Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

filed under: Cakes on January 20, 2018

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is almost an American classic! Since the 50’s moms and grandmas have been making Ooey-Gooey Cakes for all to enjoy. You may be surprised by the ingredients!  Make sure to try Chocolate Ooey Gooey Cake too!

Classic Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Butter Cake

Before making this I studied a lot of Ooey-Gooey Cake recipes. One comment was very, very common: “It’s very sweet”. But I can handle sweet, I mean, I have made  Chocolate Ooey Gooey CakeStrawberry Ooey Gooey Cake, even Red Velvet Ooey Gooey Cake!   I like sweet, but just be prepared.  It is VERY sweet!

Gooey Butter Cake on Plate Sliced

What is Ooey Gooey Butter Cake?

This recipe is based on the original ooey gooey cake made famous in St. Louis. I have made my version semi-homemade in that I use a cake mix for the bottom layer, but you can certainly make one from scratch if you prefer! There are two distinct layers in an ooey gooey cake. This one is yellow cake on the bottom and a cream cheese butter flavored layer on top. The bottom layer should be a bit firm, but the top layer is melt-in-your-mouth velvety perfection.

I like to serve this ooey gooey butter cake with a light topping of powdered sugar at the end.  Some people prefer whipped cream too.  Why not add something a little sweeter to the top of this already sweet cake?


Slice of Butter Cake with powdered sugar

Ooey Gooey Bars

Although this is called ooey gooey butter cake, it is technically a bar. Most recipes are made in a 9×13 pan and then cut into a bar shape, so when you make an ooey gooey butter cake you are technically making a bar! I chose to make mine in a 9×3 round cake pan just because I love round cakes, but if you choose to make yours in a 9×13 pan keep an eye on cooking times. The rest of the recipe is the same!

Fork in slice of gooey butter cake

How to Make Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Make sure you prepare your pan correctly. I use GOOP {Homemade Baker’s Spray} and think it’s far superior to any product you can buy at the store. If you don’t want to make GOOP, grease your pan then line with parchment paper.

Use room temperature ingredients. Set your butter and cream cheese out a couple hours before you plan on making this amazing cake.  You will not regret it!

Don’t undermix ingredients. Whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, at least 3 minutes.

Did you know the “magic” version of this recipe? You simply mix all the ingredients in one bowl and then bake. There is no layer separation, but the flavor and texture are still amazing!

Gooey Butter Cake Bars

Sweet Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

And this is about how much I could eat in one sitting.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, it tastes great!  Like, really, really great.  Fantastic!  AMAZING!  It is just one of those dishes best served with a cup of black coffee or tea and your dentist’s business card.

I hope you like this ooey gooey butter cake as much as we do!

4.82 from 33 votes
Ooey Gooey Butter Cake #cake #sweet #butter #dessert #mothersdayideas
Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr

Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Is Almost An American Classic! Since The 50’S Moms And Grandmas Have Been Making Ooey-Gooey Cakes For All To Enjoy. You May Be Surprised By The Ingredients!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
Servings: 12
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, melted
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (113g) butter, melted
  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. (I set my convection oven to 325°F)
  2. In a bowl, combine cake mix, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and the melted butter. Mash together with a fork until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  3. Spray a 9-inch by 3-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with baking spray or use a piece of parchment in the bottom of the pan.

  4. Press cake mixture into bottom of prepared pan and get it as flat as possible.

  5. Place cream cheese, remaining eggs, vanilla and melted butter in a stand mixer and beat on medium speed until creamy.

  6. Add in confectioners sugar 1 cup at a time (and on low speed) until all sugar has been added.

  7. Pour cream cheese mixture over cake mixture.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes. I moved mine from the oven when the edges were brown, but the center was still a bit jiggly. You do not want to over cook.

  9. Allow to cool before serving.

Recipe Video

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  • Sheronda Vaughn says:

    Made this yesterday…delicious. I made your yellow cake mix and used it as the cake, thank you. I used a 1/4 cup less sugar, still really sweet. I will try even less sugar next time. I used lemon juice and zest in the cheese cake portion instead of vanilla. It turned out delicious. Thank you.

  • Becky Darby says:

    Can hardly wait to make this cake!

  • Kathy says:

    If using a round pan, how do you get the cake out?

  • Linda Carangi says:

    This butter cake was the absolute best!!!

  • Nikki says:

    Yum! So easy to make. I made mine in a 9×13 pan. Thanks for creating a great recipe.

  • Athena says:

    A true baker does NOT start with a cake mix box. REALLY?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Dear Athena, you may not come to my website and imply I am not a true baker because I have used a box mix. Your judgments and attitude are not a good mix for this community of people who enjoy baking in all forms. Please reevaluate how you choose to interact with people, and maybe next time, choose kindness instead.

