Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert like no other. A rich pumpkin cream cheese filling nestled on golden cake crust; the ultimate seasonal treat!

A gooey butter cake is not only a delectable dessert and a huge favorite of our family, but to native St. Louisans, it’s a dessert staple as common as brownie recipes! The chewy cake-based crust and decadently gooey filling is a dessert that goes beyond the hype! 

I’m always pleased with our growing catalog of gooey butter cake recipes; here are a few ultimate favorites: Nutella Gooey Butter Cake, Chocolate Pecan Pie Gooey Butter Cake, Strawberry Gooey Butter Cake, and a fan favorite, Christmas Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

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pumpkin ooey gooey cake with a mug of coffee and a pumpkin in the background

Why You’ll Love Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

If you’re a pumpkin enthusiast, you’ll be blown away by my gooey pumpkin butter cake! An autumnal take on the famous St. Louis Gooey Cake Recipe, it’s the very essence of a fantastic fall dessert-or any time you’re craving a creamy, luscious pumpkin pastry! Here are just a few reasons why our family are total gooey butter cake enthusiasts!

  • Gooey butter cakes are a unique spin on traditional cake recipes, where the cake becomes the crust.
  • Its irresistibly moist textures deliver a melt-in-your-mouth experience.
  • Using a boxed cake mix streamlines an already simple process for a quick 10-minute prep.
  • Each bite is a satisfyingly creamy balance of rich pumpkin and cream cheese.
  • Pumpkin gooey cake is excellent as a breakfast or coffee cake and tastes even better over the next few days.
  • Bonus Reason: We get to introduce our pumpkin version of the beloved gooey butter cake recipe, and you don’t have to travel to St. Louis to experience this famed regional favorite.
pumpkin gooey butter cake ingredients on a counter

What You’ll Need

Gooey butter cake is the ultimate sweet indulgence, with the magic of pumpkin, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar coming together to create an irresistible dessert filling. Even better, you probably have all these basic pantry ingredients on hand!

For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Cake Mix Crust

  • Boxed Yellow Cake Mix – The dry mix is used as a base for the crust but will not be prepared with the cake mix instructions.  
  • Large Egg – should be room temperature.
  • Butter – gently melted and cooled. Avoid overheating to keep the milk solids from separating out.

Pumpkin Filling:

  • Cream Cheese – softened to room temperature for seamless blending.
  • Pumpkin Puree – A small can of pure packed pumpkin, not the sweetened and spiced pumpkin pie mix.
  • Butter – melted and cooled.
  • Large Eggs – brought to room temperature and beaten. 
  • Vanilla Extract – with its warm aromatics, enhances the sweet notes and provides a balanced contrast to the tangy cream cheese.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice – is a commercial blend of spices traditionally used in the famed Thanksgiving dessert. Typically containing cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice, it’s simple and economical to make your own pumpkin pie spice for the season!
  • Powdered Sugar – adds sweetness to the pumpkin cream cheese filling.

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How To Make Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake is such a unique dessert with its rich cream cheese layer and sweet, dense crust. You only need a 9x13x2” greased metal cake pan, electric mixer, spatula, and a cooling rack. (And 10 minutes!)

When you are making this recipe, you’ll want to use the full recipe at the bottom of the page.

  1. Thoroughly combine cake mix, egg, and melted butter, then press cake dough into a greased pan to create the butter cake crust. 
  2. Beat cream cheese and combine pumpkin pie mix; add beaten eggs, vanilla, and butter and mix until well combined. 
  3. Beat in pumpkin pie spice and powdered sugar until smooth.
  4. Spread cream cheese pumpkin filling over cake mix dough layer.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven until edges are brown and the center jiggles slightly. 
  6. Completely cool the cake on a wire rack, then dust it with powdered sugar.
  7. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Recipe Notes And Tips

