This pumpkin gooey butter cake is the definition of fall decadence. Ooey Gooey pumpkin cake is moist, rich, and creamy layer of gooey pumpkin cake, with a buttery crust.

Make these incredible gooey pumpkin bars in just 10 minutes hands on time.

A white plate with a slice of gooey pumpkin butter bars, a white pumpkin beside the plate.
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Ready to kick off fall baking?

It’s so simple to embrace the flavors of the seasons by substituting a few ingredients in a favorite recipe. Gooey Butter Cake is one of our favorite staples! Every now and then, I love treating my husband to one of these classic St. Louis favorites.

It’s a simple and delicious combination of ingredients to create a decadent, unforgettable treat.

As a St. Louisan and Gooey Butter connoisseur, I’m proud to share this fun fall twist – Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake! You’ll love my Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cookies and Pumpkin Pound Cake too – they are simply incredible!

I’ve even got a Complete Guide to Pumpkin Desserts filled with dozens of recipes you’ll enjoy all fall.

Use the drop down Table of Contents menu to navigate this post, and don’t forget to pin it and save for later!

A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake may have been made famous by Paula Dean, who calls it Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. However, it was first made in the 1930’s in error by a baker in St. Louis. He had simply reversed the proportions of butter and flour.

Gooey butter, intended for danishes, was smeared on top and it instantly became a hit! What a happy accident!

Why You’ll Love It

  • So Easy – Starts with a shortcut box of cake mix and comes together in minutes!
  • Crowd Pleaser – So moist, dense, rich and decadent.
  • Fall Perfection – Goes perfectly with your pumpkin spice latte!

The addition of pumpkin gives it incredible fall flavor you can’t resist. The texture is out-of-this world with a thick cake-like base topped with a sweet, gooey pumpkin spice layer you can’t resist.

A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.

Ingredients and Substitutions

See printable recipe card for complete ingredients and instructions.

  • Yellow Cake Mix – You know I love to bake from scratch, but I am also a fan of a shortcut when it makes sense. You can learn how to make Gooey Butter Cake from scratch here. You can substitute pumpkin or spice cake mix for even more pumpkin flavor.
  • Butter – I tend to use salted butter in my baking because I like a little salty flavor to balance the sweet, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Learn how to soften butter.
  • Eggs – Eggs are important because they help stabilize the batter, and they add moisture.
  • Cream Cheese – Use full fat cream cheese when possible! Learn how to soften cream cheese.
  • Canned Pumpkin – Canned pumpkin adds an incredible boost of moisture and density to this cake.
  • Cinnamon – This gives it the fall flavor and fragrance you’ll love.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar. If you don’t have any, you can pulse white granulated sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy.

Variations

stand mixer

Tools to Use

close up of a slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake sprinkled with powder sugar.

How To Make

  1. Prep – Preheat oven and grease baking dish.
  2. Combine Base – In a mixing bowl or mixer, combine butter, eggs and cake mix. Spoon into your dish and with a spatula, firmly press down into the base of the dish to create a thin crust.
  3. Combine Topping – Mix eggs, cream cheese, pumpkin, and spices pour onto crust. Garnish with powdered sugar and optional cinnamon.
  4. Bake – Bake as directed and allow to cool before serving.
A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.

Tips

  • Do not to over-bake, it should remain slightly gooey.
  • Making more, or prefer a smaller dessert? Print my Measurement Conversion Chart or use the feature to double or triple in the recipe card.
  • Learn how to substitute the ingredients in this cake with my printable Baking Substitutions Chart.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a gooey butter cake from scratch?

I know this will come as a surprise to my regular readers… but I promise, this cake is one that is delicious with a cake mix! It’s just so easy, why complicate a good thing?
However, if you want a from scratch recipe – try this gooey butter cake without a cake mix.

Can I use fresh pumpkin?

If you want to put in the extra effort, you can substitute the canned pumpkin for fresh pureed pumpkin. The volume will be the same – use one cup fresh puree for one cup canned. A 15 ounce can of pumpkin puree is 1 and 3/4 cup fresh.

A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.

Serving Suggestions

Slice it into squares and serve with a topping! Keep in mind, this is a very sweet, very rich dessert, so a little will go a long way!

How to Store

  • At Room Temperature – Cover and keep at room temperature for up to three days.
  • Refrigerate – Cover in an airtight container up to one week refrigerated.
  • Freeze – Freeze whole or in slices for up to a month in an airtight container.
A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.

More Gooey Inspiration

A slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake on a white plate, dusted with powdered sugar.
5 from 19 votes

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

These decadent pumpkin gooey cake bars are an easy fall treat that everyone will love. A St. Louis classic, ooey gooey butter cake get a seasonal spin with the addition of pumpkin.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 12
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Ingredients  

CRUST

  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • golden butter recipe cake mix

GOOEY FILLING

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a medium mixing bowl or stand mixer, combine butter, eggs and cake mix. Press into your dish and with a spatula to create a thin crust.
  • Combine eggs, pumpkin, cream cheese, butter, cinnamon and powdered sugar. Spoon and spread on top of crust.
  • Bake 40 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.

Julie’s Tips

Substitutions

  • Yellow Cake Mix – You can substitute pumpkin or spice cake mix for even more pumpkin flavor.
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted.
  • Cream Cheese – Use full fat cream cheese when possible or low fat in a pinch. 
  • Cinnamon – Can substitute with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg if you prefer.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar. If you don’t have any, you can pulse white granulated sugar in a food processor until light and fluffy.

Tips

  • Do not to over-bake, it should remain slightly gooey.

To Store

  • At Room Temperature – Cover and keep at room temperature for up to three days.
  • Refrigerate – Cover in an airtight container up to one week refrigerated.
  • Freeze – Freeze whole or in slices for up to a month in an airtight container.
Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 183mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 699IU | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

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

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18 Comments

    1. Hi Sandy,
      I’m not experienced with baking at a high altitude, but I do know that the general rule of thumb is to set your timer for 5 minutes less per 30 minutes of baking. This butter cake has a lot of liquid (hence the gooey name!) so I think you’d do well with it in that way!
      Enjoy, and be sure to report back with your findings!
      Julie

  1. Please advise size of cake mix (There is 18+ox and 16+oz) and the can of pumpkin. There is a smaller size can in the States and a large can in Canada.

    1. Hi Jan! Here in the states, our cake mix boxes are 15 ounces (15.25 I believe), and our pumpkin cans are also 15 ounces. Hope that helps- enjoy!

    1. I followed this recipe exactly but after 40 minutes it was not close to done. I’m very familiar with gooey butter cake and I know it is gooey and not dry or completely solid, but mine was extremely thin and liquidy—pretty much the same consistency as the batter when I put it in the oven—except on the edges. It was not just gooey. Any suggestions?