Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Pin this Post on Pinterest Share on Facebook

A  few years ago, I was in downtown Montgomery when this guy came up to me begging for money.  He told me that his wife was pregnant and that he was stranded and needed money to put some gas in his car to get back to her.   Having recently had a pregnant wife, I felt sorry for him and I reached down into my pockets and gave him all the cash I had.  I then went about my day feeling like I had done something good.  Two weeks later I was back downtown when the same guy approached me with the exact same story.  I was so flustered.  I had been duped.

Since then, it’s been hard to trust people begging for money.  But all that changed last Friday.  I had run by the McDonald’s by my office and was on my way out of the drive-through when I noticed a man in a wheelchair by the exit.  I stopped and rolled down my window.  He asked me if I’d like to buy some peanuts.  He was selling roasted and boiled.  And while I love both kinds, I’ve got several pounds of peanuts left over from J’s birthday party last week.  I was tempted to say my usual “no, thanks” and drive away, but something was different about this guy.  In addition to being wheelchair bound, he was wearing tattered clothes and had an expression that I will never be able to get out of my mind.  He was tired.  Not just from the heat and doing his best to maneuver his wheelchair, but tired from life.  He had the look of someone who had spent his entire life trying, but never succeeding.  The wrinkles on his face were evidence of time – a time that had not been kind to him.  I grabbed a $5 bill – it was all I had, I never carry cash with me – and I handed it to him through the window.  He tried his best to get me to take some peanuts but I refused.  I told him he could take those and sell them to someone else.  He insisted again, but I told him no… that I didn’t even like peanuts.  He looked me in the eyes and told me thank you and as I turned back to pull away, he said, “God bless you, sir.”  Those simple words penetrated me like few words ever have – all the way to my soul.  I realized at that very second that it’s not my job to judge why someone is begging for money.  It was heavy on my heart that day to give him what I had.  So I did.  And the truth his, he could have wheeled his butt down the street and gotten in a brand new car.  I’ll never know.  But, what I do know is that doing that made me feel good.  He wasn’t out there just begging, he was trying his best to sell those peanuts and do what he could to make a living for himself.  I respect that.  And he made me realize that people like him are put in my path for a reason.  They aren’t there to be judged or second guessed.  And while it certainly does my heart good to be able to help someone out like him, it’s not really about that either.  Sometimes people like him are put into our paths to make us realize how fortunate we each are.  So while that $5 might have helped to feed his family that night, that $5 fed my soul that day.  And you can’t put a price on that.  We get so caught up in life that we fuss and complain when we see a sink piled high with dirty dishes, but we should be thankful because those dirty dishes mean we were able to feed our families that night.  There are so many out there who would give everything to have a sink piled high with dirty dinner dishes.  Think about it…

Y’all these cinnamon rolls are going to rock your world.  I promise.  And the best part is, they are SUPER easy.  Your family and friends will never guess these are made with canned cinnamon rolls!


  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 – 17.5 oz cans of cinnamon rolls (5 per can – I used Pillsbury Grands Flaky Supreme and would recommend using these exact ones for the best results.)



  1. Combine melted butter and brown sugar. 
  2. Spread into the bottom of a metal or glass 9X13 baking pan.
  3. Sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Open cinnamon rolls and separate.  Place in dish on top of pecans and sugar/butter mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Flip out onto serving platter.
  7. Drizzle top with white icing from cinnamon rolls if desired.

Join in on all the fun by “liking” The Southern Bite on Facebook!

Sticky Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Course: Breakfast
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 (17.5-ounce) cans of refrigerated cinnamon roll dough (5 per can – I recommend Pillsbury Grands Flaky Supreme)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    Combine melted butter and brown sugar and mix well.

  2. Spread into the bottom of a glass 9X13-inch baking dish.

  3. Sprinkle pecans over the brown sugar mixture.

  4. Open cinnamon rolls and separate. Place in dish on top of pecans and sugar/butter mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Flip out onto serving platter.
  7. Drizzle top with white icing from cinnamon rolls if desired.


Join in on all the fun by “liking” The Southern Bite on Facebook!

Don't miss a single recipe! Subscribe to my email list.

Read Newer Post
Read Older Post


  1. Stacey, thank you for sharing your story, it has touched my heart and reminded me to stop complaining about my daily chaos (chores) but to be thankful that I have reason to have to do them! Too often we (society) do pass judgement not knowing the true stories behind what we call “slackers” in life. I am once again thankful for my chaos.

    And these sticky buns! Thank you! I know some football players and cheerleaders who are going to be thankful for them too 😉

  2. Let me tell you folks, not just because he’s my son, but these were the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth !!!! My daughter-in-law called while eating these and said you have got to come over here right now, she scared the death out of me, I thought something was wrong. No,she wanted me to eat one of these, I did, and the rest is history. So good ……

  3. Yum! I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls for the past 2 weeks! This look delicious!

    This is so true (the story). We are so caught up in our daily lives that we don’t even give some people even a second of our time or thoughts. We are blessed beyond measure and we forget to act like it sometimes. It does the soul good to give back to those in need, even if we do get duped once in a while.

