Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert that lives up to its name, offering a decadent experience that’s sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth. Originating from the Midwest, particularly St. Louis, this cake has gained popularity far beyond its regional roots. With its rich, buttery base and creamy, sweet topping, this cake is a treat that’s hard to resist.

What Makes This So Great?

What makes Ooey Gooey Butter Cake stand out is its unique texture and rich taste. The base layer, made from yellow cake mix and butter, is dense and buttery.

The top layer, a creamy mixture of cream cheese, eggs, and powdered sugar, creates a delightful contrast that’s both sweet and tangy. When baked, the top forms a slightly crispy crust while the inside remains gooey and soft.

This combination of textures and tastes makes it a hit at gatherings, potlucks, and family dinners.


What Kitchen Items Do You Need To Make This?

To make Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, you’ll need the following kitchen items:

  • Mixing Bowls: You’ll need at least two, one for the base and one for the topping.
  • Electric Mixer: This makes mixing the cream cheese and sugar much easier, but you can also do it by hand.
  • 13 x 9 Casserole Dish: This is the perfect size for baking the cake.
  • Rubber Spatula: Useful for spreading the cake mix and topping evenly.
  • Sheet Pan: To place under the casserole dish in the oven to catch any potential spills.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise ingredient measurements.

What Ingredients Are Needed For This Recipe?

Here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need to make Ooey Gooey Butter Cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (about 18 oz)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

These ingredients are straightforward and can be found in most grocery stores.

How To Make It

Making Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Preheat and Prep:
    • Preheat your oven to 350 ℉.
    • Lightly grease a 13 x 9 casserole dish.
  2. Prepare the Base:
    • Empty the yellow cake mix into a large mixing bowl.
    • Stir in the melted butter and one egg until well combined.
    • Press the dough mixture into the casserole dish, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula or your fingers.
  3. Make the Topping:
    • In another large bowl, combine the remaining two eggs, softened cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar.
    • Beat the mixture by hand or with an electric mixer until smooth and free of lumps, about 3 minutes.
  4. Assemble the Cake:
    • Pour the cream cheese mixture over the base layer in the casserole dish.
    • Spread it evenly with a rubber spatula.
  5. Bake:
    • Place a sheet pan underneath the casserole dish in the oven to catch any spills.
    • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top forms a slightly golden brown crust.
  6. Cool and Serve:
    • Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely, about an hour. The cake will sink slightly while cooling.
    • Once cool, dust with a little powdered sugar and cut into squares.
    • Store the cake in a container at room temperature.

What Is The History Behind This Recipe?

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake has its origins in St. Louis, Missouri, and dates back to the 1930s. According to local legend, the cake was created by accident when a baker made a mistake while mixing ingredients for a traditional butter cake. Instead of discarding the mixture, the baker decided to bake it, resulting in a wonderfully rich and gooey dessert. The cake quickly became a local favorite and has since spread in popularity across the country. Today, it remains a beloved treat, especially in the Midwest, and is often found at family gatherings, holiday parties, and community events.

What Can I Switch Up To Make This Different If I Have Dietary Needs (Vegan/Vegetarian/Gluten Free)?

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake can be adapted to fit various dietary needs with a few simple substitutions:

  • Vegan: Substitute the eggs with a vegan egg replacer or flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water per egg). Use vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in place of the dairy versions.
  • Vegetarian: This recipe is already vegetarian-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free: Use a gluten-free yellow cake mix. Ensure all other ingredients are also gluten-free, such as gluten-free vanilla extract.

These adjustments make it possible for everyone to enjoy this delicious cake, regardless of dietary restrictions.

gooey butter cake

How Should I Store This?

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. It will keep for about 3-4 days, maintaining its gooey texture and rich taste. If you prefer, you can refrigerate the cake, but be sure to allow it to come to room temperature before serving for the best texture. This cake can also be frozen for longer storage. To freeze, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag. Thaw the slices at room temperature or warm them slightly in the microwave before serving.

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a testament to the beauty of culinary accidents. Its rich, buttery base and creamy topping create a dessert that’s both indulgent and comforting. With our easy-to-follow instructions, you can bring a taste of the Midwest to your kitchen. Enjoy this delightful treat and share it with friends and family—they’ll thank you for it!

gooey butter cake

Gooey Butter Cake

Author: Maddy & JD – Them Bites
Gooey Butter Cake is a super-rich, deliciously sweet dessert hailing from St. Louis. With only six ingredients, this is super easy to make and great to bring to a party or potluck.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rest Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 335 kcal


  • 1 box yellow cake mix about 18 oz
  • ½ cup butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese softened
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Recipe Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 ℉. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 casserole dish.
  • Empty cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter and one egg.
  • Press the dough mixture into the casserole dish, evenly spreading out with a rubber spatula or clean fingers. (It should be slightly sticky).
  • In a large bowl, mix together two eggs, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Beat by hand or with an electric mixture until it is smooth and there are no lumps, about 3 minutes.
  • Pour over top of the pressed dough and evenly spread with a rubber spatula.
  • Place a sheet pan underneath the dish in the oven. (It can rise up and sometimes spill when baking). Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the top gets slightly golden brown crust.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about an hour. Do not be tempted to cut into it early- it will be a mess. The cake will 'sink' slightly while cooling, which is normal.
  • Once cool, dust with a little powdered sugar and cut into squares. Store in a container at room temperature.


Calories: 335kcalCarbohydrates: 77gProtein: 2gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 325mgPotassium: 47mgFiber: 2gSugar: 58gVitamin A: 18IUVitamin C: 0.05mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 1mg
Keyword gooey butter cake
Tried this recipe?Mention @thembitesrecipes or tag #thembites

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  1. My husband was born in St. Louis, but his family moved west when he was young. When his grandpa would visit the family, he would come with two substantial suitcases (none of these compact, carry-on jobs with wheels). One suitcase was his personal items and the other was packed full of multiple white bakery boxes containing entire crumb cakes AND gooey butter cakes. They were stored in the freezer in the garage until they were quickly and methodically consumed. I have always wanted to try to replicate them both. Now I’ve got a starting point. Thank you 💚…

    1. Hey Rachel! That’s such a great story. Thank you for sharing it with us! We kinda feel like we should adopt your Husband’s Grandfathers way of travelling now. Let us know how it turns out!

  2. Please make it easier to print your recipes without having to print the entire 6 pages of pictures and instructions

    1. Hi Phil – I’m unsure of how to handle that on the website. Did you try to copy and past the ingredients / steps into something like notepad, and then printing from there? I know it’s a solid extra 10 seconds, but it could resolve your issue. Thanks for bringing this concern up.

    2. Usually when printing you can select which pages you would like to print. For example, instead of printing ALL, you can select pages 2-3, or 1-1, etc. Best wishes.

  3. I see that you a recipe calls for an 18 Oz yellow cake mix. Many manufacturers have reduced the size of their cake mixes to 13.25 oz, there are a lot that are 15 and I only found one cake mix at Walmart that is 18 oz. How would the smaller ounced cake mixes affect this recipe?

    1. Hey Lorraine,

      We’re unsure. We’ve made this recipe once, and it was to the specs that we provided. I think it would just end up a little more gooey.

      Maddy and JD

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