Cinnamon Roll Cake

I had a staff meeting this morning, and my plan was to make a batch of cinnamon rolls last night and bake them before coming into work.  But, we decided to go shopping for school uniforms last night and didn’t return home until 7:45.  It was too late and I was too tired to do anything in the kitchen, except prepare the coffee pot.  So, cake mix to the rescue.  I remembered a cake from The Cake Mix Doctor book called Honey Bun cake.  It’s a good cake, one I’ve made before and enjoyed, so I went to get the book from my shelf.  The cookbook, of course, was missing.  Before I continue, I think you should know that this all occurred at 4:35 am this morning.  I turned to my friend, Bing, and searched “honey bun cake” of which I found many variations.  I had a box of cake mix, eggs, cinnamon, and pecans.  I did not have brown sugar (?!?!), sour cream, or instant pudding mix.  Eh, I figured I had a 50/50 chance of this working out.  If not, there are two bakeries on my route to work, and the raccoons would have a lovely dessert.  If it did, I’d have some very happy staff members.  So, I jotted the recipe onto a scrap of paper, and set to work. 

  • No brown sugar?  Used Karo brown sugar syrup & granulated sugar. 
  • No sour cream?  Greek yogurt to the rescue. 
  • No instant pudding?  Found a box of cook & serve pudding on the floor of my pantry (expiration date sometime in the next 2 years).

I mixed the cake batter using the cake mix, eggs, yogurt, and 4 tablespoons of the cook & serve pudding.  Why not the entire package of pudding?  No good answer to that question, I’m afraid.  I just thought 4 tablespoons seemed like a good amount. 

I mixed the filling ingredients and swirled them into the cake batter with a fork, thus giving a nice marbled appearance, poured it all into my pan, and popped it into the oven.  I checked the cake at 35 mninutes, and it was still quite liquid in the center, so I lowered the temp, draped it with foil, and set the timer for an additional 10 minutes, which stretched to another 10 minutes before I got a clean tester.  We leave for work & camp at 6:30 am, and the cake came out of the oven at 6:15.  I think it’s best to leave the rest of the story to your imagination.  Suffice it to say that the Andrew arrived to camp on time, and the still-warm-from-the-oven-cake & I arrived at work intact and on time, too.

Cinnamon Roll Cake Printable recipe

1 golden butter cake mix
4 tablespoons vanilla pudding mix (not instant)
4 eggs
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup Greek yogurt (substitute sour cream)
½ cup brown sugar syrup**
½ cup granulated sugar**
1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cinnamon

4-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, microwaved for 25-30 seconds
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat cream in microwave, add vanilla and stir in powdered sugar.

1 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped

Butter or spray a 13×9 baking pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
For the cake, combine cake ingredients and mix for 2 minutes.
For the filling, mix ingredients in a small bowl until thickened. Using a fork, swirl filling into prepared batter.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a tester inserted comes out clean.****
Prepare glaze while cake is baking and immediately pour over hot cake and sprinkle on pecans.
Serve warm.

**If you do not have brown sugar syrup, use 1 cup of brown sugar, omit the granulated sugar, and add ½ cup water.
****At 35 minutes, I checked my cake, and the middle was still quite liquid, although very brown; so, I lowered the temp to 325 degrees, loosely draped a piece of foil on top and continued to bake it another 20 minutes.


3 thoughts on “Cinnamon Roll Cake

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