Weekend Cooking

Mocha Sticky Buns in a Multi-Cooker

November 30, 2021
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Yossy Arefi.
  • Prep time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • makes 12 sticky buns
Author Notes

Sticky buns are like a gooier, more delicious version of cinnamon rolls—and they’re one of my all-time favorite treats. This version, which stars a mocha cream cheese frosting and filling made with espresso and dark chocolate, is especially perfect for brunch (but I love ‘em any time of day). The coffee adds depth and helps enhance the cinnamon, while the chocolate pairs perfectly with the nutty, toasted pecans.

When making sticky buns, it’s important to allow the dough to rise, which can take a long time, especially during the colder weather months. To speed up the process, I used the handy PROOF setting on the Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™ to create the ideal environment for the yeast to do its thing. Then, I used the STEAM & BAKE function to cook the buns (without drying them out) and get them golden-brown. The result: fluffy, light mocha sticky buns to pair with a warm cup of Joe this holiday season.

Note: If you’d like to skip the homemade dough, you can swap in one package of a store-bought crescent dough sheet and skip to step 4 in the directions. —Maki Yazawa

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Ninja™, and was developed using the Ninja® Foodi® XL Pressure Cooker Steam Fryer with SmartLid™.

Accessories and tools needed: Cook & Crisp Basket, Nonstick Silicone Mat (or parchment paper), Ninja Multi-Purpose Pan (or 8” round baking pan), Deluxe Reversible Rack (bottom layer only) —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Mocha Sticky Buns in a Multi-Cooker
  • For the dough:
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, sifted (about 660 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1 cup warm milk (115°F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry active yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 4 cups room-temperature water

  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, tightly packed (200 grams)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

  • For the sticky bun topping:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted

  • For the mocha glaze:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder
  1. Make the dough: In a large stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the butter, and mix to combine and break up the butter pieces.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and yeast. The mixture should bubble. Slowly pour the liquid into the stand mixer and begin kneading the dough at low speed. Add the eggs and yolk. As the dry and wet ingredients combine, increase the speed to medium.
  3. When the dough begins to pull away from the edges (it should be somewhat sticky, but not so sticky that it sticks to your hands), remove the dough, and on a lightly floured surface, work it into a ball.
  4. Line the Cook & Crisp Basket with a nonstick silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer dough to basket. Place basket in the pot. Close lid, then move slider to AIR FRY/STOVETOP. Select PROOF, set temperature to 95°F, and set time to 30 minutes. Press START/STOP to begin the rise. When the rise is complete (the dough should be doubled in size), remove the dough from the basket.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a large 12- x 18-inch rectangle.
  6. Make the filling and prepare the buns: Combine the sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  7. Carefully spread the melted butter over the surface of the dough in an even, smooth layer. Next, drizzle and spread the melted chocolate over the top. Generously coat the surface of the dough with the sugar mixture, leaving about a 1-inch gap along the length of one of the long sides. Add the chopped pecans.
  8. Starting at the long edge with filling, carefully roll the dough towards the 1-inch side (without filling) to form a log or cinnamon-style roll. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut 12 (1 ½-inch) rolls. Cover with cling wrap and set aside.
  9. Make the sticky bun topping: In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and the sugar. Stir in the cinnamon, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Turn off the heat and mix in the pecans.
  10. Cook the buns: Add 4 cups of water to the pot. Add ¼ cup of the prepared sticky bun topping to the Ninja Multi-Purpose Pan lined with parchment paper (or an 8-inch round baking pan lined with parchment paper) and move to evenly cover. Arrange 6 of the sticky buns in the pan.
  11. Place the pan on the bottom layer of the Deluxe Reversible Rack in the lower position, then place the rack in the pot. Close the lid and move the slider to STEAMCRISP.
  12. Select STEAM & BAKE, set temperature to 325°F, and set time to 8 minutes. Press START/STOP to begin cooking (PrE will display for approximately 5 to 10 minutes as the unit steams, then the timer will start counting down). Add 1 minute of cooking time, if the dough needs a bit longer to cook. Set the cooked buns aside and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining 6 uncooked buns; you may need to replenish the water.
  13. Make the mocha glaze: In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or with a medium bowl and spatula), combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder. In a separate small bowl, mix the milk and espresso powder until dissolved. Add the mixture into the stand mixer, and combine until smooth and creamy.
  14. When the buns have finished cooking, drizzle with glaze, and finish with the remainder of the warmed sticky bun topping.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • cdj383
  • JaNet Walker-O'Haver
    JaNet Walker-O'Haver

2 Reviews

cdj383 December 3, 2021
There is no way that the dough recipe proportions is correct. Way too much water. Further, the instructions don't specify when the water should be added. Total fail and waste of expensive ingredients (organic butter, organic flour, organic sugar). Looks pretty. Wish this recipe was tested before it was published.
JaNet W. December 7, 2021
There is no water added to the dough in steps 1 or 2. The 4 cups of water are added to the instapot itself in step 10, not to the dough at any time. Maybe the recipe was updated to clarify when the water was added to the instapost.