Recipe for Lemon Pecan Sticky Buns, delicious sweet bread bursting with zesty lemon curd and a pecan crunch. These twisted buns are easy and fun to make. You will put a smile on the face of anyone who receives one!
Happy Mother’s Day!
My mother is the inspiration for this recipe, a bright and colorful personality who puts thoughtful love into everything she does. A true artist and designer by trade, means she knows a thing or two about color! From an early age I was surrounded by vibrant hues that were intricately coordinated and woven into my surroundings. From a light blue hydrangea inspired bedroom to gorgeous holiday table spreads, everything she touches mirrors her creative vision. Even the way she dresses expresses her multi tonal passion.
Little did I know how much these colorful surroundings would play a role into how I see the world. Every time I catch an incredible sunset, walk by an array of flowers, or flip through a magazine I’m drawn to the color patterns. I didn’t even notice that I have more brightly colored clothing than neutrals in my closet. Hmmm…am I turning into my mother?!
Most often we might roll our eyes at the thought of resembling our mother, but in this case there are so many things I wish I could absorb. For instance, she sees beauty everywhere, takes on the toughest situations with a smile, makes everyone around her feel special, has creativity shooting our her pinky fingers, and bakes the best homemade desserts I’ve ever eaten. Let’s just say I have a ways to go!
If I could describe my mother using one word it would be Yellow. It might sound like an odd choice to you, but let me explain. Did you know that yellow stands for happiness, positivity, energy, optimism, enlightenment, remembrance, intellect, loyalty, and joy?! All of those superlatives sum up my mother’s personality. Besides, yellow is her favorite color:)
My mother loves yellow so much, that my childhood home is painted yellow. The color of my first bedroom was bright yellow, we have dishes with yellow daisies on them, and she always has fresh yellow flowers in the kitchen. To say that she loves yellow is an understatement. I mean we even had a yellow labrador!
Now, if you asked her why she loves yellow so much, she would say “because it’s a happy color”. I’ll take that!
What does this have to do with baking you might ask? Baking makes us both happy, so cheesy, but so true. My mom is always in the kitchen making fabulous creations and I wanted to dedicate a recipe to her for Mother’s Day. She can’t eat chocolate, (so glad I didn’t inherit that trait) therefore lemon is a natural flavor choice. Get it..lemons are yellow..ok, moving on. Seriously though, she can whip up a mean lemon meringue pie and some killer lemon bars.
So, in honor of my mother, the most colorful person I know, here is the recipe for Lemon Pecan Sticky Buns. These stylish treats are made with love and full of yellow happiness just in time for Mother’s Day!!
Why Lemon Pecan?
Lemon Pecan is a Lemons have a natural sour zing that requires a balancing of sweetness for most desserts. By adding some sugar and crunchy pecans, the combination enhances the strong lemon flavor. Without the pecans the sticky buns would be too one dimensional with only a soft texture. Feel free to substitute your own nutty crunch with pistachios, walnuts, almond, or cashews!
What is Lemon Curd?
Lemon Curd is a fruit preserve made with fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, butter, eggs, and sugar. A spreadable jam like texture for breads or pastries. For this recipe I used honey without eggs for a quick lemon filling.
Lemon Pecan Sticky Buns
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup (250 ml) warm unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 3 tablespoons raw organic sugar
- ¼ cup ( 62.5 g) butter melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 egg
- 3⅓ cup (448 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup ( 190 ml) organic honey
- zest of 2 large lemons
- 4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (62.5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup (190 g) lightly chopped pecans
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp cold water
- 2 cups ( 500 g) powdered sugar more as needed
- juice of 3 large lemons more as needed
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Gently whisk together and Let sit 5-10 minutes until frothy.
- Using paddle attachment, mix in the egg, water, salt, vanilla, and butter on medium low.
- Switch to the dough hook and slowly spoon in flour on medium low speed.
- Once the flour is incorporated, turn up to medium-high and beat the dough for 5 minutes.
- Tear off a small piece and do a windowpane test.(stretch dough with fingers and hold up to light, if you can see through the dough without it breaking, then its ready).
- If dough isn’t ready, beat or hand knead for an additional 5 minutes.
- Shape dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour or until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising make your lemon curd!
Lemon Curd Filling
- Place all ingredients into a medium sauce pan.
- Stir on low heat for 5-10 minutes until thoroughly combined.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour into a glass jar and place in fridge to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 F (190 C). Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove plastic from risen dough.
- Slowly punch your fist down into the dough to remove excess air.
- Place dough on a lightly floured surface and reshape into a flatter circle.
- Using a bench scraper or large knife divide the dough into 8 equal portions.
- (weigh each portion to be exact)
- Shape each portion into a ball.
- Take one ball and roll out into a 12 x 8-inch flat oval (⅛-1/4 inch thickness). Doesn’t have to be exact (refer to photos).
- Spoon lemon curd filling onto dough and spread a thin layer across the surface. Leaving a bare rim around the edges.
- Sprinkle chopped pecans across the lemon filling.
- Roll the dough inwardly lengthwise to create a cylinder shape.
- Take your knife beginning a ¼ inch from the top and slice the rolled dough lengthwise. This should create two tails.
- Rotate the sections upward to show the exposed filling.
- Overlap the sections, continuously braiding until you reach the end. Pinch together tails at the end.
- Take the two ends and tie a knot with the long piece of braided dough.
- Attach the two ends together forming a knotted bun. (one end going through the top and the other through the bottom of the knot.)
- Place the bun on the parchment paper and repeat with the reaming 7 balls.
- Cover each tray of buns with a cheese cloth and let puff for an additional hour.
- Stir together one egg white and 1 tsp of water with a fork.
- Gently brush egg wash onto solid parts of each bun (do not brush the exposed filling.
- Bake for 25-30 min or until golden brown.
- Remove buns and set trays on wire rack to cool for 5-10 min.
- While buns are cooling make your lemon curd glaze!
- In a medium bowl whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar. Add additional sugar or juice for desired consistency.
- Drizzle lemon glaze over sticky buns adding an extra sprinkling of chopped pecans.