Honey Bun Coffee Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe

Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Honey Bun Coffee Cake. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.  The original recipe can be found over at My Homemade Life

Robyn’s Take:

This week’s recipe was my choice. I’d tell you how I stumbled across the recipe, but I haven’t got a clue. Pinterest, maybe? Yeah, okay, let’s say Pinterest. Why not?

You know those honey buns you can buy in your local convenience store or by the box at the grocery store? This cake was reported to taste just like them only, you know, bigger and not wrapped in cellophane. I like those honey buns – I mean, I’m not addicted, but I like ’em every now and then – so this recipe caught my eye. And it’s a relatively easy recipe too, and you KNOW how much I like simplicity in my recipes.

For the cake part of this recipe, you need:

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Yellow cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Throw your cake mix, sour cream, vegetable oil and eggs in a big ol’ bowl.

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Stir everything together ’til it’s well combined.

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Pour half the batter into a greased 9×13 pan (I use Baker’s Joy spray because it’s so convenient and also I like to add as many chemicals into my recipes as possible. SOMETHING’S GOTTA KILL ME.)

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Combine your brown sugar and cinnamon in a smallish bowl.

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Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the batter in the pan. Spread it evenly…ish. Look, nobody’s perfect. Spread it the best you can, dummy. God knows that if I was ever able to sprinkle ANYthing evenly EVER, the world would screech to a halt and then crack open.

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Spread the rest of the cake batter over the top of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture.

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If you’re me, you’re muttering lots of profanity because the damn sugar/cinnamon shit is clinging to the batter that you’re desperately trying to spread over the top of it, and it looks like hell, but this is NOT a pretty cake and who are you trying to impress, anyway?

Take a knife and drag it through the batter and cinnamon sugar in random swirly patterns. Look, do whatever you want. You can see that I did long swirly patterns because I had no real idea of what I was doing. It worked out fine. IT DID.

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Now throw the pan in the oven, and clean up your kitchen. When you’re done cleaning, you might have a moment to veg out in front of your computer before you have to make your glaze.

Your glaze needs to be done and ready to pour by the time the cake comes out of the oven. Luckily, it’s easy to make.

Glaze ingredients:

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Confectioner’s sugar, rum UM I MEAN VANILLA EXTRACT, and milk.

Stir your sugar, vanilla, and milk together. I used my 4-cup measuring cup to make it easier to dump over the cake. AM BRILLIANT.

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Looks like glue.

Oh look! Cake’s done!

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Dump the glaze over the hothothot cake and then spread evenly..ish. Look, just do the best you can. No one’s judging you except your mother, your sister, your kindergarten grade teacher (“I knew that child was going to come to no good when she couldn’t color inside the lines”) and Amanda.

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Mmmm, glue cake.

Let it cool for at least 15 minutes or, if you’re me, more like an hour. What? I had other stuff to do. Those kittens aren’t going to snorgle themselves.

Here it is after an hour with the glaze all cooled and crackly.

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And… the verdict? Well, I kinda made this face.


Yep. I didn’t care for this at ALL. Not one bit did I care for it. In fact, I didn’t even eat one whole piece, and excuse me – there’s something WRONG if I can’t even finish one piece of a cake. It was a really really heavy cake and it was not to my liking at all.

Fred also didn’t care for it.

The chickens, however, gave it 73 beaks up and demolished it in 10 seconds flat. George and Gracie each got a small piece, and I got the feeling they ate it just to be polite.



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Nance’s Take:

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I was all excited when I saw that this recipe had a cake mix for the main ingredient because, “Hey, I have a cake mix in the cupboard!” But then I started thinking about how many recipes I’ve bombed over the years and I really didn’t want to use my magic butter cake mix on what could possibly end up in the garbage. So I did the smart thing and grabbed a cheap cake mix for this recipe and saved the butter one for another time. What? I like butter. And rumor has it that it’s better for you than margarine. But that’s just this week. Who the hell knows what will be good/bad for you next week?

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Way back in 2008 Robyn was taking pictures of food that she made. She was a food blogger before it was a thing!

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Somebody knows that they got busted for being ridiculous and they obviously don’t care. Hee!

I bought a kitchen scale! And thankfully it goes back to zero after you put your bowl on it so you don’t have to do any math! And it does that whole bullshit thing about noting the differences in fluids/solids/density/boring/WTFEVAH that Rick and I always fight about. It just may save my marriage, yo.

