Philadelphia Sticky Buns–Baker’s Warning: Do Not Feed These to Guests. They’ll Never Leave.

These evil sticky buns are easy and addictive. The hardest part is leaving them alone long enough that you don’t burn the heck out of your mouth.

If you have never made a yeast dough, click here to read Homemade Bread just for the tips your grandmother would have whispered lovingly over your shoulder.

Let’s begin:

Philadelphia Sticky Buns:

Oh dear, the recipe card is so over loved that it is actually fused with honey to the card in front of it. Hmm…..


Okay, let’s try that again.


( Neighbor Nancy tries to appear dignified as she straightens her apron with resolve.)

Philadelphia Sticky Buns:

yield: 15 very addictive buns


1 packet Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons from the jar)

1 cup Milk

4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine + 2ish T. more later

2 Eggs

3 1/2 to 4 cups flour (any kind, but self rising is fine)

4 Tablespoons Sugar

1 teaspoon Salt

dash of lemon extract

raisins or dried currants, optional. ( Yes, Mom, optional)


1. Mix 1+1/2 cups flour, yeast, 4 T. sugar, and salt.

2. Heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

The butter probably won’t completely melt. It doesn’t matter.

3. Add the milk and butter, plus the dash of lemon extract to the dry ingredients.

Mix for 2 minutes.

4. Add 3/4 cup of flour and the 2 eggs.

Beat at higher speed for two minutes.

Note: If you are using a mixer, switch to your dough hook, before the next step.

5. Add around 2 1/4 cups of flour to make a nice dough.

Remember from yesterday’s bread recipe– think earlobe.

6. Let rise until doubled — about 2 hour

Remember to use your knuckle to check.

7. Punch down. On a floured board, roll to 1/4″thickness in a 10″x 14″rectangle.

8. Spread the dough with softened butter, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle with the optional raisin or dried currants.

I never add the raisin and my mom believe that not adding them is a crime. Your choice.

9. Starting at one of the longer edges, roll up the dough, like you would roll up a sleeping bag.

10. Heat 1 cup of brown sugar, 3/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of honey to a gentle simmer until the sugar dissolves to remove the gritty texture.

11. Pour your honey/sugar glop into the bottom of a greased 10″x 13″pan.

12. Lick the spatula and throw it in to be washed. Life is short.

Back to the dough…

13. Cut the dough into 15 pieces.

Using a fresh piece of dental floss, lift the dough and slide the dental floss under to where you will cut. Wrap the dental floss around the dough as if you were going to tie it into a bow. Criss cross and pull to slice nicely through the dough.

Well, yes, you could do it with a floured knife, but it will flaten your little circles of dough.

14. Place each little dough spiral into your gooey pan.

15. Let double –about a half hour, let’s say.

Check for doubling with your knuckle, don’t forget.

16. Bake @ 350 degrees Fahrenheit ( a medium oven) for about 20-30 minutes.

Tap and listen for that hollow bread sound to check for doneness. Is that a word? Hm, don’t think so.

17.Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before inverting or all the lovely goo will slide all over the place.

Serve hot, simply because no one can ever seem to let them cool. Ever!

Ask for any favors right now. This is fantastic bribe food.

Why are they called “Philadelphia” sticky buns.? No clue.

Did you opt for the raisin?

How did they turn out?

Did you scrape the cooled goo from the bottom of the pan with a spoon and eat it? Very naughty. Me, too.

How much less did they cost than the decent bakery ones?


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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I know this post is old, but I found it via a Google search and made them tonight. OMG they are heavenly and everything I wanted them to be- I live in Pittsburgh now so I never get to eat them anymore. Giving them out as Christmas gifts, so THANK YOU!!

  2. Danke Schon!

  3. Born and lived in Germantown, Pa., the reason for the name is that this is THE traditional “bun” of that great city, Philadelphia. Add scrapple, crumb cakes and the equally great cheesesteak ( you get the idea). I needed to replace my “original” that had too much aging over the past 3 years. We now live in the Western Mountains of Maine, so the tradition continues with our grand-kids! thanks for your dental floss trick-good one 🙂 🙂 Joyeux Noel

  4. No matter how lady like they are, they will beat you with their books for more. Assume a minimum of two per person. No one ever intends to have 2. It just happens.

  5. Yum. I’m keeping this recipe for the next time I have people over in the morning. I think my bookclub women would love a plate of these!

  6. These were the only kind I ever knew, until I left for college. They are enough to make you want to stay home.

  7. Sounds like my Grandma’s sticky buns…they were heavenly!
    Should make some for my boys.

  8. (blush)
    I’m so flattered you tried them.
    Did you lick the spatula as instructed?

  9. OK Nancy, recipe tried and consumed! Two thumbs up from this household. Your recipe worked great at very high elevation (10,000 feet) with the only change being a reduction in flour (in the second addition of flour, I used less than two cups) and cooking time took longer (about 1/2 hour). And yes, I cooked them on the wood cookstove, and they came out perfect! Thanks for the recipe, hope lots of folks try them out and enjoy them.

  10. Wow, these sound YUMMY! Can’t wait to try them!

  11. Oh, it’s probably best to just go ahead and make two batches, just so everyone else may have some. (giggle)

  12. Hmmm, I feel the need for a sticky bun ( or 15). Sounds absolutely delish; can’t wait to try them out!

  13. I’ve used vanilla. It’s just as good. The dental floss is my raisin lovin’ mama’s trick.

  14. OK, I’m printing this out and will try it out this week and let you know. Looks like I have everything except the lemon extract, so will have to make do with vanilla. I like your idea of the dental floss trick, too!

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