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Sticky Bun Roll Recipe - Gooey, Tacky Buns - Secret Recipe - Miller's Dining Room Famous Rolls

Updated on October 9, 2016

Sticky Bun Recipe.
Gooey, Tacky Buns.

Miller's Dining Room, 16707 Detroit Ave., Lakewood Ohio (1950-1995)

Unlike cinnamon rolls, a sticky bun roll is smaller in size, it contains only a small amount of cinnamon, has no white icing on top nor any added pecans or raisins.

These rolls have a simple sticky caramelized filling and they can accompany any meal in place of bread, rolls or biscuits.

I remember Miller’s Restaurant as a child growing up. On the occasions my mother would take me there I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on those sticky buns. The first time the waiter came around to our table with an assortment of rolls on a silver platter, I would point to a sticky bun, quickly look at my mother and she would slightly nod which meant I could select two and with a smile the waiter would use a tong to place them on my roll plate. Later, during our meal a person holding the silver platter would return and I would select one more sticky bun for a total score of three sticky buns. Those delicious rolls would remain in mind all my life so when I found a recipe for them on the Internet I was fast to make them and I admit they were very good but something was wrong? I didn’t remember the brown sugar grainy clumps and the taste seemed a little lacking? I did remember a candy caramelized center with a little more flavor so I have since modified the recipe slightly by adding three more ingredients (maple syrup, vanilla extract and lemon juice.) I also caramelize the sugar filling. Now I am 100% satisfied that I have duplicated the original recipe of Miller’s Sticky Buns according to the best of my memory taste buds. I make them often freezing leftovers to enjoy later. Here is my recipe and method.

Sticky Bun Yeast Mixture:
2 packages active dry yeast,
1 cup water,
1 teaspoon sugar,
In a large enough bowl (yeast will expand about 3 times the starting volume) Measure 1 cup water, add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar stir and heat to (100-F to 112-F). Stir to dissolve 2 (¼ oz. each) packet dry yeast slowly over the surface. Cover bowl and let set 10 –15 minutes, yeast will multiply and foam.

In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, prepared yeast mixture, sugar and salt. Mix well.

In saucepan, heat 1 cup evaporated can milk just until slightly warm (between 110 and 115 degrees F). Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add egg. By hand, gradually stir in the 2- ½ cups remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on a well floured surface only about 5 to 7 minutes but do not overdo it.
*Optional: If you have a Kitchen-Aid Dough Mixer like I do; then use it instead of hand mixing.


Divide dough into four equal parts.

Roll each dough part out about 12” X 8” in size, brush each with melted butter. Spoon out 3 lines of caramel mixture (end to end) on each and roll into a jelly roll.
Slice into 1-1/2 inch pieces then pinch one end closed to avoid the caramel from seeping out during baking. The pinch-ends go bottom down on greased baking pans or in greased muffin pans. Cover rolls with a cloth and let rise 1-hour.
Bake rolls in oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool a minute, then remove rolls with fork.

Approximately 30 sticky buns.

Sticky bun rolls are at their best when served fresh from the oven and allowed to cool until just warm. If leftovers are refrigerated or frozen, heating them in a microwave oven for 3 minutes with a power rating of just 20% can reconstitute them.

For the Sticky Buns Rolls:
4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (regular white enriched flour; not bread flour),
1/3 cup sugar,
1 teaspoon salt,
1 cup can milk,
1 egg,
Yeast mixture.

For the Sticky Buns Filling:
1 cup melted butter,
1 tablespoon lemon juice,
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder,
2 cups brown sugar,
1/3 cup maple syrup,
1-teaspoon pure vanilla extract.
Heat everything in a saucepan except the vanilla. Heat until it bubbles slowly, stir constantly to avoid burning. Heat until it becomes syrup-like in texture and sugar is no longer grainy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

*Recipe note: Miller’s Dining and Restaurant used - C&H Pure Cane Golden Brown Sugar. They greased their baking pans with a lard vegetable oil.

Researched information about Miller’s Restaurant Dining Room:
Doris Jean (Miller) Urbansky, started Miller's and led it for 39 years. Doris and Husband Tom Urbansky ran the Miller’s business until Doris sold the restaurant in 1989.. The name came from Doris' parents, Ruby and John Miller who purchased the Kaase's restaurant. In 1989, the Urbansky's retired and sold the restaurant to Ron Thomas and his sister, Judy. Ron worked with the Urbansky's a year before taking ownership to ensure a smooth transition. He knew better than to change the menu.

From the day Miller’s opened on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood (Cleveland Ohio Area) in 1950 to the day it burned down September 1, 1995, it was known for those sticky buns without any pecans or icing on them. The sticky bun baker was Gloria Morman who baked between 800 and 1000 sticky buns a day.

Miller's Restaurant Photo - Cleveland State University

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    • Daily Chocolate profile image
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      Daily Chocolate 14 months ago from Sun City, Arizona - USA

      Mary Ann there isn't any butter in the dough

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      Kris 19 months ago

      I worked there as a "roll girl" & "salad girl" during my teen years in the late 1960's. I was fascinated by Gloria & her methods of slinging out all of the rolls and cornsticks, cloverleaf & sticky buns! I can still see her buttery hands rolling out the long snakes of sticky buns. I swear she used melted butter in those muffin pans, but I could be wrong. Definitely had brown sugar/cinnamon mixture in each muffin cup, then she would slice that dough so fast, fill up those pans and stacked them, one atop the other but sideways, and the buns would rise in the pans before she popped them in the oven. Those cornstick pans were cast iron, and she always kept them hot on top of the ovens, and then inside to really heat em up before she lathered the pans with lard, poured in the cornbread mixture. Sizzled up hot, hot! before she threw those in the ovens.

      It was fascinating to watch her! And Shirley Thomas, also, would sometimes make the rolls. But Gloria was magical.

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      MaryAnn 22 months ago

      The recipe is a bit off. How much melted butter in dough portion. Does not say.

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      CAROL 2 years ago

      No maple syrup ever was used in the Sticky Buns at Miller's. The filling never was cooked prior to baking the buns. Dough was rolled out, buttered and cinnamon/brown sugar mixture was sprinkled over the buttered dough. Dough was rolled (like a snake) and cut in to sections. Muffin pans were coated with shortening and more sugar/cinnamon mixture was put in pan. No pinching either. Then dough was put in the pan and the buns were baked. I thought the dough was allowed to rise as the first step, not after it was put in the pans. Can't quite recall. C & H sugar is a must as noted above.