Cinnamon-Raisin Honey-Whole Wheat Sticky Buns


Well, I don't have much time today, so I'm just going to get right to the good news I was telling you about.

Remember the mystery dessert I made on Thanksgiving?


That's actually a pumpkin cake recipe I developed a few months ago for a contest I entered. The contest was for Midwest Living magazine, and they asked for your best, original recipes that reflected the state you lived in (you had to live in the Midwest to enter).

I was in shock when a woman from Midwest Living called me one day and told me my recipe was selected for the state of Missouri, and asked if I would be able to compete in the Best of the Midwest cook-off.

YES YES YES, I told her. So this Friday, I will compete in a cook-off against a competitor from each state of the Midwest. My category is baking & desserts! How do you like them apples? I've always cooked in cook-offs - I've never baked before. My recipe is pretty easy, too, so I think it won't be terribly stressful.

I'm so excited! I can't wait! The cook-off is going to be held at Silver Dollar City... I live, like, less than an hour away from Silver Dollar City. I've blogged about the amusement park several times before, also. The Christmas festival is going on and it's going to be really pretty and fun. I'm bringing my boyfran Eric along for the ride, too. Some of my family is coming out to support me as well.

And you! I'll be blogging about the entire experience. Send me some good luck vibes, okay??

I forgot to tell you what the winner of the cook-off gets: $10,000.

Yowza. That's a lot of cash on the line. I'd love to win it, but I'm really just honored my recipe was chosen. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the contestants and having a good time together.

I think I should wait until I get the ok to tell you the official title of my recipe. I'll link to it once Midwest Living puts the recipes on their site.


I don't make sticky buns or cinnamon rolls very often for one reason: I can't control myself around them. I can never say no to a cinnamon roll... I love them so.

My goal in this recipe was to create a sticky bun with a little less fat and some healthful ingredients in it. Now, these sticky buns aren't low-fat, and they're not exactly healthy... but I guess you could call them lighter.


These buns are nice and light and airy. The dough taste like toasty whole wheat and honey, and the filling is flavored with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins. Of course you have to use some pecans in sticky buns, and I did just that.


I really, really liked these. I ate them for days and refused to throw them away. I even ate some before my race for sticky bun energy.

It's a pretty easy recipe - if you have any questions, let me know.

Cinnamon-Raisin Honey-Whole Wheat Sticky Buns

3/4 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon yeast
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour

Sticky Topping
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins, soaked in hot water

To make the dough, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together warm milk and yeast until combined; allow to sit for 10 minutes or until bubbles form. Whisk in butter until combined. Whisk in eggs until combined. Whisk in sugar, honey, salt and vanilla until combined. Stir in flours until combined. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm area for 3 hours or until doubled in bulk. (I actually allowed mine to rise 6 hours.)

To make the sticky topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; whisk in water, brown sugar and salt, and bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Coat 16 muffin cups with cooking spray; spoon sugar liquid into bottom of cups. Top sugar liquid with pecans.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon until a paste forms; set aside.

Roll dough into a rectangle, using a rolling pin, until it reaches a 1/8-inch thickness; spread brown sugar-cinnamon paste over dough; evenly sprinkle with raisins. Roll dough up jelly roll style. Slice ends off. Cut log into 16 equal pieces and place a piece in each muffin cup; cover and allow to rise for 1 hour, in a warm area, until doubled in bulk. (I allowed mine to rise more than this - a few hours while I was at work.)

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Turn pans upside down and release sticky buns on wire racks to cool.

Makes 16 sticky buns


  1. this will disappear immediately if you bake it here...

  2. Actually, I never got why everyone deems sticky cinnamon buns as decadent or unhealthy - from the recipe it doesn't seem too bad, no? :/

  3. I really love sticky buns! I think If I wer'nt that lazy I would bake some every week!

  4. Woohoo! Congratulations!! That is fantastic and it looks way too good. Now how to tastetest this...=)

  5. Cannot wait to hear that you have won the contest! Best of wishes and luck.

  6. Good luck! I'm sure a nice $10,000 check would make you feel great going into the holidays. :)

  7. Yay, I was right about the pumpkin :) Congratulations, I really hope you win. I always love your recipes and they work so well, so I'm sure you'll win this. Good Luck!

  8. there's no way i could control myself arund those sticky buns either. they look so yummy!

    good luck at the cook off!

  9. That's really cool, I hope you win! The sticky buns look really good(: They're the perfect size too!

  10. Congratulations on having your recipe selected! I have a hard time with recipe development, but it doesn't stop me from trying. You always seem to come up with great ideas! These sticky buns look phenomenal, too!

    Good luck on Friday, I'll be rooting for you!

  11. Lots and lots of luck on Friday! you will do great!

  12. Best of luck this weekend..I can't wait to hear out fun it was!!!

  13. Oh yes - you vibes are going your way from NYC. Best of luck :)

  14. Congratulations. You deserve to win it!

    I am thinknig of making sticky buns for Christmas brunch. I'm no sure if I'll do those or doughnuts. My poor mother went to the party I made the doughnuts for and never got to eat one.

  15. Pure yumminess...except for the raisins.;o) Congrats on your cook-off. I hope you win. Why couldn't this have happened last month when I was visiting? I surely would have come to cheer you on. I'm excited that your family will get to be there. Fun times!

  16. yee hah! you are a-goin to the cook-off!!! i know you will have fun and be a winner no matter what. so proud of you!
    oh, and i like your buns too! hahaha sticky buns, that is!

  17. Omg Emily!! I'm so excited for you. I've been anxiously awaiting to find out exactly what the mystery dessert is, so i'll keep waiting for the recipe. It looks delicious. You'll do great this weekend. I can't wait to hear about it. You may win the best Christmas gift :-) Good luck!!

  18. Congratulations! Good luck in the contest....I cant wait for the recipe :)

  19. Congratulations on the contest! I've lived in Michigan, Ohio, Nebraska and Kansas, yet I don't know of any bakers as good as you!

  20. Congratulations Em! Good luck for the cook-off - I would so love for you to win. Can't wait to learn more about your pumpkin cake. In the meantime, please pass me one of these scrumptious buns ...

  21. Oh Emily! I read your post to Chad! We are so excited for you sweety! He was teasing me saying, 'You should go'! I wish we didn't live so far away, I would love to see you compete! I'll whisper a prayer that your awesome pie wins. I want you to have that $ so you can go to culinary school! Yay!!

    Love, Christy

  22. hopefully you'll bring some of these to fuel you for your baking!!! GOOD LUCK in the bake-off :) i'll be sending good vibes!

  23. Good luck with your bake-off! Your sticky buns look gorgeous!

  24. Wow, how exciting Emily! Good luck in the cook-off!!! You know I just baked your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Peanut Butter Cups tonight for a friends birthday this weekend. Thanks for sharing an amazing delight!

  25. very cool--i hope you do well! and this, in my opinion, is one of the finest uses for a muffin tin. period.

  26. Good luck in the cook off! And those buns look great.

  27. I keep wondering how your bake off went today. Do tell. Hope it went great!!!!

  28. Congrats Emily! Hope you had fun at the cookoff and brought home the big prize!

    My mom would love these sticky buns - they're her favorite thing ever :)

  29. I can't believe I'm reading this so late! I'm sure you've already won!

  30. Oh those sticky buns look gewd!!

    I haven't been to Silver Dollar City yet. I wish I could go to support you. Good luck/break a leg!!!

  31. Sending LOTS of good positive winning vibes!

  32. I'm with you - I have no will power around cinnamon rolls or sticky buns! And I could use a little "lighter" in my life right now!!