Upside Down Pecan Sticky Muffins

upside down pecan sticky muffins
Wow.  …….Wow.   


Ok, before I get going on this, these Upside Down Pecan Sticky Muffins by Yvonne Ruperti from her book One Bowl Baking,* two things:

Buy that book.  Now. 

Next?  Skip to the recipe below after the online shopping trip, add anything you don’t have onto your grocery shopping list right this minute, and buy those ingredients ay-sap because you must make these. 

Like yesterday. 

All right, now that that’s out of the way….


Using the handy Libby library app, I checked the book out, ya know, looking for some casual bedtime perusing.  

I had totally and completely forgotten that I watched Ms. Ruperti on America’s Test Kitchen years ago, instantly taken in by her sweet demeanor.  Heh, that and the way she handled Christopher Kimball, kinda quietly putting him in his place, eye-rolling him. 

Anyway, she clearly has this baking thing down.  

I was hesitant at first to check the book out thinking the one bowl*  business was going to be a gimmick as it often is, overshadowing the recipes, and not be realistic.  A handful recipes in, I was online buying the book. 

Granted, I might still use a mixer for some of the recipes, just for ease of preparation’s sake.  Regardless of how you plan to pull some of her recipes together, these muffins have to get made.  Like yesterday, I am seriously not kidding.

And ooooohhh myyyyy gawwwwd, holy crap, these are outstanding.  I have not enough effusive descriptor adjectives to apply here.  They’re magnificent.

mixing the topping ingredients together
Start with the topping, mixing everything in a large bowl.
Mike walks in the door one evening after work, I’m finishing up dinner, he glances around suspiciously.  I know that look.  It’s the somehow-I-know-she-baked-where-is-it look.

He spots them.

Jaw agape, very long pause coinciding with a very long stare, he then blurts, “screw those cookies you made (the other day) (says the Cookie Monster) (and fair enough, they were not good cookies).  And whyyyyy are we eating that (dinner) when we could be eating these?!?!?”  As he reaches forth to grab one.

adding pecan topping to muffin cups in tin
Spoon out the topping into a paper lined* muffin tin, being sure you divide evenly so no one gets shorted.
Which he promptly stuffs in his mouth.  I see his eyes flutter as he turns and flails, ambling off.

“Do you like it, babe?”  I had to ask four times.

muffin ingredients in a bowl to be mixed
Toss a bunch of the batter ingredients in the same bowl (that you cleaned out).
“Let me ask you a question.  (I know I’m in for a doozy when he prefaces his questions in this manner, especially when the “hold it” hand gestures accompany)  Do you honestly believe you’ll be able to get even one of those in before I eat them all?”

We sit down to dinner.  It’s pretty conversation-less which is pretty atypical.  Before I know it, he’s done.

muffin ingredients whisked together
It may get a little curdly on you, that’s ok, it’s gonna work out, don’t panic.
“Hurry up with dinner so I can have another,” as he squirms in his chair, blinking at me with impatient puppy dog eyes.  Tough life this guy leads, I tell ya.

So these are good, heh.  Freakin’ outstandingly good.  Blow your mind good.  Good is a very, very poor choice of words.

Plus, to top it off, they are a breeze to make, a snap, a walk in the park.  Bonus?  They’re so fancy pants, people will think you’ve toiled over these all day when in fact, you were lounging.  Eating them.  Because you won’t be able to stop yourself.

Start by mixing up the topping ingredients and divide that evenly between the twelve wells of paper lined muffin tin,* as you saw above.  I left the pecans relatively large here and I strongly suggest you do the same.

adding pecans to muffin batter
In went the dry ingredients and the remaining pecans…
To keep this a one bowl recipe, clean out the bowl then add the butter, sugars, salt, egg stuff, sour cream (or whole milk plain yogurt which is what I used), and vanilla, blending that up. 

Add the dry ingredients and the chopped nuts (here I recommend chopping these pecans a bit finer though looks like I hadn’t) and divide the batter between the muffin cups, being sure to cover over the topping bits.
scooping muffin batter over topping into baking cups
…right, top the topping off with the muffin batter, being sure to gently spread it over the topping to cover completely.  No need to cram, just spread lightly.
Pop that into the oven, bake, keeping an eye on them to avoid over baking and having the topping escape, take them out, and let them cool for about ten minutes.

freshly baked upside down pecan sticky muffins in pan
Yeah I know, it hardly seems like much, like what’s the big deal here Becky, but oh just you wait, the magic is about to happen.
Whip out a fancy serving platter, yes fancy, then carefully, because they’re still hot and you don’t want to burn yourself, tip the muffins out and over, peel away the paper liner, spooning out any topping that decided to stick around inside the cup.
upside down pecan sticky muffins
Behold the majesty of this muffin insanity. I’m drooling, hang on, brb……
Feel free to eat these warm, ooooh my, please do, or let them cool.  These are super super moist so get through them relatively quick.   Hahaha, surely that will not be an issue.  Heh, sorry (not).
Yvonne, if you ever see this, thank you.  Thank you so much.

inside of upside down pecan sticky muffins
Upside Down Pecan Sticky Muffins make life worth living.
Hey, happy apple season everyone!  If you’re looking for more apple recipes, be sure to click here!  Plus!, turns out Mike loves the little Honey Cake mini muffins — revisit that recipe to see a small tweak I made using applesauce!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Upside Down Pecan Sticky Muffins

Upside Down Pecan Sticky Muffins

12 muffins
Prep time
15 Min
Cook time
19 Min
Total time
34 Min
A blow-your-mind magical cross between gooey pecan sticky buns and fluffy muffins that will haunt you in the best way.


  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.65 g) cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) honey
  • 1 cup (114 g) pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (113 g, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (40 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup (158 g) sour cream or whole milk plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 1/4 cup (29 g) pecans, chopped


Make the Topping
  1. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and honey to a large bowl and whisk until well combined. Add in the chopped pecans, stir, then spoon the mix into the muffin cups, dividing evenly between them. Set aside.
Make the Muffins
  1. Begin preheating the oven to 375°F (190°C) and with paper liners, line a 12 well muffin tin.
  2. Clean out the bowl and add the butter, sugars, salt, egg, egg yolk, sour cream (or yogurt), and vanilla to it. Whisk that well until nicely mixed.
  3. Add the dry ingredients next, the flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and stir with a spatula or large spoon until barely combined. Add the pecans and stir in gently.
  4. With a large spoon, scoop the batter over the topping into the muffin cups, dividing the batter between the 12 cups. Gently spread the batter in each cup to make sure the topping is covered.
  5. Bake for about 17 to 19 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and firm like a muffin. Avoid over-baking to prevent tough muffins and bubbling over topping.
  6. Cool the muffins in the tin for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins from the tin, flip upside down onto a plate or serving dish, peel away the paper muffin liner, and scoop out any remaining topping left behind if necessary. Be careful; things may still be quite hot.
  7. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature. Store lightly covered.


Adapted with permission from Yvonne Ruperti's One Bowl Baking*

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

muffin, sticky bun

*Yvonne Ruperti’s One Bowl Baking book, mixing bowls, parchment liners, and muffin tins are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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