Honey Bun Cake

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Indulge your taste buds with a slice of heaven with each bite of the delectable Honey Bun Cake. This irresistible dessert takes all the delightful flavors of a classic honey bun and transforms them into a moist and fluffy cake.

With sweet swirls of cinnamon and brown sugar to the heavenly glaze dripping down its sides, this treat is sure to leave you craving for more.

Pin Honey Bun Cake to make later.

A slice of honey bun cake on a teal plate with a fork next to it.

Delicious honey bun cake starts with a cake mix and uses ingredients from your pantry and refrigerator. Serve it for breakfast or dessert.

This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, an Instacart Tastemaker, as well as a member of other various affiliate programs, I earn a nominal commission if products are purchased through links at no additional charge to you.

What is a Honey Bun Cake?

A honey bun cake is made by taking a yellow cake mix and doctoring it up. Then you top it with an easy vanilla glaze.

If you’re familiar with honey buns from the bakery, this cake, with just a few economical ingredients, mimics the delicious store-bought honey bun treat.

My recipe for honey bun cake goes a bit further with the addition of a filling made up of cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans.

I have wanted to make a honey bun cake for a very long time. I got my chance when a new recipe I tried was a complete fail.

We were expecting visitors and I was making a coffee cake. The pan size recommended in the recipe was entirely too small so the cake did not bake properly, even though the toothpick test showed it to be done.

So I did what anyone would do and searched the pantry for something I could make quickly with what ingredients I had on hand.

Because this honey bun coffee cake is made in a 9 x 13 pan, it’s perfect to serve when you have company. 

We often gather with family on Christmas morning and I make it. Because it also travels well, it’s perfect to bring to brunch or a potluck party.

Ingredients

You may have all the ingredients in your pantry right now and if you do, I encourage you to make this cake!

  • Yellow Cake Mix
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Eggs
  • Sour Cream
  • Brown Sugar
  • Pecans
  • Cinnamon
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk
  • Pure Vanilla Extract

While there are many honey bun cake from-scratch recipes on the internet, this version starts with a cake mix for simplicity. Using a cake mix is such a time saver as well as less mess in the kitchen. 

A slice of honey bun cake on a navy blue plate on a red placemat.

Perfect for Company

I have wanted to make a honey bun cake for a very long time. I got my chance when a new recipe I tried was a complete fail.

We were expecting visitors and I was making a coffee cake. The pan size recommended in the recipe was entirely too small so the cake did not bake properly, even though the toothpick test showed it to be done.

So I did what anyone would do and searched the pantry for something I could make quickly with what ingredients I had on hand.

Because this honey bun coffee cake is made in a 9 x 13 pan, it’s perfect to serve when you have company. It’s a tradition in my house to serve it on Christmas Eve morning.

Honey bun cake Twitter image.

Pro Tips

  • This recipe uses a yellow cake mix. Yellow cake mix is thicker and plushier than white cake mix. I prefer yellow cake mix but if you only have white on hand, use whole eggs and not just the whites.
  • Use a 9 x 13 baking pan. Don’t skip spraying the pan with baking spray with flour. It will definitely stick if you don’t.
  • Glaze the cake when it has almost cooled completely. If you glaze it when it’s too warm it will melt into the cake and be sticky. You want it to be set on top.
  • The glaze uses vanilla extract but you could certainly substitute lemon juice, orange juice, almond, or other extracts.
Vanilla glazed honey bun cake in a 9 by 13 baking pan.

How to Store a Honey Bun Cake

If this cake lasts more than a day because remember, you can serve it for both breakfast and dessert, you can keep it on the counter. Cover it with aluminum foil and it will keep for 2 to 3 days. 

For a real treat, warm a slice in the microwave for a few seconds before enjoying it with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee or tea.

Why We Love This Recipe

  • This honey bun cake can do double duty as a breakfast cake or dessert.
  • You can make it ahead of time, no longer than the day before.
  • Common ingredients are pantry staples.
  • Because this recipe uses pantry staples, it’s budget-friendly.
  • Starts with a cake mix.

More Breakfast Cakes

A square slice of Honey Bun Cake on a teal plate on a white tablecloth.

This recipe comes together quickly, with little mess and you probably have everything on hand. It’s a great recipe for a larger group and would be perfect to take into co-workers as a surprise.

Did you make this recipe? If so, please leave a comment and 5-star review on the recipe card below. If you really love this recipe, please share it on your social media!

Honey Bun Cake

Honey bun cake warm from the oven, freshly glazed. Just grab a cup of coffee or a glass of milk!
5 from 21 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Breakfast and Brunch
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
1

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Filling:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F for dark or non-stick pan). Spray 9 x 13" pan with baking spray with flour. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl combine the pecans, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream with a mixer on low speed for 30 seconds then medium speed for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping downsides. Spread half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle pecan mixture over batter. Carefully spread the remaining batter over the pecan mixture.
  • Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. 
  • In another small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Spread mixture over the cake while warm. Cool completely. Store covered.

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26 Comments

  1. I love that this start out with a cake mix and the flavorful filling sounds delicious!

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