Recipe Box: Espresso Sticky Buns

Get the recipe for these "Clueless" inspired sticky buns

Hi everyone, it’s Claire here from The Kitchy Kitchen. “As if!” and “Way harsh Tai,” echo in our collective psyche, reflecting what we all hoped high school could be. Sure, Contempo Casuals and crushes on Luke Perry may have disappeared with the 90s, but Cher’s matchmaking skills and the movie’s bubbly tone make it a high school classic. Inspired by Cher’s constant mochachino drinking and excellent advice of, “Whenever a boy comes over you should always have something baking,” I give you Espresso Sticky Buns. Much nicer than a recipe inspired by the Pismo beach disaster. Enjoy!

Espresso Sticky Buns recipe on


For the sticky buns:

  • ½ cup milk (preferably whole)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (possibly up to 4 1/2)
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder, split
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk

Recipe for "Clueless" inspired Sticky Buns


1. In a small pan over medium heat, heat the milk (just until it bubbles at the edge), then stir in the halved espresso powder, sugar, salt and butter. Take off heat and cool to lukewarm.

2. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer with a dough hook attachment (or a large bowl if you’re kneading by hand), combine the warm water with the yeast. Let it stand for 5 minutes, until the yeast bubbles and wakes up a bit.

3. Combine the yeast mixture with the lukewarm milk mixture, add the eggs and 2 cups flour and beat until smooth. Keep adding flour until it makes a stiff dough (this could be 3 1/2 cups to 4 1/2 cups).

4. Turn up speed to medium high and kneed for 5 minutes, or until the dough slaps the side of bowl. Place the dough in greased bowl, cover it and let it rise until doubled, about an hour.

5. Pre heat the oven to 375 F. Punch down the dough, cover, and let it rise for 10 more minutes.

6. In a small bowl, combine the halved espresso powder, brown sugar and cocoa.

7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to about a 1/2 inch thick and shaped into a 12 x 16 inch rectangle (or thereabouts).

8. Sprinkle with espresso mixture and roll the rectangle lengthwise. Slice out a roll every 2 inches.

9. Pop into a lightly greased baking dish or cast iron skillet (I used a 9 1/2′′ oval baking dish), don’t worry if there are gaps, the rolls will rise and fill everything in.

10. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake in oven for 40 minutes, until the rolls bounce back when lightly pressed, and let the rolls cool for about 5 minutes. Cover with glaze and serve.

"Clueless" Inspired Espresso Sticky Bun recipe

I can’t think of a more delicious breakfast on a weekend morning! Don’t forget the steaming cup of coffee to go with them…

Do you have a favorite sticky bun recipe?

I’d love to hear how you make them in the comments!

X Claire
The Kitchy Kitchen

Photos: The Kitchy Kitchen