HomeDessertGooey Butter Cake from Scratch - No Cake Combine

Gooey Butter Cake from Scratch – No Cake Combine


My household adores Gooey Butter Cake  AKA Gooey Butter Bars. This from-scratch recipe is even higher than the cake combine model that’s been round for many years!

The unique recipe was developed in St. Louis practically 100 years in the past. It’s a secure guess there have been no boxed mixes concerned!

Overhead view of gooey butter cake slices on a white plate with raspberries.

Why You Should Make

I used to be baking a model of Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake lengthy earlier than she was on TV. In reality, one of many nurses I labored with shared the recipe earlier than I used to be married. Manner again when. We had been creating an array of vacation treats for the employees on our oncology unit. Each of us dug via the recipe playing cards copied from our moms for some previous favorites. This was certainly one of Anne’s. She referred to as them Gooey Butter Bars and my household shortened this favourite dessert to “gooey bars.”

  • The cake combine model ends in a cloying dessert with a man-made style. We nonetheless ate each crumb!
  • This ooey gooey butter cake recipe from scratch is SO a lot better!
  • My household has beloved this St Louis Gooey Butter Cake for many years! You could see if yours will, too.

The entire household beloved this model of gooey butter bars. I’m sure I’ll nonetheless make the cake combine model now and again when time is tight! However that is my favourite recipe. And for a transportable model, attempt these tasty Gooey Butter Cookies!!

Gooey Bars ingredients with labels on a sheet pan.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Sugar, Salt, Milk
  • Cake Flour – Swans Down and King Arthur manufacturers are available or see the incessantly requested questions for the way to make a do-it-yourself model.
  • Baking Powder – In contrast to baking soda, baking powder will typically expire whereas it’s in your pantry. Test the date on the can or you may check its efficiency by placing a spoonful right into a cup of extremely popular water. If it’s nonetheless lively it is going to bubble vigorously.
  • Eggs – Have them at room temperature for simpler incorporation.
  • Vanilla Extract – At all times be sure to purchase actual vanilla extract not artificially flavored.
  • Cream Cheese – Have at room temperature for straightforward and clean incorporation.
  • Butter – Melted. Salted is ok.
  • Powdered Sugar – A 16-ounce field.

Reader Endorsement

From Terry: Okay, I’m somewhat upset that I attempted this recipe,  as a result of this cake is DANGEROUS!! O. M. G. I’ve made it a number of instances with the cake combine for crust and all the time beloved it however wished the crust was thinner. This recipe is PERFECTION and I’ll sing its praises!! 

Methods to Make

Process shots 1, 2 for gooey butter bars.
  1. Line your baking pan, make the crust combination.
  2. Pat onto the underside of the pan.
Process shots 3, 4 for gooey butter bars.
  1. With a mixer, beat collectively the topping.
  2. Clean over the crust with an offset spatula.
Gooey Bars Process shots numbered 5,6.
  1. Bake as directed, then sprinkle with powdered sugar when cooled to room temperature.
  2. Slice and serve.
Two gooey butter bars on a round white plate with fresh raspberries and mint.

Skilled Ideas

  • Prep your baking pan by lining it with non-stick foil. This helps forestall the bars from sticking to the pan and in addition creates a sling to take away the cooled bars to a slicing board to slice.
  • Sift the powdered sugar to make a clean batter.
  • PRO-Tip: Have the cream cheese and eggs at room temperature for simpler incorporation. Place cream cheese in its wrapper and/or eggs in a bowl of very heat water to rush the method alongside if you happen to didn’t pull them out of the fridge early sufficient.
  • If you need your crust good and even, use the palm of your hand over a butter wrapper (buttery facet down) to pat and clean the floor.
  • Use an offset spatula to clean the highest of the filling earlier than baking.
  • When cooled, chances are you’ll need to take away the bars from the pan to slice, and mud with powdered sugar for a pleasant presentation.
  • If you wish to minimize good squares, it’s greatest to sit back the bars properly so that they agency up a bit. However let come to room temperature to serve so that you get the complete “gooey” expertise.

