When I was a teenager, long before I knew that I had a gluten intolerance and that food was an important factor of health, I used to spend my afternoons at the local mall eating those giant cinnamon rolls and sticky pecan rolls. Every.Single.Day. At one point I tore 4 pairs of pants in one day and wondered why this was happening to me. It’s funny the things we ignore and deny while 16 years old. Now anytime I’m in a mall and get that whiff of caramely sugar, it brings me back to my emotional eating days, when pillowy clouds of sugar were my best friend. High school was a real son of b*tch.

PaleOMG Sticky Pecan Muffins

I normally make 95% of my recipes from scratch, but now that I’m finally hosting Christmas for the first time and planning out all of the recipes we will have on Christmas morning with 8 people in the house, the last thing I want to do is make a meal with a ton of different ingredients. That stresses me out. So instead I’m turning to some paleo mixes to make these meals a little easier. Just the other day I shared a recipe for Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake Brownies with an almond flour brownie mix and today my recipe uses an almond flour vanilla cupcake mix! It makes me feel like a fraud, but sometimes you just gotta be a lazy ass. That’s what the holidays are for, right? Sure.

PaleOMG Sticky Pecan Muffins

This year has been one of the least stressful holidays and I LOVE it. For years I’ve pushed for not exchanging gifts since all of us are adults and can purchase things for ourselves if we want them, and finally the family has (slightly) agreed to this. This year we adopted a family and all came together to get them gifts. Then Christmas morning we are opening stockings with some small gifts in them. For a long time now I’ve believed that if I want something, I will work hard to get it…which has really ruined my husband’s love language. He’s a gift giver. So gifts aren’t part of the Christmas day agenda this year. Just lots of food, a HUGE charcuterie board, and some Christmas cocktails. Food is way more fun than gifts.

PaleOMG Sticky Pecan Muffins

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Sticky Pecan Muffins

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  • Author: juli
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x


  • 1/3 cup date caramel sauce
  • 5.4 ounces coconut cream
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 box Simple Mills Vanilla Cake Mix (plus ingredients for mix – eggs, oil, water, vanilla)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with parchment paper liners and spray with coconut oil spray.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together caramel with coconut cream, maple syrup, ghee, cinnamon, and salt until completely combined. Remove from heat and fold in pecan pieces. Let cool for about 5 minutes then pour mixture evenly throughout 12 of muffin liners.
  3. Follow directions on box to create cupcakes. Once mixture is combined, pour mixture evenly throughout the 12 muffin liners on top of the caramel sauce (I used an ice cream scoop to scoop the batter evenly throughout).
  4. Place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the middle. I recommend placing a baking sheet on the rack below to catch any caramel sauce that may pour over in the baking process.
  5. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing from pan, flipping over, and slowly removing the parchment paper liner revealing the caramel bottom.
  6. Serve immediately while still warm and have a happy family breakfast!

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PaleOMG Sticky Pecan Muffins

PaleOMG Sticky Pecan Muffins


More Holiday Breakfast Ideas!

Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Donut Holes

Apple Pie Waffles

Huevos Rancheros Casserole

Biscuits & Gravy Casserole

Chocolate Chip Pancake Bites


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  1. Danelle says:

    Don’t be hard on yourself. Using mixes doesn’t make you a fraud, it makes you resourceful. The paleo mixes are there for us now so we should definitely take advantage of it when necessary. These look so delish!!

    1. Mom2one says:

      These look sooo good and brings back fond childhood memories! Sadly, I can no longer consume nuts. I use to love the convenience of the Simple Mills mixes! They were a lifesaver for random bday and school parties! This year has been one neck of a stressful year and I’ve had to go on a low oxalate diet (who knew nuts, spinach, and sweet potatoes were causing my symptoms! ) What’s an oxalate? Right?! We’ll, now I’m back to square one and on a good day can feel like I can eat more than just air! Anyway, I will be looking to simplify as well and will be searching your blog for those nut free recipes! 🙂

      P.S. I’m making a charcuterie board for Christmas too! Would love to know what you include on yours! 🙂

      1. juli says:

        i’m right there with you! i don’t do nuts, so whenever i make any of these recipes, I take one bite then give them to someone else. i definitely have a ton of nut free recipes on here!

    2. juli says:

      thanks danelle. i like you. you get me.

  2. Carrie Popenhagen says:

    Would you happen to have the nutritional information for this recipe? It looks delicious!

    1. juli says:

      no clue, but you can easily plug the recipe into a nutritional calculator to help you figure out that info!

  3. Erin says:

    Maybe a dumb question, but did you buy a 5.4 oz can on coconut cream? Or, how did you measure that amount? I can only find 13 oz cans. Looking forward to making this on Christmas morning!

    1. juli says:

      there are cans that size available at my grocery store!

  4. Susie says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for the easy yummy recipe. I ended up taking all the muffin liners off and putting the plate in the oven for a few minutes to crunch the good stuff up a bit. I would totally make this again. Pairs nicely with mimosas !