Gooey Butter Cake

There’s no getting around the amazing textures of this Gooey Butter Cake—its cookie-like crust and gooey composition form a combination that words can’t even describe. What really makes this cake special is how simple it is to bake, and how well it travels. It’s perfect for those crazy, hectic occasions like outdoor parties and birthdays.

Two of my kids have the same birthday. They are five years apart but just alike in temperament.

So far, they’ve quite enjoyed having the same birthday. I was a bit concerned about that (not that there was anything I could do about it), but it has never been a problem! In fact, the whole family pretty much joins in on the celebration. It’s almost like we celebrate for the entire month of March.

This year my son needed us to visit him for his birthday, instead of his usual trip back home. He was leaving for the Dominican Republic that next morning at 3am. Knowing this, I made a sheet cake for the birthday celebration.

A sheet cake will travel much better, and I want him to be with us in spirit as we celebrate, even if he’s off doing amazing things somewhere else and not physically here.

What is the Origin of The Gooey Butter Cake?

It’s hard to pin down the origin of this delicious cake. Many of the details are fuzzy, and there’s some controversy surrounding the history of butter cake. However, the two details that aren’t controversial are the place of origin and the approximate date—that would be St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1940s.

All great things usually seem to have some sort of controversy surrounding them.

You won’t find a ton of health benefits listed here, but I must say the taste and texture are worth the tiny pang of guilt you may feel whilst eating. But that’s okay!

Just eat this one time…one time won’t hurt, right? Plus the ease and simplicity of this recipe is a major added benefit.

Remember also that it travels really well! Take it to your next get-together!

It definitely won’t melt in the car like your Chocolate Meringue Pie might!

Butter Sheet Cake recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris

Butter Sheet Cake recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris

Gooey Butter Cake

What really makes this cake special is how simple it is to bake, and how well it travels. It's perfect for those crazy, hectic occasions like outdoor parties and birthdays.
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 (18-ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 3 large eggs divided
  • 1 cup butter or 2 sticks, melted and divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar plus more for dusting


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  • In a medium-sized bowl add cake mix, one egg, and one stick of the melted butter. Mix with a hand mixer until well-blended. The mixture will look more like a crumbly dough than a cake batter. Pour into the baking dish and press evenly on the bottom of the dish. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese. Mix with a hand mixer until light and airy. Add the remaining eggs, vanilla, and the remaining melted butter (1 stick or 8 tablespoons). Mix until well-blended. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until well incorporated. Pour mixture over the bottom layer in the baking dish.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the top is slightly golden and the middle is still "gooey" when you shake the pan. Do not overcook. You will think it isn't done, but don't be fooled! Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. When cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cake.
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  1. Great recipe I just eat way to much of this cake love ❤️

    1. Me too!! I have to be careful about having it in the house all the time!!

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