St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake


Gooey Butter Cake

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You do know Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis thing, right? And people who are not born and raised in St. Louis shouldn’t really post about it!{I kid)

Me?….yep, born and raised, so I’m pretty sure that makes ME qualified. Don’t go looking at places like The New York Times, for a St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake recipe, because, it’s not the kind of Gooey Butter Cake any St. Louisan’s (that I know) make……I’m just sayin’ {wink}. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that cake is scrumptious as all get out too, it’s just not exactly the way WE St. Louisan’s make it.

Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert like no other. I’m not even really sure why it’s called a “cake”.  The magic of cream cheese, sugar and egg creates a dessert that is irresistible. While a simple boxed cake mix makes it incredibly easy.

Ok, so grab your apron and lets get started. I’m going to show you the REAL recipe.  It’s really really easy, so don’t be all nervous.

**DISCLAIMER: I will not be held accountable any weight that may be gained from this recipe.  Bake and eat at your own risk.

(recipe below)

Pat your cake mix crust into a 9×13 pan.

Pour the filling

Then enjoy a nice cup of coffee and get the kids to clean the kitchen while it bakes.

Can’t get any easier than that {wink}

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 12

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Summary: This coffee cake is a St. Louis tradition, where the cake becomes the crust and holds a gooey cream cheese and butter filling. It’s generally served for breakfast, but can easily make an appearance on any dessert table.


  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 Stick butter or margarine, melted
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Combine, Cake mix, 1 egg and melted margarine or butter.
  3. Press into a greased 9×13 pan with your fingers
  4. Blend, cream cheese, 2 beaten eggs, and powdered sugar until smooth.
  5. Spread over first batter.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are brown.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar on top after cake has cooled


I like to make this a day or so ahead of time, because I actually like it better when it’s a day or two old the gooey center firms up more. (I don’t like runny gooey)

Gooey Butter Cake

Make this, and you can call yourself a St. Louisan for the day!


You may also enjoy my Nutella Gooey Butter Cake recipe.



more by Cheryl »

Cheryl Sousan

A self-proclaimed neat freak, Cheryl chronicles her journey through homemaking on her blog,, where she shares recipes, tutorials, crafting and her ever-growing love for photography. This St. Louis mom juggles her passion for life, her daughters and her tiger-loving husband, all while her obsession with tidiness cleans up the trail blazed behind her. Google+

101 Responses to “St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake”

  1. JulieD posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:04 am (#

    Cheryl, this looks & sounds amazing!!

  2. Amanda posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:54 am (#

    Now this cake is amazing. I just might have to drop everything and make it! :)

  3. Mary Ellen posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:55 am (#

    Enjoy with some O’Fallon Pumpkin Beer, toasted ravioli as an appetizer, and some super thin crust pizza to complete the St. Louis tradition!

  4. Shona posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:56 am (#

    Wow! This looks good! I don’t know how I can call myself a Missourian and admit to never trying this before….ack! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Phyllis posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:33 am (#

    Love this cake!

  6. mary beth posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:34 am (#

    I grew up in Alton Illinois and remember my mom buying this treat at the town bakery. I visited over the weekend and as we were leaving the St. Louis area, we stopped in Schnuck’s for some snacks and I spied some Gooey Butter Cake cookies in the bakery section…..ahhhhh! I resisted the temptation, and here you are torturing me with this recipe! It must be a sign! I like your tip about letting it sit a day to firm up..I’m with you! Thanks for sharing this wonderful St. Louis goodie!

  7. Photographer Leia posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:35 am (#

    THANK YOU! I have been trying to find a *real* recipe for this ever since I moved away from St. Louis in the 90s and my mother has been unable to find where she put her gooey butter cake recipe. Anything I’ve found on the web and tried just hasn’t tasted right, a “close but no cigar” type thing. You can bet that I’ll be giving your particular recipe a go this coming week.

  8. Shaina posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:43 am (#

    I have a serious craving now. At 8:43 a.m. It’s going to be a long day. ;)

  9. Deborah posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:49 am (#

    I can’t even be around one of these, because I have absolutely no self control. But oh how I wish I had some for breakfast right now!!

