to share. Then I saved the other two cinnamon rolls to bake another day in my little 5"cast iron skillet later this week for even more tasty sticky fun, with coffee. I think I'll try the second batch with walnuts.

If your roll of large cinnamon rolls includes a package of icing, take a minute to color it with red or pink gel food coloring. Then scatter red, pink and white M&Ms on top. You can drizzle and scatter the treats on top right away after you tip the baked rolls out of the pan onto a serving plate. If the rolls are hot, the icing will spread. Or, you can ice and add the M&Ms after it’s cooled – that way the icing won’t spread.

I like this quick and easy recipe because I can skip the mixing, rolling and cutting of the basic cinnamon roll dough. I enjoy the store-bought Pillsbury Grands. They make this sticky bun recipe so easy. No more spilling flour all the kitchen or dropping brown sugar on the flour. And, they're ready to eat in a half hour!

Store-bought cinnamon rolls already have the cinnamon-sugar in the layers, so you don’t need to worry about that messy step. Plus, there’s no need to knead any dough or let them rise in a warm corner of your kitchen. Just plop the rolls on top of your pecan syrupy sauce and bake! Be sure you pick out your favorite brand for this recipe enhancement!

To make the pecan syrupy sauce, thoroughly stir together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and vanilla. Heat it in the microwave for about 15 seconds, stir again, add the pecans and pour into your generously buttered baking pan.  

With just two of us at home I split the rolls to bake them on two different days, 3 for the first day and 2 for later. I store the 2 rolls “for later” in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, then bake them with more pecan sticky sauce. 

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees.

Prep your baking pan:

Generously slather soft (not melted) butter all over the inside bottom and sides of a 6” round baking pan. I use my high sided 6” round cake pan. You really could use a ceramic baking dish. I don’t even use a non-stick pan since everything slides out so nicely when I tip the pan upside down onto a serving plate immediately after baking.


Gather up your Ingredients:

1 Cinnamon roll package of 5, refrigerated

4 T Butter

½ C Brown sugar

1 t Vanilla extract

¼ C Maple Syrup (real, not artificial)

¾ - 1 C Pecans, rough chopped

¼ - ½ C M&Ms, red, pink, white

White icing (included in the cinnamon roll

Red or pink gel food coloring, a drop or two 

Mix, assemble and bake:

-To make the pecan syrupy sauce for the bottom of the baking pan (or a small sauce pan) stir and melt together the butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, pecans. I do it right in the baking pan. Melt them together over low to medium heat on the stove or in the microwave. Do not boil, just heat up and stir together so everything is melted together.

-Add the rough chopped pecans and stir so all the pecans are coated with the syrupy sauce.

-With the pecan syrupy sauce in the bottom of your buttered baking dish, separate the cinnamon rolls and lay them on top of the pecan syrupy sauce.

-NOTE: If you want to bake all 5 of the cinnamon rolls instead of just 3, double the above pecan syrupy sauce recipe.

-Bake for 23-27 minutes. I check them at the 20-minute mark and rotate my pan since my oven bakes a little unevenly. Return them to the oven for the rest of the baking time. They should come out tall and a nice golden brown.  

-While the rolls are baking, stir up the icing provided in the roll of cinnamon rolls. Add a drop or two of red or pink gel food coloring. For it to drizzle easily, microwave the icing just for a few seconds – 5 to 8 seconds.

-When the rolls are completed baking, put a serving plate upside down over the pan of rolls. -Using two protective hot pads and holding the two dishes tight together, flip them over so the bottom of the baking pan faces up. Gently lift the baking dish off and everything should slip out nicely. If a few of the pecans remain in the pan, use a silicone spatula to scoop everything out onto the rolls.

-NOTE: The rolls will slide out of the baking pan easier as soon as they are done baking. If they cool in the baking dish, they could be tough to get out of the pan. Since the pan will be very hot, so be sure to use protective hot pads.

-I like to drizzle the warm icing over the rolls and sticky pecan syrupy sauce while they are warm. Then the pink icing spreads over the sauce – YUM!

-Scatter the M&Ms over the icing while it’s still wet. Some people like to drizzle the icing after the rolls have cooled so that the icing does not spread. Then spread the M&Ms before the icing cools. It’s your choice. Either way they are delicious!


-These Quick and EASY Pecan Overload Sticky Buns store nicely under a cake dome on the counter for a day or two. Or sometimes I just turn a big plastic bowl over the plate of rolls on the counter.

-Or, you can store them covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. But they never last that long in my house, so I don’t worry about how to store them for that long.

-When I split the rolls to bake them on two different days, 3 for the first day and 2 for later, I store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, then bake them.

-I have never frozen them after baking since they disappear sooner than freezing is needed.


These QUICK and EASY Pecan Overload Sticky Buns for Valentine's Day are so good! They are delicious for Valentine’s Day, for any family breakfast or even split up and baked on different days for extended treat dates. However you enjoy them“Bake your own Memories!”

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