You guys – these bars are SO. AWESOME.
I don’t think I’m too terribly bossy, but in this instance, I’m going to have to demand that you make these bars. Because really? Your life is seriously lacking these Gooey Butter Cake Bars.
When I made these, it was like heaven’s flood gates opened and I was rushed in. They are oh so heavenly, decadent and positively divine.
And apparently, they’re a huge deal in St. Louis. Who knew?
I mean, I’m sure St. Louis is a great city, but why go there when you can easily make these cake bars at home now? Save yourself some time and money. St. Louis will be there when you decide you can’t wait to get to Missouri.
In the meantime, it’s time for me to eat another bar, so here’s the recipe! I suggest you be a smartypants and make something with it 🙂
The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 2 sticks butter melted & divided
- 4 eggs
- 1 (8 oz pkg) cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 (16 oz) pkg powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, ONE (1) stick of the melted butter and 1 egg until a soft dough forms. Batter will be thick. Press into the prepared pan and set aside.
- Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and vanilla in a large bowl together until blended and smooth. Beat in the remaining 1 stick of melted butter and 3 remaining eggs. Lastly, beat in the powdered sugar until combined.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is just about set. Do NOT over bake as these will continue to set up as they cool and are called gooey bars for a reason. Cool completely before cutting into bars, and dust bars with additional powdered sugar if desired. Store bars covered in the fridge.
These decadent bars are swimming in rich cream cheese, warm vanilla and creamy butter – they’re absolutely sinful and delicious! A tall glass of milk is optional 🙂
Have a sweet day!
Haley- I have a question for you. Is there anyway to make your creations that use box mixes, without the box mix? So many of them look really good, but we don’t eat boxed cake or brownie mix. You should come up with some amazing recipes that are totally from scratch! Box mixes are bad for you! You are very talented, I know you could do it! Like the Butter Cake recipe- what amounts of flour, sugar, salt, etc would I use to make the crust for it? I need your brain!
Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for writing to me. My blog is all about the semi-homemade approach, using everyday convenience items and transforming them into one of a kind, delectable desserts that you wouldn’t know came from a box mix. While I do dabble in scratch made desserts occasionally, this blog is all about transforming box mixes into amazing creations and this cake is no exception. I will definitely take your suggestion to heart and try incorporating more scratch-made desserts onto the site, but in the meantime, I encourage you to try this recipe because you won’t even know it came from a box – promise! 🙂
You could probably use any good yellow cake recipe
Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures says
I have never eaten gooey butter cake before, but this looks decadent!
You must give these a try, Laura!
I’ve been making these since the 1970’s, and they were around in bakeries in central Illinois. I’m sure bakeries may have massive recipes, but I’ve never seen a home recipe in all that time that do not use boxed mixes. There are organic mixes, but have never used one. This is my signature to bring to events. It’s the one recipe I make where people clamor for the recipe.
Phyllis I’m sure yours are awesome!
I’ve seen a lot of scratch recipes that use a yeast based cake instead of cake mix.
As a St. Louis native, I must say that these are pretty much a staple in any bakery in town. Gooey butter cake is one of life’s pleasures that the rest of the country is missing out on. Gooey butter cookies are also delicious.
I need to travel to St. Louis apparently if they’re in every bakery! 🙂
They are even in just about every grocery store bakery in town also. Definitely a staple!
Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
I’m obviously missing out, because I’ve never had gooey butter cake before! These bars look amazing!
It’s a must try for sure!
Michele @ Alwayzbakin says
Ooooh! Gooey butter cake! One of my favorites! I guess I will have to make these bars immediately. 😉 They look amazing.
Thanks Michele! <3
Sandra @ A Dash of Sanity says
Oh my yum!! I love Gooey Butter and this one looks delicious. It’s perfect for parties. Pinning, Yumming and Stumbling.
Thanks Sandra!! xoxo!
Julianne @ Beyond Frosting says
When I was in NYC, I tried crack pie for the first time and I was totally hooked. I have never had a gooey cake of any sort. Can’t wait to try these!
Crack pie is the BEST! You’ll love these gooey bars then, Julianne!
hi haley, yellow cake mix is not available here in my country so just wanna ask if 1box of yellow cake mix contain how many grams so that i can make this recipe using an ordinarycake mix…thanks a lot. ☺
Hi Venus! A standard box of cake mix is 432g or 15.25 oz. 🙂
Hi Hayley, thank you for sharing this recipe. I would like to make my own cake mix, so my question is do I still need to add the egg coz the cake mix recipe has egg in it already. I’m new to baking but I would like to do everything from the scratch.
