A honey bun cake is a decadent and delicious cake with a cinnamon-sugar layer in the center and a honey glaze on top. It tastes just like a cinnamon roll but in the form of a cake. It is as easy to bake as your favorite sheet cake but no one will know this dessert begins with a box mix.
Unlike other cakes, this cake is glazed right after it's removed from the oven; the honey glaze is a little thinner than a typical frosting or drizzle and meant to be absorbed into the warm cake, infusing every bite with hints of honey. This honey bun cake is perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
- For the Cake:
- 1 (15 1/4-ounce) box yellow cake mix
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
- For the Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- For the Honey Glaze:
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F (325 F for a dark or nonstick pan). Grease and flour a 9 by 13-inch pan.
In a large bowl, make the cake batter by beating the yellow cake mix, vegetable oil, eggs, and sour cream with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, make the filling by stirring together the brown sugar, chopped pecans, and cinnamon.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the cake batter in the pan.
Carefully spoon the remaining batter evenly over the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Gently spread the batter to the edges, completely covering the cinnamon sugar layer. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until deep golden brown.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, make the glaze; whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, honey, and vanilla extract until combined.
Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a wire rack.
Immediately pour the honey glaze over the hot cake. Let it set and cool completely before cutting and serving.
Cut into squares and enjoy. Store covered.
Make It Nut Free
If you prefer a nut-free version of honey bun cake, omit the pecans in the filling.
Storing Leftover Honey Bun Cake
Leftover cake should be stored covered with aluminum foil. If stored at room temperature, it will last 1 to 2 days; in the refrigerator, the cake will keep for about 1 week. Microwave honey bun pieces for about 15 seconds to get a fresh-from-the-oven taste.