Gooey Butter Cake

UPDATE: Since this original posting, you can now find cake-mix-free recipes online. I’m going to try the one below. There is a more difficult version involving a yeast-crust layer that I’ll try if this one’s not satisfactory. Kathy’s original version is still below 🙂


By Monica              24 servings
This popular St. Louis cake has been a regional favorite since the 1930’s. It is characteristically crispy around the edges and gooey in the center. Most recipes begin with a yellow cake mix, but this yummy version is made completely from scratch. Serve it as a breakfast/brunch coffee cake or a dessert.


  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temp (any milk will do; use cream or evaporated milk for richer flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (same as confectioners or icing sugar), plus additional for dusting top
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, use electric mixer on medium speed to blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, then add milk and vanilla; mix until uniformly blended. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing after each addition (begin each addition on low speed and increase to medium speed to avoid flying flour), scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared 9×13 pan. (Spraying your hands lightly with cooking spray makes it easier to spread the sticky dough.) Set aside.

In a separate medium bowl, use electric mixer at medium speead to beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. On low speed, mix in powdered sugar and salt until combined. Then mix in vanilla and eggs, mixing in eggs one at a time at medium speed until uniformly combined. Scrape down bowl, and continue to mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture over bottom layer in pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

BAKE until golden brown around the edges, approx. 40-45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook so it stays gooey in the middle. (Cake will rise in the oven, especially around the edges, and fall as it cools. It gets crusty around the pan edges and should remain gooey inside the outer edges.) Cool completely and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving. 245 calories, 9.8g fat, 6g sat fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 79mg potassium, 37.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 27.1g sugars, 2.9g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 12

See the recipe online at


Original Post

This is from my cousin Kathy Gabris Lang, who is the hostess with the mostest. She served this (among many other wonderful things) during our recent visit to the homeland, St. Louis. Every last one of the cousins, aunts, uncles, etc were so welcoming and fed us to the gills with German and St. Louis specialties.

1 pkg yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

1 egg

8 oz cream cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 lb box powdered sugar

Mix first 3 ingredients and pat into slightly greased 13 x 9 pan

Mix and beat next 4 ingredients. Kathy likes to beat these thoroughly, a couple of minutes to achieve a crisp top layer.

Pour over cake mix layer.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar as soon as you take it out of the oven.

Optional: sprinkle nuts or spoon cherries, or pie filling, or blueberries on top before baking.


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