Sticky Toffee Buns (no nuts!)

sticky toffee bun on a plate with a bite out

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Think of the best soft pillowy sticky buns you've ever had, but without the nuts! These still have that sweet caramel layer on top, but instead of pecans, these are topped with crunchy toffee bits after baking. The same dough recipe can also be used to make cinnamon rolls. 


Units Scale


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/2 packages) or sub. 21/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup potato flour, potato starch, or instant mashed potatoes
  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour*

Sticky Toffee-Caramel Topping

  • 1/2 cup toffee bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Cinnamon Filling

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened*


  1. Warm milk to 110 degrees F in the microwave or stovetop. Add half of the sugar (¼ cup) and all of the yeast to the warm milk, and let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.


  • The dough won’t completely pull away from the sides of the bowl like other bread doughs. It has a lower ratio of flour to liquid and fat like eggs, milk, and butter, that will contribute richness to the dough! The absorption of flour can vary based on brand and weather/humidity, so if your dough is too sticky to work with, add a couple extra tablespoons of flour until it holds together.
  • For the cinnamon filling, it's easiest to spread when the butter is VERY soft. You can microwave the butter in 10 seconds intervals and stir until it’s not fully melted but very soft and spreadable.
  • To cut the sticky buns into 12 even pieces, it's easiest to first cut in half, then quarters. Then cut each quarter into thirds.
  • After forming the sticky buns, you can place the pan in the refrigerator overnight until ready to bake the next day. Remove from the fridge 1-2 hours before baking. 
  • After flipping, leave the cake pan inverted for 1 minute to let all of the caramel drip off the pan onto the buns.