★★★★★

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

A St Louis tradition, this Gooey Butter Cake is simplified with it’s easy cake mix option! Chewy Butter Cake crust with a gooey cream cheese filling!

If you love gooey desserts, this decadent Kentucky Butter Cake needs to be on your baking list! Or try this delicious Buttermilk Brownie Recipe soon.

Gooey butter cake slices stacked on top of each other.

Why this Recipe Works

The first time I tried Gooey Butter Cake I was smitten.

From the chewy crust to the soft gooey center, this cake stole my heart.

Then again, any treat that pairs well with my morning cup of coffee is a winner in my book.

For years I’ve been making this dessert, not knowing that it was a St. Louis classic!

This recipe is seriously the best.

  • Starts from a box mix (that we will doctor up!)
  • Packed with gooey cream cheese filling
  • Sweetened with powdered sugar
  • Made in a 13×9 for easy serving!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed for gooey butter cake recipe.
  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (just the dry mix)
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Eggs
  • Cream Cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract

How to make Gooey Butter Cake

Step by step photos showing how to make gooey butter cake.

There are two schools of thought on this recipe. Either make it from scratch, which is more traditional, or go the easy route.

I choose easy on this one. It tastes very similar, and, duh, easy.

While I love to bake from scratch, this recipe is one that it’s not necessary to do to achieve great results.

So let’s get started.

Make the Crust. You’ll start with a box of yellow cake mix, softened butter, and one egg. Blend this together. It will be very crumbly. Pour the crumbs into the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish.

Using the bottom of a measuring cup or the palm of your hand, press the crumbs FIRMLY. This will create your “crust.”

Make the Topping. Add softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and 2 large eggs to a mixing bowl. Beat for several minutes until well blended.

Pour over crust layer.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove and cool completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours to set. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice and enjoy.

I prefer this cake chilled, but it’s not necessary!

13x9 baking dish with gooey butter cake slices.

Can you make other flavors of Gooey Butter Cake?

Absolutely!

You may recall these Gooey Lemon Bars I made years ago! Just swap out the cake mix for lemon and follow the directions!

Imagine the possibilities! Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake. Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake. And more!

How do you make Gooey Butter Cookies?

So glad you asked!

I’ve got the perfect Gooey Butter Cookie Recipe here on my website! So easy, and ridiculously good. Don’t forget the secret ingredient though!

You can also make LEMON Gooey Butter Cookies too. As a lover of all lemon desserts I highly recommend this flavor!

Tips and Tricks

  • Use baking spray in your dish to prevent the gooey cake bars from sticking!
  • Make sure to let your butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. This is important!
  • Be sure to mix the filling layer well. Much like frosting, or a cheesecake, you want the cream cheese incorporated into the egg and powdered sugar. Beat for several minutes!
  • Top with powdered sugar. For whatever reason this cake looks very naked and bland. Top it with some powdered sugar to add a sweet decorative touch!

Recipe FAQs

Can you freeze gooey butter cake?

Yes! After baking and cooling, slice cake bars and place in an airtight, freezer safe container (or ziploc). When ready to enjoy, allow to thaw in refrigerator overnight. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy.

How long does gooey butter cake last?

You can store gooey butter cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Can you use other flavors of cake mix for gooey butter cake?

Yes. Gooey butter cake can be made with other flavors of cake mix, such as chocolate, or white cake.

Gooey butter cake slice on spatula.

More Easy Desserts

Yield: 20 servings

Gooey Butter Cake

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

A St Louis tradition, this Gooey Butter Cake is simplified with it's easy cake mix option! Chewy Butter Cake crust with a gooey cream cheese filling!

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (just the dry mix)
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg

For the filling:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

For the topping:

  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 13x9 baking dish with baking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, softened butter, and egg. Beat until combined, and crumbly.
  3. Pour into baking dish and press with palm of hand to create a firm crust.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Beat for about 3-4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as need.
  5. Pour over crust.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until lightly browned. Remove and cool completely. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. ENJOY.

Notes

  • Use baking spray in your dish to prevent the gooey cake bars from sticking!
  • Make sure to let your butter and cream cheese come to room temperature. This is important!
  • Be sure to mix the filling layer well. Much like frosting, or a cheesecake, you want the cream cheese incorporated into the egg and powdered sugar. Beat for several minutes!
  • Top with powdered sugar. For whatever reason this cake looks very naked and bland. Top it with some powdered sugar to add a sweet decorative touch!
  • STORAGE: Keep cake in airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or refrigerate for up to one week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 235Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 238mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 23gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on March 27, 2021

Comments & Reviews

  1. Delicious! I bake a good bit and my husband almost never eats anything but he was in love with these. They were super easy so I love all the different flavor options.

  2. I like the idea of the easy path with a cake mix, but there’s one major flaw in the recipe. It’s called gooey butter coffee cake be cause the filling contains a full 8oz of butter. I notice many recent recipes drop the butter in the filling… big mistake. (I grew up in metro st. Louis, with gooey butter cake as my favorite breakfast… or snack, or whatever. It pretty much vanished when Haas bakery shut down.)

    That said, this recipe could very easily be adjusted for my son who has gluten, dairy, and egg allergies, thanks to a very good brand of allergy friendly cake mix that is nearly indistinguishable from standard mix, a very good nondairy butter substitute, and a decent egg substitute. Challenge will be finding a nondairy replacement for the cream cheese.

    I like to experiment, so I may try this out. Thanks much for sharing!

  3. I love how this came out! It was easy to make and so delicious. I’m sure I’ll be getting requests from the family for this again soon! 

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