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.

This version of Gooey Butter Cake is semi-homemade and perfect when you need to whip up a quick treat for a crowd!

Gooey Butter Bars dessert on a plate with fresh raspberries.

Why You Must Make

  • 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 kids and the hubby, the fourth family member with a kiddie palate, loved these sugar-laden gems, too.
Easy Gooey Bars Ingredients with labels on a metal sheetpan.

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Melted Butter, Eggs
  • A box of Butter Cake Mix – Yellow Cake Mix may be substituted, but it has more of an artificial flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar – 4 ½ cups or 1 box, plus more to sprinkle over finished bars. Sift if it looks lumpy.
  • Cream Cheese – Have at room temperature for easy blending.
  • Vanilla – Use pure vanilla extract, never artificially flavored.

How to Make

Stack of Gooey Butter Bars on a dessert plate.

Recipe Tips

  • Use a butter cake mix instead of the traditional yellow cake mix. It’s more palatable with less artificial flavor.
  • Adding a slosh of vanilla was an additional flavor enhancer, not in the original recipe from one of my nurse colleagues.
  • Line your baking pan with non-stick foil for easy cleanup!
  • 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!

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If you prefer a totally homemade version, check out this Gooey Bars Recipe. And try my Gooey Butter Cookies, too!!

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stack of Gooey Butter Bars on a dessert plate

Gooey Butter Bars Recipe

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

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


  • 1 box butter cake mix (you may substitute yellow cake mix if desired)
  • 4 eggs, divided
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 4 ½ 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°. 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. The 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 the mixture over the crust.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden.
  6. Cool, then sprinkle with powdered sugar to serve. These WILL be gooey when you slice them.


I prefer a butter cake mix over a yellow cake mix as there is less of an artificial flavor.

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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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