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Please Note: A perfect eight ounces brought to you by She Who Knows Her Way Around a Scale. Fucking scales.  I have never met a scale that I liked.

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Action shot!

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I read the part about lumps right when I was using the mixer. Oops! So I ran the mixer a little more just to mix the eggs in properly and then I quit.  So what I’m trying to say here is that when the recipe said that it might be lumpy, I let it be lumpy.

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I carried the lumpy theme over into the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture too.  Don’t do what I do. I’m going to just go ahead and blame Shirley (aka: mom) because she had just come home from a church rummage sale and plopped this down on the counter…

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This 13-year-old cookbook is going on the shelf with the other cookbooks that I haven’t tried anything from yet. She knows that we’re wanting to get beyond the one entry per week that we do. But damn, finding a recipe, buying the groceries, making the recipe, taking the pictures and then writing about it is harrrd. I need a secretary.

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As you can see, I had a time of it when I tried to make the swirls. This is also why I never make marble cake.

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The icing. That’s a whole lotta powdered sugar in there. Of course I tasted it and HOLY SWEETNESS, BATMAN! I always thought I was a sweet eater and that’s why I am such a fat-fatty. But I’m pretty sure that I’m more of a fat eater than a sweet eater.  Especially after this recipe.

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Action shot of the icing going on the cake.  I work magic with my descriptions, huh?  Shut-up.

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You know how sometimes you can really like something, but ruin it for yourself if you eat too much of it? Yeah. This was a ridiculous amount of icing for a so-called Honeybun anything.

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I tried a piece with the least amount of icing and eh, it was okay. An easier delivery method would be if you just opened your mouth and poured in 1 cup each of powdered and brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. It was just TOO MUCH. You could easily halve both the cinnamon “swirl” and the icing parts of the recipe and have a really great coffee cake. But this was a case of major over-kill. Everyone in my house agreed that it was ridiculously sweet so we’re going to pass and I’m glad I didn’t use my butter cake mix!

About those pictures of Robyn…You’re welcome. 

Honey Bun Coffee Cake - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
: Dessert, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Guamanian
Serves: 12
  • Cake:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix of your choice
  • 8 ounce sour cream (Robyn used reduced-fat because she's counting calories, bwahaha)
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ c. vegetable oil
  • Cake filling:
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 T ground cinnamon
  • Glaze:
  • 2 c. confectioner's sugar
  • 4 T milk
  • 1 T vanilla
  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, sour cream, eggs, and vegetable oil. Stir together until well combined (some lumps are okay. You're never going to get all those lumps out!)
  2. Pour half the batter into a greased pan.
  3. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Sprinkle evenly(ish) over the batter.
  4. Spread the rest of the batter over the top of the cinnamon sugar. It'll look like crap; that's okay. No one's judging you except Amanda.
  5. Take a butter knife and swirl it through the batter from one end to the other.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes at 325ºF, check with a toothpick for doneness (if the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.)
  7. When the cake is just about done cooking, mix your glaze (so that it'll be ready when the cake comes out of the oven). Stir together confectioner's sugar, milk and vanilla with a small whisk or fork to get all the lumps out.
  8. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, pour the glaze over the top and spread it evenly.
  9. Let cool 15 minutes (or more) before serving.



Honey Bun Coffee Cake – Nance and Robyn make the same recipe — 52 Comments

  1. This sounds “meh” to me, too, based on your comments, but since I just found your lemon bar recipe from a while back I’m a happy girl! I have a bunch of lemons sitting around, and this recipe sounds just like the one my mom use to make when I was small, so guess what I’ll be baking tonight!

    Love the “make this” idea! I know just what I want to submit – the hamburger stroganoff recipe I found that is from my mother’s 1970’s Betty Crocker recipe cards. Talk about a fatty-fat recipe (I confess I made a few changes, like not browning the ground beef in butter!), but soooo good!

  2. I found a casserole recipe that says guaranteed to taste just like a McDonald’s Cheeseburger (I’m assuming when they were good). It wasn’t half bad if you want to try it sometime I can send.

    • Robyn obviously does not care about anything that could be construed as foolish. I think this is also the same day that I forced her to help me hang out my laundry and she found herself hanging out my teenage son’s gutchies.

