Friday, December 17, 2010

That 70s Breakfast...........HONEY BUN COFFEE CAKE

Ah the 70s......and Honey Buns.

Back in the early 70s  when I was in school, I remember my mornings like it was yesterday.  Before the bus came, I'd sit and watch "The New Zoo Review" and eat my trusty HONEY BUN for breakfast.

My morning staple. 

That was before Calories, Fat Grams, Carbohydrates, Trans Fat and Jamie Oliver were around.

I can't hear the word Honey Bun and not have that wonderful memory of taste, come rushing back to me.

The crackled glaze on top, the cinnamon and brown sugar flavor and the moist cake center.

So of course I had to try this recipe when I discovered it back in 1999, and oh the memories!

Over 35 years has past since my first Honey Bun experience, and every time I taste this cake, I can almost hear Freddie the Frog, and Henrietta Hippo, teaching me wholesome values before I jumped on that school bus and headed off to school.

Now that I'm grown, I prefer to call it "Coffee Cake", but the child in me still wants to call it "Honey Bun Cake".

1 box yellow cake mix
8 ounce tub sour cream
4 eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil
1 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 c. powdered sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325.  Prepare 9 x 13 pan.

In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil, and sour cream.  Stir by hand until large lumps are gone.  There will still be some lumps but that's ok.

Pour half the batter into the pan.

Now, in a medium bowl.  Take your brown sugar and cinnamon and combine.

Mix up your brown sugar and cinnamon really well. 

Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture all over the batter in the cake pan.

Don't do what I did below. Be sure to get that cinnamon mixture all the way to the edge of the pan.

Now carefully spread the other half of the batter on  top.

Don't be afraid, it's gonna get really uncomfortable.

All the batter and stuff is gonna get all mixed together and you're gonna think you are doing it all wrong.

But don't worry how it looks.  Trust me.

Once it's all spread around, take a butter knife and twirl it all through the batter, so it gets all swirly and stuff.

Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Just when it's about done baking, mix together your powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.

I always use a fork to be sure all the little clumps get broken up.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, waste no time at all.

Pour this powdered sugar mixture over the warm cake.

Now sit back and wait for the wonderful crackle to appear.

Oh that honey bun topping.

Try your hardest to wait about 15 minutes before you cut into her.

I know it's gonna be hard waiting, especially if you have a nice cup of coffee sitting there.

But once it's time, close your eyes, and see if it takes you back to your Honey Bun days.

And if you don't have any Honey Bun memories, then start those memories today, right now.


  1. OMG, this definitely brought back my honey bun memories! Waiting for the time to go to elementary school, watching music videos and wishing for a honey bun early in the morning (and of course brushing my teeth afterwords before school.)

  2. Sally!
    I am soooOOo excited to find your blog today and see all of your luscious recipes you have been sharing here!
    May I feature you on my blog?
    I have featured artists and homes and antique shops, but never a cooking/baking blog!
    Yours would be the first. Please let me
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    Come visit me there!

  3. Thanks Sally mines came out great!!!!

  4. Thanks, I baked mine today for my birthday. Can't wait to get back home to eat some.

  5. Sally this is amazing!! I try tons of recipes that turn out ok. But this turned out AMAZING!! Thanks for sharing.

  6. In the oven now. Smells amazing! Can't wait to try it!

  7. Sooo good. Next time I make it, I'm adding pecans and raisins.

  8. Is there a substitute for the sour cream? My kids have milk allergies. Thank you!

    1. 8 oz silken tofu with 2 TB lemon juice

    2. Yogurt with fruit or without would work too :)

    3. Plain Greek yogurt is what I use for a sour cream substitute. I am lactose intolerant, but I am fine with this.

  9. When you have time, you should try and develop this recipe to be totally made from scratch i.e. without using the box cake mixture. I would love to make this cake but I would like to bake it from scratch without the box mix. But it does look very yummie!