  • June Grecco says:

    Do you use real butter or margarine.

    • Amanda Rettke says:


  • Peggy C Sult says:

    I’m admiring the salad fork in your picture. I’ve collected Oneida “Grovesnor” for years. It’s an elegant pattern and I was glad to see it used so effectively in your picture.

  • Cynthia Lee says:

    I am a southern woman and I can’t believe I had never eaten or made these.I saw them individually wrapped I think maybe by Martha Stewart and they were good but these were Oh My Oh My good.I made them in a round pan as you suggested.

  • TheChef says:

    Amanda, I look forward to trying your version of this Ooey Gooey Cake-Bar. I recently tasted an Ooey Gooey bar for the first time, and look forward to baking my own for my loved ones. I am a chef and I would like to say, that in today’s hectic world, anytime someone in any profession can reduce time on a project, without reducing the quality of the outcome, shows only wisdom on their part.

    I feel that your very tactful, but firm reply to Athena’s comment about cake mix was excellent. We should all strive to be kinder to one another. We have no right to invade other peoples space, without showing proper respect to them.

  • Denise Powell says:

    This is the fourth time I’ve made this and it turns out great every time. I like making mine in the 9×3” round as you suggest. I love all the vanilla that the recipe calls for and this time I added a 1/2t almond extract which gave it a little richer, if that’s possible. Great recipe and super easy!

  • Judy Cornelius says:

    Love this cake, absolutely wonderful.

  • Charlotte says:

    Just made this for the first time. Smells yummy – still cooling. Can’t wait to try. MY QUESTION: after cooling does it need to be refrigerated??

  • Dee says:

    The cake part calls for 2 eggs but in other recipes, they call for one. Does it matter?

    Which do I use?

    Great site such magnificent recipes. I have to try them all

  • Ann says:

    I have Celiac Disease? Do you know if this can be made with a gluten free yellow cake mid? Has it ever been tried?

  • Shirley Hoy says:

    I made this the first time in the 9×13 pan. My husband loved it, particularly the edge. So to give him more edge I tried to do cupcakes. Didn’t work out. Bubbled up over the top, ran together. Still tasted good. My final effort was bread pans. Divide the recipe between 4 pans. Great results. Lots of chewy edges.

  • Starr says:

    I only had a spice cake mix on the shelf this time which turned out to be perfect for being the “ooey gooey shortcake” for the peaches we cut up over each slice–especially with the cream cheese in the topping. I think any fruit would be great with this. Can’t wait until it comes out of the oven.

  • Cathy Laurie says:

    I have celiac disease. Strictly gluten free. My daughter made this for me using gluten-free yellow cake mix and it was the BEST cake I have ever had. This recipe is fantastic!!

  • Bob says:

    I have made it 4 times and always turns out perfect at 325 degrees covection oven temp. Also just read that this was Elvis Presleys favorite dessert! Thanks for giving this southern boy a nice recipe!

  • Dawn says:

    I tried this recipe. It is just me and my husband so I made it in two smaller pyrex pans. Been baking over an hour and a toothpick in the middle still comes out wet. Ends are slightly brown but really can’t tell when its done .Need something more clear than jiggly in the middle with brown edges. Hope I don’t have to dump it.

  • Carolyn Brunk says:

    Definitely a great take on the classic St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. Turned out perfectly. The jiggle is everything! (FYI- It’s NOT Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, just Gooey Butter Cake – as a native 3rd generation St. Louisan, hearing that extra Ooey makes my ears FEEL ooey)

  • Christy says:

    Delicious! We made the “magic” version with ingredients mixed together on medium (cake mix, eggs, vanilla, melted butter, and room temp cream cheese) and then incorporated the sugar slowly as described. Baked for 40ish mins and it’s a hit! Reminds me of my favorite bake sale bars in grade school 🙂

  • Mark Woerner says:

    Not even close to being like the cakes sold in the old St Louis German bakeries. No respectable German baker would use a boxed cake mix and the original cake had a crumb topping.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I never said it was like a from-scratch St. Louis German Bakery cake. I am not German so I honestly have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Vanessa says:

    Regarding the commenters disparaging the boxed cake mix… I had never heard of this cake until I went to college in Missouri, where this is a popular regional recipe. (In fact, it’s often called “St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake,” so I’m not sure why the one commenter thought it was supposed to be German.) Anyway, this was a cake that everyone’s mom made, and they all made it with yellow cake mix. I suppose you could make it from scratch, but it wouldn’t taste like the recipe everyone remembers from their childhood. Just like peanut butter blossoms require Hersheys kisses, some nostalgic recipes call for a specific packaged product.

  • Kathleen Johns says:

    So it wouldn’t be soooo sweet could you lower powdered sugar to 1/2. Just use 2 cups?