Honey bun cake is a super moist cake swirled with cinnamon and sugar and covered in a delicious vanilla glaze. Absolutely mouthwatering, this tried and true recipe tastes like a cinnamon roll but in cake form!
I love anything with cinnamon and cake form! Cinnabon Cinnamon Roll Cake, Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes or Overnight Cinnamon Apple French Toast Casserole are my favorites when it comes to dessert, brunch, and even breakfast!
Honey Bun Cake Made from Scratch
As one of my family’s very favorite cakes, this tried and true recipe hits the spot every time! We have been making this recipe for years and it’s not only super delicious but easy to make as well! If you are unfamiliar with it, a honey bun cake has the same flavor and taste as a cinnamon roll but the texture of a cake. This means, if you like cinnamon rolls, you can switch things up and make this recipe instead! The cake is moist and not too heavy making this an easy go-to for any breakfast or brunch!
This honey bun cake takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 45 minutes to bake. Because of this, it makes for a simple recipe that you can pull together just before you need it! Not only is the recipe simple but you don’t even need a mixer to make it! You just need to have a whisk ready to go and you are only on your way to making an amazingly delicious cake! This is definitely a recipe that your family will all go crazy over!
Ingredients in Homemade Honey Bun Cake
This honey bun cake only calls for a few ingredients! Most of them you will already have in your kitchen making this super easy. You will absolutely love it! See the recipe card below for a list of exact ingredient measurements.
- Yellow cake mix: DON’T follow the directions for baking the cake on the box. The mix is all that you need for this recipe!
- Eggs: This will bind all of the ingredients together.
- Sour cream: The sour cream is what will help this cake be expecially moist.
- Vegetable oil: If you have canola oil, go ahead and use that instead!
- Brown sugar: Make sure to use light brown sugar and pack it well while measuring.
- Cinnamon: The main ingredient to get that yummy cinnamon flavor!
How To Make Honey Bun Cake
Easy to make and delicious to eat, you can’t go wrong with this honey bun cake! Once it’s finished cooking, I dare you to stop at just one piece!
- Prep and Blend: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream and oil in a large bowl and whisk together until well blended; set aside.
- Mix: Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Spread half of the cake batter into a greased 9×13-inch cake pan.
- Alternate: Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon, covering the entire cake. Spread the rest of the cake batter over layer and top with remaining sugar and cinnamon.
- Swirl batter: Use a knife and swirl the batter. Don’t swirl too much though, because you want to have pockets of cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake: Bake for around 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How to Make the Glaze
- Combine and Mix: Combine powdered sugar, one Tablespoon of milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. If it’s too thick, add a little more milk. Pour over the hot cake right when it comes out of the oven. Let set.
- Add Toppings: Serve warm or at room temperature. You can add ⅓ cup of chopped pecans to the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture if you would like
Simple Cake Variations
A few simple changes to this honey bun cake and you can make it as much as you want and make it taste different every time! Here are a few ideas to start with!
- Toppings: I used pecans as the topping in the glase but you could use anything that you want! Try some walnuts, M&M’s, mini chocolate chips or even some fruit!
- Glaze flavor: If you want to change up the flavoring without it being overpowering, the glaze is a great place to start! Try switching out the liquid in the glaze to something else. Add a citrus juice (orange or lemon) instead. Or even buttermilk to make it a bit tangier!
Easy Baking Tips
Baking this honey bun cake is super simple, especially if you follow these few quick tips! In fact, this cake is so simple and delicious, you will come back to this recipe again and again!
- Glaze: If you need to spread the glaze out after pouring in onto the cake, make sure you do long strokes with your knife in one direction. If you go back and forth, it can take off the top layer of the cake and spread all of the crumbs around!
- Brown sugar: Make sure that you pack this in tightly when you are measuring it. This presses out any pockets of air and helps you get the exact right amount of brown sugar.
Storing The Best Honey Bun Dessert
I’m not sure that you will have any leftovers after trying this cake! But if you do, here is how you can store it to enjoy later!
- Room Temperature: This cake can last on your counter, at room temperature, for 2-3 days.
- Refrigerator: Store your cake in an airtight container and place it in your refrigerator. It will last up to 6 days!
- 1 15.25 ounces box yellow cake mix
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tablespoon milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream and oil in a large bowl and whisk together until well blended; set aside.
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Spread half of the cake batter into a greased 9×13-inch cake pan.
- Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon, covering the entire cake. Spread the rest of the cake batter over layer and top with remaining sugar and cinnamon.
- Use a knife and swirl the batter. Don't swirl too much though, because you want to have pockets of cinnamon and sugar.
- Bake for around 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze. Combine powdered sugar, one Tablespoon of milk and vanilla and stir until smooth. If it's too thick, add a little more milk. Pour over the hot cake right when it comes out of the oven. Let set.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. You can add ⅓ cup of chopped pecans to the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture if you would like.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Can I use vanilla cake mix, save trip to store?
It will alter the taste a bit but for the reasoning, I totally understand.
Can I use a bigger pan size And if I can how should I triple the recipe or double the recipe
I would stick to using the 9×13 pan to ensure that it bakes correctly.
Can you use cream cheese instead of the sour cream?
No, not for this recipe.
Excellent will be regular for potlucks holidays anyday everyday!!!!
Can yogurt be used instead of sour crea
I have not tried that substitution. Let me know how it turns out!
The best Honey bun cake ever thank you
Excellent taste, and texter. Followed recipe exactly. I highly recommend this cake. Really easy to make.
Absolute perfection! I’ve made this many times and just realized I had not left a review, so here I am! I always add toasted pecans to the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture, and it’s soooo delicious!! Thank you for sharing!
Good idea on the pecans…I didn’t read this till the cake was in the oven …next time
Looks great!Can this be made ahead? Either baked ahead or batter prepared?
Yes, of course! Either way will work great. Just store in the refrigerator over night before baking.
wondering if I can use a Bundt Pan instead of 9×13 pan ?
Yes that will work too!
I just made this today. It turned out great! Soft cake with pockets of cinnamon sugar!!!! Delicious! Hard to stop slicing off more pieces to nibble. I didn’t have any vegetable oil, so I used coconut oil instead. Worked out just fine.
Thanks for this simple and tasty recipe.
I’m planning to have this as an alternative to a chocolate dessert when out of town family comes to visit.
Found your recipe on Instagram and I’m going to make this recipe Sunday for co-workers but I have a question…..your recipe states 9×13 pan….BUT your picture shows a baking dish…..cooking times vary for both. Which do I use?
It looks delicious!
I bake it in a 9×13 pan. The last picture has a silver spatula that I am picking the cake up with in the 9×13 pan. Hope that explains it a little better.
Help! I want to eat THE WHOLE CAKE! Yes it’s that good, try it you will love it. Next time I’m gonna try the maple extract. Yum
Hi Jenn, I to received this recipe from my Mother , many years ago, It became a family favorite and we have it on Christmas Morning, along with a delicious fruit salad, and other Christmas Morning goodies. I wanted to tell you that I like to use Maple Extract instead of the vanilla, It really makes it shine, and tastes like a Maple Iced Donut.
I’ve got one in the oven right now, Yummy
Absolutely DELICIOUS!! I made this for a work potluck, and it was a big hit! Thank you so much for sharing!
That cake does look very good. What if you don’t want to use cake mix from a box? Can you substitute? And if so, what. Thank you!