Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Show-Stealer: Honeybun Cake

My Granny is one of the coolest people I know.

It's true! She's 74 going on 30. Seriously.

Her texting skillz are out of this world--she even knows textspeak! We text recipe ideas back and forth to each other. It's probably one of my favorite things about life.

She's a dorm mother in a college boys' dorm; she stays up til midnight every night, usually watching NBA.

She also has a workout circuit where she'll walk uphill. For three miles a day. She puts me to shame.

On top of all this, she is a fabulous cook. Her culinary knowledge is astonishing, and she still experiments in the kitchen. And not only does she cook for our family, but she uses her baking for the forces of good. Whenever one of her college boys has a birthday, she'll bake them whatever cake they want--even if they have to bring the recipe to her. If she doesn't like the recipe they give her, she'll make up a better version of it, and the boys will go home amazed.

She also bakes once or twice a month for the ladies at her favorite gas station. That's just the kind of person she is.

I want to be just like her when I grow up.

The recipe I am about to share with you is a Granny original. Growing up, my favorite part of this cake was making the swirl--how many other recipes do you get to do that?! It was beautiful, it was delicious...and it was perfect.

 Consider yourself warned: if you take this cake to any social function, you will not leave with any of it.

Uh huh. It's that good.

If you want to be Miss Congeniality at your holiday party, I suggest you make this cake. The sour cream makes the cake extra moist, and the cinnamon and sugar complement each other perfectly. I like it best when its warm and the glaze seeps into the middle layers. You could serve this at breakfast and pass it off as a coffee cake; you could serve it for supper and pass it off as...whatever you want! Either way, if you make any recipe of mine, you should make this one.

Seriously...it's a keeper!

Honeybun Cake (Serves 12-15)

Print this recipe

For the cake:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil

For the swirl:
  • 1 cup light brown sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (or, to taste--depends on how much cinnamon you like!)

For the glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.

By hand, blend the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, and oil until well-incorporated. The mixture will be pale yellow--it's ok if it has some lumps! Set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon until well-blended, and set aside.

Pour half of the cake batter into a greased 13x9 pan, spreading the batter out into a thin layer. Add half of the swirl mixture to the cake, making sure to sprinkle it on the entire layer. Don't be alarmed if it looks like you're over-saturating the cake--it'll taste great! Pour the rest of the batter on top, and spread the batter until the cake is even. Top the cake off with the rest of the swirl mixture. With a knife, swirl the batter until you create a beautiful masterpiece (I always pretend I'm a barista pouring cream into a cappuccino because I'm really nerdy like that). 

Place the cake into the oven, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until glaze is desired consistency. When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately pour glaze onto hot cake. You might have to pick up the cake and tilt it to spread the glaze evenly. Let the cake sit for a few minutes so the glaze can do this:

This is what it'll do to the top of the cake. Yum.

But perhaps even better, this is what it will do to the inside of the cake. Swoon!

So, to recap:  I love my Granny. And I love Honeybun Cake. 

The end.


  1. Oh, I want to meet your grandma! I just got a new Smartphone to show me how dumb I am with texting! My fingers feel so fat and clumsy over those tiny lettered keys! This recipe looks fabulous, Amy and your grandma rocks.

  2. Hey there! This recipe looks great! Love the blog, and we're looking forward to getting to know you as well!

  3. Your grandma sounds AWESOME. It's also funny because today and tomorrow I'm also posting about my grandma. =) The cake looks amazing, and I love how it starts with a simple box mix.