Golden Delicious Sticky Buns


Sticky buns studded with apple pieces is a reason to rise and shine.

Golden Delicious Sticky Buns
Photo: Photographer: Greg DuPree, Food Stylist: Emily Neighbors Hall Prop Stylist: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins

Start your morning the right way, with an ooey-gooey sticky bun. Baked in an apple cider-caramel sauce made with maple syrup and filled with sweet Golden Delicious apples, these apple sticky buns are a true fall treat.

It's a mystery why Golden Delicious apples, which have a mellow sweetness, tender skin, and lovely yellow hue, are often passed over for other, more popular kinds of apples. They are the perfect apples for this recipe though, as they retain much of their texture when cooked and taste great with warm spices like cinnamon. Although they lack the acidic punch of a Granny Smith or Honeycrisp, their balanced flavor makes them a nice all-around choice; they even work well in savory recipes, too.

While these buns don't call for nuts, a sprinkling of chopped pecans or walnuts would be a welcomed addition alongside the apples. If you want to play around with the fruit, diced pear would also work well in the filling.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 

  • 1 (1/4-oz.) envelope instant or quick-rising yeast  

  • 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar, divided 

  • 1 ¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided 

  • cup whole milk, warmed 

  • cup sour cream 

  • 1 large egg, at room temperature 

  • 1 ¼ cups unsalted butter, softened and divided 

  • ½ cup apple cider (such as Red Jacket) 

  • ¼ cup maple syrup 

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 

  • 1 large (8 oz.) Golden Delicious apple, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups chopped) 


  1. Combine flour, yeast, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add warm milk, sour cream, egg, and 1/4 cup of the butter. Beat just until combined, about 1 minute. Switch to a dough hook, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes (dough should clear sides of bowl, but stick slightly to the bottom). Transfer to a large bowl greased with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour, 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, combine apple cider, maple syrup, 3/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of the butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium skillet. Bring to a boil over medium. Cook, stirring often, until mixture has thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat, and pour into a 9-inch square baking pan lightly coated with cooking spray; set aside.

  3. Lightly punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14- x 10-inch rectangle. Spread remaining 1/2 cup butter over dough. Sprinkle with apples, cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar. Starting with 1 long side, roll dough into a tight log; pinch seam to seal. Using a serrated knife, slice log into 9 rolls, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place rolls on cooled caramel in dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  4. Place pan on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake, uncovered, in preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving platter, and serve.

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