    1. Kim, Why wait.... There are plenty of DIY cake mixes online; just google DIY yellow cake batter recipe. Walla!

    2. It's "voila".

    3. It's "voilá."

    4. Really? WALLA means "Voila (French for 'here it is')", and is an acceptable slang word.

    5. No it's not.
      "Walla" doesn't mean anything at all. It's a made up, mispronounced, incorrect word and Anonymous is right, it should be "Voila". So many today just don't know the difference, it's sad.

  10. Why do you call it a honey bun if it does not contain honey?

  11. I imagine it's because the finished product reminds the author of the commercially available Honey Buns:

    I imagine you could sneak some honey into this, though, if you want to be a stickler for naming.

  12. Does anyone know if the glaze will melt into cake if not eaten right away?

  13. What is the baking time if done in a bunt pan?

  14. Mines turned out Amazing! Used a tsp of vanilla instead. Not a fan of vanilla. If I can smell it its too much. But followed everything else to the letter and it was a complete success! Delicious! Thank u Sally!

    1. Not a Tbsp of vanilla, rather teaspoon...pretty sure. I'm definitely making this one. The other recipe on Pinterest didn't swirl the brown sugar mixture but left it as a middle layer. Either way, this sounds awesome! I love, love honey buns from back in the day and still now at my old age!

    2. I think the same -- too much vanilla, it even turned the icing a bit brownish. But otherwise, pretty good -- no problems with texture, which someone else had below, but I made it in a 9 X 13 inch pan and baked it 10 minutes longer than suggested.

  15. My daughter made this yesterday and OMG....It is delish!!

  16. Being a professional cook, I questioned the density of the ingredients being used. I knew the cake would be very moist. Also the cinnamon to brown sugar ratio seemed too much. I used a bundt pan, which I wouldn't suggest. I couldn't get the cake out in one piece so I poured the icing all over and we are scooping it out. Its almost too sweet, but so are honey buns.

    1. Professional cook,
      I make this cake in a bundt pan all the time and never had a problem...not once. Perhaps you didn't grease the pan properly. First you grease the pan liberally and then dust with a little flour or cake mix. Works perfectly every time!

  17. Mine was really good, but it did taste a little eggy (is that even a word?) Can I make it with three eggs instead of four? Will that make a difference?

  18. As far a coffee cakes go, this is the tippy top of the cream of the crop. This one goes in my recipe file to be passed down to my girls.

  19. I made this yesterday and it was DELICIOUS! My husband ate half of the cake. He got a piece and then just came coming back for more.

  20. This came out perfectly!!! I can't stop eating it! I'll definitely be making it again. Thanks for sharing!

  21. My cake was on point! DELICIOUS!!!!!!! Will be put in my family recipe book as our #1 dessert! Thank you so much for sharing! ^_^

  22. I have made this delicious cake 2x but wondered if you can substitute coconut oil for the veg oil and would the ratio be the same?

    1. Yes, you can. If you don’t like the taste/smell of coconut, then use the liquid coconut oil. Otherwise, melt the solidified coconut oil over low-med heat. Cool just a bit, then measure and use as called for.

      I have quit using all veg oils, canola oils and now use only coconut or olive oil. Much healthier.

  23. This is amazing!!! However, I think 1 TBSP vanilla is too much. I've made it several times and forget to cut it in half every time :) But it's always eaten up rather quickly!!!! I guess everyone else likes it!! :D

  24. It was GREAT! But when I got done I realized I could've just went to the gas station and bought a honeybun and warmed it up in the microwave :(

  25. It was TERRIBBLE, but that might be because I got too excited and ate it after 10 minutes in the oven!! I don't recommend this recipe

  26. Mine just came out of the oven; thanks for sharing this delicious recipe; I agree that next time I'll use a little less vanilla...especially because it was pure pure vanilla; YUM

  27. I don't have vegetable oil either. I use either olive or coconut oil only. How do you think coconut oil would work? Also will use almond milk in the icing instead of regular milk. I hope it won't make too much difference, because this cake sounds scrumptous!

    1. I used coconut oil three out of the six times i have made this cake. I think it turns out almost the same with both oils.

