This moist, flavorful Honey Bun Cake is a ‘short-cut’ recipe that starts out as a box mix and is completely transformed by adding just a few simple pantry ingredients! With all the flavors of a classic Honey Bun, this cake is perfect to serve at any event, from weeknight dinners to cookouts and parties.
Honey Bun Cake is one of those recipes that brings back special childhood memories. I remember getting a slice for weekend breakfasts and, every now and again, rewarded with an extra large piece at the end of a busy school week. Desserts like Apple Crisp, Lemon Squares, and this cake always make me smile when I think about how much happiness they’ve brought throughout the years.
What Is Honey Bun Cake?
Delicious honey bun cake is a simple dessert with all the flavor of a traditional honey bun and is actually a doctored cake mix with a light texture, a cinnamon sugar layer, and a sweet vanilla glaze. This easy cake recipe is made with pantry ingredients and baked in one pan.
Honey Bun Cake Ingredients
- The dry ingredients – Cake mix, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon are all you need for this cake. I use a regular yellow cake mix, but feel free to use your favorite!
- The wet ingredients – eggs, sour cream, and vegetable oil will help pull the cake together.
- The glaze – Powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract will make our easy glaze.
Variations and Additions
- Try turning this into a strawberry honey bun cake by mixing the glaze with pulverized freeze-dried strawberries.
- Try baking this as a honey bundt cake (see what I did there?) by baking it in a bundt pan. This is a festive version of the classic cake!
- Add chopped pecans for a Southern twist. You can also use walnuts or sliced almonds.
How to Make A Honey Bun Cake
- Preheat the oven and grease (you can use cooking spray) and flour a 13 x 9 pan. Using an electric mixer, combine all the cake ingredients except the brown sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle on the brown sugar mixture evenly.
- Then, pour the remaining batter on top.
- Use a knife to make a cinnamon swirl into a Figure 8 pattern on the top of the cake. Bake and let cool.
Success Tip: The Best Way To Grease A Cake Pan
Greasing a pan with butter is a must for cakes, no matter how non-stick it might be. But the key is to grease it with butter or spray it and dust it with flour. I like to do this by sprinkling it around the pan as best I can and then gently shaking and tapping the pan to get the flour into all the corners. I use this method for Million Dollar Pound Cake, or Southern Chocolate Pound Cake as well.
Easy To Make Vanilla Glaze
- Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla in a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour it over the cooled cake, slice, and serve.
Tips For Making The Best Honey Bun Cake
- DO NOT follow the instructions on the cake mix box. We are breaking the rules with this recipe and essentially making a honey bun cake from scratch.
- Make sure to pack the brown sugar in the measuring cup, for the exact amount needed for the recipe.
- A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean when the cake is done.
- Let the cake cool before drizzling on the glaze.
Recipe Questions and Answers
Yes, coffee cakes typically have a crumble on top and in the middle. This is similar to a coffee cake but better, in my opinion.
Yes, you can use a homemade yellow, vanilla, or white cake mix if you have a favorite recipe.
This cake will keep for about 4 to 5 days if stored properly. I recommend allowing the cake to fully cool before you cover it. You can either tightly cover the dish you baked the cake in with foil or plastic wrap, or you can transfer it to an air-tight container to store.
Craving More? Try These Easy Dessert Recipes
If you tried this Honey Bun Cake Recipe or any other recipe, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. Thanks!
- 1 box (18.25 Oz. Box) Yellow Cake Mix
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13 X 9 inch pan.
- In a large bowl combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream and oil, using a hand mixer.
- In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon
- Pour ½ of the cake batter into the baking pan. Top with cinnamon sugar, making sure to sprinkle evenly. Pour the remaining batter into the cake pan spreading evenly.
- Using a knife, swirl a figure 8 pattern into the cake batter.
- While cake is baking, make the glaze.
- When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. Pour the glaze over the cake.
- Cut into squares and serve.