Honey Bun Cake: A Sweet Delight for Every Occasion

Honey Bun Cake: A Sweet Delight for Every Occasion

Honey Bun Cake, with its swirls of cinnamon and a delectable glaze, is a dessert that evokes nostalgia and comfort. Inspired by the classic honey bun pastry, this cake transforms the familiar flavors into a moist and tender treat that is perfect for any gathering. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, the Honey Bun Cake is an easy-to-make dessert that promises to impress.


For the Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

For the Glaze:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan to ensure the cake doesn’t stick.
  2. Mix the Batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and vegetable oil. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. Layer and Swirl: Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the batter in the pan. Pour the remaining batter over the top and use a knife to swirl the batter and cinnamon mixture together gently.
  4. Bake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top should be golden brown and the cake should spring back when touched lightly.
  5. Prepare the Glaze: While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  6. Glaze the Cake: Once the cake is out of the oven, let it cool for about 15 minutes. While the cake is still warm, pour the glaze over the top, allowing it to soak into the cake and drizzle down the sides.
  7. Serve: Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy the cake on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat.

Tips for Success

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your eggs and sour cream are at room temperature before mixing. This helps create a smoother batter and ensures even baking.
  • Swirling Technique: When swirling the cinnamon mixture into the batter, be careful not to overdo it. You want distinct swirls rather than fully mixed batter to achieve that classic honey bun appearance and flavor.
  • Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. The cake can also be frozen for up to three months. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and foil before freezing.


  • Nuts and Raisins: Add a handful of chopped pecans or raisins to the cinnamon-sugar mixture for added texture and flavor.
  • Cream Cheese Glaze: For a richer glaze, substitute half of the milk with softened cream cheese. Beat together until smooth and creamy before drizzling over the cake.
  • Spiced Up: Add a pinch of nutmeg or a splash of maple extract to the cake batter for a seasonal twist.

Serving Suggestions

  • Breakfast Treat: Serve a slice of Honey Bun Cake with a cup of coffee or tea for a delightful breakfast treat.
  • Party Favorite: Cut the cake into smaller squares and serve it at parties or potlucks. It’s easy to transport and always a crowd-pleaser.
  • Gift Idea: Wrap individual slices in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon for a sweet homemade gift.

The Origins of Honey Bun Cake

The Honey Bun Cake draws inspiration from the honey bun pastry, a staple in American bakeries. The pastry itself dates back to the mid-20th century, becoming popular for its sweet, sticky, and cinnamon-filled goodness. The cake version emerged as a way to enjoy those beloved flavors in a more shareable and easily baked form. Its simplicity and rich flavor have made it a cherished recipe passed down through generations.

Healthier Alternatives

For those looking to enjoy Honey Bun Cake with a bit less guilt, consider these healthier alternatives:

  • Whole Wheat Flour: Substitute half of the yellow cake mix with whole wheat flour to add some fiber and nutrients.
  • Greek Yogurt: Replace the sour cream with Greek yogurt to reduce fat and increase protein.
  • Reduced Sugar: Use a sugar substitute like stevia or a reduced amount of brown sugar in the cinnamon mixture.

Honey Bun Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of simple, comforting flavors. With its easy preparation and delightful taste, it’s sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. Whether served at a family gathering, a potluck, or just because, this cake is a sweet reminder that sometimes the best treats are the ones that bring us back to our roots. Happy baking!

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