This easy Gooey Butter Cake with Brown Butter has a deeper, richer flavor that you’ll crave again and again. 

This is a classic St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake with a twist. The browned butter really kicks it up a notch – you won’t believe the difference it makes!

gooey butter cake with brown butter in white baking dish
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Yep! You read that right. I love everything browned butter and when we had guests coming over a couple weeks ago, I decided to adapt my traditional St. Louis gooey butter cake recipe.

While that version can be a breakfast danish or dessert, gooey browned butter cake makes an incredible dessert!

Serve it al a mode if you want to go all out! If you can find caramel ice cream – even better.

brown butter gooey butter cake garnished with powdered sugar

Brown Butter is also known as beurre noisette – a warm sauce used in French cooking for vegetables, pasta, fish and chicken.

While it sounds and tastes “fancy” anyone can do it – in fact, you may have on accident without even realizing it! It is the result of cooking butter until the milk solids turn brown and the water evaporates, resulting in a nutty aroma and flavor.

It tastes rich, like a hint of toasted nuts. Brown butter enhances just about any baked good that calls for butter, giving it a deeper flavor.

crusty brown butter gooey butter in white baking dish

Brown Butter Gooey Butter Cake

Over the years I’ve created a lot of variations to one of our favorite desserts! I don’t want to make the others jealous, but Brown Butter Gooey Butter Cake is my favorite! 

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Why You’ll Love this Recipe

  • Classic – Gooey Butter is a traditional St. Louis dessert that celebs like Paula Deen have recreated dubbing it Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Whatever you call it, it’s amazing!
  • Textural – It’s a layer of dense, moist cake topped with a sweet cream cheese mixture. The top forms into an amazing delicate crust for a beautiful crunch. It’s texture heaven!
  • Easy to Make – Simple pantry ingredients is all you will need to make this tasty treat!
brown butter gooey butter cake on blue napkin

crust of gooey butter cake

Shopping List

  • Golden Recipe Yellow Cake Mix
  • Salted Butter
  • Eggs
  • Cream Cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
gooey butter cake on a plate with a napkin

Substitutions and Variations

  • Switch up the cake mix – Try with your favorite flavor!
  • Cream Cheese – You can use a low fat cream cheese if you’d like, but I recommend the full fat for this delicious dessert. Learn How to Soften Cream Cheese here.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar, you can learn how to make powdered sugar here.
top of a gooey butter cake
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Tips

  • You can learn more about how to brown butter with step by step photos and video here.
  • Use an 8×8, 8×8, 9×11 or 9×13 pan. Just adjust baking time – the thicker your gooey butter cake is, the longer it will take to bake.
  • Grease your pan so that the cake doesn’t stick.
  • It’s done when a crust has formed on the top, yet the cake is slightly gooey and jiggles a bit when you shake the dish.
  • Make it ahead or bake and enjoy when it’s warm.
A white baking dish with a square of apple pie and gooey butter cake.

How to Store

  • Room Temperature – Store covered in an air tight container for up to two days at room temp.
  • Refrigerate – The cake will last up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Freeze – You can also freeze the cake for up to a month by wrapping it in plastic wrap or in a large freezer bag.
gooey butter cake slice on a white plate

Dietary Considerations

  • Vegetarian
  • Nut Free (so long as you purchase an approved box of cake mix)

More Gooey Inspiration

A white baking dish with a gooey butter cake.
4.98 from 46 votes

Gooey Butter Cake with Brown Butter

Classic St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake with a twist – this easy Gooey Butter Cake with Brown Butter has a deeper, richer flavor that you’ll crave again and again!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 16
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Ingredients  

Crust

  • 1 box golden butter recipe yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 2 eggs

Filling

Instructions 

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9×9 pan.
  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, watching carefully, brown the butter until it's a beautiful brown and has a nutty aroma. Allow to cool 5 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and cake mix. Add eggs.
  • Using a spatula, press dough into pan.

Filling

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth. Pour mixture on top of dough crust, leaving a small rim around the edge for the cake crust to rise.
  • Garnish with powdered sugar and bake 40-45 minutes. You will a feel slight crust on top, but it won't be jelly-like.

Julie’s Tips

Serve al a mode if you want to go all out!  
You can make this in an 8×8, 9×9 or 9×13 – it will determine the thickness and you will need to adjust bake time.
Calories: 362kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 339mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 47g | Vitamin A: 412IU | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg

Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.

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How to Make

  1. Prep – Preheat oven and grease baking dish.
  2. Brown Butter – Brown until it achieves a beautiful golden color and nutty aroma. brown butter
  3. Make Crust – Combine crust ingredients and fill dish.
  4. Make Filling – Combine filling ingredients and top crust.
  5. Bake

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52 Comments

  1. I live inn Australia, we don’t have anything called ‘yellow cake mix’. Is that just another way of saying vanilla cake mix?

  2. I live in the STL area and make this frequently. I’ve never used brown butter or brown sugar?? I guess we all do it a bit differently. I use the yellow cake mix, 1 stick of butter, 8 ounces cream cheese, 4 eggs and 1 lb box of powdered sugar. One of the simplest recipes ever created and turns out perfect every time. Passed to me from a friend many, many years ago. I may give this one a try but you know we are pretty picky about our gooey butter cakes around the STL!

    1. I have the classic recipe on my site, but love to play around with it which is how I developed this! It’s SO good – more of a dessert. Serve warm a la mode 😉

  3. If you’re using cake mix and cream cheese, you’re not making real Gooey Butter cake! Look it up.

    Paula Dean is not the real deal!

    1. Hey, butter ball! I’m a St. Louisan. I have a recipe from scratch, too (see Gooey Butter Cake), but we all love the box mix version that’s been made and loved in St. Louis for years.

  4. The recipe for this is not showing for me.  Can I follow your regular Gooey Butter Cake and Browned butter technique to get the job done?  I am hoping to use it for a birthday this Saturday! 🙂 Thank you for your lovely site!  Kimberly 

    1. I’m SO sorry! I’m updating my recipe card to make it more user friendly and in the meantime, some go missing. Thanks for bringing it to my attention! You can can definitely do that or I reinserted the recipe card. Hope you have a great time celebrating!