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Honey Bun Cake is a semi-homemade, sweet & moist cake filled with a swirl of cinnamon and pecans that is perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.

close up of slice of honey bun cake on white plate

Easy Honey Bun Cake

I like to bake from scratch but doctoring up a cake mix can also lead to great results. This delicious honey bun cake will satisfy any sweet tooth.

A box of yellow cake mix is swirled with a cinnamon-sugar mixture and topped with a sweet vanilla glaze…just like a honey bun, but in cake form.

It will quickly become one of your favorite cakes.

Serve this Honey Bun Cake warm at breakfast or brunch with Ham & Potato Casserole, Bird’s Nest Breakfast Cups, or Bacon & Spinach Breakfast Pizza.

Why you’ll love this Honey Bun Cake recipe

Family favorite – Everyone loves this simple cake.

Easy cake recipe – Because you start with a boxed cake mix and basic ingredients, it’s super easy.

Perfect for all occasions – Whether it is for the holiday seasons or just for brunch, this honeybun cake will become one of your go-to recipes.

Take it into your office, wrap it up individually for a bake sale, take it to your book club.

It’s a delicious cake that, I think, tastes best warm. It is very sweet, much like a cinnamon bun, and is perfect with coffee or a glass of milk. You could even top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

layered honey bun cake slice on white plate

Equipment you’ll need

  • Mixing Bowls – I love this set with the grippy bottom.
  • Hand Mixer – As much as I love my stand mixer, I use my hand mixer way more.
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish – I love that this one has a lid to store leftovers easily.


Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • Yellow Cake Mix – I use a 15.25 oz Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix.
  • Vegetable Oil – You could swap out canola oil. I use vegetable.
  • Eggs – Four large eggs.
  • Sour Cream – I use full fat sour cream but light should work fine, too.
  • Brown Sugar – I use light brown sugar.
  • Pecans – I like to use pecan chips. Chopped will work as well.
  • Cinnamon – Use a decent quality ceylon cinnamon.
  • Powdered Sugar – That I seem to buy every time I’m at the store because I always think I’m out…also sometimes called confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar.
  • Milk – I use 2% milk because that’s what I usually have on hand.
  • Vanilla Extract – Use real vanilla, not imitation. I know it’s pricey but I buy it in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco to help with the cost.
slice of honey bun cake surrounded by apples

How to make a Honey Bun Cake with sour cream

Making this cake is easy!

STEP ONE: First, to a large mixing bowl, add the yellow cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream and mix with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

STEP TWO: Next, spread half the batter into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.

overhead shot of honey bun cake batter in baking dish

STEP THREE: Then, in a small bowl, add brown sugar, pecans, and cinnamon. Mix it together then sprinkle a cinnamon sugar layer over the cake batter. Carefully spread the remaining cake batter over the top then swirl gently with a butter knife.

STEP FOUR: Finally, bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Do a toothpick test to make sure it comes out clean in the center. While it’s baking, in a small separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.

STEP FIVE: Once the cake is done, prick the top of the cake with a fork and spread the glaze over the top.

fork poking holes into a cake

Let cool for an hour then enjoy!

How do you store a honey bun cake?

Store leftovers covered at room temperature, or in the fridge, for up to 5 days.

Need more easy cake recipes? Try these:

Pistachio Pudding Poke Cake

7 Up Cake

Caramel Apple Bundt Cake

Caramel Apple Poke Cake

Click here to view my entire collection of cake & pie recipes.

honey bun cake slice on white plate with text overlay

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close up of slice of honey bun cake on white plate
4.60 from 37 votes

Honey Bun Cake

Servings: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Honey Bun Cake is a semi-homemade, sweet & moist cake filled with a swirl of cinnamon and pecans that is perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.


For the Cake

  • 15.25 ounce yellow cake mix
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • cup pecan chips
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon

For the Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl, add the cake mix, oil, eggs, and sour cream and mix with an hand mixer on medium for about 2 minutes. Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  • In a small bowl, add the brown sugar, pecan chips, and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the batter in the pan. Spread the remaining batter, carefully, over the pecan mixture. Gently swirl with a skewer.
  • Bake for 44-48 minutes or until golden brown.
  • While the cake is baking, to a small bowl, add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and whisk together.
  • Once the cake is done baking, while warm, prick the entire top with a fork. Drizzle the glaze evenly over the cake.
  • Cool completely then slice and enjoy!


Store the cake, covered, for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 197IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 137mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

This was originally a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Henry Ford Cancer Institute. All opinions are 100% mine.

Well, we all associate breast cancer awareness with pink and the pink ribbon so I wanted to make something that was subtlety pink to get people talking.

I dyed the glaze for this particular batch pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer research. I’ve previously made Strawberry Jello Poke Cupcakes for the same reason.

Adding pink dye to the glaze is totally optional, but good for awareness.

pink food coloring in frosting collage

Did you know 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime? Likely, you’ve been affected by breast cancer or have someone close to you that has.

If not breast cancer, some form of cancer has probably affected your life in some way.

honey bun cake slice with pink frosting on white plate

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in an effort to get women to be more proactive about breast health, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute has created a free online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. After answering a few questions, you’re given a personalized risk report that you can review and share with your doctor.

laptop taking henry ford health breast cancer risk assessment

I haven’t talked about it in awhile, but some of you know that I have Crohn’s disease. In my annual scopes to monitor it, it was discovered that I had hundreds of colon polyps. All pre-cancerous.

After monitoring them for a couple years, it was decided that I should have a subtotal colectomy to remove the areas that were prone to forming these pre-cancerous polyps.

That surgery happened just over a year ago and I’ve spent the last year adjusting to my new normal.

I am all for being proactive with your health.


In taking the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, I discovered that I have an increased risk to developing breast cancer due to my family history, the fact that I waited to have kids until I was 30, and the years I took birth control pills.

Now I have a report that I can take to my doctor on my next visit to discuss these risk factors.

So, after you make this cake, head over to Henry Ford’s website and take the quick & easy Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. Then share your cake AND the website with someone you love to raise awareness about something so important.

If you’re in southeast Michigan with me, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute has one of the nation’s leading breast cancer programs & offers mammography locations throughout southeast and south central Michigan with hours to make your life easier.

Did you take the assessment?

For additional resources, visit the links below:

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  1. The cake was delicious!! However all my brown sugar and cinnamon mixture went to the bottom of the cake.
    Help!!! What did I do wrong?!