Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
Gooey butter cake is a staple to St. Louis. It's like a cakey brownie. It has a harder bottom layer and a denser, but chewy top layer. When I first visited Tyler in St. Louis in 2013, it was a mission of mine to find some of the best places for us to eat at. He was in grad school and eating out wasn’t always an option on his budget. But it was his birthday and we needed to celebrate. I found this place online called Park Avenue Coffee Roasters. They sell bake and sell Ann & Allen’s Gooey Butter Cake.
They don’t just sell regular vanilla flavor, they make basically any flavor you can think of and then some. I loved this little cozy coffee shop, where we could sit and try this delicious treat for the first time. I believe our first flavors were traditional (yellow cake/vanilla) and cinnamon roll (seasonal). But they also have red velvet, chocolate chip cookie dough, pumpkin spice, and so much more.
So, of course when we went back with his whole family in 2014 we ordered almost everything on the menu and between the six of us we were able to try them all! It was such a fun experience. And when I moved to St. Louis in 2015, it was always a fun place to take friends and family to try this St. Louis classic.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Gooey Butter Cake Cookies with Cake Mix
- Different Flavors of Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
- Gooey Butter Christmas Cookies
- Gooey Butter Cake Cookie Recipe
- FAQs on Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
- Other Cookie Recipes to Try
- Love this Recipe?
And after moving to St. Louis, I began to realize that most St. Louis Natives make their own version of Gooey Butter Cake. Whether it’s a recipe from their favorite restaurant, grandma’s own special recipe, or even a recipe from a local paper or magazine…everyone had a recipe at the ready. I decided to try making my own referencing a few recipes from coworkers and online. Then, I decided that I wanted to make them into cookies. I had done it with crinkle cookies in the past using a cake mix, why not these? The only real difference is using the additional butter and cream cheese instead of oil.
I started making them 100% from scratch. I thought I preferred from scratch so I could feel like they were 100% homemade. Then, in a hurry one day I used box mix…and man, they were still delicious and so much easier. I cut my prep time in half, at least! And you know what, you’re still making them from scratch. They are homemade!
And now that we’re back in California after spending four years in St. Louis, experiencing so much amazing food, these gooey butter cookies will always be something I take away from my time there. I was so lucky to be able to try so many amazing things in my time there. Some STL staples weren’t for me…like Imo’s and toasted ravioli. But gooey butter cake (and of course frozen custard) will always hold a special place in my heart.
These gooey butter cookies are a great way to get that gooey butter cake taste, but in a simple cookie! They are wonderful for any celebration, can be customized, and even used in a beautiful holiday cookie box!
Gooey Butter Cake Cookies with Cake Mix
Using cake mix takes the stress out of finding/having the right ingredients, but is also a great time saver! And for those non-bakers, this recipe is just a few steps easier. You’re still making something unique and different, so don’t think that this is cheating or not baking from scratch, you still are!
I used to make these and my chocolate crinkle cookies all from scratch, however, I know that not everyone carries these ingredients in their houses, so I've posted recipes using cake mixes! Of course, you can simply replace those mixes with your own favorite dry cake mix ingredients. Which means these are easy to make gluten free as well.
Different Flavors of Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
An easy way to customize the flavors for these is to simply use a different flavor cake mix. It’s seriously that easy. You can use chocolate, red velvet, whatever floats your boat. Some will spread more than others just by their other ingredients. But, it’s fun to play with them and see what you can make. The most important part to these is the cream cheese, butter, and coating in powdered sugar.
Some other fun ways to customize these cookies is to add peppermint pieces to the powdered sugar. Just another fun way to add holiday spirit into your cookies. Or change the flavoring of the extract. For example, to make these “funfetti” just add butter extract and 1-2 tablespoon of sprinkles to the batter. And voila, you’ve done it!
Gooey Butter Christmas Cookies
Like I mentioned above, you can completely customize these. A few ways I like to do that is for the holidays. I like to add peppermint pieces to my powdered sugar before rolling the dough in it. Or you can make the cookies using a chocolate batter and use peppermint extract there as well. Completely customizable and perfect for the holidays!
Gooey Butter Cake Cookie Recipe
Yellow Cake Mix Cookies Ingredients
- 1 box of yellow cake mix (or your favorite yellow cake recipe sans wet ingredients)
- ½ cup butter (softened)
- 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 egg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- crushed peppermint, optional
How to make Gooey Butter Cookies
- Using an electric mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, egg, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
- Stir in the cake mix until the dough becomes smooth and thoroughly combined. Cover your bowl and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Place your powdered sugar into a separate bowl.
- After your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350° F.
- Scoop a spoonful of dough into your hands and roll into a ball. Drop a few of the dough balls into the powdered sugar and toss to coat. Optional to now add in some crushed peppermint candies or sprinkles at this time to your powdered sugar.