  10. Maria posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:11 am (#

    Love how easy this cake is! I was born in St. Louis, but I guess I missed out on this recipe:)

  11. Dulce DeLeon posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:20 am (#

    It sure looks yummy. I’ll give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Joy posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:43 am (#

    Hi Cheryl! I love this “cake!” I got my recipe for it 30 years ago from a lady I worked with. She was born and raised here in Indiana. Don’t know who she got the recipe from. Now, my mother-in-law was from the St Louis area and had never heard of this cake. Thanks for posting the recipe – I’d lost mine a long time ago.

  13. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:52 am (#

    Uh oh. Sweatpants alert! (I’ll definitely need to switch into mine after consuming what I know will be faaaar too much of this cake…)

  14. Natalie J Vandenberghe posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:19 am (#

    This is one of our favorite recipes!

  15. Vicki Bensinger posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:35 am (#

    Your cake looks just like the original – delicious!

  16. teresa posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:37 am (#

    This looks amazing!
    Love the powdered sugar sprinkled on top!
    Your pictures just get better and better! I do believe you’re a pro!
    Are you using that new lens? ;)
    Can’t figure out what looks more lovely…the cake or YOUR NAILS! ;)
    Happy Day Sweet Girl!
    Hugs from Bainbridge~

  17. teresa posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:37 am (#

    Pinning this for sure! xo

  18. Dawn Davis posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:39 am (#

    My grandmother made these and she called them Chess Cake Cookies. To be honest I really don’t care what they are called as long as I can eat them.

  19. Paula posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:14 am (#

    Thanks for sharing a recipe from your city/state that you are obviously very proud of and with good reason!

  20. Karly posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:18 am (#

    I love gooey butter cake and since I’m only about 3 hours north of St. Louis I feel like I’m allowed to love it. ;) This is exactly how I make it!

  21. Allison [Girl's Guide to Social Media] posted on September 12, 2011 at 11:24 am (#

    Why…HELLO butter!

  22. HeatherChristo posted on September 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm (#

    I have never had this- but I am on it immediately!

  23. Debra Caraballo posted on September 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm (#

    I never knew these were a St. Louis thing; just glad someone sent this recipe to Texas about 33 yrs ago! My mom had this cake made when we arrived at her house one Christmas Eve, and we made 2 more before the holiday was over!! Just loved it, and still do. We called it Chess Cake too…but a rose by any other name, etc…right? Lol

  24. NYOA posted on September 12, 2011 at 1:24 pm (#

    Wow, this is gooey. I’m jealous I’m not from St. Louis. :) I love the light layer of powdered sugar at the end… that always gets me. Will you please link this to Sunday Supper Stumble?
    Your blog is so great. Very organized and so pretty. Nice job!

  25. Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen posted on September 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm (#

    I’ve been intrigued by gooey butter cakes since I saw Paula Deen make one but was never sure which recipes were authentic since I saw so many variations when I looked online. I should have asked you!

  26. Kristen posted on September 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm (#

    When I met Paula Dean a few years ago she served a Gooey Butter Cake that was so delicious – unlike any butter cake I had ever had. YUM!
    Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Monette posted on September 12, 2011 at 2:14 pm (#

    Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe! i am making this for our church’s old fashioned day. It reminds me of lemon squares!

  28. Jenny posted on September 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm (#

    Amen! It’s for sure a St. Louis thing.

  29. Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. posted on September 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm (#

    This is fabulous! I have never actually heard of it before, but now I can’t wait to try it

  30. naomi posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm (#

    I LOVE this cake and have it in my to-do list! It’s so rich, so decadent and pretty much addicting! Love that last photo!

  31. Sara posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm (#

    I tried to make this once and it was SO bad. I was disappointed. I also live at 6,300 ft above sea level and probably needed to make adjustments. But since this recipe calls for a boxed cake mix that’ll make it easier since the directions for such adjustments are right there for me–darn baking in the mountains! I’m going to give this another shot, looks so good and so easy. Thanks :)

  32. Francois posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm (#

    Oh my ! I want a some of that on my plate.
    It looks amazingly good.

