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Christmas with Kroger: The Cake Mix Doctor Gluten Free Honey Bun Cake Recipe and a Kroger Gift Card Giveaway! (Now Closed)

27 December 2012

If there is a food that is synonymous of childhood family mornings together, it is the store bought cinnamon roll/danish/coffee cake variety. When we woke up we would get a serving cut out of the foil and saran wrapped packaging and have it heated up in the microwave as a treat. Super healthy parenting, right? What can I say, Mom had us eating sugar-free, dye-free, fun-free growing up, but she was also a late riser in the mornings, so other powers to be (aka Dad) got their moments of influence as well. 

Now my body likes to physically reject such revered traditions. This year I was able to find a way to get the same thrill only gluten-free with the Cake Mix Doctor's Gluten Free Honey Bun Cake. I brought it to Christmas morning where we had four gluten-free kids and seven gluten lovers and it was the one dish on the table that everyone kept coming back to! 

For the record, The Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free is the most lifesaving book I have in my kitchen. Every recipe I've tried turns out to be incredible and easy. I've made everything in this cookbook from muffins to a small wedding cake for one of my sister's friends who wanted a gluten-free option for her guests. The Cake Mix Doctor, Anne Bryn, is also a super nice person (I met her at a book signing last year). I just ordered her follow up, Unbelievably Gluten-Free, and can't wait to see how the dinner recipes in there turn out! 

So, back to the Honey Bun Cake:


The Cake Mix Doctor's Gluten-Free Honey Bun Cake
Serves 12 to 16
For the cake:
1 (15-ounce) package yellow gluten-free cake mix
1/4 cup (half of a 3.4-ounce package) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup lightly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1. Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with vegetable oil spray and set the pan aside.
2. Place the cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs, milk and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients are just incorporated, 30 seconds. Stop the machine, and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and beat the batter until smooth, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes longer, scraping down the side of the bowl again if needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with the rubber spatula.
3. Make the filling: Drizzle the honey evenly over the top of the batter. Place the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans, if using, in a small mixing bowl, and stir to combine Spoon the filling over the top of the cake. Using a dinner knife, swirl the brown sugar mixture into the cake batter to marble it.
4. Place the pan in the oven, and bake the cake until it is golden brown and the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and let the cake cool completely, 20 minutes, before slicing and serving.

I had a few of the ingredients at home and picked up the rest easily from Kroger before the holiday rush. After getting all of the ingredients for my vegan, gluten free cornbread casserole from here, I knew I'd have no problem with the cake ingredients.  I love that Kroger has a great organic line called Simple Truth Organic, so I can get my butter, milk and eggs from here as I pick up other supplies. They also had the gluten-free cake mix I needed and the vegan sour cream that I prefer (you only use about a half a tub of sour cream in the recipe, so I would rather buy the one we use on dinner dishes as well). It's all at competitive prices, sometimes lower than the health food stores that usually carry these specialty items! 

First I put my cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla in the mixing bowl before blending it all up...

The batter seemed to be the perfect consistency as it went into the pan. So...hard...not to lick the spatula...

Kroger had pecan pieces so I wanted to chop them to be more fine for the topping and swirl. I use this trusty OXO brand chopper for everything! Onions, pizza toppings, baking...It did a great job with the pecans "per ushe" as my mom would say.

Pretty chopped pecans about to get mixed up with brown sugar and cinnamon for the topping.

I drizzled the honey (I actually used golden agave nectar as a substitute and people kept complimenting me on the honey taste, so I recommend just using what is easier for you) over the batter, then added the topping. After the topping was distributed I swirled the batter around with a knife to get some of the pieces down into the cake.

In the cookbook, the Cake Mix Doctor mentions you can make a glaze for the cake by mixing 2-3 tablespoons of milk with powdered sugar. I whisked some up and poured it over the cake as it came out of the oven. 

It was so hard not to eat it before Christmas! I kept it covered in foil at room temperature for a day before it was time to eat it. When I got to my Nannie;s (grandmother's) house on Christmas, I just put it in the oven on low to warm it up for about 10 minutes. One of the most moist cakes I've ever had - and it was gluten-free!

Since I was able to get my supplies for this gluten-free treat as well as many others from Kroger, they are sharing the love by giving away a $25 Kroger gift card to a Pancakes and Beet Juice reader!

To enter the Kroger $25 giftcard giveaway:
1. Comment on this post 
2. Like Pancakes and Beet Juice on Facebook for an additonal entry (let me know in your original blog comment)
3.  Like my Pinterest page, where I keep easy gluten-free recipes amongst other pinnable treasures, for an additional entry (let me know in your original blog comment)

The gift card winner will be randomly drawn on January 4. Good luck! 

UPDATE: Congratulations to Deb for winning this fun giveaway! Happy shopping from Pancakes and Beet Juice and Kroger!


  1. Wow this recipe sounds and looks delicious! I'll have to try it sometime. I'm following you on Pinterest! Would LOVE that Kroger gift card. I'm there every Sunday for groceries. And you reminded me. I need to pick up some agave necter. I've heard good things about it. :)

  2. I'm so making that this weekend! I followed you on Facebook and Pinterest as well.

  3. that looks sooo delicious :)
    thanks for the giveaway
    like u on fb Julie A Scott Laws
    follow pinterest 321gem

  4. Gluten free doesn't matter to me but this cake looks fabulous. I am going to try it.

    I like you on Facebook. Deb Christie

    I follow you on Pinterest.

  5. That looks amazing! Thanks for the giveaway!

    I liked you on FB!

    And I followed you on Pinterest (eemoody77)

    eemoody77 at gmail dot com

  6. i need that chopper and thanks for the recipe and giveaway.

    i like on facebook- livivua chandler
    i follow on pinterest-

  7. This is easy and wonderful. My in-laws request it now each time we are together.

  8. I truly admire your baking. I will try this recipe too, hope mine turns out delicious. Thanks for sharing.


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