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Gooey Butter Cake: the sensational recipe for the classic St. Louis dessert

Total time: 55 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

If you're looking for a delicious, dense, rich cake to serve with afternoon tea or tuck into with a cup of coffee in the morning, get ready to fall in love with St. Louis gooey butter cake.

As its name suggests, this dessert is decadently buttery with a gooey, soft, sweet cream cheese layer set over a cakey crust made with cake mix. Dense, chewy, with the perfect level of sweetness, gooey butter cake is fantastic any time of the day!

What is Gooey Butter Cake?

Gooey butter cake is a tasty dessert from St. Louis, Missouri. It's dense and chewy, with a similar texture to blondies. Gooey butter cake is said to have been accidentally invented by a local baker named John Hoffman of St. Louis Pastries Bakery. Folks immediately fell in love with the rich, flavorful cake, and it became an instant St. Louis classic.

If you visit St. Louis, you'll find gooey butter cake in many shops and bakeries. But thankfully, you can make this lovely cake at home!

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Ingredients

You don't need fancy ingredients to make St. Louis gooey butter cake.

For the crust, you'll need cake mix, butter, and an egg.

To make that gooey filling, you'll need more butter (of course!), softened cream cheese, and eggs, plus powdered sugar for sweetness and a touch of vanilla extract for extra flavor.

How to Make Gooey Butter Cake

It's delightfully simple to make St. Louis gooey butter cake. Start by mixing the cake mix, butter, and egg in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into a greased baking dish, and press it firmly but gently into the pan to form a crust.

Grab a second bowl, then beat the cream cheese, butter, eggs, vanilla, powdered sugar, and salt until the mixture is smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust, then pop the cake in the oven.

Bake it for 40 minutes at 350F until the cake is golden brown and puffy. Let the cake cool completely. Once it has cooled to room temperature, generously dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, then slice and enjoy!


Tips for Making the Best Gooey Butter Cake

Use room temperature ingredients to make your gooey butter cake.

Gooey butter cake tastes best when served at room temperature.

Your cake should be gooey at the center but not overly runny. Make sure you let your cake cool completely before serving it. If you don't, your cake will end up runny.

Use room temperature ingredients to make your gooey butter cake.

If you overbake the cake, it'll still be edible, just not as creamy.

You can make your crust from scratch instead of using cake mix.

Instead of regular yellow cake mix, swap it out for another flavor. Chocolate, lemon, Oreo, red velvet, and peanut butter are delicious alternatives.

Put a new twist on gooey butter cake by mixing in additional ingredients. Add fresh berries, nuts, chocolate chips, crushed candy, or coconut to the cake.

How to Store Gooey Butter Cake

Keep your gooey butter cake wrapped and store it at room temperature for up to four days or in the fridge for up to one week. You can also freeze your cake for up to 6 months.

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for the crust
vanilla cake mix
1 box
butter, melted
6 tbsp
Large egg
extra butter, for greasing
for the filling
cream cheese, softened
1 8-ounce package
butter, melted
1/2 cup
Large eggs
pure vanilla extract
2 tsp
a pinch


Preheat your oven to 350F. Grease a baking dish with butter.

Beat cake mix, butter, and egg in a large bowl.

Transfer the mixture to the baking dish, pressing it into the pan to form a crust.

Place the cream cheese, vanilla, and salt into a second bowl.

Add the melted butter.

Beat in the eggs.

Pour in powdered sugar. Beat with a handheld mixer until smooth.

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust.

Coat it evenly.

Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown and puffy.

Remove from the oven to cool completely to room temperature. Once cooled, cut in squares and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve and enjoy!


Use a 9×13-inch baking dish to make your gooey butter cake.

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