• Prep 15 mins
  • Total 1h 45 mins
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

These buns are fluffy, sticky in all the right ways, and enjoyable at any hour of the day. With just a little patience while the buns proof twice at exactly the right temperature in the Ninja® Foodi® SmartLid™, you’re rewarded with a magnificent yeasty flavor. Although these buns are like traditional cinnamon rolls, they’re instead baked on top of a bed of caramelized sugar and pecans, giving them a nutty buttery coating that will truly elevate every brunch or special occasion. You can use dark or light brown sugar interchangeably in this recipe.

Substitution Tip: Don’t have pecans? Substitute walnut halves and pieces.


  • Contains Milk/Dairy
  • Contains Wheat
  • Contains Eggs

Tip: Allergy Advice

This dish contains the following allergens: Milk/Dairy, Wheat, Eggs

Cooking mode

Step-by-step instruction without your screen going to sleep

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water, for steaming
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk


  • Step 1

    Spray the Multi-Purpose Pan with cooking spray.

  • Step 2

    In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, the milk, and the yeast. Let the yeast foam for about 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    After 5 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of butter, the eggs,1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the flour, 1 cup at a time. Stir until the dough comes together.

  • Step 4

    Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Turn out the dough onto the surface and knead it for 5 minutes into a smooth ball. If the dough is sticky, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time to prevent sticking.

  • Step 5

    Place the dough ball in the prepared pan. Place the pan on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack in the lower position, then place the rack in the pot.

  • Step 6

    Close the lid and move the slider to AIR FRY/STOVETOP. Select PROOF, set the temperature to 80°F,and set the time to 40 minutes. Press START/STOP to begin the first rise.

  • Step 7

    While the dough is proofing, make the filling. Combine 5 tablespoons of butter, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, the cinnamon, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl and stir well. Set aside.

  • Step 8

    In a medium bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and stir. Set aside.

  • Step 9

    When the rise is complete, dust a flat, clean worksurface with flour. Remove the dough from the pot and place it on the work surface. Roll the dough into a 12-by-12-inch square and brush with the remaining1 tablespoon of butter. Then, sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar filling mixture, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides. Roll the dough into a log and slice it into8 equal pieces.

  • Step 10

    Place the brown sugar and butter mixture in the pan and spread it into an even layer. Top with the pecans. Place the dough pieces close together, cut-side up, in the pan on top of the pecans. Gently press the buns to make them the same height.

  • Step 11

    Pour the water into the pot. Place the pan on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack in the lower position, then place the rack in the pot.

  • Step 12

    Close the lid. Select PROOF, set the temperature to80°F, and set the time to 25 minutes. Press START/STOP to begin the second rise.

  • Step 13

    After 25 minutes, move the slider to STEAMCRISP, select STEAM & BAKE, set the temperature to 300°F, and set the time to 20 minutes. Select START/STOP to begin cooking (PrE will display for about 5 minutes as the unit steams, then the timer will start counting down).

  • Step 14

    While the cinnamon buns are cooking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk until well combined.

  • Step 15

    When cooking is complete, remove the rack with the pan. Let the buns cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip the pan over a plate to release the buns. Drizzle with the glaze and serve warm.