  28. I have made this cake 6 times in the past 4 family loves it. Thank you for sharing.

  29. Do you think it would work to double it and use a large sheet cake pan?

  30. Does anyone know if you are to add the extra 1/3 cup of cake mix to make up for the fact that the box sizes have been reduced? Thanks

  31. I made it yesterday and it's really too sweet. we were on a sugar high for hours.

  32. I have been cruising the cakes and for sure I had to make this stop. This was too good to be true that 70 years later I would read that a honey bun could come in a cake mix. It's a honey of a bun. Thanks for the memories.

  33. I want to make this tonight for a cakewalk tomorrow.....does it need to be refrigerated?

  34. I don't buy cake mixes, but I looked up a recipe to make my own yellow cake mix. I made this recipe with that. You are right, it DOES taste like a honey bun. I loved the crackly icing.... Note to anonymous, we didn't refrigerate ours and it was fine. I made it a few days ago. We're still munching on it. It's gets moister over time.

  35. I was wondering what the altitude adjustments would be.I usually add 1tbs of flour to cake mixes..we are almost at 7000 ft and my cakes do fall sometimes

  36. Made this cake for my boyfriends birthday yesterday. It was delicious! However, I felt it tasted more like a Glazed Crueller Doughnut. Either way, it was very good

  37. I made it for our trip to the beach in the morning for breakfast on the road. I used vanilla yogurt since I didn't have enough sour cream and I added nuts to the toppings and threw in a tad of honey. I know we will love it, thx

  38. This DIY recipe looks great!! It is so easy to cook and is totally tummy filler. A healthier version to it can be something like this amazing pack of buns which I recently had found it on and is really delicious to the core.

  39. Sounds good, it is baking right now, can't wait until it is done.

  40. I Am Making This At 5 AM Tomorrow Morning, So I Can Feed My Friends Before They Go Back Home To D.C. Can't Wait Till They Taste This!!! This Will Go Amazing With The Amish Breakfast Casserole I Made!! 😇

  41. I Am Making This At 5 AM Tomorrow Morning, So I Can Feed My Friends Before They Go Back Home To D.C. Can't Wait Till They Taste This!!! This Will Go Amazing With The Amish Breakfast Casserole I Made!! 😇

  42. I made this for work and won a gas grill! Followed recipe and everyone loves this cake!

  43. My husband cooked this a couple weeks ago. It was amazing and everyone loved it. Now he is cooking one for Thanksgiving.

  44. I baked mine yesterday, and believe me it was hit, it was gone last night!! Love this cake♡♡♡

  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

  46. This just might be the best coffee cake I've ever had... and trust me when I say that I've had a few. I was hesitant because of the cake mix, but I am thrilled with the results. It is NOT too sweet, it is exactly perfect and will be added to my treasury of most beloved recipes. BTW, I used the entire tablespoon of vanilla and I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you for sharing this.

  47. I took this cake to two different parties and it was a huge hit at both. Very delicious! I think it's even better the next day.

  48. Made for a benefit auction - sold for $25

  49. Only problem with this cake is the fact that you can't stop going back for another piece. My husband loves it, too! Delicious!!

  50. Made this cake for my son's 37th Birthday!! He loved it. Made it again last night!! A hit with my family for sure! Thanks for the recipe! Looking foward to more recipes for cakes with cinnamon in it!

  51. This is a VERY good cake. Is it necessary to half the batter when your gonna swirl it all together anyway? Any thoughts?

    1. You can do as you wish in your own kitchen, no one is watching.....maybe ;)

  52. I made this cake for my family and they loved it. This is definitely a keeper������

  53. looks great, but where does the coffee come into it?

  54. it goes great with your cup of coffee....

  55. I tried this tO'Day great! Thanks!!!


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  57. First time I made this. I didn't have sour cream so I used plain Greek yogurt. It is sooo ggggoooddd!!! Next time I am going to have to give half to my neighbors because I have eaten most of it alone and I just made this morning!

  58. No honey in this HONEY Bun Cake? ☺

  59. Being an older person, I would love to print out recipes instead of posting them to Pinterest. It's easier for me to follow a recipe from paper instead of a computer. Is there a way that I can print out some of your delicious-sounding recipes? Thank you for your time.

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  61. I made this cake, and everyone can't get enough it thanks for the recipe

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