on the twenty-fourth day of december...

i have absolutely zero pictures of buns to share with you, today.

mom is actually doing the baking of the sticky buns today. hence, why we will be photo-free. but, i really wanted to share this family recipe with you, and to do so after christmas seems rather anti-climactic. so, in a couple of days when i share some christmas day photos, i will be sure to include close-ups of buns. [if you haven’t gathered already, yes, buns are just about up there with balls in terms of humour that cracks me up].

we have had my mom’s sticky buns for christmas morning breakfast ever since i can remember. even when my grandma c hosted christmas, mom brought over the sticky buns. now, i sure wish i had video capabilities for the blog. i would love to have a sound bite of my uncle paul, from years past, and his exuberant “sticky bunnnsss!!” shout as he burst in the door of my grandma and grandpa c’s house, christmas morning. from this moment on, the hilarity of christmas day was started. (this is the same uncle paul who is the king of wrapping paper ripping). uncle paul also holds a place of esteem when it comes to sticky buns because he is the only family member to actually spread BUTTER on his buns [<-intentionally worded!]. we all hoot with laughter, every year, because as you will see, the very last thing you need on sticky buns is more butter!!

file photo: uncle paul (and cousin joel) at christmas day sticky bun breakfast, 2010

you can see some buns, after all! there! on the counter behind joel and shadow are TWO leftover buns!

christmas morning sticky buns


  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast (or 2 packages)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 cups milk , scalded
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 6 1/2 – 7 flour (lesser amount all you need on a dry, sunny day)

soften yeast in warm water. combine hot milk, margarine, sugar, salt.  stir til shortening is melted and mixture is lukewarm. add 2 cups flour. beat well (mom uses a handmixer). beat in yeast and eggs. gradually add remaining flour, beating well. (you will need to beat the last cup of flour in by hand; dough is too sticky for beaters). place dough in a greased bowl. grease top of dough. cover with greased wax paper and a clean towel. let rise in a warm place until double (approx 1.5 hours). stir dough down. divide into 4 pieces. pat each piece into a rectangle (approx 12″ x 8″).


brush each rectangle with 1 tablespoon of soft butter. over butter, sprinkle 1/4 c sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. starting at long side, roll up jelly-roll style. seal. cut each into 8 equal pieces.


in each of 4 loaf pans, place a mixture of:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup pecans or raisins

top mixture with 8 rolls, placed cut side down. let rise until double, about 45 minutes. bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. invert on foil paper placed on a rack. remove pans. cool. these will freeze well.


as you can see, these buns are intense both in terms of prep and buttery richness! the making of the sticky buns is an all-day labour of love for mom. but, we all adore them, greatly! there is also great debate amongst family members as to whether you prefer the pecan or raisin buns. (me -> pecan. not a raisin-anything fan).

i have never made sticky buns, myself. each year, there is talk that mom should give a demo lesson to the brother, sil ana, cousin kate…i would be in for a group sticky bun class!

do you have a traditional christmas morning breakfast/brunch menu? i know many families enjoy an overnight egg and bread dish…although at christmas, anything goes! want bonbons and eggnog? i say, go for it!

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  • Zo  On December 24, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’m with you on pecans over raisins (most things over raisins. Ugh..they do not belong in baked goods!). I’ve never made sticky buns, but yum.
    No traditional breakfast for us…I’m trying to remember if we did anything special for breakfast last year since it’s our “family meal” (mr. sc’s daughter is with us for Christmas eve and morning, but then heads back to her mom’s for the rest of the day), but I’m not sure. I’ll be baking cookies later today so that we have treats tonight though!
    Merry Christmas Eve!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

      mmm, enjoy the cookie baking, zo! that sounds like a great way to spend christmas eve day! raisins – just bad! have a wonderful time celebrating with mr sc and sc teen, zo!

  • Lisa  On December 24, 2011 at 9:15 am

    I’ve never made sticky buns, but my mom has made them every single year of my whole life for Christmas morning (and probably longer than that). It’s the thing my grandpa goes nuts over (so now she makes him a batch to take home too).
    When I was a kid, she’d make a small batch with no nuts in them—I hated nuts!

    I think we have twin families 🙂

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 24, 2011 at 9:25 am

      lisa, we truly are twin families!! that is so cool that your mom makes sticky buns, too. my mom has made ours every year since 1970, so i have never known christmas without them, either! merry christmas to you and your family, lisa!

  • Gina Unger  On December 24, 2011 at 8:49 am

    ah, yes! sticky buns! that is a tradition i have established since marrying jeff. i make and bring them for xmas morning each year to go along with eleanor’s traditional quiches.
    growing up, my mom made “pluckets” (tiny cinnamon buns in an angel cake pan) and “strata” (the egg and bread dish) and so this year that is what i am doing too, since we’ll be at home instead of at jeff’s parents’. hope it all turns out!
    thanks for sharing your mom’s recipe! it looks so similar to mine, but i’ll still have to try it out!
    Merry Christmas, Cath!

    • 1970kikiproject  On December 24, 2011 at 8:59 am

      ooo, everything you describe sounds so yummy, gina! thanks for sharing the pluckets idea – that is new to me! (everything your mom makes has always been delicious so i have no doubt these are, too). i’d love to see your version of sticky buns, too! have a wonderful christmas, gina!

  • Anonymous  On December 24, 2011 at 8:41 am

    Those sound amazing! If your Mom ever has a class that is open to the public, sign me up! Merry Christmas Cathy.

  • The Orchard  On December 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. We have cinnamon buns and a hash brown dish on Christmas morning. Jeff and I also partake in some Bailey’s in the coffee on Christmas! Yum!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!


    • 1970kikiproject  On December 24, 2011 at 8:55 am

      i can’t think of anything better than some kind of sweet yeast bun on christmas morning! glad your family enjoys that treat, too! coffee with kick – that will make christmas very merry! 🙂 merry christmas, tricia! i bet your children are VERY excited today!

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