Indulge in the delectable St. Louis Gooey Cake recipe!

Are you ready for a sweet treat that will knock your socks off? Look no further than the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake – a beloved classic from the Midwest that has won over hearts and stomachs across the nation.

This cake is all about indulgence. Imagine a moist, chewy cake made with simple ingredients like sugar, eggs, and all-purpose flour, but then layered with a rich and creamy gooey butter filling that oozes out of every bite. It’s like a cross between a dense pound cake and a fluffy coffee cake, with notes of brown butter and vanilla running throughout.

So where did this heavenly dessert come from? As the story goes, it was born in St. Louis during the 1930s, when a baker accidentally mixed up the ingredients for his regular cake recipe. Rather than toss it out, he decided to bake it anyway – and ended up with this ooey gooey creation that quickly became a local favorite.

Nowadays, you can find versions of this cake all over St. Louis (and beyond), from mom-and-pop bakeries to high-end pastry shops. But why settle for store-bought when you can make it yourself at home? With just a few pantry staples and some patience, you too can sink your teeth into this deliciously decadent dessert.

So gather your ingredients and preheat your oven – it’s time to get baking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Are you ready to indulge in an irresistible dessert that will transport you straight to the heart of St. Louis? Look no further than the gooey butter cake, a true St. Louis tradition with a rich history and an even richer flavor.

What’s not to love about a cake made with lots of butter, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract? The cake mix is elevated to new heights with these decadent ingredients that make it ooey and gooey on the inside and crisp on the edges.

And the best part? This recipe is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for an indulgent after-dinner treat or something special to impress your guests at a party, the gooey butter cake will do the trick.

And if you think that this dessert is too complicated to make at home, think again. With simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store and easy-to-follow instructions, this recipe is perfect for both novice and experienced bakers alike.

So go ahead and give it a try! You won’t regret treating yourself to this heavenly delight that has been beloved by generations of St. Louisans.

Ingredient List

“The irresistible golden crust on this St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake is everything!”

Let’s Talk Ingredients!

Before embarking on this journey to make the ultimate St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, let’s talk about the ingredeints you will need. You probably already have most of them in your pantry.

Here’s a detailed list of what you’ll need:

  • For the cake base

    • 1 box yellow cake mix
    • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 large egg
  • For the gooey butter topping

    • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened and melted
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • For the sweet dough base

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the ooey-gooey topping

    • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • Pinch kosher salt

The Recipe How-To

“Satisfy your sweet tooth with a slice of this decadent cake.”

Now that we’ve got all the ingredients in order, it’s time to get down to baking the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. This cake has two layers – the bottom layer is a sweet dough while the top layer is a gooey butter mixture.

Preparing the Cake

  1. Grease a 9-inch square cake pan and lightly dust with flour.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine one box of yellow cake mix, 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature) and one egg. Mix thoroughly and press into prepared pan.
  3. In another mixing bowl, beat two large eggs until they are frothy. Add eight ounces of softened cream cheese and beat until mixture is smooth.
  4. Add 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted) to the mixing bowl along with three cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract.
  5. Beat mixture for two to three minutes on medium speed, then pour on top of cake mixture.

Baking the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 10 minutes.
  2. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top layer becomes lightly golden brown and gooey with a slightly firm center.
  3. Allow the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake to cool for an hour in the pan before serving.

Optional Finishing Touches

For an extra level of sweetness, dust confectioners’ sugar over the St Louis Gooey Butter Cake before serving.

Once you’ve followed these steps, you should be able to enjoy this decadent treat that will transport you back in time to a cozy bakery in St. Louis where this classic recipe first originated!

Substitutions and Variations

“The perfect balance of sweet and tangy – this is St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake at its finest.”

Alright folks, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen! Here are a few substitutions and variations to put your own spin on this St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake recipe:

– Gluten-free: Use a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour. Bob’s Red Mill and King Arthur Flour both have great options.

– Chocolate lover: Use a chocolate cake mix instead of yellow cake mix for a rich chocolatey gooey butter cake. You can also mix in chocolate chips or drizzle melted chocolate on top.

– Fruity twist: Add some fresh or frozen berries to the cream cheese mixture before pouring it over the cake batter. Blueberries, raspberries or strawberries would work well.

– Nutty delight: Add chopped nuts like pecans, walnuts or almonds to the brown sugar and butter topping before baking for extra crunch and texture.

– Pumpkin spice: Add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice to the cream cheese mixture for a fall-inspired gooey butter cake. You can also use spiced cake mix instead of yellow cake mix.

– Lemon zest: Add 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the batter for a zesty twist on this classic treat.

Remember to experiment with different flavors and ingredients until you find your perfect gooey butter cake variation! The sky is the limit when it comes to baking creativity, so have fun and let your imagination run wild.

Serving and Pairing

“You can’t say no to a slice of this ooey-gooey goodness.”

Gooey butter cake is a dessert fit for any occasion, deserving of the best of wine or even just a cup of coffee. The sweet, gooey, and creamy texture is unmatched by any other dessert out there. Once you’ve mastered the recipe for gooey butter cake, it’s time to consider what to serve it with.

The gooey butter cake is best served slightly warm or at room temperature. To add an additional touch of sweetness to it, sprinkle some powdered sugar on top just before serving. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not try adding fresh berries or whipped cream on top?

In terms of pairing, this cake goes well with anything from vanilla ice-cream to a nice glass of wine. Try serving it with a white wine like Riesling which will help cut through the sweetness of the cake and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. For coffee lovers, pair it with a strong roast or espresso to balance out the sweetness.

Gooey butter cake is also perfect for entertaining guests as it can be adapted to different occasions with ease. Serve it up during brunch or as an after-dinner dessert; either way, there’s always a reason to indulge in this delicious treat.

