If I don’t see another sticky bun for a few weeks, I’ll be okay. I made this recipe three times. Call it Goldilocks Syndrome (sort of). The first batch was too dry. The second batch – stickier. By the third batch…juuuust riiiiight.

macadamia and toasted coconut sticky buns

I know it sounds crazy, but 3 dozen sticky buns did not go to straight to my mouth. A few did in the name of quality control (cough). My wife suggested I use the “failed” attempts as an idea for a post. I liked the idea but…there’s a lot of work goes into each post, so to post a recipe that didn’t work seems too counterproductive. It’s not the end of the world if we have a recipe boo-boo now and again, that’s just part of life in the kitchen- unless you’re having a dinner party for 12, then you’re positively up the creek!  If I’m making something new, I scribble notes as I go along and then if I have to make the recipe again, I’ll just tweak stuff here and their. I didn’t throw any buns in the trash and my wife’s co-workers had extra morning treats, score!

macadamia and toasted coconut sticky buns

Usually it’d be pecans in a recipe like this but using macadamias and toasted coconut really changed up the flavor. Once you break down the nuts in the food processor the smell is crazy good. I’ve always loved the flavor of toasted coconut and I know it sounds cliche, but these sticky buns totally remind me of Hawaii. A smidge tropical with some cinnamon and vats of butter these are perfect for a special breakfast. Don’t be intimidated using yeast, these are pretty easy to make. There’s a little bit of work involved but the results are totally worth it. Just make them, yeast is cool and making dough is fun especially when you end up with these macadamia coconut sticky buns!


Try these other off the chart breakfast sweet treats!


Triple Berry Breakfast Buns

Triple Berry Breakfast Buns with White Chocolate Cream Cheese

Cinnamon Crumb Sweet Bread

cinnamon crumb breakfast bread


macadamia and toasted coconut sticky buns

Macadamia Coconut Sticky Buns

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12
Print Recipe


  • For The Dough:
  • Stage 1
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 tsp Red Star Quick Rising Yeast
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dry milk powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Stage 2
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • Extra flour for kneading
  • For The Filling:
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts
  • For The 12 shape Muffin Tin:
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar in each muffin cup
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter in each muffin cup


  • In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the sugar, egg and milk powder and stir to combine.
  • Add the 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix briskly with a wooden spoon until you end up with a smooth batter.
  • Cover the bowl and let rise for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, add the oil and salt and fold in. Add the next 1 cup of flour and fold through with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Dump the dough on to a clean work area dusted with some extra flour. The dough will be sticky so use plenty of dusting flour and handle it quickly, kneading it for 3-4 minutes finally finishing with a ball shape.
  • Place the dough into a clean bowl which has been lightly greased with olive oil. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare your muffin pan with the butter and brown sugar and set aside. In a food processor, break down the macadamia nuts.
  • Once the dough has rested for the second 30 minutes, dump it back out onto a well dusted work surface and punch down.
  • Form it back into a ball and roll it out to a rectangle shape about 14 inches long and 12 inches wide. Make sure to dust the area very well or the dough will be harder to roll up.
  • Using a pastry brush, paint the melted butter all over the rectangle of dough.
  • Spread the brown sugar on top of the butter and then sprinkle with the cinnamon. Add the toasted coconut and macadamia nuts, evenly spreading both over the dough as pictured above.
  • Starting from the top of the dough (farthest side from you) tuck the dough into itself and start to rol it toward you, keeping it as tight and equal as you can.
  • Once the dough has been rolled into a long tube shape, mark it with 12 equal lines.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice the roll along the lines you marked ending up with 12 individual buns.
  • Transfer each bun to a spot in the prepared muffin pan.
  • Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Let the buns cool for 5 minutes and then serve warm.


This dough is very loose. You have to handle it fast, turning it over on itself to form a ball. Have a lot of extra flour on hand to prevent it from sticking to the table. If you don't take the buns out of the pan after they cool slightly, simply warm the pan in the oven for another 5 minutes on a very low heat.
Adapted from The Tassajara Bread Book