      And I might as well let it be known that I am one of those judgers that does not approve of the way she hangs her clothes on the clothesline. She’s all, “Whatever, they dry!” and I’m all, “OHMYGAWD, you are doing it ALL WRONG!” This is probably why we get along like we do.

  3. I really like sweet stuff but I think I will pass. I definitely know my husband would not like it. Who would I feed the leftovers to?
    I agree with Alice, you guys sounds like a blast to hang out with. Maybe rent a hall or an arena and we can all come for a Pot Luck Meet and Greet !!!! Amanda might even show too !!!

    I could be your secretary Nance 🙂 I could also help out Robyn with kitty snorgling 🙂

    eeeepp !!! I love Aslan !!!!

    • Get yourself some chickens, Louise and that will surely solve your leftover problem.

      An arena? Are you smoking The Wacky-Weed? 😉

      But I’m all up for a Potluck Meet and Greet because that shit would be fun. But I would probably hope that Amanda not show up because who would want to take all that criticism? Yikes!

      Better hush, or you’ll be finding yourself typing recipes while juggling kitties at the same time and rumor has it that it’s a huge pain in the butt!

  4. OK, wait, why is there no honey in Honey Bun cake (I figured I’ll be the honorary Amanda today and bust out the logic!)

  5. Sugar coma in 3-2-1………. (now, all I can picture is all those chickens zipping around the yard before falling over, feet up and snoring in a sugar crash.)

  6. I’m amazed Robyn could pull off having that cake on the floor without a swarm of nosy kitties interrupting her shot. I can’t open a package of deli ham without a creepily silent wave of cats suddenly appearing at my feet.

    I’m thinking like Nance. That’s an awful lot of brown sugar and glaze. This should be renamed to Diabetic Coma Cake.

    • They must have been outside – I know it was on or around July 4th, I’m sure it was hot and sunny and they were probably all outside watching the birds flit around. 🙂

      • Strangers were there so they were steering clear! And weren’t there kittens upstairs? I can’t remember, 2008 was too long ago.

      • If it was 2008, that would have been the summer we had Kara (Sheriff Mama) and her kittens, so I bet it was crazytime upstairs!

    • It was out of control and I’m not just being a picky bitch about it. I’m starting to think that’s why America is so full of unhealthy people. It’s no longer having something “sweet” it’s gotta be saturated in everything to the point of no return.

    • Nobody needs to be eating a real honey bun, Suzy! Oh, my god, the chemicals I bet that are in there. I hate all that off-the-shelf food (but does it stop me from eating it, NO!). We’re all addicted to the sugar, man. Or sugar man. Candy man. Who can make the sun rise…Hee!

  7. That is the face that Aslan makes when you tell him you’re baking a honey bun with no honey in it. He was thinking about reporting you to Amanda but then you distracted him with 73 beaks up, ya’ll. Lucky duckies, you are.

    I can’t imagine HOW we don’t have a fake Amanda commenting here already.

  8. Kelly, Amanda told me that there is no way she would make such a pedestrian cake. Her desserts are all fabulous works of art and she can’t understand why any one would bother with something so, so…….Country. Hey! Don’t be hating on me, I’m only the messenger!

  9. I was intrigued by the “too sweet” comment (when there’s birthday cake at the office I’m the one that gets everyone else’s “too sweet” buttercream frosting added to my plate) so I actually went to the store and bought cake mix, eggs, sour cream and milk. Yes, I had fat and sugar in the house, but had to buy the items with measurable nutritional value. I’m glad Robyn warned about the difficulty spreading the top layer of batter, though -she was NOT kidding. I just gave up, plopped it in down in dollops and kind of gently mixed it all together. I waited about an hour after it was done to try it and OH MY GOD it was good. Very moist (thank you 4 eggs and 3/4 cups of oil) but not heavy – about the denseness of homemade carrot cake. The brown sugar/cinnamon in the center actually gives it a tiny bit of crunch. And while it was sweet enough, it wasn’t nearly as sweet as buttercream frosting. I like it so much that I changed my mind about taking it to the office and asking opinions – I’ll keep it all for myself, thankyouverymuch. So now 73 chickens and one human like this recipe.

    • You know, I have been wondering about that because I think (no scientific evidence and if there was, I sure as hell wouldn’t be the one reading it) that people “taste” things differently like what be mildly spicy to me could be flaming spicy to someone else. I bet that goes the same for sweet things.

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