Shravi, if your homemade cake mix is just the dry mix, then yes, you would need to add the egg to the cake mix mixture. You’re only using the dry mix here with the melted butter and one egg – you don’t prepare the cake batter, if that makes sense. Enjoy!
Just wondering if you have tried these with a different cake mix instead of yellow. Like maybe lemon, or spice cake mix?
No, but I’m sure spice or lemon would be wonderful, Cathy!
I tasted a piece of this from a store bought one n its the devil’s advocate…. Extremely Delicious !!!
Mark R says
Google “gooey butter cake yeast”, perhaps with -mix -deen thrown in, to find a traditional St. Louis recipe. The original didn’t include cream cheese either, but since Cooks Illustrated’s recipe does, recipes with it might be more foolproof.
Mark, I’m making no claims that this is the real deal.. it’s simply a riff off of the traditional St. Louis cake with easy shortcuts 🙂 One day, though, I will make the real deal!!
looking for a recipe similar to the butter crunch cake at Amerigos Italian resturaunt. So far no luck but I did find out that they use the ooey gooey butter bars from Colts chocolates in Nashville, Your recipe seems the closest so far to something I could make at home. love some input
Hi…. so at the end of the second step, is that mixture poured OVER the other that is already in the pan? I just wanted to be sure. Thanks!
Hi Kaelin, yes, you make the crust/base first, then pour over the filling.
these turned out completely AMAZING! I baked them a little longer because the filling was actually sloshing around, but they became the best gooey bars I’ve ever had and one of the best things I’ve actually ever tasted
Kaelin, I’m so happy to hear that!
Susan Wright says
So you bake the first layer and then juzst pour the second layer over it but don’t bake that layer, just let it set?
Hi Susan, you make the first layer, top it with the filling and then bake the whole thing.
OK, this will blow your mind – as a girl growing up in St. Louis and having a gooey butter cake on a regular basis, and as a good German girl I was always served a piece with butter on top!!!!! (Is there anything better than butter?) I’ve seen recipes over the years and never tried them but think I’ll try this one cause I haven’t had any since moving away.
Pat, wow – the butter on top sounds like a game-changer!!
Janet Flaugher says
I’m curious why the cake has 4 cups powdered sugar, while the bars have only two cups.
Janet, I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying. The base of the bars does not have powdered sugar in it – only the filling does.
Carol in Mpls says
My most favorite bar growing up!!! So good, that my mother would hide them when I was coming back home to visit, perhaps with the idea to parse them out. Hah 🙂 FYI, she grew up in north central Missouri.
Her recipe used cinnamon sprinkled on top. Sometimes she substituted a lemon cake mix for the yellow. Yummmmy! Her recipe also just had 2 eggs, and 2-3/4 cups powdered sugar in the filling.
I live outside of the USA and we don’t have boxed cake mixes available in our country. How about a recipe from scratch?
How much a stick of butter weighs? Can you please tell in grams/oz?
4 ounces/113 grams 🙂
GONNA TRY THESE – BUT DO THEY NEED REFRIGERATION??
Hi, yes they do need to be refrigerated after cooling – at least 2 hours – and they need to be stored in the fridge as well.
are these supposed to be really mushy in the center like a layer of goop?
They are very gooey in the center, hence the name 🙂
Amber Rowland says
After pressing the cake mix, butter and egg mixture into the bottom of the pan. Then do I mix the rest of the ingredients like stated then put that mix on top of the dough already pressed into the pan?
Hi Amber! Yes. First, put your “crust” ingredients in the bottom of the pan. Then mix up the “filling” ingredients and pour that over the crust. Then you bake the whole pan together. Hope this helps!
I’m wondering if you have ever done the gooey cake with a chocolate cake mix?
Hi Steve! Yes I have – I have a chocolate peanut butter version on my blog! Just search “Reese’s Gooey Bars” and it should pop up!
Would I be able to make the gooey bars with white cake mix. I have white cake mix, and not the yellow. would it taste the same, or not as good.
Hi Kathy! It will be just fine with the white cake mix!
I put a cup of Heath Bar chips in the top layer. It gives it a different flavor.
I cant wait to try these! There is a certain restaurant near me that has “THE BEST” butter cake and thankfully I cannot eat it from anywhere else (thus I eat less of it). This recipe is intriguing ,,,,finger crossed it rivals “THE BEST”. Cannot find any copycats to this restaurant 🙁 Thank you !!!!!