8 Ways to Make Gooey Butter Cakes

By Madison Skakle

My most requested recipe throughout the entire year: Gooey Butter Cakes. There is something so addictive about these buttery, gooey treats. The good news? They are so simple to make and can be made in countless variations, depending on what mood you are in!

Gooey Butter Cakes originate from St. Louis and always consist of a buttery crust with a cream-cheese gooey layer on top. You will find lots of different recipes online but I think this one is the best:

Basic Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

  • Crust:
    • 1 box yellow cake mix
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 1 egg, room temperature
  • Filling:
    • 8oz block of cream cheese, softened
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 stick butter, melted
    • 16 oz powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 inch pan. Set aside.
  2. For the crust, combine all ingredients until mixed well. I usually do this step with a wooden spoon. Press crust mixture into bottom of the greased pan. Set aside
  3. For the filling, beat the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add in the 3 eggs and vanilla and beat well. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and beat until creamy. Stir in the melted butter until just combined. Spread filling on top of crust.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes. It will still be slightly gooey but that’s what you want! Let it cool for 30 minutes before digging in.

Nutella Gooey Butter Cake: add one jar (yes, a whole jar) of Nutella to the filling and beat with the cream cheese. Also add another egg to make it a total of 4 eggs. The rest of the recipe stays the same.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake: This is my personal favorite. Switch out a chocolate cake mix for the yellow cake mix. For the filling, add ½ cup of peanut butter and beat with the cream cheese. Additionally, add 1 egg to make it a total of 4 eggs. I usually have to bake for 50 minutes.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake: Instead of a yellow cake mix, use a spice cake mix. For the filling, add ½ cup of pumpkin puree and beat with the cream cheese mixture. When you add the powdered sugar, add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. The rest of the recipe stays the same.

Lemon Gooey Butter Cake: Add ½ cup fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the filling mixture. Once gooey butter cake is baked and cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the bars. This will give them a traditional lemon bar look.

Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake: Swap out a chocolate fudge cake mix for the yellow cake mix. Add mini chocolate chips in the last step of the filling mixture. Bake as directed.

Sweet Potato Gooey Butter Cake: In the filling mixture, beat cream cheese with ¾ cup baked sweet potato. Beat until no more lumps of sweet potato exist in the mixture. When adding the powdered sugar, add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg. Bake as directed.

Double Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake: Use a devil’s food cake mix instead of yellow cake mix. For the filling, add in 1/3 cup cocoa powder when you beat in the powdered sugar. It’s optional to add mini chocolate chips, too, for extra chocolate power. Bake as directed!

There you have it – eight ways to make gooey butter cakes! I would recommend trying the basic version first and then you are ready to start experimenting. Every single one of these are crowd pleasers and will have people begging you for the recipe!