Gooey Butter cake, to me, is a taste of home. When I was a kid I remember being allowed to choose which cake we would buy from the market. I always tried to choose the one with the most powdered sugar on top. I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where it originated. There is a story told about this cake being a complete accident. In the 1930’s, a young baker was asked to prepare a few deep butter cakes, but used the wrong butter smear. Instead of the deep butter smear he used the gooey butter smear that was normally used for danishes and coffee cakes. The result was such a hit that it became a regular item on the menu, and shortly after bakers all over the area where serving them as well.

I live in Oregon now, and this cake is no where to be found. Believe me I’ve looked! It was one of my biggest pregnancy cravings and my husband and I did an extensive search. Thankfully soon after my daughter was born, my parents came to visit and brought one with them. This cake tastes great with coffee, is very rich, very sweet, and incredibly addicting. Once you have one piece, you’ll go back for seconds, then pinch nibbles out of the pan, until you get caught!

I recently ran across this recipe and had to try it out right away. Although it is not the original St. Louis recipe, it’s so easy to make, and tastes just like the real thing! There are many variants, like chocolate and pumpkin, but I prefer the gooey goodness just the way it is.

blog ad 1

Cake Mix
• 1 package yellow cake mix
• 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
• 1 egg

Gooey Butter Batter
• 1 8oz. Package cream cheese (softened)
• 2 eggs
• 1 box powdered sugar (4 cups)
• 1/2 tsp. Almond extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside. Empty yellow cake mix into a medium bowl. Add softened butter and egg. Mix until well incorporated. Press the cake mixture into your pan like a pie crust.

blog ad 2

Now its time to make the gooey butter batter. In a large bowl combine powdered sugar (reserve some for sprinkling on the top), cream cheese, eggs and almond extract. With an electric mixer, beat on medium for three minutes. Now pour the batter over the crust and spread to the corners with a spoon. Bake for 35-40 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you see a slight rise on the top and a beautiful soft golden color. Let the cake cool for at least an hour, then sprinkle with remaining powdered sugar.

Note: For the cupcake version of the recipe press about a tablespoon of cake crust into each cup, and fill with batter to the top. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

I made these as thank you gifts for my friends and family members who have helped me since my daughter was born. My support group has been so helpful and I wanted to do something really special to show how much I appreciate them. To package my treats, I purchased bakery boxes with windows from a local arts and craft store and tied a pretty pink ribbon around each box. I also ordered some personalized labels and hang tags to add my own touch. My daughter and I will be delivering them this weekend and I cant wait to see all the smiles!

Helpful Links

More homemade gift ideas…

Sarah (31 Posts)

Sarah is a print press operator here at Evermine. She helps out in the cutting department, and her favorite thing to do at work is tend the garden. She was born in St. Louis Missouri, raised in Northern California, and moved to the Northwest about 10 years ago. She has two children of her own and one step son. In her spare time Sarah likes to cook creative meals for her family and shop for bargains.


  1. You could use other extracts but I have found that using different flavors of box cake mix works best. I’ve tried spice cake, red velvet, and chocolate and they all tasted delicious!

  2. I love the idea of making these into cups but mine keep sinking way too much in the middle! I expect them to sink somewhat, but it’s just too much. What am I doing wrong??!!! 🙁

Leave a Reply