Gooey Butter Cookies are a tasty, portable cookie version of the classic Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that I’ve made for decades!

Instead of using a yellow cake mix like in many gooey butter cakes, these Butter Cake Cookies are made from scratch. They get their flavor from real butter and vanilla.

3 Gooey butter cookies on a square white plate

Why You Must Make

  • If you love Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, then you’ll enjoy these buttery cookies, too!
  • They’re made without cake mix, so there are no artificial flavors, just pure wholesome goodness.
  • These crackled cookies are soft, sweet, and buttery!

Ingredient Notes:

Sheet pan with gooey butter bar ingredients with labels.
  • Butter – It’s fine to use salted butter. That’s what I used to test this recipe. It should be at room temperature.
  • Cream Cheese – Brand name works best. Have it at room temperature for easy incorporation.
  • Dry Milk Powder – You should be able to find this in the baking aisle.
  • Baking Powder – Different from baking soda. It does expire and often does since it isn’t used frequently. It’s very important to check the expiration date and replace it if necessary. This recipe will not work with expired baking powder. PRO-Tip – If you’re unsure of its freshness, take a spoonful of baking powder and place it in a bowl of very hot water. If it’s still active, it will bubble furiously. If it doesn’t, toss it.
  • Powdered (confectioner’s) Sugar – Sift to minimize lumps.
Overhead view of a small bowl of 5 cookies and one to the side with a bite removed.

Recipe Tips

  • Making the dough is a simple process, similar to many cookie recipes.
  • PRO-Tip: When mixing the cookie dough, use the paddle attachment instead of the whisk to avoid whipping air into the dough, which can make more cake-like cookies.
  • Once the dough is made, it needs to chill for at least 30 minutes. If the dough is not cold, it will be hard to roll into balls and the cookies will also bake up flat.
  • Rolling the dough balls in sifted powdered sugar helps accentuate their crackled surface, plus adds a delicious, sweet coating. Sifting will prevent lumpy powdered sugar on the surface of your cookies.
  • PRO-Tip: Use a medium cookie disher to make evenly sized cookies. This will also help them bake at the same rate.
  • A medium cookie disher measures out about 1½ tablespoons of dough. They will take 14-16 minutes to bake. If you use a 1 tablespoon scoop, they will take 10-12 minutes to bake. This is all dependent on how your oven bakes, so always check your cookies a few minutes before your timer goes off.
  • PRO-Tip: If some of your cookies look a little lopsided when they come out of the oven, you can take a spatula and tap the sides of the warm cookie into shape. Use one hand with a hot pad to stabilize the cookie sheet and the other to carefully press on the edges of the cookie while it’s hot and pliable.

How to Make Ooey Gooey Cookies

  1. Preheat your oven and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together your cookie dough in the order stated in the recipe.
  3. Use a paddle attachment if using a stand mixer. The whisk will whip too much air into the batter, making them cake-like instead of dense and cookie-like.
  4. Make sure to chill your dough and roll it into balls.
  5. Roll the balls into sifted powdered sugar then place them on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake as directed, and let cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Gooey Butter Cake?

A St. Louis classic, a gooey butter cake was a “mistake” created in the 1930s and is made of cake flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. It is a flat “cake” served in squares like brownies with a dusting of powdered sugar. The original version had a yeast crust on the bottom.

What Do Gooey Butter Cookies Taste Like?

They are soft and buttery, with slight vanilla notes. They are often made with yellow cake mix and those cookies taste more like the gooey butter bars many of us are familiar with.

How Do You Store the homemade and/or cake box cookies?

Both versions can be kept at room temperature for 2-3 days in a sealed container, and to extend their freshness, can be moved to the refrigerator for a couple more days.

They also freeze nicely in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator.

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5 gooey butter cake cookies in a small white ceramic bowl.

Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 4 minutes
Yield 36 cookies

Inspired by the classic St. Louis dessert, these buttery cookies are soft, buttery, and perfect for snacking.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, cream cheese and sugar until blended, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Mix in egg and vanilla.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, milk powder, and baking powder,
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the batter, stopping to scrape down the bowl if needed.
  6. Place the dough into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until the dough is cool enough to roll into balls.
  7. Using a medium cookie scoop, dish out balls of dough. Roll them into nice rounds between your palms.
  8. Next, roll them into the sifted powdered sugar and place on the baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart.
  9. Bake until puffed and crackled, about 14-16 minutes.
  10. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  11. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature to keep fresh.

Notes

The recipe is adapted from Taste of Home.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

2 cookies

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 190Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 136mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 0gSugar: 21gProtein: 3g

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