- Place the dough balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy!
FAQs on Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
No, but the recipe calls for about 15-16 oz of cake mix. So you’ll need about that much in ingredients.
Of course. You can use whatever box mix flavor you prefer...chocolate, red velvet, funfetti, etc.
Other Cookie Recipes to Try
- Molasses Cookies
- Holiday Cookie Box
- Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Graham Cracker Crumble Soft Butter Cookies
- Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- Oatmeal Cookies
- Lucky Charms Cookies
Love this Recipe?
Did you make this recipe and just love it? Awesome! If you have a quick minute and could leave a star rating and comment below, I would appreciate the support and knowing your feedback! And if you’re over on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your photos!
- Stand Mixer
- 1 box yellow cake mix or white cake mix (15.25 oz)
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 egg large
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- peppermint candies, sprinkles, etc optional
- Using a stand mixer using a paddle attachment at a medium speed, combine the butter and cream cheese and mix until smooth. About 4-5 minutes. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until combined. About 1-2 minutes
- Stir in the cake mix until the dough becomes smooth and thoroughly combined, about 1-2 minutes. Cover your bowl and place the dough in the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- After your dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350° F, and prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place powdered sugar into a separate bowl. Optional to now add in some crushed peppermint candies or sprinkles at this time to your powdered sugar.
- Scoop a spoonful of dough into your hands and roll into a ball. Drop a few of the dough balls into the powdered sugar and toss to coat.
- Place the dough balls onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes.
- Cool and enjoy!
Hi!! I'm so excited that I found this recipe and I can't to try it this Christmas. I know this is an older post so you may not read this but I'm wondering, do these cookies freeze well? Thanks and happy holidays!
Amanda Wilens says
Yes! You can freeze the dough, then bake them off later. I would say either coating them in the powdered sugar before freezing probably won't work well though. So, for these, freeze the balls, thaw them, potentially dry off any excess moisture (a little is okay, but you might get a lot with these), toss in the powdered sugar, and bake. Usually, I would just bake the frozen dough for longer, but with the powdered sugar and texture for these, thawing should help.
Thank you very much!
As we all know when using a box cake for this recipe the kind & flavor effect the outcome of the cookie. What brand & flavor type do you use? I have always heard to use traditional cake mix opposed to Moist/Pudding/buttered options. Just curious your thoughts on this? Do you have your fully from scratch recipe available as well for those looking to venture away from box recipes?
Amanda Wilens says
Hi there! I do not use a particular brand, but yes, just "traditional cake mix" works great. I have used the "super moist" ones and they've worked great too. Gooey Butter Cake Cookies are SUPER gooey, so extra moisture isn't bad and usually isn't too greatly changed. I don't have one on my site! I have tried it before with a few recipes and didn't find that they had the same effect as the box mix ones. Hope that helps!
Mary Szilágyi-Ovaitt says
The ingredients list includes peppermint- but the directions do not. Please explain how/where the peppermint is used.
Amanda Wilens says
Hi there! On the recipe card, you'll see step 5 says it's optional to add peppermint pieces to the powdered sugar to coat the cookies. Hope that helps. You can do it without of course too.
Betty. Payne says
Nest cookies eber
Betty. Payne says
Best cookies ever. So easy. Made all flavors. Yummy
Amanda Wilens says
So glad you enjoyed them! Such a delicious treat!
These cookies are absolutely incredible. They’re also idiot-proof. I am NOT a baker and these turned out perfect. Be sure to follow the tips about using cold pans for each batch and chilling your dough. The only downside to these cookies is that they’re so good you physically cannot stop eating them. I don’t mind.
So glad these worked out for you! And yes, those cold pans are so important. Thank you for making them <3
I made these for a friend while I was living in Michigan and they were blown away by my baking prowess.... which I don’t have. This recipe is just that delicious. Some of the most gooey and soft cookies of my life! Perfect sweetness and so yummy.
Aw! I love hearing that! Thank you so much for letting me know how they turned out for you! So glad you enjoyed them!
WOW! These were so easy to make and so delicious. Definitely reminds me of my favorite gooey butter cake. And it was easy to make so that is great. Thanks.
Oh I am so glad you like them. Yes, this is one of my favorites.
Linda Meyers says
So delicious. I made these with the intent of gifting some of my friends, but my family ate most of them before I had a chance to give them away. Looks like I will be making another batch tomorrow. Such an easy and yummy recipe with lots of options to “play” with different flavors.
I'm so glad they turned out for you! And so glad you're going to be making them again so soon! <3
These cookies TRULY are representative of the infamous STL gooey cake. So very easy and yummy if you follow the recipe exactly. Yummy!!
So glad you like them! I miss St. Louis gooey butter cake, so this is a delicious replacement!