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.



@TidyMom or scan my HR code with your camera

@TidyMom or scan my QR code with your camera

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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+

110 Responses to “St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake”

  1. Robyn Rasmussen posted on September 16, 2011 at 8:41 am (#)

    Oh My Goodness. That is about all you need to say. :) I have never heard of these before and I’m thinking they might be a problem if I made them. I’m not known for my self control around baked goods.
    So glad I stopped by from the Thirty Handmade Days Link Party!

  2. susan posted on September 20, 2011 at 11:36 am (#)

    gooey and butter in the same sentence – you have my attention!

  3. Rose posted on September 23, 2011 at 6:49 am (#)

    I just love gooey treats and my little son is also a great fan of this kind of treats! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  4. Lacey Krop posted on October 5, 2011 at 10:45 am (#)

    I made this cake once before and it was definitely not as pretty, but it was delicious!! Great recipe!

  5. Jennifer T posted on October 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm (#)

    Here inthe south we call it a Chess Cake :) sooo easy and so delicious! I also use a lemon cake mix
    Sometimes for delish and easy lemon bar flavor!

    • Connie replied on August 3rd, 2012 at 10:05 am

      I agree these are close to what we call a Chess Pie.. I love the idea of using a lemon cake mix.. I love anything with lemon…

    • vernita vlasow replied on January 20th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      Ive heard of chess pie , but not cake ! Im gonna try this cake . Thanks

  6. Kate posted on October 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm (#)

    Thank you so very much for posting this recipe. I lost my recipe several years ago, and have been looking for this reipe again ever since. You are so very correct that this is definitely a St. Louis tradition. I grew up looking forward to Sundays, this was the day that we visited my grandparents after church and this was our breakfast.

  7. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga posted on December 17, 2011 at 6:57 am (#)

    Just re-pinned this. Holy. Moly.

    Yes please!

  8. MaMa Donna posted on January 4, 2012 at 9:27 pm (#)

    St. Louis is known for this wonderful confection. Tradition has it that is originated on “The Hill” the Italian enclave in St. Louis, known for its wonderful Italian bakries. Everyone in this town loves this cake. When you buy it in the bakeries around here it is usually 8×8 and served for breakfast. If you haven’t ever heard of it or tasted it, this recipe is wonderful. Ooey gooey sweet dessert or breakfast treat. TRY IT–you’ll fall in love!

  9. DavetteB posted on March 20, 2012 at 2:48 am (#)

    I never heard the St. Louis part before, but the base recipe I have is almost the same.
    (It called for a whole pound of powdered sugar, but I cut it to 2.5 cups and it is still plenty sweet.)
    My family loves the pumpkin and pineapple variations. The pumpkin tastes extra good with some real whipped cream on top.

    • Connie replied on August 3rd, 2012 at 10:08 am

      I haven’t heard of the pumpkin or pineapple versions.. could you post the recipes?

  10. Tam Landrum posted on April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am (#)

    St. Louis has so many yummy things the rest of the country just doesn’t. Pork steaks, toasted ravioli, & Gooey Butter cake to name a few.

  11. Lupe posted on April 12, 2012 at 8:06 am (#)

    Love Gooey Butter Cake – get it every time we’re in the LOU – I will be trying this recipe this weekend! Thank you!

  12. Caitlin posted on May 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm (#)

    I have been looking for a recipe for REAL gooey butter cake (I live in Arizona now and I’m going through withdrawals). This looks like something I’d get at Schnucks or Dierbergs! Can’t wait to try it.

  13. Tina posted on June 28, 2012 at 8:50 pm (#)

    My mom’s from St. Louis, I’m from the area and worked in St. Louis for almost 17 years before movng to California. I miss all the good things we had back there. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I’m going to make it for my husband. I make goey butter cookies and my co-workers drool over them. Wait til the cake hits them.

  14. Nicki posted on July 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm (#)

    I’ve made this cake for yrs only its always been called a SUGAR CREAM CAKE! We love it. I make it every yr fir my business partners BDay. Her fav. I love to substitute the yellow cake mix for dif flavors. Lemon, Chocolate, and Cherry Chip are great examples. They taste great! Even Fingertips adds a little kick. It was neat finding smone else that knows this cake. I know of it being over 20 yrs old and I got it from my sister. I know Paula Dean has a Chocolate one she does. Its so yummy and rich and goes a long ways. Might have to make another one soon!! LOL

  15. Meg posted on August 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm (#)

    Paula dean makes this cake and it’s to die for!! In the filling add another
    Stick of melted butter and add some flavoring in it! One one my favorites that I make is
    A butter pecan cake with pecan flavoring in the filling. Or a strawberry cake with the vaNella extract. You cam play around with it and make it your own!!!!