  • Always read through the entire recipe before starting.
  • It’s important to remember this gooey butter cake recipe turns a box cake mix into the crust. Don’t follow the box instructions; just mix the dry yellow cake with the melted butter and egg, and you’ll end up with a thick dough for your crust.
  • To avoid lumps in the filling, ensure that the cream cheese is softened to room temperature.
  • Cut cold cream cheese into cubes and cover with plastic wrap to warm it to room temp faster.
  • Make sure to use REAL butter. This cake has butter in the name after all, no substitutions are recommended.
  • Use room-temperature eggs, they blend better with ingredients.
  • To quickly bring eggs to room temperature place them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Use your clean hands to gently press the cake dough in the bottom and up the sides of the pan to keep the filling from overflowing the crust.
  • The hallmark of a gooey butter cake is its gooey center. Bake just until the edges are set, leaving the center slightly jiggly.
  • Making a pumpkin gooey cake the day before lets the filling set and gives it its signature gooey texture.
gooey butter bars on a cutting board with pumpkins and a mug in the background

Storage

It seems we always enjoy an ooey gooey butter cake more on the second and third day. This cake should keep for 3-4 days at room temperature, covered, and in a cool place.

Refrigerate/Leftovers

Pumpkin ooey gooey cake will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator when it is stored in an airtight container. Allow the cake to warm to room temperature before serving.

Freeze

This cake also freezes well for up to 4 months if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then placed in a freezer-safe bag or container.

Serving of gooey pumpkin cake on a plate with a warm cup of coffee in the background

FAQs

What is gooey butter cake?

Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert that originates from St. Louis, Missouri. It has a sweet and gooey filling made with ingredients like cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar, over a cake-like crust. The result is a rich, indulgent, and sweet treat, often enjoyed as a coffee cake or dessert.

Why is it a “St. Louis” gooey butter cake?

The “gooey butter cake” is credited to a baker of German descent from the city of St. Louis in Missouri. Local lore says he messed up the proportion of flour to butter when making a [coffee] cake. The whole thing spread out and became this gooey buttery crust-like cake. He didn’t want to waste the ingredients, so he opted to try and sell it, and the rest is history.

What is the difference between gooey butter cake and cheesecake?

While cheesecake is a tangy, creamy tart dessert made with cream cheese and a crumbly, cracker/cookie crust, a gooey butter cake is a dense, buttery cake crust typically with a sweet cream cheese layer. It is also served as a breakfast cake cut into squares or gooey butter cake bars.

Can I use a different cake mix flavor for the butter cake crust?

Of course! Feel free to try different cake mix flavors to make your own special versions of this pumpkin gooey butter cake. Using a butter pecan cake mix, for example, will add more depth and warm, nutty flavor.

a serving of pumpkin ooey gooey cake with whipped cream on a plate with a gold fork

Serving Suggestions

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is typically served in small, square slices, just like you would serve other cakes or dessert bars. You can dust it with powdered sugar or serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence. It’s a delightful treat for any fall gathering or holiday dessert table.

  • Gooey butter dessert bars are wonderful when gently warmed and served with a cold glass of milk.
  • Fancy them up a bit with a scoop of ice cream on the side and a sprinkle of cinnamon-glazed pecan pieces.
  • Or simply savor this satisfying treat with your favorite cup-o-joe!
pumpkin gooey butter cake photo collage

Like This Recipe?

I’d love to hear what you think! Leave a review below and let me know how you liked the recipe!

a serving of pumpkin dessert on a plate with cool whip and a gold fork

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert like no other. Imagine a rich, velvety layer of pumpkin goodness atop a tender, buttery cake base, coming together in a perfect harmony of sweet and gooey perfection. It's a slice of autumn magic that's impossible to resist.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and grease a 9x13x2 metal cake pan.
  2. Using an electric mixer, combine cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter until well incorporated. Using your hands, press the dough into the bottom of your greased pan creating a crust (I press it up the sides of the pan just a bit). Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium, blend, cream cheese until smooth add pumpkin and continue to mix until combined. Add the 3 beaten eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat until well combined. Next, add the pumpkin pie spice, and powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
  4. Spread the pumpkin filling over cake mix dough layer.
  5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until edges are brown. (Do not overbake, the center should be a little jiggly but not wet).
  6. Cool cake on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar after cake has cooled completely.
  7. Serve with fresh whipped cream.

Notes

  • This cake will keep for a week at room temp when covered for up to 3 days, stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 4 months..
  • You can substitute yellow cake mix for spice cake mix.
  • Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 264Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 4g

    Nutrition information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients used and are just estimates. We encourage, especially if these numbers are important to you, to calculate these on your own for most accurate results.

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    Gooey pumpkin cake with cinnamon whipped cream and a gold fork on a white plate