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Giant Apple Sticky Bun

This recipe transforms a little breakfast pastry you know and love into, well, a cake-sized breakfast pastry that you’ll also love. Laced with warming spices and tart apples, this version has all the glory of a sticky bun without the sugar thanks to Splenda’s white and brown sugar blends. Making the yeasted dough requires some patience, though the finished product is worth the wait (and worth getting messy for).


Servings: One 10-inch bun
Prep Time: 30 minutes , plus 1 hour and 30 minutes Wait Time
Cook Time: approximately 50 minutes

*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional


For the Dough

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup water, divided
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda Magic Baker
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2-½ cups all-purpose flour

For the Filling

  • ⅓ cup Splenda Magic Baker Brown
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened

For the Topping

  • ⅓ cup Splenda Magic Baker Brown
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1-½ tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Half of one Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped


Make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the yeast with ¼ cup of warm water on low speed. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, until small bubbles form and the top layer of the water looks creamy.
  2. In a small pan, add the butter along with the remaining ½ cup of water and warm over medium heat until the butter is melted, stirring to incorporate. Let the mixture cool.
  3. To the yeast mixture, add the egg and whisk on medium speed until it is pale in color and frothy, 1 minute. Add the Splenda Magic Baker, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt and whisk together on low speed until incorporated.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment, then gradually add the flour and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat the dough for 5 minutes, until it looks smooth and elastic.
  5. Grease a large bowl with butter or cooking spray, then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Make the Filling: Combine the Splenda Magic Baker Brown, cardamom, cinamon, and lemon zest in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside. In another small bowl, add the butter and set aside.
  7. Make the Topping: In a saucepan, add the Splenda Magic Baker Brown and the water.. Warm the pan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sweetener dissolves and starts to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. Add the cardamom, butter, and milk and continue simmering for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from heat, then add the vanilla extract, diced apples, and chopped pecans. Pour the mixture into a 10” round cake pan and spread it out evenly. Set aside while you shape the dough.
  9. Shape the dough: With your hands, roll the dough out into a rope, about ¾” in diameter. Alternatively, you can divide the dough into 4 to 6 smaller pieces and roll out to the same diameter. If the dough is resistant and contracts easily, let it rest a few minutes before continuing to shape.
  10. Brush the ropes of dough with the softened butter. Then, sprinkle the cardamom-sugar filling on your board and roll the ropes in it until evenly coated.
  11. Starting in the center of the cake pan, loosely coil the ropes in a circle until all the dough is used, leaving a ½” space between the dough and the edge of the pan. Cover the pan with plastic and let it rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  12. Bake the buns: While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 350F. Uncover the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the dough is firmly set.
  13. Remove the bun from the oven and, using oven mitts, carefully but decisively turn it out onto a large plate or platter.
  14. Let the bun cool slightly before slicing into wedges or chunks to serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.