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Butter Gooey Cake

What is Butter Gooey Cake and Where Did it Come From?

Butter Gooey Cake has a dense but moist buttery yellow cake layer on the bottom.  This yellow cake layer is topped with a delicious “gooey” layer of cream cheese – cheesecake.  The traditional butter gooey cake doesn’t have cream cheese topping and is similar to a blondie. 

What is the History of Butter Gooey Cake?

This cake has a fascinating history Various people dispute the cake’s origins. The cake was allegedly created by accident in the 1930s by a German American baker in the St. Louis area attempting to produce conventional cake batter but accidentally reversed the butter and flour proportions. 

John Hoffman owned the bakery where the error occurred. According to one version, his bakery utilized two butter “smears” types: gooey butter and deep butter. Deep butter coffee cakes were made with the deep butter. Danish buns and stollens use gooey butter as glue. The gooey butter is smeared on the surface, then the object is dusted with coconut, hazelnuts, peanuts, crumbs, or anything else desired to make it stick. 

Hoffman recruited a new baker to produce deep butter cakes, but he mixed up the butter smears.  Hoffman discovered the error when the cakes were removed from the proof box. Hoffman decided to bake them rather than throw them away. This baking miscalculation occurred during the Great Depression when baking ingredients were scarce. Hoffman continued to prepare and sell the new cake because it was so popular, and other bakeries in St. Louis soon followed suit.

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This week’s Butter Gooey Cake is brought to you from the recipe box of Cathy’s(my stepdaughter) mom. The recipe is titled Butter Gooey Cake; however, it is usually titled Gooey Butter Cake.  It was a childhood favorite of hers, and she asked me if I could recreate it from scratch. The original recipe uses a box cake, and she knows I only bake from scratch.

Try my Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake or my Double Crumb Coffee Cake for more delicious cakes from scratch. 


Purchased cake mixes are full of additives and preservatives.  Ditch the box if you are like me and don’t like the taste of preservatives and additives in your baked goods.  Make the cake mix from scratch. 

Make the Yellow Butter Cake Mix

The butter gooey cake mix is quick and simple to make and store in the refrigerator for up to two months.   This mix is great for cupcakes or a layer cake.  Add 1 cup milk, three eggs, and one stick of melted butter to the mix. 

To make the mix, add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse several times until the butter is mixed in and the mixture is crumbly.  Store in an airtight container.  The butter should be at room temperature. 

butter gooey cake

Make the Butter Gooey Cake Bottom Layer:

Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F or 177-degrees C. 

  • Add one recipe of the Butter Yellow Cake Mix to a bowl.  
  • Add the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla. 
  • Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer for one minute, scrape the bowl, and mix another minute. 
  • Spread the batter into the bottom of a greased 9 X 13-inch baking pan. 

Make the Cream Cheese Topping for the Butter Gooey Cake. 

  • Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature. 
  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and beat in.
  • Pour over the bottom layer in the pan. 

Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the cream cheese layer is set and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean.  

If the top is getting brown, loosely tent with a piece of aluminum foil. If the foil touches the top of the cake, it may stick to the cake.  To prevent this, spray the foil with non-stick spray to keep it from sticking to the top of the cake. 

Let the cake cook and dust it with powdered sugar before serving. 

Store the cake in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days.  

butter gooey cake with a cup of coffee

Pop on over to my social media sites, where you’ll find exclusive Doctor Jo’s pictures of what’s new in my gardens. Also, what new recipes I’m creating in my kitchen. I love your comments. After the recipe, the comment section is down at the end of the blog. So let me know what you think in the Leave a Reply section at the end of this blog. Please leave your first name at the end of your comment, and I will reply by name. 

butter gooey cake bars

Butter Gooey Cake

Butter gooey cake bars are a moist homemade blonde on the bottom with a layer of gooey but yummy cream cheese topping.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Make yellow cake mix: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cheese cake topping, yellow butter cake, yellow cake
Servings: 12 pieces
Calories: 430kcal


  • 1 Food Processor
  • 1 Hand-mixer or stand-mixer.
  • 1 9X13 inch Baking Pan


Butter Yellow Cake Mix - 1 recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
  • cups sugar (300g)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)(113g)

Butter Gooey Cake

  • `1 recipe Butter Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla


  • 12 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • ½ cup sugar


Butter Yellow Cake Mix - 1 recipe

  • Mix the all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade, pulse the food processor to cut the butter into the flour until you have a crumbly mixture.
  • The Cake Mix can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

Make the Cake Base.

  • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F.
  • Add one recipe of the Butter Yellow Cake mix to a large mixing bowl.
  • Add one stick (1/2cup) of melted butter.
  • Add the eggs and sour cream.
  • Mix with a hand mixer, or in a stand mixer for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl midway.
  • Add the mixture to a greased 9 X 13-inch rectangular cake pan.

Make the Cream Cheese Topping

  • Beat the cream cheese and sugar together until fluffy, about two minutes.
  • Add the eggs and vanilla, beat in for one minute at medium speed.
  • Pour the mixture over the cake base.
  • Bake the Cake at 350-degrees F. (177-degrees C)
  • Bake for 35 -40 minutes. If the top is getting brown, spray a piece of alumunum foil with non-stick spray and loosely tent the cake.
  • Let the cake cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.



Serving: 1piece | Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Sodium: 170mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 811IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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