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Gooey Butter Bars dessert on a plate with fresh raspberries

Gooey Butter Bars

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Gooey butter bars are an easy one pan dessert that starts with a box of yellow cake mix!  When time is tight and dessert options are short, I turn to this classic, semi-homemade dessert recipe for Gooey Butter Bars for a quick and easy treat.

Gooey Butter Bars dessert on a plate with fresh raspberries

Gooey Butter Bars

When the kids were wee ones, I had a few quick go-to recipes. The classic chocolate chip cookies and bars, brownies from a box (they preferred these to my homemade version. Sigh.) and these gooey butter bars. Made with a box of yellow cake mix, there was little measuring and a lot of sugar! The hubby, the fourth family member with a kiddie palate, loved these sugar-laden gems, too. I must admit, I’d eat them, too, but I wasn’t a fan of the artificial flavor from the box mix.

stack of Gooey Butter Bars on a dessert plate

How to Make Gooey Butter Bars

Eventually, I started using a butter cake mix instead of the yellow and found this version much more palatable. A slosh of vanilla was an additional flavor enhancer, not in the original recipe from one of my nurse colleagues. One December, way back when I was single, this same friend and I baked up a bunch of sweets for our oncology unit staff. I think they were shocked that either of us had any culinary skills. I was the gal eating a bag of popcorn for dinner on break. But I digress. This is not a gourmet recipe but fits the bill when you need a quick recipe to feed a group. I bet that someone will beg for the recipe!

Helpful Tools:

If you prefer a totally homemade version, check out this Gooey Bars Recipe.

stack of Gooey Butter Bars on a dessert plate

The Recipe: Gooey Butter Bars

This classic St. Louis treat has stood the test of time. Made with a cake mix, it's a super easy dessert.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 24 bars


  • 1 box butter cake mix (you may substitute yellow cake mix if desired)
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (or 1 box), plus more to sprinkle over finished bars
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Mix together the dry cake mix, melted butter and 2 of the eggs. Spread evenly and pat into the bottom of the prepared pan. Batter will be thick.
  3. With a hand mixer, beat together the remaining 2 eggs, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Pour mixture over the crust. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden. Sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve. These WILL be gooey when you slice them.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 170Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 80mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 2g


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18 comments on “Gooey Butter Bars”

  1. This was delicious and I love the fact that it starts with a box cake mix! Super easy and convenient.

  2. It just doesn’t get any more yummy than these bars! They are always gone in a flash!

  3. I love baking hacks like these. These bars look divine!

  4. I’ve made the ones from a box before and they were OK. No doubt, I will love these! Have you tried them with a chocolate cake recipe?

  5. These bars look fabulous! Just the treat I need with my cup of coffee 🙂

  6. Wow! This post is full of shockers, Liz… I cannot imagine you not turning out gourmet goodies. And I am so relieved that Ms. Liz also uses cake mix for delicious treats.

  7. Such a pretty photo of your dessert!

  8. mmmmm gooey butter bars are the one recipe I would prob just give in and use cake mix for because…it seems like you’ve gotta, right? These look fantastic!

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