    My hubby and I volunteer twice a month at a kitchen that provides healthy meals to those in need. They always smile and say thank you. It’s the ones that come back after they’ve finished eating to say “God Bless” that touch me the most. I know they are all truly grateful. And while I may not be able to give them cash, my time to help prepare a good warm meal for them is just as good.

    • Well, now there’s no reason to keep craving them! 🙂

      You and your husband are doing great work, I know it fills your heart to help out like that. Bless you!

  4. yes, it is not for us to judge and if we are moved to give we need to give and not ‘look back’ — but — hey, don’t tell me that canned rolls are as good as homemade — I use this type of ‘topping’ for my home made cinnamon and/or pecan rolls that I sell at our local FM (now closed for the season) and, in fact, made some for a customer this morning —- I guess, in a pinch, ?? but really????? Okay, okay, okay, not everyone has time to make from scratch but — it still is the best way, isn’t it?? Love your blogs anyway.

    • I love the convenience of using premade rolls. I don’t have time to make homemade and am afraid to use yeast because I don’t know how. Thanks for this recipe.

  5. What a moving story that really touched my heart. Sometimes we get so sidetracked on our own path that we don’t see how grim it is for those around us. Thank you.

    Those sticky buns- that is my kind of cookin’!

  6. Hi, Stacey.
    It says in The Bible… “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it”. That just may have been an angel you helped.

    Through reading your posts, I have determined your mother raised a good man! Bless Her Heart! I know she is proud of you!

    Love the recipe! Going to try it soon! Keep “entertaining angels”! 🙂

    • You are so right! And it’s not within us to determine if it’s an angel or not. We need to treat them all like angels. Can you imagine what an awesome world it would be if everyone did just that?

      You are too sweet! I’ll share that with my Mom, though I bet she’s seen your comment already. She loves to lurk around the blog. 🙂 Just for the record, I think she did a pretty good job too!

  7. Thank you for making me step back & be grateful for all that God has done for me. May the Holy Spirit help me to be more like Christ, and not so “complainy” about what I don’t have & probably don’t need!

    Now to those fantastic, easy rolls!!! Wow..will definitely be making these in the future. The pictures are outstanding. Thanks! What a good mama you have – she raised you right!!!!

    • You are so welcome! I really appreciate the little reminder I get every now and then and I’m so glad this was one for you.

      I hope you and your all enjoy these cinnamon rolls!

  8. This brought tears to my eyes! Bless you Stacey!!!

  9. Well I can wow my guys with these. I’ve got a cinnamon-bun-aholic coming home from the hospital tomorrow. I’ll get really good wife points for these buns, and after two days at the hospital wallering around, they look like they’ll take just about as much energy as I’ll have left.

    Oh, and about judging people you see asking for handouts, this was a bit of wisdom passed down to me once: When you are led to donate to someone/something, you are responsible to God for your gift. What that person does with the gift, they are responsible to God for.

    • Well, I think and hospital visit more than deserves some cinnamon rolls like this! I know you must be exhausted, but these really are super simple.

      Thanks so much for sharing that wisdom. It is so true!

  10. Mickie Thomason says:

    Stacey, Thanks for sharing that story with us. Wish everyone was as loving and humble. Belinda…I know you are very proud of Stacey. What an inspiration to us all.

  11. Stacey,
    This reply has nothing to do with your post, and everything to do with the cinnamon rolls. My Mother would make them from scratch with the 1973 Betty Crocker cookbook recipe. I have tried for years to duplicate hers (not that she ever “topped” them with anything)….So I made yours, and the cinnamon/sugar/pecan mix totally replicated what the essence of her rolls tasted like. I am beyond happy with the outcome. The only change that I made was making more icing because I didn’t think that I had enough. Thank you sooo very much for posting this recipe! Have a great Day! 

    • Christy, I am beyond humbled. I am so glad that you got a little taste of what your mother used to make for you. It warms my heart to know that my food reminded you of her. You have a GREAT day, too! And thanks for taking them time to post your comment!

  12. All I was looking for was a doctored up cinnamon roll recipe and what I found was a touching and heart-warming lesson that left me in tears! Thanks so much for the recipe and words of wisdom!

    • Well, just like my encounter with the peanut man, sometimes we find things we aren’t looking for. I’m glad you enjoyed the story and I hope you’ll enjoy the cinnamon rolls too!

  13. I am always disappointed with how dry canned cinnamon rolls are. I just finished making a batch with the brown sugar, butter, and pecans and they are AMAZING. I actually added a bit of butter on the tops (or I guess underside after you flip them) of the rolls and sprinkled the whole thing with a bit of water. The rolls came out exceptionally moist. Thank you!

