breakfast, recipe, sweet

Sticky Maple Buns with Sweet Tahini Glaze

I don’t think sticky buns get nearly the attention they deserve. With their pillow-y soft dough and their sticky filling oozing into every crevice, they are more than just the lesser-known sister of the famous cinnamon counterpart.

Sticky buns tend to come with all kinds of filling, but the most important detail is that the filling caramelized in the oven, rendering a deliciously sticky crust that gently coats and supports the pillow-y dough inside.

I love sticky buns. Almost to a fault. I may be responsible for the disappearance of the first four sticky buns from this batch. But it was all in the name of recipe testing! That’s one of the wonderful benefits of being the chef AND the taste tester 🙂

This particular recipe uses maple sugar, which is like cane sugar but made from maple syrup! If you’re not sure where to find it, I always find some at local Farmer’s Markets or even at speciality stores. The maple sugar is equally as sweet as cane sugar, but has a gentle maple flavour that is so delicious. It caramelizes beautifully, too!

These sticky maple buns are topped with a maple tahini glaze to add a touch of savory and to balance out the sweetness. But if you want to go all-in with the maple, just remove the tahini and double the amount of butter.

These buns are best enjoyed warm with a steaming cup of coffee or tea.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

Sticky Maple Buns with Sweet Tahini Glaze
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    For the dough:
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 envelope)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, gently warmed
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups flour
  • For the filling:
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp four spice
  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
  • For the icing:
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar (add another 1/3 cup if you like a thicker icing)
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream


  1. To make the dough, mix the yeast and warmed milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until slightly bubbly. With a whisk or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, add in the maple sugar, softened butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the flour 1 cup at a time, until the dough is very thick.
  2. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and warm, or switch to the dough hook and knead in the stand mixer. Knead for about 5 minutes in the mixer, or 7 minutes by hand, until the dough is taut and smooth.
  3. Wipe out the bowl and add about 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Shape the dough into a ball and place in greased bowl, turning it to make sure it's coated in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).
  4. For the filling, cream the butter with the spices and sugar.
  5. Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans or one 9x13-inch pan. On a floured surface roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 14 inches by 24 inches. When the dough is rolled out, slather it thickly with the creamed butter and sugar, making sure to spread it nearly to the edges. Roll up along the long side, stretching and pulling the dough into a taut and tight roll. Use a bench scraper or knife to cut into 24 individual rolls.
  6. Divide the rolls among the prepared pans and let rise in a warm place until the rolls double in size (about 45 minutes).
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes or until just beginning to brown.
  8. For the icing, beat the butter, tahini, maple syrup, cream and icing sugar together, adding more powdered sugar as necessary to get the consistency you prefer. Drizzle over hot rolls. Serve warm.

  • I just LOVE the maple overload here. And the contrast with tahini sounds so intriguing! I definitely need to adapt these to my favourite GF cinnamon bun recipe - once I actually find one that works *grumble grumble*. Thanks for sharing, Hilary!
  • Now that I live in the South, I just don't see enough "maple" ;) These are gorgeous, Hilary. You know, I've been wanting to make homemade cinnamon buns for ages — I even have a flavor combo in mind! I don't know what's stopping me. Probably the fact that I don't bake much, so I just picture myself mucking it up somehow. Haha. You've inspired me, though.
    • Go for it, Dana!! It's not nearly as tough. And given the impressive creations you've put together on your blog, I'm sure you will rock it! :)
  • Melville Nicoletta
    Hi Hillary, your sticky buns look amazing. I am always mesmerized by the pattern of all of them in a pan. Reminds me of a mandala. Now your icing is brilliant. The use of tahini and maple a match made in heaven, and combined with all that caramelized goodness and billoWY softness make this comfort tines ten. Great work on this one. Cheers! Loreto@SugarLoveSpices
  • These look amazing! Perfect for brunch!
  • Alexandra | Occasionally Eggs
    That tahini maple glaze! Ugh, maple syrup is so expensive in Europe that these would be a total splurge, but maybe I can get my mom to bring me some! They look SO good.
  • I have had a sticky bun craving for a while, not sure what I am waiting for. maybe I was waiting for your recipe, they look awesome and wow on the tahini glaze!
  • Thanks for the comment, Terri :)
  • Oh my GOD those buns looks irresistible! I love the mix of nutty tahini and maple syrup! Got to try this recipe ASAP!
  • Shauna Oberg
    These look absolutely scrumptious. Never would've thought of adding tahini to the glaze- brilliant! And I'm with you on the recipe testing part :)
  • Isabelle Boucher
    Hellooooooooo, gorgeous! That combination of maple and tahini sounds absolutely divine... such a fun, gourmet twist on the traditional sticky bun!
  • Natalie Browne
    These have me craving sticky buns, now. They look amazing and I love that tahini glaze! The recipe testing is the primary reason I don't bake more often, zero willpower, lol
  • Drooooooling! These are the perfect rainy day baking project (and that's what I face this weekend!)
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