Apricot-Pistachio Sticky Buns


In these sticky buns, the traditional raisins and pecans are replaced with dried apricots and pistachios. Shelled pistachios can be a bit hard to find, but I came away from my last flour run to Costco with a big bag, roasted and salted. Of course, just about any nuts and dried fruit will work. Just remember to get a big package of napkins at Costco, too; they’re not called sticky buns for nothing!


Apricot-Pistachio Sticky Buns

Yield: 18 buns


  • Mix: 10 minutes
  • First fermentation: 2 hours at room temperature, then overnight in the refrigerator
  • Shape: 15 minutes
  • Proof: 60 – 90 minutes
  • Bake: 25 – 30 minutes

Dough Ingredients:

  • 518 g flour
  • 280 g milk, at room temperature
  • 54 g sugar
  • 50 g (1 large) egg, at room temperature
  • 10 g instant yeast, preferably osmotolerant
  • 10 g salt
  • 5 g diastatic malt (omit if unavailable)
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
  • 78 g unsalted butter, softened

Filling Ingredients:

  • 70 g sugar
  • 65 g brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. cardamom
  • 80 g dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 60 g shelled pistachios, finely chopped

Topping Ingredients:

  • 18 T. butter
  • 18 T. brown sugar
  • 18 dried apricots, cut into quarters
  • 90 g shelled pistachios, chopped (about 9 tablespoons)


    1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook, combine the dough ingredients except the butter. Mix in low speed until the ingredients are incorporated and hold together around the hook.
    2. Continue mixing in medium speed as you gradually add the butter.
    3. Continue mixing to a medium-high level of gluten development.
    4. Transfer the dough to a buttered container. Cover and ferment for 2 hours at room temperature.
    5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and flour t lightly. Pat the dough into a rectangle on the parchment, slip it into a plastic bag, and place in the refrigerator for 8 – 12 hours.
    6. Meanwhile combine the filling sugars, cinnamon, and cardamom in a small bowl, and the filling apricots and pistachios in another bowl.
    7. Before removing the dough from the refrigerator, butter 18 muffin tin cups, or spray them with pan spray. You will also want to butter or spray the top surface of the tins.
    8. Place one tablespoon of butter in each cup and press with your fingers to form an even layer of butter. Top the butter with one tablespoon of brown sugar, again pressing into an even layer.
    9. Sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons of chopped pistachios over the sugar, and arrange four apricot quarters on top of the nuts.

apricot pistachio sticky buns topping

    1. Preheat the oven to 340F on the convection setting, or 360F on the conventional setting.
    2. Turn the dough onto a floured counter. Roll it into a rectangle about 14 x 21 inches. Brush the dough lightly with water.
    3. Spread the filling sugar mixture over the dough, leaving a one-inch border along one long edge. Distribute the fruit-nut mixture evenly over the sugar.
    4. Starting at the edge opposite the unsugared border, roll the dough rather loosely into a log.
    5. WIth a sharp knife, cut the log into into 18 rounds. Place the rounds into the prepared muffin tins and press them down gently onto the bottom layer (which will become the sticky syrup topping).

  1. Proof, covered, 60 – 90 minutes at room temperature, until the indentation left by a fingertip springs back slowly.
  2. Place the muffin tins on rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until the buns are golden brown and the glaze is bubbling up from below (the reason for the rimmed baking sheets!).
  3. Invert immediately onto parchment-lined baking sheets, being very careful not to get any of the hot syrup on your skin.
  4. These are best served when still slightly warm.

CommentsLeave a comment

  1. says

    These look brilliant. I’m going through a phase of “no no, no – no more sweet things until I can do up my waistbands with the conventional buttons instead of chains of safety pins”. Having said that, I do love sticky buns. And we just happen to have some dried apricots and pistachios just waiting to be used….


  2. says

    I just laughed a true belly laugh reading Elizabeth’s comment – this is how much I can relate to the safety pin issue. I, too, had to tie my hands behind my back, not to dive into baking these like in this instance. They’re devilishly good-looking and probably a bad company for me, but I still might give in. In case the weakness overwhelms me, Susan, do you think I can bake them with the sourdough starter instead? Would your usual conversion rate for the 100% hydration apply here? I appreciate your tips – I’m awfully helpless baking the sweet dough. Thank you very much.

  3. says

    Susan, you get get roasted unsalted pistachios from Trader Joes. $4.69 for a medium-size bag (can’t remember how many ounces), but at least they’re unsalted for baking/recipes (they come in salted too)!

    These look divine!!!

  4. Kierston says

    Ohhhh Sticky Buns…what a weakness of mine! This recipe might have me eating the whole batch but I think I might be okay with that :)


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