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These easy 6-ingredient Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns are made with puff pastry so they come together quick and are incredibly delicious. Soft, tender, buttery bites of cinnamon goodness with crunchy macadamia nuts, yum!

Sticky buns are one of our favorite brunch recipes (we also have Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns that we make often), but you might also want to try our Guava Cream Cheese Cuban Pastries, Homemade Crepes, and Green Chili Egg Casserole as well.

An image of macadamia nut sticky buns turned out onto a piece of parchment paper.

Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns

When we were staying at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai, our youngest daughter Rose fell in love with the macadamia nut sticky buns that were served every morning at the breakfast buffet.

It’s been well over a year since that Kauai trip and she was still talking about them on a regular basis and making pointed suggestions that we go back to Hawaii so we could have them again. So I decided it would be fun to surprise her by recreating them at home.

I had actually originally planned to include these in my American Eats series to represent the state of Hawaii, but I never got around to them so I’m taking this chance to circle back and include it in my collection.

An image of sticky buns made with puff pastry.

I ate my fair share of these macadamia nut sticky buns during our weeklong stay, so I remembered them well and was pretty certain they were made with puff pastry, rather than a traditional dough like I use in my regular pecan sticky buns.

I was encouraged in this suspicion when I did a quick search for sticky buns made with puff pastry and discovered this recipe for easy sticky buns from Ina Garten (the Barefoot Contessa), which I adapted to make our macadamia nut sticky buns. I omitted the raisins, swapped in macadamia nuts for pecans, and drastically decreased the cinnamon, which overwhelmed the flavor of the macadamia nuts in the original version.

The macadamia nut sticky buns at the Grand Hyatt weren’t jumbo-sized like my regular sticky buns, so I opted to make these in a standard-size muffin pan. You could probably make these even smaller with a mini-muffin pan and do two-bite sticky buns if you wanted! Or even go big with a jumbo-size pan and make just 6 giant sticky buns.

An image of a sticky bun on a plate with a fork

Ingredients in macadamia nut sticky buns

  • Puff pastry: Puff pastry is a flaky, buttery pastry that melts in your mouth. You can make it yourself at home, or for an even easier option, just buy boxes of it premade in the freezer section at the grocery store. 
  • Butter: Be sure to use salted butter in this recipe.
  • Vanilla: I like to add a little to the caramel ingredients for flavor.
  • Macadamia nuts: Give them a rough chop, either by hand with a large, sharp knife, or in a food processor (affiliate link).
  • Brown sugar: Magical things happen when you combine brown sugar with butter and let them bake together. It turns into a simple caramel that accounts for the “sticky” in sticky bun.
  • Ground cinnamon: Ina Garten’s sticky buns call for 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, but I scaled that way back to a mere 1/2 teaspoon so that there is just a hint of cinnamon to these buns. That way you can really taste the macadamia nuts better.
An image of frozen puff pastry with butter, cinnamon, macadamia nuts, and brown sugar.

How to Make Sticky Buns

  1. A little prep work first: Make sure your puff pastry is thawed in the fridge so it’s flexible and easy to work with but still nice and cold. Also, go ahead and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a regular 12-cup muffin pan with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Make the topping: In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and creamy. Divide this evenly between the cups of the muffin pan, then add about tablespoon of chopped macadamia nuts into each cup.
An image of chopped macadamia nuts in the cups of a muffin pan.
  1. Roll out and sprinkle: Unfold 1 of the puff pastry sheets (there are 2 per package if using store-bought puff pastry) and brush it with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon, leaving a 1-inch border around one long edge.
  2. Roll up and slice: Roll the dough into a snug log, just like making cinnamon rolls, then slice it into 6 equal-sized pieces. Set them on top of the macadamia nuts in the prepared muffin cups. Don’t fret if they are standing pretty high out of the pan. As the sticky buns bake, the butter beneath will melt and the bun will settle down in all on its own. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry dough and filling ingredients.
An image of puff pastry rolled into swirled with brown sugar and cinnamon filling ready to be baked.
  1. Bake: Be sure to place the muffin pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil for easy clean-up since there is a good chance some of the buttery caramel topping will bubble up and bake over. Bake the sticky buns for 26-30 minutes until they are browned on top. Wait five minutes for the caramelized brown sugar to set up just a bit before turning the buns out onto a serving plate.

What is the Difference Between Sticky Buns and Cinnamon Rolls?

Sticky buns and cinnamon rolls have a lot in common, but the biggest differences are the nuts. While cinnamon rolls don’t typically include nuts, sticky rolls are known for them. Not only that, but sticky buns create their own glaze as they cook upside down and are then flipped. Cinnamon rolls are often topped with a glaze or frosting.

How Long Do Sticky Buns Last?

If kept properly stored, you can expect sticky buns to last up to 2 days and still taste great. After that they may become chewy, dry, or stale.

How Do You Reheat Sticky Buns?

There is no denying that sticky buns taste best warm. To reheat them simply place them on a baking dish and put them in the oven at 200 degrees F for a few minutes until they are warmed through.

An image of easy puff pastry sticky buns with macadamia nuts on a baking sheet.

Other Breakfast Pastries You’ll Enjoy

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Easy Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns
Yield: 12 sticky buns

Easy Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns

These easy 6-ingredient Macadamia Nut Sticky Buns are made with puff pastry so they come together quick and are incredibly delicious. Soft, tender, buttery bites of cinnamon goodness with crunchy macadamia nuts, yum!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 package (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 12 tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

Filling

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with baking spray.
  2. Beat butter, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and creamy. Divide evenly between the cups of the muffin pan. It should be about 1 1/2 tablespoons per cup. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of chopped macadamia nuts in each cup.
  3. Unfold 1 of the pastry sheets and brush with half of the melted butter. Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon, leaving a 1-inch border around one long edge.
  4. Roll up into a snug log with the seam side down, then slice into 6 equal-sized pieces. Place in the prepared muffin cups on top of the macadamia nuts.
  5. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry dough and filling ingredients.
  6. Bake for 26-30 minutes on a baking sheet to catch any spillover that might bubble up, until the sticky buns are browned on top. Wait five minutes before turning out onto a piece of parchment paper.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 1g

Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!

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