How to Make Gooey Butter Cake?

A true dessert favorite with a long history is a gooey butter cake. It has a rich, buttery cake batter crust and an excellent gooey cream cheese filling that is quite simple to prepare. In St. Louis, where it is a well-known dessert for which every family has a recipe, gooey butter cake dominates. Outside of Missouri, it isn’t as well recognized, but it ought to be. It is buttery, sweet, and rich. One of those cakes uses an unconventional method, and we are pleasantly pleased each time it succeeds.

Gooey Butter Cake

A gooey butter cake has two distinct layers: a cake crust on the bottom and a soft gooey layer on top. It is a flat, dense cake. Although a yeasted cake dough was initially used to make the crust, modern versions are frequently made with yellow cake mix or a plain butter cake batter. Although most recipes eventually switched to a topping made with cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, the original top layer was created with corn syrup, sugar, and powdered eggs.

What is Exactly Gooey Butter Cake?

Since it originated in St. Louis in the 1930s but was made famous by Paula Deen decades later, this cake is frequently referred to as the Paula Deen Gooey Butter Cake or the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake.

When a German baker attempted to make a classic butter cake, an oven accident occurred, leading to the discovery of this gooey butter cake. That cake was a failure, but this gooey butter cake was a pleasant outcome. It has been around since then and rose to fame once Paula Deen learned about it and spread the word about it.

It has two layers: a classic cake layer made with cake mix, butter, and eggs, and a block of decadent cream cheese and butter filling layer melts in your mouth. Because of the texture, some people call these “blonde brownies.” This is something heavy to bite into.

How to Make Gooey Butter Cake?

Here is the best recipe to make gooey butter cake:


For the cake
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2¼ tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • One large egg
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Soft butter for prepping the pans
For the filling
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Two large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting the cake

Steps to Follow

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. For the cake, place the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat for about 1 minute, or in the microwave on low power for 45 seconds, and heat until the milk is 100° F. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir to dissolve.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, and beat until incorporated. Stop the mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour alternately with the yeast and milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. When all the flour has been added, blend on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
  3. Lightly rub the butter into the bottom of two 8″ square pans. Divide the dough in half, and press one half into the bottom of each pan. Cover each pan loosely with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place to rise until nearly doubled in about 2 hours.
  4. When the dough has nearly finished rising, make the filling. Place the butter, sugar, salt, and corn syrup in a large mixing bowl, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla and one egg. Beat on medium speed until combined, then add the second egg. Add the milk and half the flour, beating until combined. Add the rest of the flour, and beat until smooth.
  5. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the filling over the rising dough, dividing it evenly between the two pans, and spread it to the edges. Place the pans in the oven.
  6. Bake the cakes until the tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the cakes cool for 20 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, slice, and serve warm.


  • Ensure your cream cheese and eggs are at room temperature to avoid lumps in the top layer.
  • I usually use foil to line my pans but use parchment paper, and the foil will cause your bars to brown too quickly.
  • Dust powdered sugar on top of the filling once they’re baked and cooled.

Gooey Butter Cake Variations

Here are the different variations of gooey butter cake:

  • Mix chocolate cake and add a cup of chocolate chips to the top layer.
  • Use red velvet cake mix and add a cup of white chocolate chips!
  • You can use lemon cake mix or even spice cake mix.
  • Add some mix-ins to the cream cheese mixture: chocolate chips, heath almond toffee bits, nuts, or anything!

How to Store Gooey Butter Cake?

Gooey Butter Cake

This cake can be chilled or kept at room temperature, and it will keep for two days at room temperature or five days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Wrap the food in plastic wrap firmly before transferring it to a Ziploc bag or freezer-safe container for freezing. For up to three months, freeze. Before serving, add extra powdered sugar after thawing in the refrigerator overnight.

Freshly prepared butter cake will be kept at room temperature for one to two days if properly stored. Any cake with icing or filling produced with dairy products or eggs, such as buttercream, whipped cream, or custard frostings or fillings, should be refrigerated immediately.

Can Gooey Butter Cake be Frozen?

To make your gooey butter cake more enjoyable later, carefully wrap it in plastic before consuming it. Keep it in a freezer-safe bag or container if at all possible. It can be frozen for around four to five months. When you’re ready to serve, you may just let it thaw.
Butter cake should be carefully wrapped in plastic or aluminum foil or put in a heavy-duty freezer bag if you want to freeze it. How long does butter cake stay fresh in the freezer? After storage, the highest quality will often last for 4 to 6 months, although it will remain secure for longer. At a temperature of 4C, a butter cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. If the butter cake has been resting in the fridge, it can be stored in the freezer for at least a week.


One of the cakes you might frequently find at potlucks and events is a gooey butter cake. It is prosperous and straightforward to make. Butter cakes are typically created using the “creaming” process, which involves beating the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy to integrate air into the butter. The next step is the progressive addition of eggs, followed by alternating additions of wet and dry ingredients. Butter cakes are generally rich and moist when kept at room temperature, but when kept in the refrigerator, they tend to harden, dry up, and lose flavor.

Typically one inch tall, gooey butter cake is frequently coated with powdered sugar, and it can be sliced into pieces like a brownie even though it is rich and delicious. Unlike a traditional dessert cake, gooey butter cake is frequently served as a coffee cake.