  16. Angie posted on September 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm (#)

    I hate you. 😉
    I’ve been resisting looking up this recipe. I will make it now.

  17. De'Anna posted on September 30, 2012 at 9:44 pm (#)

    Growing up (St.Louis of course) we made these at every get together we had and then some. Now I live in Colorado and still make them and think of back home in Missouri. I agree it is even better after it sits. Now I want one in my face. LOL

  18. Jelli posted on October 9, 2012 at 7:36 pm (#)

    Tried this recipe today after having just found it yesterday. Great turnaround, if you ask me. We all loved it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  19. Kay Jeffrey posted on January 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm (#)

    I have been looking for this for years!!! I wasn’t born and raised in St. Louis, but I did spend 4 years in Floressent MO. My sister and I had some great friends that were native to St. Louis and they made this just about every week. I’m thinking they made them in 2 8X8 pans. Nevertheless, I’m making it tomorrow…Yippie Skippie!!!!

  20. MayBe posted on January 18, 2013 at 11:26 pm (#)

    Made this today. Love it! Love it! Love it! and so with my 8-yr-old son and my hubby. Thanks.

  21. Randi posted on January 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm (#)

    I’ve had these wonderful deliciousness before, but always felts so cheated because I could only have a forkful because I eat sugar free. So, when I saw this recipe, and how simple it was, I knew I could make some substitutions to make it sugar free. I used Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake and made my own powdered sugar using 1 1/4 cup of granulated splenda and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch which I blitzed for 1 minute in my vitamix (Splenda is sweeter than sugar so you don’t need as much. This didn’t affect the texture or consistency of my cake). I followed the rest of the recipe as you suggested. I am so happy I found this and am extremely pleased with my sugar free version of this amazing treat!

  22. Paula Caleb posted on March 24, 2013 at 4:04 pm (#)

    Loooove the recipe! However, I wanted to know if I can substitute the cake batter for bisquick. Will that work as well?

  23. Jen posted on July 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm (#)

    I’m a St. Louis native and I love the NY Times recipe. This one is too sweet and too processed. The NY Times one is exactly how it should taste. Sorry guys, the extra time and effort is sooo worth it.

  24. Tracy L. Khan posted on September 23, 2013 at 11:39 pm (#)

    Hi, just wanted to say that your recipe is very good. Very close to original but not the same. Don’t get me wrong, Yours was much easier to make & tasted great, but the original St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake does not start with a box cake & I just don’t think it does it justice. The original has a yeast cake base and yes, it does take a bit longer but worth the time & effort. I had my mind set that this was not going to compare to the original, but was pleasantly surprised! I miss all the breakfast goods & coffee cakes we use to get in Missouri and every German Bakery we went to. You just don’t find that anywhere else in the country. I’ve been to a lot of places in the States and I’ve tried seeking them out and they just are not there. Only alternative is looking up the recipe’s and making them yourself! Going to be trying to find & make the coffee cake my grandmother, great-aunt & mother use to buy & absolutely loved, is the coffee cake that had peanuts on top of it. Loved your recipe, turned out great! Thanks ~Tracy~

  25. Fikah posted on November 12, 2013 at 6:29 am (#)

    luv to see. luv to try. thanks..
    from Malaysia

  26. Linda Shimek posted on August 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm (#)

    I too grew up in St. Louis. We used to get our gooey butter cakes at the bakery. There was a commerical bakery that also made these wonderful cakes. I live in Indiana now and for the life of me can’t remember the name of this business. Do you know the one I am referring to?
    Thank you.

    • Katie McGuire replied on August 11th, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Linda Shimek I think you are inquiring about our HAAS Bakery. They were well known for their Gooey Butter Cake, cream cheese cake, rolls and so many goodies that I cannot remember all of them. Sadly HAAS Bakery is no longer. The company went out of business sometime 2012. I really miss buying their bakery products especially gooey butter cake. I hope this is the one you are asking about. Thank you.

      • TidyMom replied on August 11th, 2014 at 6:30 am

        I thought that was the bakery she was talking about too!! Katie have you tried any of the Gooey Louie gooey butter cakes? I have not, but was wondering if they are similar to Haas at all?

  27. Dana Millaway posted on August 29, 2014 at 10:11 am (#)

    I am from St. Louis and I grew up eating gooey butter cake and this recipe hit the mark. I no longer live in St. Louis and cannot find it anywhere but now I just make it myself, thank you very much

  28. Lesley Humphreys posted on October 14, 2014 at 11:29 am (#)

    Hi, I’m in the UK and I’m a little puzzled about the mentions of ‘Coffee cake’ but without a recipe using coffee in the ingredients. Are people referring to cakes that are eaten with a cup of coffee? In the UK we call coffee-flavoured cakes ‘Coffee cake’ and they’re delicious!!

