Sweet rolls, caramelized apple-banana filling, toasted pecans, and a sticky brown sugar, butter glaze! Perfect for your morning coffee or a midnight snack.
This recipe combines two things I really enjoy eating sweet rolls and bananas. In Hawaii, bananas are grown year-round and there is always a good variety at the markets. The most popular and my personal favorite is the apple-banana. They are smaller, sweeter, and have a stronger banana flavor than the normal cavendish variety. I know, I know apple-bananas may not be available in your area. Don’t worry these buns will be just as good no matter what variety of banana you use!
The dough for these buns is made with a mix of all-purpose and bread flour. If you prefer, it can be made with just all-purpose or all bread flour. Making the dough for these buns is pretty easy. It’s almost just dumping the ingredients in a bowl and mixing for 5 minutes. When the dough has finished mixing, it should be a little sticky but smooth to the touch.
I like to make the banana filling and the sugar glaze while the dough is having its first proof. The filling mixture will need to be chilled before spreading it onto the dough. But the glaze can go straight into the skillet or pan you will be baking in.
Rolling and cutting the dough can be the challenging part of making these buns. I have found that when rolling the dough if I oil my hands, counter, and rolling pin, the dough doesn’t get sticky and is easier to manipulate. Plus, you don’t have to worry about brushing off all the excess flour when rolling it into a log. I try to make the log as tight as possible by starting in the middle and slowly tucking the dough over. This really just takes patience and practice. When I reach the end, I gently pinch the pieces together and roll the seam to the bottom of the log.
Cutting the log with a knife can smash and deform your rolls. Now you just spent all that time making a tight beautiful roll! You don’t want to smash it! Cutting the rolls using a piece of butchers twine, string, or unflavored dental floss will help them keep their shape. To do this, gently slide the string under the rolls to the middle of the log. There should be a piece of string on either side forming a t. Take a piece of string in each hand and pull it to the opposite side of the log. This should give you a nice even cut, then repeat this process until all 8 rolls have been cut.
Place the rolls into the prepared skillet, proof, and bake. During baking, the sugar caramelizes and bubbles up. I like to place a sheet pan on the lower rack in the oven just in case the sugar boils over the edge of the pan. The sugar glaze is molten hot and may still be bubbling when the rolls have finished cooking. Allow a few minutes of cooling time before tuning the buns out onto a plate or serving platter. Once the buns are out of the pan, scrape out any leftover glaze and smooth onto the buns. Let the sticky glazed buns cool for about 10 minutes then it’s time to dig in.
Apple-Banana Sticky Buns
- 1 3/4 cup bread flour
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast (rapid rise)
- 3/4 cup milk warm
- 2 eggs
- 6 tbsp butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 bananas 4-5 apple bananas
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/4 cup spiced rum
- 1 tbsp butter
- pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cups brown sugar
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup pecans toasted and chopped
Dough and Buns
- Combine flours and yeast in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- Begin mixing in the milk. Then mix in all other ingredients. Mix the dough from 5 minutes until smooth. Dough should be sticky.
- Place dough in a greased bowl and cover. Proof until doubled in size about an hour. Meanwhile, make the filling and glaze.
- Lightly oil a counter top and lightly shape dough into a rectangle shape and begin rolling out. Roll into a rectangle about 13 X15 inches.
- Spread banana filling onto the dough. Leaving about half an inch uncovered around the edge.
- Roll dough into a log and cut into 8 rolls. Place rolls in the skillet on top of glaze and pecans.
- Proof for an additional 30 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. The rolls should temp at 200 degrees when they are done.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes or until sugar stops bubbling.
- Flip rolls onto a serving platter or a heat safe dish. Scrape any excess glaze from the pan and serve.
- Heat a skillet on medium heat and dice the bananas.
- Melt the butter in the pan and add sugar, salt, and bananas. Cook until caramelized.
- Remove the pan from heat and add rum and cinnamon.
- Return to medium low heat and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat mash the bananas and mix in the vanilla. Cool until ready to use
- Cream together the sugars, salt and butter for 1 minute.
- Add the corn syrup and vanilla and cream until light and fluffy about 5 minutes.
- Place glaze in the bottom of a 12 inch skillet and smooth into an even layer. Sprinkle with pecans.