Gooey Butter Cake is a classic, sweet and rich cake that starts with a yellow cake mix!  Turn a box cake mix into something decadent with easy ingredients!

gooey butter cake

Gooey Butter Cake:

This cake is a classic that has been around for generations, and it happens to be one of my favorites!  This is an easy semi-homemade recipe that starts out with a yellow boxed cake mix.  The cake takes about 40 minutes to bake, but only 10 minutes of actual hands on time. The original cake recipe comes out of St. Louis, mine just happens to be an easier version!  Butter cake is more of a flat/dense cake that is super moist, which is why it’s called “gooey” because it stays so soft!  Don’t be fooled by its flat appearance, this cake is delicious!  You only need two bowls to make it, one is for the bottom cake layer and the other is for the top, sweet, cream cheese layer!  I love baking from scratch like our Lemon Blueberry Cake, but one of our earliest and most popular recipes are Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies!  Sometimes you just need easy, and this one is perfect when you need or want dessert fast!  It’s a simple one that even your kids can help with!

butter cake ingredients

Gooey Butter Cake Recipe Notes:

  • It is really important to make sure and grease your pan well for this cake!  You can use butter, a good amount of non-stick cooking spray, or a layer of parchment paper.
  • You can use any brand of yellow cake mix for this recipe, it doesn’t matter at all!
  • While this is traditionally always made with yellow cake, I have used a white, chocolate, or strawberry cake mix and they taste great as well.
  • Butter cake can be served of course as a dessert, but, it’s also great for breakfast or brunch!  It’s amazing served with a cup of hot coffee, and a side of fresh fruit!
  • This cake will turn out the very best if you use room temperature ingredients.  Just let your cream cheese and eggs sit out at room temp for about one hour before making if possible.  The cream cheese especially needs to be very soft!
  • You don’t need to refrigerate this cake at all.  You can save it covered, at room temperature for up to 5 days for the freshest results.

gooey butter cake stack



5 from 14 votes

Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake is a classic, sweet and rich cake that starts with a yellow cake mix!  Turn a box cake mix into something decadent with easy ingredients!
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 50 minutes
Servings 12 People


  • 1 15 ounce Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter Salted or Unsalted
  • 3 Large Eggs Divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 8-oz Package Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 3 ½ Cups Powdered Sugar Sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a 9x13 cake pan by adding parchment paper to the bottom of it or spraying it with non-stick spray.
  • Add the cake mix, brown sugar, melted butter, 2 eggs and the salt to a large bowl and mix using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until well combined and smooth.
  • Pour and spread it out into the prepared baking pan. It will be very thick, so it will take some time to smooth it out.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the remaining egg and vanilla extract and mix again on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add half of the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix until combined, then add the remaining powdered sugar and mix again until combined.
  • Carefully evenly spread the mixture over top of the mixture already in the pan.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top turns a light golden color and it forms a light crackled crust.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for a half hour before slicing into squares and serving.


NOTE:  Store these bars covered at room temp, or in the refrigerator if desired for up to 5 days.


Calories: 178kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 42mg, Potassium: 23mg, Sugar: 40g, Vitamin A: 59IU, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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Hey! Nice to meet you! I'm Nichole!

Welcome to The Salty Marshmallow! I'm a mom, animal lover, photographer, & kitchen mess-maker. Here you will find the result of my decades-long passion for chasing the best flavors in the kitchen, all meant to be cooked by regular people with busy lives just like you and me.

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  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious!!! I cut down about 1/2 a cup powdered sugar and it was plenty sweet. I’d love to try it with chocolate cake next.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this to bring to a dinner party. I couldn’t try it beforehand and of course a professional baker was also at the party. ?. This cake was a huge hit! So good!