Molasses Sticky Buns Recipe and the “Cin Twins”

Servings: 12-14 serving(s)

Prep time: 2 hours

Total time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Take me to the recipe

molasses sticky buns

Cinnamon buns made with a soft, buttery yeast dough and a sticky molasses sauce are worth getting out of bed for.

In university my roommate and I were nicknamed the “Cin Twins”…for totally innocent reasons.

In our senior year every morning before class we rushed off to the Sunflower Café in Antigonish for a giant whole wheat cinnamon bun and a cup of tea. The buns were still warm from the oven as we nibbled them outside-in, starting with the crunchy edges and working our way into the soft, cinnamon centre. It was a very gentle way to start the day.

I swear it was the anticipation of the first bite that got us out of bed in time to sit for our quick breakfast and still get to our 8:15 class on time.

That was more than 20 years ago and since then rarely have I found bought cinnamon buns that are worth getting out of bed for (they usually look better than they taste). But I have come across and created many recipes that are worth making. This is my latest.

For this version I have combined my favourite sweet dough with a sticky molasses syrup and amped up the cinnamon to create the most heavenly treat that still qualifies as breakfast food. The dough is a sweet egg bread that I first discovered in a Nigella Lawson book. If yeast breads intimidate you, this is a great beginner recipe.

Molasses sticky buns recipe

For the dough:

  • 4-4 1/2 cups flour plus more for kneading
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Scant 3 Tbsp quick rise yeast
  • Scant ½ cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  1. Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. Melt the butter and whisk it into the milk and eggs, then stir it in to the flour mixture.
  3. Mix to combine and knead the dough until it’s smooth and springy, adding up to 2/3 cup more flour if necessary.
  4. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat and cover. Leave to rise until doubled (30 min to an hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen).

In the meantime…

Line a 9” by 13” pan with parchment paper. Cut the paper large enough so it goes up the sides of the pan too.


Next, make the molasses sauce…

Molasses Sauce

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, cubed
  • 1/3 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 3 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, water and molasses to a boil. Pour into the prepared pan.

To assemble the buns…

When the dough has risen to double its size, punch it down, roll out into a rectangle (about 11″x 15″) and spread/sprinkle with:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ Tbsp ground cinnamon

Roll up (not too tight) from the long side, pinching to seal. Slice into 1 ½“ rounds. Place rolls, cut side down, in the molasses sauce.

Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in dish for 5 minutes; invert onto a serving platter. Serve warm.

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