Steadily Requested Questions

What If I Don’t Have Cake Flour?

PRO-Tip: You may simply make your personal model of cake flour with corn starch and all-purpose flour. Measure out 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup cornstarch. Whisk collectively and use on this recipe. Cake flour has much less gluten and the addition helps make extra tender baked items. The cornstarch dilutes the flour, subsequently decreasing the quantity of gluten within the closing recipe.

Why Does My Cream Cheese Want To Be at Room Temperature?

After years of creating cheesecakes, I’ve realized to set my cream cheese on the counter about 2 hours earlier than I plan to start out mixing. If I don’t, there will probably be little bits of cream cheese that don’t mix easily into the batter. Though it received’t wreck your dessert, this additional step makes a extra homogeneous-looking batter. If you happen to neglect, take the cream cheese out of the field, however nonetheless in its foil wrapper, place it in a bowl of sizzling faucet water, and let it heat up for about quarter-hour.

How Do You Retailer Gooey Butter Cake?

Maintain these bars coated at room temperature for as much as 3-4 days. They don’t have to be refrigerated. For longer storage, they are often refrigerated as much as every week and frozen for as much as 3 months.

If desired, minimize into bars, unfold them out on a baking sheet, and freeze till agency. Then they are often positioned in a freezer-grade Ziploc bag and saved within the freezer. One or two might be pulled out and defrosted as wanted.

The place Did Gooey Butter Cake Originate?

Years after making these bars for the primary time, I came upon that these dessert bars had been a St. Louis, Missouri phenomenon often known as gooey butter cake. Supposedly they had been an unintended invention within the Thirties.

The story goes {that a} baker was making a espresso cake and tousled the proportions. As an alternative of the everyday texture, the ensuing dish was gooey with a pudding-like heart.
Irrespective of the identify, this St. Louis Butter Cake is an uber-sweet layered dessert with a dense cake-like base and a luscious, sugar-laden cream cheese topping that types a paper-thin crackled layer when baked. A sprinkle of powdered sugar is all that’s wanted to complete off these gems.

One slice of gooey butter cake on a square white plate with a powdered sugar duster.

You Might Additionally Like:

Bar cookies are a go-to dessert at our home. As an alternative of rolling or scooping out particular person dough balls for cookies, bar cookies are simply baked up in a pan and minimize into squares! Straightforward, peasy! Listed below are some household favorites:

Katie - the birthday girl all ready for here Gooey Butter Bars

The birthday woman who requested these bars as a substitute of cake!

Keep in contact via social media @ InstagramFb, and Pinterest. Don’t neglect to tag me once you attempt certainly one of my recipes! And if you happen to love the outcomes, please give it a 5-star score within the recipe card.


Backside Layer

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prime Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 massive eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 16 ounce field of powdered sugar, sifted, reserve a couple of tablespoons for sprinkling over prime


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line 9 x 13-inch pan with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Sift collectively the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt into a big mixing bowl. Combine until blended. Add the egg, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Combine to mix utterly.
  3. Press the dough evenly within the backside of ready pan
  4. To organize the highest layer, beat the cream cheese till it’s clean. Add the eggs, vanilla and melted butter. Combine till mixed. Combine in powdered sugar and blend till clean….you’ll have a couple of small lumps.
  5. Pour the batter on prime of the underside layer. Unfold it out evenly.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved powdered sugar when cool.


*Be certain that to verify the date in your baking powder because it typically expires sitting in your pantry. If doubtful, purchase a brand new can.

Tailored from Gingerbread Bagels

Beneficial Merchandise

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Diet Info:



Serving Dimension:

1 bar

Quantity Per Serving:

Energy: 274Complete Fats: 12gSaturated Fats: 7gTrans Fats: 0gUnsaturated Fats: 4gLdl cholesterol: 53mgSodium: 185mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 0gSugar: 31gProtein: 2g


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