  14. These were great…thanks for sharing! Have a great day

  15. I just made these and called my husband in to check them out and the first thing out of his mouth was how soon can I have one, which put a smile on my face. 38 years of marriage and I still love making things for him and making him smile. I truly am blessed. Thanks Stacey.

  16. Diane Hillyard says:

    Thank you for these sticky buns, I have wanted some for a long time, and now I will make them and they are so easy. That story is heart breaking, but my husband does the same thing, he gives money to everyone and I am happy he does, as long as we have money for food, he can give until it hurts.

  17. Susan in Portugal says:

    That .. looks fantastic and as I adore cinnamon …and nuts … yum … I will have to make it soon! But .. I am a Brit who lives in Portugal – and so will have to make it from scratch as the dear little dough boy hasn’t arrived here yet !!!! But whatever recipe I use – I will use your topping!!!

    Many years ago in London, UK, I bumped into a young red haired woman who needed directions as she was lost. She was to be a ‘nanny’ for children – so I told her which bus to catch – but she was out of cash. [I can’t remember why now …] So … I upended my money purse into her hands…. it wasn’t that much .. but enough for the bus and a little over …. She was ecstatic … and got on the bus. She smiled at me from the back window – and … well .. mad I may be .. but I KNEW! It just hit me out of the blue – I don’t know why … but I am sure she was an angel!

    • I’m sorry you’ll have to go to the extra work, but I’m sure they will be delicious! I bet you are right! We just never know who we might encounter each day.

  18. Jerri Lee Newton says:

    Hi there,
    I am making the cinnamon rolls right now! I did kick it up a notch by unrolling the cinnamon rolls and laying precooked bacon on the strips, then re-rolling them……they smell divine!

  19. I have triedthis recipe twice and both times the “caramel” came out very sugary. Not a smooth caramel. My brown sugar and butter mixture does NOT look like your picture above. I don’t cook the mixture but there is a lot of butter not incorporated with the sugar. Any advice?

  20. I made a batch of these as directed and made a batch with only 5 rolls in a 9 x 13 pan. The one with less rolls came out much better as they weren’t overcrowded so they cooked more evenly and plumped up nicely. They smelled great 🙂

  21. Hi…is this salted/unsalted butter? Thank you!

  22. Great story – very inspiring – we need this after all the bad news we hear every day – thank you for great posts!!!

  23. I spent several years leading up to my adolescence living in rural Ethiopia as a missionary kid during the famine of the early 80s. We lived where the great rift valley begins its ascent to the highlands in the southern part of the country so our area was not hit as hard as the areas publicized by the media. Food was available, but the prices were too high for many to feed their entire families everyday.
    I ended up becoming friends with the children from the local village instead of the other missionary kids- probably the best decision of my childhood! Those years opened me up to another whole way of life, mindset & culture- affording me a perspective & insight of the world & humanity that can not be put into words. But most of all it instilled in me a sense of gratitude & appreciation for ALL that I have!
    It’s wonderful to be reminded that there are others in our society who don’t take all their blessings for granted!
    And thank you for the recipe…

  24. How many grams of butter is your one stick?

  25. Just made them and they are awesome.

  26. Hi Stacey, Could i prepare this the night before and bake it on Christmas morning?

  27. I just want to begin by saying I never read blogs! I just want to get to the recipe. But I read this one! Thank you for the reminder I needed to be thankful for my blessings this Christmas morning! Merry Christmas to you!

  28. Vicki Allred says:

    Thank you so much for that story. The recipe will be put to good use, and the story was sent straight to me! I am constantly giving money, when I have it, to anyone with a sign or a story. I get so much grief for doing so. I am told I am a fool, gullible, etc. But I felt like you did afterwards, that I got more out of it than I gave. I will not let others make me feel silly ever again! And I try to thank God for my blessings everyday!

  29. Did you use salted butter or unsalted butter?

  30. Oh! It’s absolutely a nice story! I love reading your story. You really have a good and a merciful heart. Not everyone is interested to help though they are capable of. Thank you, you are an exemplary person.

  31. Hi Stacey. These cinnamon rolls look like something I have been looking for for a long time. I cant wait to try them. I cooked many things during my career at the firehouse but nothing that looked this good. Im retired now but I still like to cook. May our Lord continue to bless you.

  32. can you use margarine instead of butter

  33. Do you spray the pan so they don’t stick?

  34. Made the cinnamon rolls. Delicious. Thanks recipe.

  35. My new favorite

  36. Deena Aaron says:

    I always say the same thing, I can’t help it if they are crooks or not, I did what I thought was the right thing to do.

  37. I couldn”t find the “flaky” grand cinnamon roll brand, well the regular grand cinnamon work the same ? Looking forward to trying this recipe… thanks

Leave a Comment