Honeybun cake starts with a vanilla cake mix enriched with sour cream and swirled with a cinnamon brown sugar pecan layer ~ all topped with a sweet icing!
I have a soft spot in my heart (and stomach) for baking projects that start with a boxed cake mix. I think they have the most amazing texture and there are so many creative possibilities when you start with this delicious shortcut. Honeybun cake is a Southern tradition that captures the essence of a honey bun pastry ~ in the form of a cake. My vanilla sheet cake is swirled with layers of brown sugar and pecans and then topped with a sweet glaze or icing, mimicking the sticky and sweet characteristic of a honey bun.
did you know?
A honey bun is a type of pastry made with a soft, sweet dough that is rolled or twisted into a bun shape. Like a cinnamon roll, it’s flavored with cinnamon and topped with a sweet glaze or icing. This particular style of sweet roll is popular in the South. Honey Buns were one of the original Little Debbie products in the 1960s and are still sold today.
honeybun cake ingredients
- vanilla cake mix
- I’ve always loved Duncan Hines cake mixes and for this cake I use their French Vanilla. Once you’ve made this recipe you can experiment with other cake mix flavors ~ how about a spice cake? For a gluten free honeybun cake simply use your favorite gluten free cake mix.
- vegetable oil
- sour cream
- sour cream makes this cake rich and tender. To cut calories and fat you can substitute yogurt.
- brown sugar
- I use golden brown sugar, but you can use dark brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor.
- toast the pecans on a piece of parchment or paper towel in the microwave for a minute first. If you don’t eat nuts you can leave them out.
- experiment with other spices like nutmeg, allspice, or cardamom.
why this honeybun cake works!
When you start with a good quality cake mix, you’ve got a great head start on a recipe. This really helps if you’re new to baking, or short on time. Baking is a precise science and cakes in particular can fail if you don’t get a whole lot of precise details just right. Sometimes it’s freeing to focus on the fun stuff and know your cake will turn out perfectly 🙂
more recipes that start with a cake mix
- Brown Sugar Peach Cake
- Pumpkin Spice Crisp
- Cherry Almond Crisp Dump Cake
- Boston Market Style Cornbread Recipe
- Classic Victoria Sponge Cake Recipe
- Easy Cinnamon Coffee Cake
what do you call honey buns?
Honey buns are so delicious you’ll find versions of them all over the country, but everybody does them a little differently…
- Sticky Buns: This term is commonly used in various regions, particularly in the Northeastern United States, to refer to sweet, sticky pastries similar to honey buns.
- Cinnamon Roll: In some areas, particularly in the Midwest and West Coast, a honey bun is referred to as a cinnamon roll. These rolls are typically made with a similar dough and cinnamon filling but may have cream cheese in their icing.
- Cinnamon Snail: In parts of New York City, honey buns are sometimes called cinnamon snails due to their spiral shape.
- Pecan Rolls: In some areas, honey buns that feature pecans in the filling or topping may be called pecan rolls. This term is particularly used in the South where pecans are commonly used in baking.
- Cinnabon is a chain of bakery shops that specializes in a particular type of cinnamon roll. Cinnabon rolls are typically larger and fluffier than traditional honey buns or cinnamon rolls.
honeybun cake is like dessert for breakfast!
- Lemon Yogurt Breakfast Cake (Ciambella)
- Rhubarb Coffee Cake
- Cranberry Breakfast Cake
- Cardamom Coffee Cake
- Blueberry Lemon Biscuits
- Blueberry Buckle
- 9×13 baking pan
cinnamon pecan swirl
- Preheat you roven to 350F. Lightly spray or grease a 9×13 pan.
- Mix together the cinnamon pecan swirl in a small bowl. Make sure to break up any lumps in your brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream and extract until there is no dry cake mix left. Small lumps are ok.
- Pour half the batter into your prepared pan and gently spread out.
- Sprinkle half the swirl mixture over the batter.
- Add the rest of the batter and gently spread out as best you can. Don't worry if you don't cover all the cinnamon swirl mixture.
- Top with the rest of the cinnamon swirl mixture. Take a butter knife and gently swirl the layers together. Don't swirl too much ~ you want to see that pretty layer in your finished cake!
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden on top and done in the center. Cake mix based cakes tend to bake more quickly than homemade cakes, so don't over-bake!
- After the cake comes out of the oven, stir together the sugar and milk to make a spreadable icing. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then pour over the still hot cake and spread out to cover most of the top.
- Let the icing set up before serving.