Sunday, January 8, 2012

Honeybun Cake

Honeybun Cake - made January 6, 2012 from Eat Cake for Dinner blog

First baking experiment of the new year!  I've been sick all week and normally I don't bake when I'm sick.  It's kind of gross to be in the kitchen, coughing and sneezing, and possibly contaminating whatever I'm baking (ewwww).  So I just don't do it.  But my cold seems to have "progressed" to the point that I can control the coughing fits and, while the dull pounding in my head hasn't abated, I miss baking enough that it's almost a manic impulse to drag myself into the kitchen and bake something just to make myself feel better.  I needed something that seemed easy though because there's only so much pounding in my skull that I can work through.  This recipe fit the bill since I had sour cream to use up and a lone box of cake mix sitting in the pantry.  I did modify it slightly by adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter and an extra teaspoon of cinnamon to the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture.  Guess I just can't help tinkering and I wanted a little more vanilla and cinnamon flavor.  Or at least I figured the additions couldn't hurt.

This was really easy to mix up.  I did worry a bit that there didn't seem to be enough batter for a 9 x 13 pan and that the cake would be too thin.  I also don't know if I did a very good job of swirling since it was a little difficult to swirl properly.  But once this went into the oven and started baking, it smelled heavenly, even through my stuffed-up nose.  It turns out my worries were unfounded because the cake rose properly to be a good thickness and there's really no wrong way to swirl cinnamon-brown sugar into anything.  I did modify the glaze from Jenn's original recipe and ended up using both more milk and vanilla to make the glaze a nice runny consistency.  In hindsight, I should've used even more milk to make the glaze more runny.  Once it cooled and set, it firmed up like royal icing but I think a little more milk would've kept it softer.

Of course I had to try the taste test piece warm.  Because that was the point of pouring the glaze over the hot cake right out of the oven, right?  I did have the decency to wait until the cake had cooled enough to still be warm but not so hot that I'd burn my taste buds.  I had that much self control.....barely.  This was a great cake. The cake portion was the perfect light, airy/cakey consistency, the brown sugar-cinnamon in the middle melted inside the cake and the brown sugar-cinnamon sprinkled on top and swirled provided a slightly crunchy contrast.  The glaze was the perfect topping and provided a nice sweetness.

My adapted version (please click on post title to go to the original recipe on Jenn's blog)

1 yellow cake mix (I used Pillsbury but you can use any standard yellow cake mix)
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling & topping
1 cup light brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon

2 cups powdered sugar
5-6 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
  1. Combine cake mix, eggs, sour cream and oil until well blended; set aside. 
  2. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl.  Spread half of the cake batter into a 9x13 cake pan.  Sprinkle with half of the brown sugar and cinnamon, covering the entire cake.  Spread the rest of the cake batter over layer and top with remaining sugar and cinnamon.  Use a knife and swirl the batter.  
  3. Bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  
  4. Make the glaze: combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth and pour over the hot cake right when it comes out of the oven.  Let set.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 


  1. I was craving this cake so bad today and now I am wishing I would have just got up and made it! Your pictures look so yummy.