This sweet Honey Bun Cake is an easy sheet cake that’s been rotating through Southern kitchens and disappearing from potluck dessert tables for many years. It begins with a butter flavored cake mix that’s filled with a cinnamon sugar swirl reminiscent of a honey bun. It’s topped with a dreamy glaze that makes this potluck favorite irresistible.
Adapting A Cake Mix
This recipe begins with a butter flavored cake mix. When this vintage cake was originally developed boxed cake mixes were larger than they are now. To mimic the original, I’ve adapted the batter by adding equal amounts of flour and sugar to give it more of the texture and size of the original. To bump up the flavor a bit more, I also add pure vanilla extract and a few drops of almond extract. A pinch of nutmeg added to the brown sugar cinnamon mixture gives the filling just a touch of added spice.
Buttermilk vs Sour Cream
This beloved vintage cake is super easy to make and even easier to eat, and I simply had to add it to my blog archives with a few personal tweeks, of course .The original recipe calls for sour cream in the batter. Since my fridge is never without buttermilk that’s typically what I use however, it will work either way. If you think nuts would be great in the filling you’d be right. You can add 1 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to the middle if you like but, typically I save that variation for another vintage cake called Sock It To Me Cake. It’s an equally popular potluck favorite and both are delicious to the very last crumb.
I think what I like most about this cake are the sweet memories of enjoying it with loved ones who are no longer with us. It does taste like a honey bun, and the ingredients aren’t complicated so bakers of all skill levels can make it. Bake this cake and enjoy it with the special people in your life as a coffee cake or a dessert and create a few memories of your own. See also Honey Buns and Sausage Stuffed Honey Buns.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Honey Bun Cake
- 1 15.25 oz yellow cake mix
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup whole buttermilk or 8 oz sour cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 cup powdered sugar
- 4-5 Tbsp heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Use a hand mixer to beat together the cake mix, flour, sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, vanilla and almond extracts. Beat for 2 minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Pour 1/2 of the batter into the bottom of the dish.
- Mix together the brown sugar, ground cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the batter.
- Pour the remaining batter on top. Spread evenly over the brown sugar.
- Use a knife to swirl the batter with the brown sugar layer.
- Place into the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes. Check the top at 30 minutes and cover with aluminum foil if needed to prevent over browning. The top will be a deep golden brown.
- Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean, then move to a cooling rack.
- Mix together the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla.
- Pour the glaze on top while the cake is still hot. May serve warm or chilled, as desired.