Banoffee Sticky Buns

I love banoffee pie. For those of you who do not know what that is, it’s a British dessert consisting of shortcrust pastry, fresh bananas, dulce de leche (caramelized condensed milk), grated dark chocolate, and whipped cream. It’s pretty decadent, like a lot of British desserts (trust me, that’s not a bad thing. I personally love desserts that stuff every orifice of your body with butter and sugar). I thought about making these the moment I was thinking about how you can make a sticky bun fun and unique.

Sticky buns, cinnamon rolls, whatever the hell you want to call them, they’re rolled up pastry, typically more doughy and less flaky, stuffed with sugar and spices, and glazed. Having gone to Flour Bakery in Boston often when I used to go to school there, I know a good sticky bun. Taking some inspiration from Joanne Chang’s recipe, I am going for a more brioche-y type of dough for the base of my sticky  bun, using Japanese corn powder to also give the dough a naturally buttery color to it. Plus, butter and corn go well together, and corn pairs well with chocolate and butterscotch, so it all works!

For the banoffee components, I’m going to stuff the rolls with an Ovaltine-cocoa brown sugar as well as chocolate chips. For the toffee, I’m taking Korean banana milk and making a butterscotch out of that. And to add texture to the bun, in lieu of nuts because some people are allergic, I’m using banana chips, just to really add back a more natural banana flavor into the bun to round out the banoffee components. You can also top it with whipped cream, but frankly, I don’t give a shit.

For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Japanese corn powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
2 eggs
1 packet dry active yeast powder
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup+ 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine together the yeast, lukewarm water, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let that sit. Combine the milk and vinegar in a separate bowl and all those to sit together. Sift the flour and corn powder into a large bowl and form a well. Beat together the milk with eggs and melted butter (in my original recipe, I used only 1 egg and 4 tablespoons of butter, but my buns came out drier. So I adjusted the recipe because I wanted you to sink your teeth into moist, fluffy buns. You’re welcome.) Pour the egg-milk mixture and the yeast mixture into the center of the flour well and combine with salt and vanilla extract. Mix until the dough just comes together and allow to sit in a large container, sealed, in a warm room for 1 hour.

Banana milk butterscotch
8 oz Korean banana milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
a pinch of salt

Combine milk, sugar, and salt and bring to a simmer. Once the mixture reaches a full boil, take off heat and whip in the butter. If the mixture separates, just strain out the lumps. That is the coagulated banana milk protein. Pour onto a parchment and oil lined shallow sheet tray, covered in about 1 1/4 cups crushed banana chips. Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature before you place the buns on it.

The filling:
1/3 cup brown sugar
a pinch of salt
1/3 cup Ovaltine powder
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips; chopped roughly if they are not the mini chips

Combine together.


For assembly and baking:
Once the dough has rested for 1 hour, tip onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/8th an inch thickness. Spread out the filling evenly on the sheet of dough, skimping towards the edges, since rolling up the dough will cause the filling the spread out towards the ends anyways. Roll up the dough as tightly as possible. Cut the dough logs into 8-12 disks. Place onto the banana chip-banana milk toffee covered sheet tray and allow the dough to proof for another 30 minutes.

At this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake the buns for 20 minutes. While they are still warm, so about 2-3 minutes after they finish baking, turn the buns upside down onto your desired serving plate. Enjoy while still warm!


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