Every weekend morning, without exception, I regret not assembling a batch of sticky buns the night before.  I dream of waking up to that sweet, bready aroma pouring out of the oven, then curling up on the couch with a cup of coffee and the fluffy, tender rolls soaked with gooey caramel.  Finally this weekend I decided I wouldn’t disappoint myself yet again, and spent Saturday afternoon working up this recipe.

I’ve been on a juice and smoothie bent recently, and had a lot of carrot pulp left over from juicing.  Not being one to like waste, I decided to work some of the pulp into these lovely rolls.  Bonus — this recipe uses almost 2 + 1/2 C of pulp, which put a pretty significant dent in my leftover pulp.  If you’re not a juicer, you can replace the carrot pulp with finely-grated carrots — but because they contain more moisture than the pulp, you can skip the extra 1/4 C water in the rolls, and squeeze the extra moisture out of the carrots in the filling and caramel.

I call these Carrot-Ginger-Bourbon Sticky Bun Cinnamon Rolls because they combine my favorite features of sticky buns and cinnamon rolls:  the warm, spicy filling of a cinnamon roll, with the rich, gooey caramel of a sticky bun.  They’re all tied together with the carrot pulp laced with ginger and a smooth bourbon.  These rolls are delightfully springy and moist.  The crumb does not overpower, but complements the filling and caramel .  I really love how the carrot provides a delicate, fresh sweetness that crosses multiple seasons — light enough for spring, but the ginger and bourbon add enough heft to the flavor for autumn and winter.

I hope you’ll love these as much as I do, and delight in waking up to them on a Sunday morning!

Carrot-Ginger-Bourbon Sticky Bun Cinnamon Rolls

Makes about 10 rolls | Takes about 11 hours (including overnight chill)


  • 1 + 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 + 1/2 C pastry flour
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/2 C carrot pulp
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/2 C milk


  • 1 + 1/3 C carrot pulp
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger (can sub 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger)


  • 1/2 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C carrot pulp
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger (can sub 1/4 tsp dry ground ginger)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 + 1/2 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1/2 C chopped walnuts


  • butter (or shortening) for coating baking dish
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened
  • flour for dusting surface

For the Rolls

  1. In a stand mixer with bread hook attachment, combine the whole wheat flour, pastry flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.  Mix slowly to incorporate ingredients.
  2. In a small bowl, combine egg and water, and whisk.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine carrot pulp, butter, and milk.  Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until butter is melted and the ingredients have come together such that carrot pulp has absorbed the liquid.
  4. With mixer running on low speed, add egg-water mixture to flour mixture.  Then, slowly add carrot pulp mixture, about a tablespoon at a time to temper the flour mixture.
  5. Continue to run mixer on low speed for about 5-6 minutes until batter comes together into a tight, elastic-y dough.
  6. Form dough into a ball, lightly coat in olive oil, place in a bowl, and cover with a tea towel.  Place dough in a warm, draft-free area for 60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.

For Assembling and Finishing

  1. Prepare the filling by mixing all filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, until well-incorporated.
  2. Ready a baking dish by coating dish with butter or shortening.
  3. In a small bowl, combine caramel ingredients, and mix until well-incorporated.  Pour mixture into buttered baking dish, and distribute mixture evenly across the dish.
  4. Once dough has risen, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a rectangle approximately 10″ x 15″, which should be a bit less than 1/4″ thick.
  5. Spread the 2 Tbsp softened butter, then the filling, evenly across the dough.
  6. Roll the dough tightly, beginning on the long edge.  Slice the log into 1+1/4″ slices using unflavored dental floss (can also use serrated knife, but floss makes a cleaner cut).
  7. Place “nice” sides of each slice facing down in the baking dish (since you’ll eventually invert the contents for serving).  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Remove rolls from refrigerator and let stand 30 minutes before baking.  Rolls will not likely rise during this time.
  9. Cover rolls with foil and bake 35 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Let rest 1 minute before inverting rolls onto a heat-proof serving tray or dish.  Let sit 1-2 minutes before serving, to allow caramel to soak into the rolls.
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