The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars

These Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat!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 🙂

These Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat!

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
These gooey cake bars have a buttery, decadent flavor and are absolutely irresistible!
  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 Gooey Butter Cake Bars are the BEST! Rich, decadent, buttery and gooey, they're the perfect treat! 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!

xo, Hayley

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  1. 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!

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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

  2. I have never eaten gooey butter cake before, but this looks decadent!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. I’m obviously missing out, because I’ve never had gooey butter cake before! These bars look amazing!

  6. Ooooh! Gooey butter cake! One of my favorites! I guess I will have to make these bars immediately. 😉 They look amazing.

  7. Oh my yum!! I love Gooey Butter and this one looks delicious. It’s perfect for parties. Pinning, Yumming and Stumbling.

  8. 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!

  9. 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. ☺

  10. 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.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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!

  11. Just wondering if you have tried these with a different cake mix instead of yellow. Like maybe lemon, or spice cake mix?

  12. I tasted a piece of this from a store bought one n its the devil’s advocate…. Extremely Delicious !!!

  13. 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.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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!!

  14. Phyllis says:

    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

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. Janet Flaugher says:

    I’m curious why the cake has 4 cups powdered sugar, while the bars have only two cups.

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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.

  18. 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.

  19. I live outside of the USA and we don’t have boxed cake mixes available in our country. How about a recipe from scratch?

  20. How much a stick of butter weighs? Can you please tell in grams/oz?


    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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.

  22. are these supposed to be really mushy in the center like a layer of goop?

  23. 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?

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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!

  24. I’m wondering if you have ever done the gooey cake with a chocolate cake mix?

    • thedomesticrebel says:

      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!

  25. 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.

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