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What’s better than a classic sticky bun like grandma used to me? Incorporating a throwback soda like root beer into the dough for a creative take on a classic recipe.
My love for root beer runs deep. Not only do I enjoy tipping one back, I actually have been collecting the bottles since I was in middle school. To solidify the nostalgia of this favorite beverage of mine, I spotted IBC Root Beer throwback, old school glass bottles at Walmart.
In addition to my obsession, I also cook and bake with root beer every chance I get. In fact, this recipe today is the 15th recipe I’ve posted on my blog that incorporates root beer. Just call me the root beer queen. But I digress. In order to focus on the vintage flair of these bottles while simultaneously incorporating some creativity, I made sticky buns like my grandma used to make. Or still makes rather, as she is celebrating her 99th birthday this year (and you better believe we already have been planning for her 100th birthday party)!
Funny story however, when I asked my dad for grandma’s sticky bun recipe he said he had no memory of her even making them! But I know for a fact she has and the most recent memory of them was actually Thanksgiving weekend when I was visiting family in North Carolina and for whatever reason my parents were not present. But either way, when he asked her for the recipe she could not remember it off the top of her head (which is rare ‘cause she doesn’t usually follow a recipe for most things) and said she would have to get back to me when she got home as she is on vacation right now. So alas, this recipe is not my grandma’s but it’s still stinking delicious.
These buns looks just like traditional pecan sticky buns but they have a bit of root beer flavor as a result of the yeast blooming in root beer instead of water or milk. Side note: If you think I love root beer, then you should’ve seen how happy the yeast were to gobble up the real sugar that’s in the IBC root beer – all the foam! And yes I realize some of the foam may have been from the root beer itself but the yeast must’ve been happy cause they doubled efficiently to make the dough rise.
My favorite part about sticky buns? That they act like self-frosting cupcakes because the beautify isn’t just those nice golden tops when they come out of the oven; that’s actually the bottom when all is said and done because after you let them cool for a few minutes, they are flipped over and all that gooey caramel sauce that formed in the bottom of the pan is now dripping down the buns.
Now that I’ve convinced you that you need to add more root beer into your cooking and not just poured in your glass, make sure to pick up your own 4 pack. Or two. It has a $2.75 price point and there is currently an Ibotta rebate – Buy 2, get $1.75 back. The only question left is, what would you make with your bottle of root beer? Be the hero of your family with these products and create a sweet treat to celebrate every day.
Two years ago: Baked Chicken Fajitas
Three years ago: Single Serving Peanut Butter Krispie Chocolate Balls
Five years ago: Petri Dish Cookies
ROOT BEER STICKY BUNS
Makes 1 dozen
1 cup warm IBC root beer (110 degrees F)
1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
4 Tbsp unsalted butter + extra for the bowl, melted and cooled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 cup chopped pecans + 1/2 cup halves
1-1/4 cup light brown sugar, divided
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- Make the dough: Combine the warm root beer with the yeast in a glass measuring cup, and stir to combine. Let it rest on the counter in a draft-free, warm place until it’s foamy, about 5-7 minutes.
- When the yeast is foamy, stir in 4 tablespoons of the melted butter, sugar, and salt.
- Place the flour in a medium bowl and pour the wet ingredients over the top. Stir until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Knead until just incorporated.
- Pick up the dough and grease the with butter bowl. Add the dough back to the bowl. Flip to coat both sides in butter, cover and let the dough rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes, or until doubled.
- Make the filling: After the dough has doubled, flour a surface and roll out to a 10-inch by 12-inch rectangle.
- In the bottom of a greased baking dish, spread out the the pecan halves and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Slice 4 tablespoons of the butter and evenly dot it on top of the pecans in the pan.
- Spread the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle with the rest of the brown sugar, chopped pecans, cinnamon, and salt. Roll the dough up into a tight log and slice into 12 equal pieces. Place each bun in the prepared pan.
- Let the dough rise in the pan in a warm place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.
- Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Let the buns cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning the pan upside down. Let the caramel drizzle over each bun and serve immediately.
Source: Doubled and adapted from Dessert for Two.