Honey Bun Cake

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Honey Bun Cake is a semi-homemade, sweet & moist cake filled with 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

Honey Bun Cake

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

layered honey bun cake slice on white plate

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’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

Whip up one of these Honey Bun Cakes. 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.

Dyeing it If it can help raise breast cancer awareness, all the better.

slice of honey bun cake surrounded by apples

Ingredients needed to make a Honey Bun Cake

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

  • Yellow Cake Mix – I like to use Betty Crocker Super Moist. 15.25 oz.
  • 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.

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.

How to make a Honey Bun Cake with sour cream

Making this cake is easy!

STEP ONE: Start with a yellow cake mix. Add oil, eggs, and sour cream and mix with a hand mixer 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 it 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. While it’s baking, in a small 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!

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

Honey Bun Cake

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
Honey Bun Cake is a semi-homemade, sweet & moist cake filled with cinnamon and pecans that is perfect with a cup of coffee or a glass of milk.
4.56 from 18 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 418 kcal


For the Cake

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecan chips
  • 2.5 teaspoons cinnamon

For the Vanilla Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pink food coloring optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 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. If you're making your glaze pink, also add the food coloring now and stir.
  • 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: 1gCalories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 4gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 353mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 1gSugar: 38gVitamin A: 197IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 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.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

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

honey bun cake slice with pink frosting on white plate

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.

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. pn says

    5 stars
    This cake was delicious- everyone loved it and it barely lasted 24 hours!

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