Gooey Butter Bars

Time was tight and dessert options were short. I turned to an old, semi-homemade recipe for Gooey Butter Bars for a quick and easy treat.

Gooey Butter Bars | An easy, semi-homemade family favorite!

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.

Gooey Butter Bars | An easy, semi-homemade family favorite!

A Few Tweaks

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!

Gooey Butter Bars

Serves 24 bars     adjust servings

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 55 mins

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 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 Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 246kcal Calories from fat 77
% Daily Value
Total Fat 9g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 205mg 9%
Carbohydrate 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 32g
Protein 2g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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Gooey Butter Bars | An easy, semi-homemade family favorite!


  1. They look very inviting!

  2. Looks like you’re channeling your inner Paula:@) Honestly they look great and I’d be noshing on a slice now with my morning coffee if it was in the kitchen!

  3. They look so perfect for a romantic dessert!!!

  4. Dear Lizzy, These butter bars look gourmet to me! They look wonderful for a cup of coffee. Have a great day. xoxox Catherine

  5. Claudia Lamascolo says:

    I think I better use this recipe for my reward after my diet and then binge on the whole pan! <3 🙂

  6. Love Gooey Butter bars, cake, anything. Not something we make all that often, though. You’ve put me in the mood with this recipe! Really nice — thanks.

  7. It sounds like I’ve been missing out for years…I’ve not had these and they sound good.

  8. Those look sinfully delicious!!! Must try! <3 –

  9. Recipes like this are always great to have in the back pocket. And usually those are some of the best!

  10. Liz these bars look seriously insanely delicious!! I am craving them now badly!

  11. 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!

  12. Such a pretty photo of your dessert!

  13. 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.

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

  15. 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?

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

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