Blackberry-Hazelnut Sticky Buns

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Pillowy-soft sweet rolls dripping with plum-colored blackberry caramel and toasted hazelnuts should definitely be making an appearance on your breakfast table ASAP.

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Sweet buns of any kind have my name written all over them.  Cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, sugar-dusted morning buns…I’m down with all of them.  I’ve made homemade rolls a few times with disappointing results.  Dense, dry dough seemed to be my Achilles heel when trying out different recipes…but I knew there was something better out there because I’d tasted it before.

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I looked to America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated for help with the dough because, well, their recipes are perfect.  They experiment and test everything so thoroughly that there really is no doubt in my mind that every recipe is the very best it can be.  Buttermilk softens and tenderizes this dough, giving it a rich flavor but leaving the buns light.

When I decided a sticky bun recipe was in order, I was also watching Brunch at Bobby’s and he was making blackberry-hazelnut biscuit rolls, where biscuit dough was subbed for the soft sweet roll dough.  At that moment, I knew that combining both recipes was necessary…it was destiny.  The result was everything I wanted: soft, wispy-as-a-cloud dough with a fruity blackberry-brown sugar filling and topped with gleaming sweet and tangy blackberry caramel.  And hazelnuts because we don’t use them enough.

Drizzle with some crème fraîche to really gild the lily.

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Sticky buns are a labor of love, but when you smell the baking sweet dough wafting through your house and pull beautiful, caramel-y sticky buns that YOU made out of your oven, it will all be worth it.  This recipe works with any fruit-nut combination you like so make it your own!

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Blackberry-Hazelnut Sticky Buns

  • Author: Amanda
  • Yield: 12 buns
  • Category: Breakfast, Bread-y Things


Pillowy-soft sweet rolls dripping with plum-colored blackberry caramel and toasted hazelnuts should definitely be making an appearance on your breakfast table ASAP!




  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly


  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped


  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries, halved
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Flour, for rolling and as needed for the dough
  • Butter, for greasing pan


  1. For the dough: Whisk the eggs together in a small mixing bowl; add the buttermilk and whisk to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the egg-buttermilk mixture, sugar, yeast, salt, flour and cooled melted butter.  Knead with the dough hook on medium-low speed for 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough has absorbed all of the ingredients and is soft, but not wet or sticky. It may still stick to the bottom, but it should pull away from the sides.  Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out, kneading by hand just until it comes together.  Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  
  2. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  3. For the topping: combine the blackberries, sugar and lemon juice and stir to combine.  With a fork, mash the blackberries and let sit for 30 minutes to macerate.  Strain the mixture, pressing down on the solids in the strainer to release all of the juice.  Discard the solids and transfer the liquids to a small saucepan with the butter and brown sugar.  Whisk to combine and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the filling into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts evenly over the top.
  4. For the filling: Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl.  Reserve butter and blackberries for assembly.
  5. To assemble and bake: Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin.  Turn the dough out and pat into a rough rectangle.  Roll the dough to a rough 16 x 12-inch rectangle, flouring the dough as necessary if sticky.  Brush the dough with melted butter.  Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge.  Arrange the blackberries over the sugar mixture in an even, single layer.  They will not cover every inch of the dough. Starting at the long side, roll the dough tightly to form a cylinder.  Gently pinch and stretch the cylinder to form an even thickness. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces; you can sacrifice the uneven ends by cutting a small piece off and discarding. 
  6. Arrange the buns in the prepared baking pan, cover, and set in a warm place to rise until puffy and pressed together, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.  
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°.  Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Bake the buns for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes; invert the rolls onto a cutting board or serving platter.  Scrape any glaze remaining in the baking pan on top of the buns. 


Inspiration: Sticky Buns with Pecans, Cook’s Illustrated & Blackberry-Hazelnut Sticky Buns on

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