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Celebrating Sticky Buns with a savory twist + DIY Vanilla Salt Recipe

National Sticky Bun Day on February 21st recognizes a delicious pastry that comes rolled up and dripping with a sweet, sugary topping.

Known as “schnecken” meaning snail, the sticky bun is rolled into a sweet spiral resembling its German name. Still considered to be a Pennsylvania specialty, many believe the sticky bun’s origin in the United States began in the 19th century. German settlers brought their baking traditions with them when they began settling in and around Philadelphia.

Most often served for breakfast or as a dessert, sticky buns consist of rolled pieces of leavened dough. Most contain brown sugar and sometimes cinnamon. Before the dough is placed in the pan, the pan is lined with sticky sweet ingredients such as maple syrup, honey, nuts, sugar, and butter. After being baked, the buns are flipped over, and the sticky bottom now becomes the topping. The sticky buns can then be pulled apart somewhat uniformly.

While you’re probably familiar with adding vanilla extract or paste to your bun mixture –have you heard of topping your sticky buns with a generous sprinkle of vanilla salt. The hint of savory will take your buns from ordinary to extraordinary.




1 cup of sea salt
4 Heilala Vanilla Beans, split lengthwise and seeds scraped. Alternatively, you can use 2 teaspoons of Heilala Vanilla Powder


  1. Place the sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla powder). Grind the vanilla into the salt with the pestle until the beans are dispersed throughout the salt.

Keep in an airtight jar and store in a cool, dry place.

Follow the instructions to make your favorite sticky bun recipe. When freshly baked and flipped, sprinkle with vanilla salt before pulling apart.  If you’ve ever eaten a cinnamon roll or sticky bun, you know it’s like unwrapping a treasure. You start from the outside and work your way in until you get to that last, sticky center bite that undoubtedly has the most sugar and butter and an extra sprinkle of vanilla salt.

In need of some recipe inspiration? We’ve compiled our favorite sticky bun flavour combination, each with the magic touch of vanilla;

Rhubarb Sticky Buns With Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Frosting


Giant Vanilla Salted Butterscotch Sticky Buns


Vegan Cinnamon Buns with a vanilla chai twist https://www.foodbymaria.com/vegan-cinnamon-buns/

Chestnut, Pear and Vanilla Cinnamon Buns


Vanilla Bean Orange Cardamom Rolls