This delicious Honey Bun Cake is a simple, light, and buttery cake features a cinnamon spiced swirl and a sticky sweet glaze! Just like a honeybun!
I can’t be the only person who has fond childhood memories of the corner store. That’s right, the bodega, the drugstore, the deli or whatever else you may have called it. My neighborhood market was filled with all my favorite goodies: candy bars, chips, ice pops and best of all, honey buns.
On days where the sun was out and the air was crisp, I played with my friends out on yards and pavement. We were partial to hopscotch and double dutch. But, when our stomachs started to grumble and the change our grandparents gave us started to make our pockets heavy, we went to the corner store. I’d buy a honey bun and a juice; the perfect snack.
Perks and Highlights of a Perfect Honey Bun Cake
The honey buns of my childhood were chewy, sweet and stuck to the roof of my mouth. These days, I don’t eat very many of these cheap, fried treats. But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t found a way to still enjoy them. And that is where this recipe comes in.
Cuisine Inspiration: Southern Comfort with a Sweet Twist – Imagine the love child of a classic honey bun and a comfort cake, and you’ve nailed this masterpiece.
Primary Cooking Method: Baking – Transforming raw batter into golden deliciousness with just the right amount of heat and time.
Dietary Info: Sweet Indulgence – Honey, we’re not counting calories with this one, but joy? Off the charts!
Key Flavor: The harmonious blend of honey and cinnamon creates a flavor profile that’s sweet, warm, and utterly comforting.
Skill Level: Easy Peasy – Don’t worry if you’re not a pro baker, this recipe is forgiving and straightforward for all levels!
- Moist and Flavorful: This cake promises a moist crumb and a flavor that’s consistent, from the first slice to the last. No dry surprises here!
- Perfect for Breakfast or Dessert: Who doesn’t love versatility? Serve a slice alongside your morning coffee or as an after-dinner treat.
- Crowd Magnet: Got a gathering? This Honey Bun Cake is your go-to. It’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that resonates with all age groups.
- No Fancy Equipment Needed: No stand mixer or special gadgets required. You can whip this up with good ol’ bowls, a whisk, and passion!
- The Glaze is the Blaze: The honey-infused glaze that crowns this cake isn’t just an afterthought; it’s the hero that elevates the cake from delicious to scrumptious ecstasy.
What is a Honey Bun Cake?
A Honeybun Cake is simply a doctored cake mix topped with an easy glaze. Somehow, with just a few ingredients, this cake imitates the sticky, sweet delightfulness of a honeybun. This recipe is made even better by adding in a spiced swirl made with cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar.
The resulting flavor is the perfect meeting of a classic honeybun and a sugary, spiced cinnamon roll. Each bite is chewy, warm and way too good to only have one slice.
How to Make Honey Bun Cake
I’d have a hard time believing there is cake out there easier to make than this one. It’s nothing more than a few pantry staples and about an hour of your time. You could watch a TV episode, give the kids a bath or take a power nap; by the time you’re done, there’s cake. Sounds like a sweet deal to me!
Here are 3 steps that take you from craving to cake in no time:
- Make the batter by combining the cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. Pour that thick, creamy mix into a well-greased 9×13 pan.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon topping (made with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg) over the top of the batter, then use a knife to carefully swirl the spice mix into the batter. Bake until a toothpick comes back moist but mostly clean.
- Ice the cake using my quick and simple icing recipe. To prevent running, allow the cake to cool for about 20-30 minutes before icing.
Yellow Cake Mix
I almost always have cake mix on hand in the pantry; it comes in handy more often than not. Skipping the extra process of combining dry ingredients is a big time saver. There is also such a nostalgic quality to the flavor of a boxed mix. You just can’t beat it. I just so happen to have the best Yellow Cake recipe too!
I love any excuse to use sour cream; it’s tangy and creamy in all the best ways. Sour cream also adds an incredible amount of moisture that makes for the softest cake ever.
Powdered Sugar Glaze
A honeybun is nothing without its sticky, vanilla-ey, glued to your fingertips, sugary glaze.
You can even make your own Powdered Sugar right at home. It’s easier than you think!
TIP: If you’re looking to mix things up, change up the liquid component used in the recipe. For example, use citrus juice (lemon, orange or grapefruit) or buttermilk for a tangier icing.
How to Make it From Scratch
I love using a cake mix to keep this recipe quick and simple. But, occasionally, I do like to make a honey bun cake from scratch. To do so, use my sour cream cake recipe as the base and then ice!
Honestly, this cake never lasts long in my house. But on the occasions where it seems to linger, it keeps for at least 3-4 days (at room temperature). Just be sure to either tightly wrap it in plastic wrap or keep it in an airtight container.
Try warming up your leftovers in the microwave for a few seconds and serve with a glass of milk! So yummy!
More Doctored Cake Mix Recipes
Love this recipe? Looking for your next fix? I got you. Here are a few more of my best cinnamon-ey indulgent recipes.
For the Cake
- 1 (15.25 oz) box yellow cake mix
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the Icing
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Whisk together cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
- Spray a 9x13 inch baking pan and pour in half of the batter and level in the pan.
- Next combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and pour on top of the batter. Pour remaining cake batter on top then use a knife and swirl through the batter.
- Bake for 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
For the Icing
- Mix together all ingredients then pour over cake and let set.