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Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

5 from 1 vote

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Last Updated on March 4, 2021 by Heather Wibbels

Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail in a coupe glass garnished with pecan sticky bun quarter
Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

There’s this southern tradition of donuts called sticky buns and when I opened up a new simple syrup and tasted it, I knew I would be creating a Pecan Sticky Bun cocktail with a whiskey base. If you’ve ever seen the excessiveness of a pecan sticky bun, it looks like a honey bun or cinnamon roll covered in a syrupy mass of toasted pecans. Sometimes it’s even covered with creamy cinnamon roll frosting. It’s a sugar coma just looking at it.

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If you’re just joining us on the blog, this week’s quarantine cocktail theme is donuts! Yesterday we kicked off the week with Maple Caramel Long John cocktails, and today, we’re staying in them but getting even sweeter with this pecan sticky bun cocktail.

The Story Behind this Donut Cocktail

When we would visit Fort Myers Beach, there was a small café there that made world-famous pecan sticky buns. I didn’t realize they would be so large they’d have trouble fitting in a take-out container. I watched the server take a water pitcher filled with flowing cream cheese frosting pour about a cup of frosting on the pecan sticky bun. And then I ate the whole damned thing. It was glorious. Thankfully we’d ridded up from the south end of the beach, but I’m sure we didn’t come close to expending the calories we spent eating those pecan sticky buns

Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail in a coupe glass garnished with donute holes and cream cheese frosting
Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

This cocktail serves as an homage to that crazy experience. Again, I’m playing with a Monin syrup I’d gotten, the cinnamon roll syrup and this stuff tastes as if you’re taking a bite of a fresh cinnamon roll. Perhaps not as good as an Ann Sathers’ cinnamon roll in Chicago, but a damn fine one nonetheless.

Flavors in this Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

I am using my Rivulet pecan liqueur again so that I can get that really sugary sweet pecan flavor and the caramel liqueur from yesterday. If you don’t have the Monin’s cinnamon bun syrup, you could substitute a cinnamon-vanilla simple syrup. And I am garnishing the glass excessively again. This time I’m dipping donut holes in cinnamon roll cream cheese icing and sprinking them with candied pecans. Over the top, I know, but it’s donut week and I’ve learned anything about donuts this week it’s that you can never go too far with donuts.

cocktail with donut holes garnish, glazed with icing and candied pecans
Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

For those of you curious about the other recipes in the Quarantine Series, I’ll put them here before you skim past to get to the recipe. Quarantine Juleps, (Breakfast Julep, the Pineapple Sage Rum Julep, Elvis Julep (peanut butter-banana), Root Beer Float Julep, and the Persian Julep (rose-apricot) ), Quarantine Old Fashioneds (Breakfast Wakey Wakey, Smoke and Spice, Home School, Taco Truck, and Campari/Bitter Lessons ), Quarantine Manhattans (Balanced Perfection (Perfect Manhattan), Coffee Manhattan, Chocolate Ginger Manhattan, French Quarter Manhattan, and the Caramel Orange Manhattan.), Quarantine Whiskey Sours (Blackberry Sunset, Whiskey Tiki, Blue Mood Orange, Ya Basic, and Peach Rosemary), and Quarantine Smashes (Whiskey Smash, Blackberry Sage Smash, Pineapple Tiki Smash, Strawberry Basil Smash and the Coffee Cherry Smash.)

Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail in a coupe glass garnished with pecan sticky bun quarter
Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

Recommended Bar Tools

You don’t need every slick, beautiful bar tool out there, but there are several I’ll recommend. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, that does not affect the cost of the items below.) My favorite pieces usually come from the Cocktail Kingdom section of Amazon:

You may already have these bar essentials, but just in case:

Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail in a coupe glass garnished with pecan sticky bun quarter

Pecan Sticky Bun Cocktail

Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktailHeather Wibbels
Prepare for this over-the-top donut cocktail inspired by pecan sticky buns. Luscious pecan, sweet cinnamon roll flavoring and of course our base spirit bourbon play nicely in the cocktail. And that garnish, donut holes topped with cream cheese icing and candied pecans? Well, you can just make extra because you’re going to want a few of those to nibble on while you drink the cocktail.
5 from 1 vote
Course Drinks
Cuisine Bourbon Cocktail
Servings 1


  • 2 oz bourbon (I used Old Bardstown Bottled in Bond)
  • ½ oz Monin’s cinnamon roll syrup (or vanilla-cinnamon simple)
  • ½ oz Rivulet pecan liqueur
  • ½ oz caramel liqueur (I used Stroopwaffel caramel. Use non-creamy)
  • 3 dashes black walnut bitters
  • Garnish: donut holes frosted with cream cheese icing and candied pecans (see below for cream cheese icing recipe)


  • Combine bourbon, pecan liqueur, caramel liqueur, syrup and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well-combined and very cold. Strain into a coupe glass with donut glaze and donut holes frosted with cream cheese icing and candied pecans. Prepare for the sugar rush.


Cinnamon Roll Frosting
2 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp bourbon
pinch of salt
1 oz milk/cream to consistency
Mix together butter and cream cheese until smooth, add bourbon, pinch of salt and slowly add in the powdered sugar beating well until smooth. Add in milk or cream as needed to get the consistency you want for your icing.
Keyword caramel, donut, doughnut, pecan sticky bun, sticky bun
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

By on May 6th, 2020
Picture of Heather Wibbels, Cocktail Contessa, pouring a cocktail

About Heather Wibbels

Heather Wibbels is a whiskey and cocktail author (Executive Bourbon Steward, no less) with a passion for cocktails. She loves researching and designing cocktails, drinking cocktails, and teaching cocktails. Mostly whiskey cocktails, given her Kentucky location.

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