In conclusion, St Louis Gooey Butter Cake is perfect when paired with anything from strong black coffee to sweet dessert wines. With its soft texture and sweet taste, this dessert is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth craving.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Fresh out of the oven and perfectly gooey – this is what dreams are made of.”

Ah, the lingering scent of freshly baked St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake can transport me to another world! But sometimes you just can’t finish the entire cake in one go. Don’t worry, I got you covered on how to make sure the deliciousness lasts for days!


Come on now, who wouldn’t want to make this gooey butter cake ahead of time? Take a breather and enjoy it when the time is right! Just store it in an airtight container at room temperature (away from humidity) after it has cooled down completely. It should still be good for 2-3 days when stored correctly.


Parting with your beloved gooey butter cake is always a difficult task but we’ve got some good news – this cake is an amazing candidate for long-term storage as well! Keep it in the fridge for up to 5-7 days and let all those gooey flavors settle in. Just remember to cover it properly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out or absorbing any odors from other foods.


So, you’ve decided to play Sherlock and found last night’s leftovers? Let’s not waste any time: microwave a slice for 10-15 seconds (or if you prefer it warm then go ahead and heat it up) before devouring it once again! But let’s be honest, nothing beats reheating them in a conventional oven at about 350F (175C) until the edges turn golden brown and the gooey center starts melting again! Trust me, that first bite will have you reliving that first-time happiness all over again.

Now that you know how to store, reheat and even make-ahead of this melt-in-your-mouth St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, what’s stopping you from baking your way into your next coffee-break or dessert-time? Enjoy!

Tips for Perfect Results

“When in doubt, make St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake. Trust us on this one!”

Now, if there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that baking isn’t always a walk in the park. Sometimes things just don’t turn out like you expect them to. But fear not, with these tips, you will be on your way to achieving the best gooey butter cake ever!

First things first, let me tell you about the importance of using room temperature ingredients. Room temperature eggs and butter mix together more easily which helps to create a smooth batter. This ensures that all of the ingredients will combine evenly which makes for a much better texture.

Secondly, be sure to use a light colored metal pan when baking this gooey cake. Dark colored pans absorb more heat which can lead to an overcooked cake or even burned edges. A light metal pan will allow the cake to bake evenly and produce perfect results every time.

Thirdly, use an accurate oven thermometer to make sure that your oven is at the correct temperature before placing your cake in it. Remember that oven temperatures can vary so you should never assume that the temperature is correct without confirming it first.

Fourthly, don’t be afraid to cover your melting butter with a lid while you are waiting for it to melt in the microwave. This helps to prevent any accidental splatters while also keeping the moisture in the butter intact.

Lastly, make sure that you let your cake cool completely before slicing and serving. It may be tempting to dig right in, but giving it time to cool down allows for all of the flavors and textures to come together perfectly.

Remember these tips and you’ll have a delectable St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake that will make even professional bakers jealous!


Before you jump into making the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Recipe, take a moment to read through some of the frequently asked questions. These FAQs will give you a better understanding of the recipe, clarify any uncertainties that may arise while preparing and provide tips for perfecting the cake. Let’s dive in!

Is gooey butter cake a St Louis thing?

A well-known dessert in St. Louis, Missouri is the gooey butter cake. This cake has a unique texture as it is flat and dense, made from wheat cake flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Usually just under one inch in height, the cake is finished off with a generous dusting of powdered sugar.

What cake is famous in St Louis?

According to popular belief, the St. Louis gooey butter cake was created unintentionally in the 1930s when a baker made a mistake with the amount of butter in his coffee cake. Instead of discarding it, he decided to sell it in squares, and to his surprise, it became a sweet sensation.

Does Ooey Gooey butter cake need to be refrigerated?

As a baker, I know that many people wonder whether gooey butter cake should be kept in the fridge or not. The good news is that it can be stored at room temperature for a few days, or in the fridge for even longer. To keep it fresh, simply wrap it in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container. By doing so, you can enjoy your delicious gooey butter cake for up to 5 days.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake recipe is a classic dessert that has withstood the test of time. Its popularity has spread far beyond Missouri and even those who haven’t tried it yet should give it a chance. With its buttery dough and sweet filling, this cake is sure to please any palate. Plus, with so many variations and substitutions available, it’s easy to make it your own.

As a baker, I highly recommend trying out this recipe. Not only is it a must-try for any dessert enthusiast, but it’s also an easy and fun way to explore the flavors that have made St. Louis famous. So don’t miss out on the ooey-gooey goodness. Try out this St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake recipe today and let me know how much you love it!

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Molly Killeen’s gooey butter recipe as listed in the New York Times.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Breads, For Large Groups, Mixer, Oven, Small Appliance, Sweet
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 1 9 x 13 pan
Calories: 306.7kcal


For the Cake

  • 3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping

  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling


  • In a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves. Mixture should foam slightly.
  • Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and the milk mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Beat dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from sides of bowl, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Press dough into an ungreased 9-by 13-inch baking dish at least 2 inches deep. Cover dish with plastic wrap or clean tea towel, put in a warm place, and allow to rise until doubled, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare topping, in a small bowl, mix corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat in the egg. Alternately add flour and corn syrup mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.
  • Spoon topping in large dollops over risen cake and use a spatula to gently spread it in an even layer. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes; cake will rise and fall in waves and have a golden brown top, but will still be liquid in center when done. Allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 60g | Calories: 306.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.5g | Protein: 3.5g | Fat: 13.9g | Saturated Fat: 8.5g | Cholesterol: 61.2mg | Sodium: 179mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 22.5g

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