Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

It's Day 12 in our 12 Days of Christmas Baking series, and I *think* I saved my favorite for last. (It's hard to tell, there are so many recipes here that I just love!)

This is one of my all-time favorites though, given to me by a friend who baked it for our family soon after we had our third baby. I'm pretty sure that I ate nothing other than Honey Bun Cake for two days straight after she brought it! It’s undoubtedly the yummiest, moistest, make-me-the-happiest breakfast cake ever. . . I promise.

We usually bake it early Christmas Eve so it’s marked off our to-do list, and you can just imagine how yummy the kitchen smells the rest of the day (heavenly!) Last year my littlest (who was then just four), made several comments asking why we get all the presents when it’s Jesus’ Birthday. :) She thought we should make Him a Ladybug Cake, but was pretty content with this one after it was all baked up. Let me know if you try it out. . .I’m almost positive this one will become a favorite in your home too!

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}


  • {For Cake}
  • 1 yellow cake mix Duncan Hines Cake Mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • {For Filling}
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • {For Icing}
  • 2 cups powdered sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • {Note: my friend always doubles the icing, I usually use 3 cups powdered sugar, 5-6 tbsp. milk and 3 tsp vanilla, not quite double but a bit more than the original recipe calls for.}


  1. Mix the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, sugar & oil.
  2. In separate bowl stir together the brown sugar & cinnamon.
  3. Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into 9×13 pan. Then add the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
  4. Pour remaining cake batter on top.
  5. Bake at 275 for 50 -60 minutes. (And just wait for your house to start smelling divine!)
  6. While cake is baking, mix the icing ingredients all up together and pour over cake after it's cooled slightly.
  7. Enjoy!


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  1. Hi Laurie,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes. Did you really mean to write 275 for the cooking temp of this cake?

    I can’t wait to make this and the Gooey Butter Cake!

    • Yes ~ I’m surprised myself by that every time! But it is 275… my oven cooks hot so it usually is done in 50 minutes easily for me, but if you’re not sure you may let it cook all the way up to an hour. Hope that helps!

  2. Made this last night and it was so delicious this morning!

  3. Just checked it after an hour in the oven at 275 and it is jiggly, just raised the temperature to 350 and put it back in, is it supposed to be still liquidy after an hour?

    • Hi Ellen! It is VERY moist – shouldn’t still be jiggly, but is definitely an incredibly moist cake. It will also continue to bake in the pan a few minutes after you remove it from the oven ~ hope that helps (some!)

  4. Cindy Thomas Petracelli says

    Do you think I could make the batter the night before and bake in the morning?

    • Hmmm… possibly? I would think so, the only thing is if you refrigerate the batter it will take even longer to bake, so make sure to consider that before you bake it in the morning. Hope that helps!

  5. I just mad this. Runny in the middle at 50 min. Then at 60. I was reluctant to turn up the temp at this stage so I let it ho for 1 hour and ten minutes. It appears done but edges looked a little brown? Smells great! Can't wait to try it out tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe. I have never seen one exactly like this before.

    • It is VERY moist but I’m sure it’s done and will taste delicious! Usually mine doesn’t brown much on the edges but I think it will be fine – hope you enjoy it today! I’d never had one like it either but now it’s my absolute favorite 🙂

  6. Just made it this morning for the first time I doubled my icing recipe and it is a deep beige color I guess because of the vanilla. the icing in the picture is white. Is it suppose to be the color of mine?

  7. I was wondering what alltitude you are at and if you have any tips for making this cake at 7200 feet?

    • Hi Rachael! I don’t know anything about baking at a higher altitude (am in Columbus Ohio), but my bet would be to alter it the same way you would another cake? It is very moist when baked, so be careful not to overbake but edges should be starting to brown just a tiny bit. (Would love to know any other suggestions if anyone has them!)

  8. Just made this. Added about 1/4 cup flour and reduced the sugar by a tablespoon or two and it turned out amazing! Thank you for the post!

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