    • TidyMom replied on October 14th, 2014 at 11:44 am

      yes, a coffee cake is a breakfast cake you would normally serve with coffee. 😉

  29. Kathleen posted on November 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm (#)

    My boyfriend talks about a butter kuchen from a bakery in Louisville Ky called Heitzman that has a runny butter top. Is this similar to that? I can’t find a recipe for something like that.

  30. Tracey H. posted on November 26, 2014 at 10:39 pm (#)

    I grew up in Collinsville and miss Kruta’a GBC so much.  Live in CT now, so I am using your recipe for a Thanksgiving treat for our family and friends up in New England.  Thank you so much!

  31. Nicole posted on January 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm (#)

    This is the traditional homemade version that most St. Louisans are the most familiar.  Bakery versions use a yeast crust and corn syrup in the gooey part….I prefer the “homemade” versions for sure.  I just think they taste much better.

  32. Melody posted on January 17, 2015 at 1:17 pm (#)

    Thanks for posting this recipe — we moved recently and I can’t find my recipes and haven’t made this in a little while so couldn’t remember all the ingredient amounts.

    This has been one of our family favorites for years. I use lemon cake mix for a lemon twist — my husband just requested it for tonight. Ridiculously amazing. I’ve wanted to try a chocolate version…that’s on my to-do list soon! :)

    • TidyMom replied on January 18th, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      ooh, lemon sounds interesting!! I might have to try that!!
      If you like nutella, you’ll have to try the Nutella Gooey Butter Cake I made, it’s been our “go to” for a while now, and it uses a chocolate cake mix.  I’ve also made a Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake, which also uses chocolate cake. 


  33. Deb Curtis posted on April 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm (#)

    You are a life saver! I moved away from St. Louis 8 years ago and crave gooey butter cake all the time! When we go back home I always stock up at Federhoffer Bakery!
    At 63 you would think I would outgrow my childhood sweet tooth….but NO!…..Oh yeah, Southwest High…LOL! If you are truly a St. Louis native…you understand!

    • TidyMom replied on April 14th, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Parkway Central! ;)…….yes, I’m a native! lol
      you’re never to old to forget gooey butter cake!!  enjoy!!

  34. Carla posted on July 2, 2015 at 6:56 pm (#)

    I’ve been using this recipe for years and it’s definitely a family favorite. I tell them I slaved in the kitchen all day lol (if they only knew how easy it was, shhhhh). BTW I’m a St. Louisan born and raised…go Cards 2015 is our year! Thanks for the back story!

  35. Elaine posted on July 17, 2015 at 4:35 pm (#)

    Sorry, but this is not gooey butter cake. This is some Paula Deen style fake gooey butter cake. I was born and raised in St. Louis and the real deal has a plain coffee cake base with the gooey butter bit on top. There is no cream cheese involved. The topping is made with sugar, butter (hence gooey butter cake), corn syrup, flour and egg. I’m sure this is tasty-but it is not gooey butter cake.

    • TidyMom replied on July 17th, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      I mention in the post that I’m born and raised in St. Louis as well (50 years old) – and this is how we have always made gooey butter cake – way before Paula Deen tried to claim it.   – yes, it’s a little different than what you get from the bakeries, but it’s how it’s made at home, by our extended family, and everyone I know who makes it at home.

  36. Kelley posted on November 19, 2015 at 5:52 am (#)

    I am from St. Louis (Lutheran South).  This is the exact recipe my grandma always made!  I have to eat GF now but am going to try this with a GF cake mix for Thanksgiving!

  37. Tom jones posted on December 19, 2015 at 6:44 pm (#)

    If you make one for the next morning, do you need. To refrigerate it. Want to make it Christmas Eve but have it Christmas morning. Thanksp

    • TidyMom replied on December 20th, 2015 at 10:52 am

      no need to refrigerate – enjoy!!

  38. Franklin Sullivan posted on December 22, 2015 at 12:12 am (#)

    I have made this recipe and I have to say very very good. I am a born and raised south city St. Louis resident. Gooey butter cake is a staple here. Make it just like she tells you and let it rest two days and man you’ll eat the whole thing and head back to the store for more ingredients.

  39. Beat me posted on December 31, 2015 at 8:14 pm (#)

    Its a good cake but you could of made it more about what kind of cream cheese and etc this only tell how much to use


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