How to Make Morning Buns from My New Cookbook!

4.85 from 46 votes
Learn how to make morning buns that are full of fall flavors and the ultimate treat during a cool fall weekend — and a recipe from my new cookbook!
Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns with the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHAT YOU GET: My Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns are made with flakey, buttery Danish Dough and chock full of toasted nuts and cinnamon sugar. They’re an easy and impressive treat for any 5-star brunch directly from my new cookbook.

Some of my favorite weekends are the ones where we have no plans — the ones where we don’t have to get up, get dressed, or drive anywhere. Don’t get me wrong. I love going out and having fun. I just love these Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns more. 

When I know we’re going to have one of those glorious weekends all to ourselves, I love getting to spend that time making one of my recipes that take a bit more time, like my morning buns recipe. It all starts with the perfect dough. For my Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns, I use my Danish Dough recipe. You’ll need to refrigerate the dough overnight before you assemble the buns, so it’s not ideal for a hectic weekday, but it’s absolutely perfect for a weekend breakfast! 

These warm, soft morning buns just feel downright homey. The dough is deliciously buttery and, when baked, unbelievably flakey. That texture becomes almost sinful when combined with crunchy toasted walnuts, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, and cinnamon, which caramelize at the bottom of your muffin tin. It’s the perfect fall recipe or holiday breakfast! 

A gorgeous tray of Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns

Who Has The Time? Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day! 

Yes, I’m a professional pastry chef. But no, I definitely do not always have as much time as I need to make treats like this recipe. And I suspect a lot of you don’t either! That’s why I’m beyond proud of my second cookbook, Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day.

When I set out to write the follow-up to my first book, Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere, I wanted to write a book that would help bakers at home bake their way through a busy week. 

I didn’t end up with that, though. What I ended up with was a cookbook with a collection of recipes to cook every single day, no matter what time constraints you’re working with! All of the recipes are all-new or fan favorites and highly tested, again and again, by me and our wonderful team here at BBB! (Shoutout to friends, family, and neighbors who didn’t mind tasting throughout that process.) 

What I really love about this book is how it’s organized. I’ve spent hours thumbing through cookbooks to find recipes that work for me at the moment, and to be honest with you, it ate up more time than some of those recipes took to make. Instead of organizing recipes by type (dough after dough, crumble after crumble, cake after cake, etc.), Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day’s 125 recipes are broken into chapters by occasion and the time of day.

For my “Breakfast in Minutes” chapter, you’ll find Raspberry Yogurt Scones and breads you can whip up anytime. My “Weeknight Family Favorites” chapter features a Chocolate Lover’s Cheesecake and simple, yet fancy and fun Smashed Raspberry Pavlova ! The “Short and Sweet Any Day” chapter includes one easy base recipe and a variety of flavors you can whip up including my Fall Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake (along with three other upside-down cakes and recipes for Fruit Fools, Fruit Crisps, Pan-Roasted Fruit, and more).

A side-by-side photos of Gemma Stafford's Fall Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake and Chocolate Lover's Cheesecake with Strawberry Compote from her new cookbook, "Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day."

No matter who you want to serve or how much time you have, there’s a recipe for it — from my 5-Ingredient Dutch Baby Pancake from the “Weekend Brunch Treats” chapter to my Dulce De Leche Lava Cake, which is just one of the impressive desserts you’ll find in “Dinner Party Desserts.”

A side-by-side photo of Gemma Stafford's 10-Ingredient Dutch Baby Pancake next to Dulce De Leche Lava Cake from her new cookbook, "Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day."

My Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns recipe can be found in my “Leisurely Weekend Recipes” collection. I also have a chapter of “Master Recipes,” which include pie crust, fruit compotes, and my Danish Dough, that can be used for a number of the other recipes in the book! If you grab my book, available wherever books are sold, don’t be afraid to double up on my Danish Dough to make this recipe and my Almond Twist and Buttery Fruit Danishes! 

Can you tell how thrilled I am with my book? Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming… 

What Kind Of Maple Syrup Should I Use In Baking?

For this recipe, I like to use dark maple syrup because I love the maple syrup taste and how it caramelizes with the brown sugar. 

Maple syrup, which used to be categorized through Grades, is now categorized by color (Golden to Very Dark.) This all has to do with how early, or how late, in the season the maple was harvested. Lighter maple syrup was harvested early in the season and has more of a sugar taste than that of maple. The later in the season, the darker the maple syrup will be and the more pronounced the maple flavor. “Very Dark” maple syrup has the strongest maple flavor. Dark and Very Dark maple syrup are great for baking because it maintains that flavor.

How Do I Toast Walnuts?

