My Gooey Butter Cake

One of the most popular Cake Mix Doctor recipes, Gooey Butter Cake is the signature cake of St. Louis where it was invented in the 1930s. Many variations of this cake exist, both from-scratch and using a cake mix. What makes my version appealing is that it is faster to prepare using a mix. The mix goes into the crust mixture, and a cream cheese filling is poured over before baking. What results is an incredibly rich and gooey cake, sort of a cheesecake and sort of a bar cookie that really lives up to its name!

My Gooey Butter Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 18 servings
  • 1 package (21.6 ounces) Cake Mix Doctor Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake Mix (see Note)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) lightly salted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) lightly salted butter, melted
2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3½ cups confectioners' sugar
  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside an ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking pan.
  2. For the crust, place the cake mix, melted butter, egg, vanilla, and almond extract in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture comes together in a ball, 2 minutes. With your fingertips, pat the dough into the bottom of the pan, smoothing it out and pushing it halfway up the sides. Set the pan aside.
For the filling, place the cream cheese in the same mixing bowl used to make the crust and blend on low speed until fluffy, 30 seconds. Stop the machine and add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth, 1 minute. Stop the machine and add the confectioners' sugar. Beat on medium speed until smooth and thickened, 1 to 1½ minutes more. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Pour the filling over the crust, and place the pan in the oven.
  3. Bake the cake until it is well browned around the edges but the center still jiggles a little when you shake the pan, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool, 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve. This freezes well.

You can use either my cake mix or another cake mix that is around 18 ounces in size. If you use a smaller cake mix (15 to 16 ounces), you will need to add 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour to the smaller mix to make this recipe.

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