Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake

This is the ooey gooey butter cake recipe you must try! This gooey butter cake is easy to put together and tastes delicious. This is a great gooey butter cake with cake mix, and I promise it will go fast.

It’s rich, sweet, and, well, buttery. This recipe makes the ultimate coffee cake or the perfect dessert. If you have go-to cake recipes you use all the time, this is one to add to your list.

four gooey butter cake slices on a plate in front of the cake in a pan.

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What Is Gooey Butter Cake?

Gooey butter cake is an amazingly simple-to-make and mouth-watering delicious dessert. With its cake batter crust and gooey cream cheese topping, it’s absolutely addictive! It’s also a simple cake with only two layers and just a few ingredients that you probably always have on hand.

A boxed cake mix makes a quick and easy crust for this sweet butter cake. This recipe uses yellow cake mix, but you can use whatever cake mix takes your fancy (see recipe variations below). 

Why Is Gooey Butter Cake Also Known as St. Louis Butter Cake?

This cake is also known as St. Louis butter cake and ooey gooey butter cake. Legend says that the gooey butter cake came about by accident in St. Louis in the 1930s.

A baker made a mistake with how much butter he put in a coffee cake he was making. Instead of throwing it out, he sold it by the square, and the sticky, sugary confection was a hit.

Since then, St. Louis gooey butter cake bars can be found on many a Missourian’s Thanksgiving table. 

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

This St Louis gooey butter cake is easy to make and absolutely ooey gooey and yummy! Don’t expect any leftovers.

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Yellow cake mix
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
gooey butter cake ingredients.

How to Make Gooey Butter Cake

Here are the recipe steps:

  1. Place cake mix, butter, and eggs in a large bowl. Use a electric electric mixer to blend them together.
gooey butter cake batter ingredients in a mixing bowl.
gooey butter cake batter in a mixing bowl.
  1. Lightly pat the mixture evenly over the bottom of the jelly roll pan.
gooey butter cake batter spread out in a jelly roll pan.
  1. Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a 2-quart bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
gooey butter cake cream cheese filling ingredients in a mixing bowl.
gooey butter cake cream cheese filling in a mixing bowl.
  1. Pour and spread the mixture over the cake mix layer.
gooey butter cake before baking.
  1. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.
freshly baked gooey butter cake in the pan.
  1. Cut the cake into neat squares but do not remove them from the pan. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a few days before serving.
four gooey butter cake slices on a plate and a glass of milk.

Tips for Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe Success

  • Set out your ingredients in advance, so they are at room temperature when you begin.
  • How to know when your ooey gooey butter cake is done. To achieve the most perfect gooeyness, your cake should be slightly underbaked in the center. When you think it’s done, shake the pan around a little. It’s ready if the crust is firm, but the center still jiggles. 
  • Make sure your butter cake has cooled for an hour before cutting it into gooey butter cake bars or squares. To prevent your cake from sticking to your knife, spray the blade with a little cooking spray and then wipe it clean with a towel. Cut slowly and carefully. Do not remove the slices from the pan.
  • Refrigerate the cake before serving. If you can resist the temptation to begin digging into this cake straight out of the oven, the flavor seems to intensify if you allow the cake to sit for at least 24 hours before removing the gooey butter cake bars from the pan. A few days in the fridge is best for maximum flavor.

Ooey Gooey Cake Variations

Many versions have come from the original St. Louis gooey butter cake serendipitous mistake. This gooey butter cake with cake mix can be made with any cake mix to totally change up the flavor. And, the possibilities for adding different ingredients are endless. Here are a few ideas: 

Use different cake flavors for your base and add other flavorings in your cream cheese layer. For example:

  • Vanilla cake with lemon extract.
  • Coffee extract in the base and cherry flavoring in the cream cheese layer.
  • Lemon in the base and lemon zest in the topping.
  • Strawberry in the base and vanilla topping. 
  • Chocolate chips in the base and/or the cream cheese layer.
  • Chopped pecans or coconut in the base layer. 
  • Butterscotch chips in the filling or on top.
  • For Thanksgiving, add pumpkin and spices to the gooey filling.
  • Elevate your filling with the addition of 1 cup of diced apples (fuji, granny smith, or some other firm, tart fruit). 
  • Add blueberries to provide some natural flavor and sweetness.
  • Sliced strawberries and whipped cream on top. 

What can you serve the cake with?

This ooey gooey butter cake makes a very sweet and rich dessert, and a little will go a long way. Try serving it with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream to cut the sweetness.

It also deserves to follow a robust and hearty main course, such as:

How to Store Gooey Butter Cake

Stored at room temperature in an airtight container, your butter cake should last for 2 to 3 days.

Freeze your whole butter cake or gooey butter cake bars by wrapping tightly with plastic wrap then place in a freeze-safe container or bag. They should be good for 4 to 5 months in the freezer.

This butter cake is an excellent make-ahead option. Just thaw completely when you’re ready to serve and eat it.

gooey butter cake slice on a cake server over the cake.

More Cake Mix Recipes

It’s so easy to love goodies and desserts made with boxed cake mix (they’re always so easy and yummy!). Here are a few favorites:

Check out more of my easy cake recipes and the best Thanksgiving dinner recipes here on CopyKat!

four gooey butter cake slices on a plate in front of the cake in a pan.

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Gooey Butter Cake

Boxed cake mix makes a quick and easy crust for this sweet and ooey gooey butter cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cake Mix Recipes, Cake Recipes, Dessert Recipes, Gooey Butter Cake
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 539kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 15.25 ounce box yellow cake mix
  • 4 ounces butter (1 stick)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spray a jelly roll pan with non-stick spray or grease the pan.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, blend cake mix, butter, and eggs together.
  • Lightly pat the mixture evenly over the bottom of the jelly roll pan.
  • Place cream cheese, sugar, and, vanilla in a 2-quart bowl. Beat with a mixer on medium speed until smooth.
  • Pour and spread the mixture over the cake mix layer.
  • Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and the top looks like a nicely baked cheesecake.
  • Cool the cake in the pan on a wire rack for 1 hour.
  • Cut the cake into neat squares but do not remove them from the pan.
  • Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a few days before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 88g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 543mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 635IU | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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