These morning buns are filled with a maple walnut mixture, which adds a wonderful flavor and texture to the buns. For the best flavor, you want to toast your walnuts. Raw walnuts can taste a bit bitter, but when toasted, they become buttery, rich, and crunchy. 

To toast walnuts, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the walnuts out into a single layer. Bake in a pre-heated 350°F for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so every side gets toasty. 

Tools You Need To Make Maple Walnut Sticky Buns

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Morning Buns With Maple Walnut Filling

  • Toast your walnuts! Nuts always taste better after they have been toasted than raw, especially walnuts, which can have a bitter taste. See my note above to learn how to toast your walnuts.
  • Use dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has more molasses than light brown sugar, which makes it taste richer. The sugar also melts down and becomes wonderfully caramelized! 
  • Use PURE maple syrup in this recipe. Pure maple syrup and pancake syrup are very different! Pancake syrup is made with corn syrup and flavoring; maple syrup is maple tree sap that has been boiled down. You will not achieve the same results if you substitute maple syrup for pancake syrup. 
  • These buns are best the day they are made, but you can store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. Rewarm in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time or in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes.

Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day

Try More Delicious Fall Recipes:

Watch The Recipe Video!

Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns

4.85 from 46 votes
Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns are full of fall flavors and the ultimate treat during a cool fall weekend — and a recipe from my new book!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people
Sticky Maple Walnut Morning Buns are full of fall flavors and the ultimate treat during a cool fall weekend — and a recipe from my new book!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 12 people


  • Melted butter, for greasing

For The Danish Dough

  • 2 ½ cups (355 grams) all-purpose flour
  • cup (71 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks/225 grams) cold butter, diced
  • ¾ cup (180 milliliters) cold whole milk
  • 1 large egg, cold

For The Filling

  • ½ cup (1 stick/115 grams) butter
  • 1 cup (170 grams) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (71 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups (213 grams) walnuts, toasted and finely chopped

For The Topping

  • ¼ cup (71 grams) pure maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp (½ stick/57 grams) butter


Make The Danish Dough

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt.
  • Add the butter and, using your fingertips, rub it into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and egg, then stir them into the flour mixture.
  • Press the dough until it comes together. (Add a little more liquid if the dough is not holding together.)
  • Place two large pieces of plastic wrap on a work surface. Turn the dough out and use the plastic wrap to to help press it into a square. Wrap well in the plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • On a floured surface, unwrap the dough and, working quickly so the butter doesn't melt, roll it out into a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Fold like a letter again, then repeat the rolling-and-folding process at least four more times, one after the other.
  • Wrap the dough well in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 4 days.
  • When the dough is chilled, generously butter a 12-cup muffin tin.

Make The Filling

  • In a small saucepan, stir together the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt and heat over medium heat, stirring, until the butter and sugar have melted. Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts, and let cool.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the Danish dough to a 12 x 18-inch rectangle. Spread the cooled filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all the way around.
  • Starting with the long edge, gently roll up the dough into a log. With a serrated knife, slice the roll into 2-inch-thick pieces and place one slice in each well of the prepared muffin tin, cut-side up. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until puffed up, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • About 20 minutes before the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Carefully uncover the dough.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Make The Topping

  • Warm the maple syrup and butter together until the butter melts. Set aside.
  • Remove the buns from the oven, leaving them in the pan. Generously brush the warm buns with the maple-butter topping. Let cool for 15 minutes, then carefully remove the buns from the pan and place them on a baking sheet to cool completely. Spoon any walnut filling that has spilled out back into the buns.
  • These buns are best eaten the day they are made, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature overnight. Rewarm in the microwave, or in a 300°F (150°C) oven for 10 minutes.


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1 year ago

I did it!!! It turned out so gooooood. It was my first time working with the Danish dough. Thanks Gemma! I can’t wait to try more recipes from your book.

1 year ago


1 year ago

When I make scones, I freeze the butter first, then grate it before I add it to the flour. Would that method work with this?

2 months ago

I just made these this past weekend. Oh Wow! Your description in your book of them was spot on. Very hard to stop at just one! I didn’t have any walnuts and used pecans and also put in some rasins – wow.

Nelleke Bloemhof
Nelleke Bloemhof
8 months ago

I made them twice, they are realy delicious. I have you second book, but not your fiets.

8 months ago

Looks so delicious! Planning on trying this one soon-!

8 months ago


8 months ago

Looks so yummy

Daniyal Khizar
Daniyal Khizar
8 months ago

I’m really sad that I didn’t have time to make this. I’m excited to be entered in the giveaway though!

8 months ago

Looks easy enough I’ll let you know how it goes.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.


Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook