| Recipes |

Cheese Buns with Gooey Pecan Filling

Food and Prop Styling by Goldie Stern
Food Prep and Consulting by Chaya Suri Goldberger
Photography by Felicia Perretti

Okay, so imagine a cinnamon bun with cream cheese frosting and then imagine the whole thing flipped inside out and upside down, and now we’re on the same page. This is not a quick recipe, but the dough is the softest and fluffiest I have ever made in real life, and IMHO that sometimes has to trump easy.


  • 4 cups flour, divided
  • 1¼ cups milk, divided
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 8-oz (225-g) bars J&J Cream Cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or extract
Gooey Pecan Filling
  • 1½ sticks butter
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • pecans, roughly chopped

Take 3 Tbsp of the flour and 12 cup of the milk and heat them in a small pan or pot, stirring often, until you have a soft pudding consistency, about 7 minutes. Allow to cool.

Mix all but 12 cup of the remaining flour and the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, adding in the slurry. Mix by hand or with a dough hook in a mixer. If the dough is very sticky or tacky, add the remainder of the flour, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough comes together smoothly. Knead for 8–10 minutes or until smooth and soft. Place in a buttered bowl and cover. If your oven has a proof setting, proof there, or in any warm spot, until dough has doubled in size, 112–2 hours.

Mix filling ingredients and set aside in the fridge while the dough rises.

Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) and make the gooey filling: Combine butter and sugar in a small pot. When beginning to bubble, add corn syrup and simmer on low while you prepare your dough.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle that’s about 18x12 inches (46x30 cm). Spread the cream cheese filling over the top and roll up.

Prepare three 8-inch (20-cm) square pans. Add coarsely chopped pecans to your taste (I don’t like too many nuts, so 14 cup per pan was perfect for me) and divide the goo evenly among the pans.

Using a very sharp knife or unflavored floss, cut the rolled-up dough into 18 rolls. If the filling falls out slightly, it’s okay, just do the best you can to keep it all together. This is a trust-the-process situation. Place 6 buns in each pan and bake until the tops are just set, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then flip upside down to a plate or platter to reveal the gooey pecan tops.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 821)

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