Home Copycat Recipes Honey Bun Cake (Easy Recipe)

Honey Bun Cake (Easy Recipe)

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious honey bun cake.

It’s just as decadent as the OG snack of the same name, but it’s way easier to make at home.

Moist and Goey Honey Bun Cake with Sugar Glaze
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

Do you remember Honey Buns? Those sweet treats you’d find in vending machines or at the grocery store.

With a swirl of cinnamon and fluffy sweet dough, they’re pretty tasty.

This honey bun cake is similar, only ten times better.

From the moist base and the gooey cinnamon sugar swirls to the sweet vanilla glaze on top, this cake is the definition of dessert perfection. 

So be warned: you’ll likely eat more than one (or two) slices!

Honey Bun Cake

If you haven’t tried this honey bun cake yet, you’re missing out!

So, here’s what you can expect from this glorious dessert.

The cake itself is dense yet moist and buttery. It’s a lot like a pound cake but so much more irresistible.

On top of it rests a layer of glorious vanilla glaze that’s just begging to delight your taste buds.

I love how this sweet nectar gently melts in my mouth!

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, you’ll find swirls of sweet cinnamon sugar scattered throughout the cake, giving it a lovely flavor and textural contrast.

Sounds pretty perfect, huh?

Honey Bun Cake Ingredients - Yellow Cake Mix, Eggs, Sour Cream, Vegetable Oil, Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Vanilla Glaze


  • Yellow Cake Mix – it serves as the base of the dessert. Any brand will do, but Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines are my personal favorites.
  • Eggs – they bind the ingredients together. Be sure they’re at room temperature, as cold eggs don’t mix well with other ingredients.
  • Sour Cream – this is the reason the cake is incredibly moist, despite being dense. Use full-fat sour cream for best results.
    • Buttermilk is a good substitute if you can’t find sour cream.
    • You can also use Greek yogurt as a healthier option.
  • Vegetable Oil – any neutral-tasting vegetable oil will do. I prefer corn oil because it keeps the cake moist for days, even when refrigerated. Some also like to use butter for more flavor, and that’s fine, too.
  • Water – together with the sour cream and oil, water helps saturate the cake mix and create a batter. You can also use milk for a richer cake.
  • Brown Sugar and Ground Cinnamon – nothing beats the goodness of this sweet and warming couple! They also create those pretty swirls that add character to the cake.
  • Vanilla Glaze – a simple mix of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract makes a luscious glaze that’s drizzled over the cake.

How to Store the Cake

I’ve never had to deal with honey bun cake leftovers. It’s never lasted more than a day in my house!

Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

But, in case you do have leftovers, you can keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for four days.

In the fridge, it’ll keep well for about six days.

If you intend to keep it around longer, you can freeze it. But don’t add the glaze just yet because it’ll only melt into the cake when thawed.

Double wrap the cake with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to three months. 

Thaw the cake in the fridge overnight.

You can either warm it in the microwave at 30-second increments or in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 5 -10 minutes.

Pour the glaze over and serve. 

Moist and Fluffy Honey Bun Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Tips for the Best Honey Bun Cake

  • I use a box of cake mix for convenience. Feel free to make yellow cake from scratch; just don’t forget to add the cinnamon-sugar blend! 
  • Don’t follow the directions on the back of the cake mix. You want the mix, but you’ll need to follow the instructions below.
  • Don’t overmix the batter; otherwise, the cake will be tough and dry. You don’t even need an electric mixer here. Instead, a regular wire whisk allows you to combine the ingredients gently and stop as soon as the mixture is smooth and well-combined.
  • Don’t overbake the cake. If you go over 350 degrees Fahrenheit or beyond 40 minutes, your cake will come out dry.
  • Use the toothpick test to check for doneness. If it comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs sticking to it, it’s done.
  • The vanilla glaze should be thick but also pourable. Think Elmer’s glue! If it comes out too thick, just whisk in a few drops of milk at a time until you get the right consistency.
  • When spreading the glaze over the cake, you may need to nudge it around with a spatula or a knife. Don’t worry; it will fit!
  • This cake is best served after it’s cooled for about 15 minutes. But I totally won’t judge if you take a bite right away.

Cake  Variations

  • Try other cake mixes! Chocolate, vanilla, lemon – take your pick.
  • Make it an actual honey cake by drizzling a bit of honey over the cake. You can do this before or after baking. Or try adding honey to the glaze.
  • Make the cake extra delish by adding chocolate chips, nuts, or fresh berries to the batter. I like chocolate chunks and a drizzle of peanut butter.
  • Add an element of crunch to the vanilla glaze by mixing in 1/3 cup of chopped pecans. Walnuts, M&Ms, chocolate chips, and fresh fruit make fantastic cake toppings, too!
  • If you want to cut through the sweetness of the vanilla glaze, whisk in a splash of orange or lemon juice. Or leave the glaze off entirely. The cake is moist enough without it.

More Cake Mix Desserts You’ll Love

Cherry Cobbler with Cake Mix
Tres Leches Cake with Cake Mix
Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
Cake Mix Banana Bread
Lemon Cake With Yellow Cake Mix

Honey Bun Cake (Easy Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time





Satisfy your sweet tooth with this delicious honey bun cake. It’s just as decadent as the OG snack of the same name, but it’s way easier to make at home.


  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Icing
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch cake pan with cooking spray or butter.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the yellow cake mix, eggs, sour cream, vegetable oil, and water until smooth and well-combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Pour half of the batter into the greased baking pan. Sprinkle the top with the prepared sugar-cinnamon mixture. Pour the remaining batter over. Gently drag a table knife through the batter to create ripples.
  • Bake the cake for about 40 minutes, or until lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Pour it over the cake while still hot.
  • Let the cake cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Chill until ready to serve, or serve warm with cold milk or a scoop of ice cream.
Honey Bun Cake

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.9 / 5. Vote count: 25

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.


Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment