These super fluffy vanilla bean scented rolls are exploding with cinnamon and topped with a sticky pecan-studded caramel. These Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls will have you running to the breakfast table!
We’re in March people, MARCH! Didn’t we JUST sit down to Thanksgiving dinner? Alright, fine. It’s March. Time to shave my legs and begin panicking over the state of my dimply thighs. I haven’t been swim-suit ready for at least five years. And this year is no different. It’s a one-piece and sarong year. Again.
At least my legs will be clean shaven beneath my super long summer skirts.
Now flow with me, let’s talk about why my arms jiggle when I point. These Caramel Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. Total indulgent fat kid breakfast situation. I would have these daily if I could.
Soft yeast dough. There’s vanilla bean paste in here. Fleck of vanilla bean all up in this piece. Butter. Almost a stick of melted butter.
The dough rises for a while, about two hours.
Then it’s filled with a cinnamon sugar that is super heavy on the cinnamon.
The dough is rolled, cut, and allowed to rise once more.
The rolls rise until they’re invading each other’s personal space.
It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
Then you bake.
Not long. ‘Bout 20-25 minutes.
Your kitchen will smell amazing. Neighbors will be knocking on your door, asking – What is that intoxicating scent? To which you will reply – Cinnamon and dough. Lots of it.
While the rolls cool you make a caramel. The quickest of caramels. A caramel with both butter and brown sugar. A caramel with heavy cream, as if it wasn’t already indulgent.
Pecans are added and the caramel is poured over still warm rolls.
Pecan Caramel Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- For the dough
- Buttermilk, warm (110 degrees) - ¾ cup
- Unsalted butter, melted and cooled - 6 tablespoons (¾ stick)
- Eggs - 3 large
- Vanilla bean paste - 1 ½ tablespoon
- All-purpose flour - 4¼ cups, spooned and leveled
- Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
- Instant or rapid-rise yeast - 1 envelope (2¼ teaspoons)
- Salt - 1¼ teaspoons
- Cinnamon Filling
- Granulated sugar (for sprinkling the pan)
- Granulated sugar - 1 scant cup
- Ground cinnamon - ¼ cup (4 tablespoons)
- Kosher salt - 1/8 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter, melted and cooled - 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick)
- Caramel pecan glaze
- Unsalted salted butter - 1/2 cup (1 stick)
- Light brown sugar - 2 cups
- Salt - ¼ teaspoon
- Heavy cream - 1 cup
- Vanilla extract - 1 tablespoon
- Chopped pecans - 1 cup
Make the Dough:
In a large measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla bean paste together until combined.
In a large bowl, whisk 4 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour the buttermilk mixture in the center. Spoon the flour with a wooden spoon into the center until the flour is moistened and has a shaggy look to it.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of flour next to the ball of shaggy dough. Knead the dough, dusting your hands periodically with the flour until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10-12 minutes. The dough should be tacky to the touch, but not sticky.
Place the dough in a lightly buttered bowl and wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in size, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Fill the rolls:
Liberally grease a 9x13 inch baking pan or Pyrex dish. Sprinkle the pan lightly with granulated sugar and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the granulated sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press or roll the dough into a 12x16 inch rectangle. Brush the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture, leaving a small 3/4 inch border along the perimeter of the dough. Press on the filling to help it adhere to the dough.
Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper (or metal spatula), and from the long end, roll the dough very tightly into a long cylinder. Pinch the seam closed and roll the log seam side down.
Slice the cylinder into 12 evenly sized rolls (about 1½ inches wide) using a serrated knife. Arrange the rolls cut-side down in the prepared baking pan and wrap with plastic wrap. Let rolls rise in a warm place until the rolls have doubled in size, about 1 to 1½ hours. The rolls will press into one another.
While the rolls rise, preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position. When rolls have risen sufficiently, remove plastic wrap and place in the oven. Bake the rolls until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove rolls from the oven and allow to cool slightly before pouring the pecan caramel.
Make the pecan caramel:
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and whisk until combined. At first, it will seem as if the mixture will not come together. Keep whisking. Allow to cook, whisking constantly for 3-4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the salt, vanilla extract. Add the heavy cream slowly in a stream. Be careful. The mixture will bubble. Raise the heat to medium and cook, whisking constantly for about 3-4 more minutes.
Reduce the heat to very low and allow the mixture to thicken slightly another 2 minutes.
Add the chopped pecans and pour immediately over warm rolls.