Drunken Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns, My Kind Of Morning

Wiping my brow, I had made it through the first day of pastry school.  It wasn’t pretty, as I was feeling 40-something, overwhelmed, a bit out of place, and well, super-sweaty from frustration and the heat of the ovens.  The next day, I was determined to up my game. That’s when I met  Alexandra Dorros. She was THE girl to watch!  She was fast, competent and super creative. Since then, Alex’s Drunken Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns have become one of my favorite recipes. Allow me to introduce you…

Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

Alex has a knack for pulling together interesting flavors and spices. With a mix of Chilean and Jewish heritage in her background, she has gypsied around the world. She’s not afraid to push the envelope with fun culinary combinations and absolutely nails it with this power duo of drunken figs and asiago cheese. Brilliant!

Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

So, let’s bring on the salty-sweet combination (all day, everyday, in my Sweet Nerd opinion). Liquor-loaded figs, crunchy pecans, and salty cheese….do I really need to say more? You had me at drunken figs, truth be told.  Give these buns some time in the kitchen as they’ll have to go through the process of ‘proofing.’  Make this your own special sweet secret at your next morning brunch and I promise your family and friends will be LOVING you.

The gist of the bread part is really 3 easy-steps:

  1. Sponge Starter: Water – Yeast – Sugar (rest for 10 minutes)
  2. Liquid: Butter – Milk – Sugar – Egg (gets added to sponge)
  3. Dries: Salt – Flour (mixer action for 5-10 minutes)

Once you mix together all the ingredients for the dough, give your wrist a break and put the dough in the mixer.  Sip some coffee and watch the mixer do the work of kneading (with a dough hook) for roughly 10 minutes.  Let it proof in a stainless steel oiled bowl.  (Proofing means the dough just sits there doing nada in a bowl except rising slowly). And now you just wait…and wait…until it doubles. Tip: I always try to speed this part up by putting it in the warmest place in my house with a clean dishtowel placed over the bowl.

After your first proof, punch down, and get ready to rumble…oh, I mean roll!

Put all the fixings together and add them in layers. This is the fun part!  And no, I don’t advise eating the drunken figs.  No nibbling!

Once you set down your layers, you’re ready to roll once more. But this time, do it with your hands. Roll it like a sweet mini enchilada, except without the red sauce!

Next, it’s time to assemble all of the ingredients into the pan. Let the gooey sweet pecan sauce you just made cool to room temperature.  Once cool, drop a scoop of the sauce into each muffin bottom. Cut the enchilada-shaped dough into sizes that will fit into your muffin pan. We used an extra large muffin pan and so our slices were about 2” thick (you sort of have to eyeball it and use your good ol’ trial-and-error approach). Once you get the sticky buns in there nice and snug, let it proof for another 20 minutes.  It will grow in size and plump up a bit more. I promise, this is the last proof session!

Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

So there you have it. We should be done by now, right? Sorry people, just one last detail…

Don’t forget about the egg wash! That’s it. Once you’ve applied that on top of each bun, pop it into a hot oven and anxiously await utter sweet goodness.

Once baked, immediately unmold and top with cheese. It’s a messy job, but the chef in the house gets the benefit of crumb picking, so enjoy your free nibbles. I love, love, love this recipe!  Thanks so much, Alex, for sharing your personal best – Drunken Fig Sticky Buns. 

Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

Credits: Alexandra Dorros, Dulce Nest

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Drunken Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

By TheSweetNerd  ,

September 29, 2016

  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 30 mins


Dough Ingredients

1/4 cup warm water

1 tablespoon dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar (for sponge or starter)

1 cup of milk

2 oz melted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

pinch of salt

3 cups of flour

Topping Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans

4 ounces butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon rum

Filling Ingredients

*Soak: rum + figs

1 1/2 cups figs, quartered*

5 tablespoons rum*

1/2 cup roasted pecans

1 1/4 cup brown sugar

3.5 ounces butter, softened

2 pinches of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons rum

3/4 cup of Asiago Cheese, grated



1Sponge: Combine warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let it sit (proof) for 10 minutes.

2Liquid: Combine milk (scalded), melted butter cooled to 105F, 1/4 cup sugar, and egg. Set aside.

3Dries: Combine salt + flour. Set aside.

4Add the liquid mixture to the sponge (yeast mixture) and stir. Set in mixer before you add dries.

5Add the dries to the wet mixture and mix. Knead with dough hook (on medium) for 10 minutes in mixer or until smooth.

6Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until double (about 1 hour.)

7Punch dough and roll into a rectangle.


1Roast 2 cups pecans whole in oven at 350F until lightly toasted, then chop (reserve 1/2 cup for inside dough filling - see assembly). In a saucepan, melt butter, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon rum and pecans. Let cool slightly.


1Soak figs and 5 tablespoons rum and set aside (drunken figs). Cream brown sugar, soft butter, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons rum.


1Prep Muffin Pan: Divide the topping mixture into muffin pan.

2Dough: Sprinkle the rectangle dough with the filling and layer in drunken figs and reserved pecans. Using both hands, roll into a tight “roll". Cut roll every 1.5"-2" and place in muffin pan above toppings. Let it rise for another 20 minutes.

3Place in 350F conventional oven for 30 minutes. Put tray on a lower level of oven to avoid spilling of sugar.

4Unmold immediately.

5Top with Asiago Cheese.

Active time is about 30 minutes. Proof time is about 2 hours.
Recipe Credit: Alexandra Dorros


Fig & Pecan Sticky Buns

1 Comment

  • sweet and salty forever!!! these are simply beyond. i think i would eat the entire pan if left alone with these buns.

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