As a kid, the idea of drinking something salty and tomatoey seemed unfathomable. Even in adulthood, some still turn their noses up at Bloody Marys while others develop bloodlust for the drink.
Bloody Mary sticky buns are far less polarizing than the Bloody Mary beverage because of the heavy-handed use of sugar in the sticky bun recipe. Nevertheless, these Bloody Mary sticky buns should still come with a warning about their non-traditional flavors. This warning can easily be given by topping the sticky buns with Bloody Mary garnishes like olives and peppers – no one will expect the ordinary if they see an olive on a sticky bun!
Bloody Mary sticky buns are at once sweet, savory, and salty. They have tomato juice in the dough, a Bloody Mary-spiced filling made with sun-dried tomatoes, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and celery seed, and a gooey brown sugar and molasses topping that includes one more hit of tomato. They are familiar, foreign, and strangely addictive.
The Bloody Mary Sticky Bun Recipe
The prep work for Bloody Mary sticky buns seemed like a chore at first since I had to separately prepare the dough, topping, and filling. However, I found that I could complete the prep in 30 minutes. And, because I use a no-yeast sticky bun dough, the buns could go straight into the oven after I finished the prep work.
I adapted this sticky bun recipe from In Jennie’s Kitchen‘s adaptation of Cook’s Illustrated‘s no-yeast cinnamon rolls. It’s the same base recipe that I use for my cherry-glazed chocolate almond cinnamon rolls. For the Bloody Mary spice recipe filling, I adapted a recipe for Bloody Mary salt that I found on Chowhound.
Bloody Mary Sticky Buns
Gooey Topping Ingredients
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup tomato juice use bloody mary mix here if you want the buns to have a stronger kick
- 2 tablespoons molasses
Bloody Mary Filling Ingredients
- 6.7 ounces sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil drained
- 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Sticky Bun Ingredients
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup tomato juice
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
Gooey Topping Instructions
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, cook all ingredients, stirring regularly, until butter is melted and sugar has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and pour into a greased 8" pie pan. The topping should be a thin liquid at this point. I used a shallow pan, but I think a deeper pan would be a good idea as mine bubbled over the edge of the pan during the bake.
Bloody Mary Filling Instructions
- Puree all ingredients in a food processor until just shy of smooth.
Sticky Bun Instructions
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, tomato juice, molasses, and butter.
- Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, mix together with your hands and knead a couple of times until a smooth dough ball forms.
- Divide into two pieces.
- Roll each half of the dough on a floured board to an approximately 12" x 8" rectangle.
- Spread half of the filling on each rectangle, leaving a 1/4" border on all sides.
- Roll up each rectangle, starting on the long side.
- Cut each roll into eight pieces.
- Arrange the pieces on the liquid in the pie pan. They will almost look like they are drowning.
- Place pie pan on a cookie sheet in case it overflows, and bake for 10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Cover with foil (to keep the buns from burning) and bake for another 15 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into the center of a bun comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and immediately invert onto a plate.
- Serve warm.