  33. Brooke @ Food Woolf posted on September 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm (#

    Wow. This one looks really tasty AND easy. I’m down for the easy baking route!

  34. Barbara | Creative Culinary posted on September 12, 2011 at 6:14 pm (#

    I’m from St. Louis area too. Grew up in Florissant, graduated from McCluer and moved as a young woman from Kirkwood to Raleigh, NC. Most of my family is still there.

    This might be called a cake but it was more often a breakfast pastry sold in bakeries and my Dad bought one every single Sunday morning that I can remember.

    My recipe does not use a cake mix but I’ve seen this version over the years but no matter. It’s not the cake is it? It’s the goo. Ah the gooey part, especially where it would start to caramelize around the edges a bit. I now want this for dinner. Not as dessert, no…as dinner!

  35. aida mollenkamp posted on September 12, 2011 at 6:38 pm (#

    Cheryl, I’ve heard of butter cake but have never had the real thing from St. Louis. This recipe and the photos are simply delectable!

  36. Chef Dennis posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:35 pm (#

    I have never seen a butter cake like that one, and I didn’t know that St. Louis was famous for them…..sigh, make a note go to St. Louis!

    Your gooey butter cake looks insanely delicious, thank you so much for sharing it with us non St. Louisians!

  37. Diane {Created by Diane} posted on September 12, 2011 at 7:39 pm (#

    That look like a cake worth traveling for, but since you have given up the secret recipe I will make it and think of you :) Looks fantastic!

  38. Robyn | Add a Pinch posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm (#

    Yum! This looks delicious, Cheryl.

  39. Amy Tong posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm (#

    Born and raised in St Louis? How can I not trust your recipe when it looks so scrumptious! I won’t blame you for the weight gain…LOL, I would just blame it on the cake and I’m sure it’s used to it. hehehe…Thanks for sharing.

  40. bridget {bake at 350} posted on September 12, 2011 at 8:49 pm (#

    I *must* make this!!!

  41. Rachel - A Southern Fairytale posted on September 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm (#

    Want! YUMMY! Cheryl, you have the yummiest stuff :-)

  42. Claire @ Claire K Creations posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:22 pm (#

    This looks way too delicious and easy not to try it. I can’t wait!

  43. Nancy@acommunaltable posted on September 13, 2011 at 12:03 am (#

    Well, they say you learn something new everyday and this post is no exception. Until today, and this post, I had never heard of this cake – I know, I know, “where in the world have I been”?? Thank goodness for people like you Cheryl… without you, I would truly be missing out on all sorts of wonderfulness!!!!

    • marla replied on September 13th, 2011 at 8:04 am

      Nancy…that steak house Maestros in Crystal Cove has one. OMG. Amazing!!

  44. marla posted on September 13, 2011 at 8:03 am (#

    I think a gooey butter cake is one of the all time best dessert experiences I have ever had. It was in CA though…does that still count ?? ;) xo

  45. Karriann Graf posted on September 13, 2011 at 9:03 pm (#

    I’ve never had this cake, but it does look rich and delicious! Happy Baking!

  46. Betsy posted on September 14, 2011 at 10:47 am (#

    I had this cake in Las Vegas once, and LOVED IT!! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks so much for posting!

  47. kyleen posted on September 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm (#

    This sounds like a divinely delicious dessert, but oh so fattening!

  48. Kelly posted on September 15, 2011 at 12:38 am (#

    Holy moly! This was fantastic!!! I took it to a get-together tonight and everyone raved about it. THANK YOU!

  49. SMITH BITES posted on September 15, 2011 at 7:42 am (#

    am not really a cake person . . . BUT . . . THIS ISN’T CAKE TO MEEEEEE!!! it’s got FILLING and CREAMINESS and POWDERED SUGAR ON TOPPPPPP!!!! (face plant)

  50. Georgia Pellegrini posted on September 15, 2011 at 6:01 pm (#

    I’ve been hearing about this recipe for quite some time. I adore the name, and since you’re a native, I think this recipe must go on my list!


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