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Butter Cake

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close up shot of a slice of Butter Cake on a plate
The first time you take a bite of this gooey butter cake, you'll wonder why it took you so long to discover this delectable dessert.
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Table of Contents
  1. Butter Cake Ingredients
  2. How to Make This Butter Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

You will be so glad you made this gooey butter cake recipe once you take your first bite. A soft cake layer, topped with a gooey cream cheese layer and finished off with a rich, buttery sauce, is the stuff dreams are made of.

close up shot of a slice of Butter Cake on a plate

Butter Cake Ingredients

Butter Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cake Layer

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Layer

  • 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, cut into pieces and softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

For the Butter Sauce

  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CAKE MIX: Any brand of cake mix will work fine in this easy recipe.

TOPPING: While we provide directions to make a buttery sauce to top this simple butter cake, some people like to add a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar or caramel sauce instead.

How to Make This Butter Cake Recipe

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Be sure the eggs (and all ingredients) are at room temperature when mixing the cake layers. This helps them to combine evenly. For example, if the eggs are cold, they will harden up the cream cheese while beating it together and cause lumps in the mixture.

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with baking spray.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cake layer ingredients together. Press the cake batter into the prepared pan.

PRO TIP:

The bottom cake layer is sticky. If you grease your spatula with a bit of butter or nonstick cooking spray, it will be much easier to press the dough into the pan without it getting stuck to the spatula.

first layer ingredients pressed into the baking dish

STEP THREE: Beat the cream cheese, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, add in the powdered sugar and beat until creamy and combined. Spread over the first layer.

cream cheese spread over the first layer in a baking dish

STEP FOUR: Bake the butter cake for 40 minutes until golden and puffy.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.

baked cake in a baking dish

STEP FIVE: Meanwhile, make the butter sauce by combining the butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking regularly, until the mixture has turned slightly golden and thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.

PRO TIP:

The butter sauce will thicken the longer you cook it. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes, and it was thick enough to hold its shape when poured over the cake. 

butter, sugar, and milk whisked together in a bowl

STEP SIX: Pour butter sauce over top of the cake (either warm or after the cake has cooled) and serve.

butter sauce poured over the cake

How To Serve

This delicious cake does not need anything extra to make it the perfect choice for a dessert to serve to guests or even just to your family. If you want an extra indulgent treat, you can never go wrong with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream.

Our Kentucky butter cake is another rich cake, while our crazy cake is a fun vintage recipe that we are sure you will enjoy. 

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store this rich cake in the refrigerator for up to 1 week in an airtight container or covered in plastic wrap.

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze this delicious ooey-gooey butter cake for up to 1 month in an airtight container.

overhead shot of Butter Cake in a baking dish

Originating in St. Louis, this incredible buttery cake recipe takes simple ingredients to create a delicious treat with a creamy toffee-like baked topping. We guarantee this will be a huge hit with anyone you serve it to.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze this cake?

This great cake can be kept in the freezer for up to a month.

Can I top this cake with something other than the butter sauce?

Instead of the butter sauce, try a dusting of powdered sugar or caramel sauce for two delicious alternatives.

How do I know the cake is finished baking?

Once the edges just start to brown slightly, your St. Louis gooey butter cake is done. You don’t want to overbake this cake as you want it to be gooey and soft when you bite into it.

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close up shot of a slice of Butter Cake on a plate

Butter Cake

5 from 1 vote
The first time you take a bite of this gooey butter cake, you'll wonder why it took you so long to discover this delectable dessert.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Cake Layer

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into pieces and softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Butter Sauce

  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch pan with baking spray.
  • Beat together the cake layer ingredients. Press into the prepared pan.
  • Beat cream cheese, butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add in the powdered sugar and beat until creamy and combined. Spread over the first layer.
  • Bake the butter cake for 40 minutes until golden and puffy.
  • Meanwhile, make a butter sauce by combining butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, whisking regularly, until mixture has turned slightly golden and thickens. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla extract.
  • Pour butter sauce over butter cake (either warm or after the cake has cooled) and serve.

Notes

  • Be sure the eggs (and all ingredients) are at room temperature when mixing the cake layers. This helps them to combine evenly. For example, if the eggs are cold, they will harden up the cream cheese while beating it together and cause lumps in the mixture.
  • The bottom cake layer is sticky. If you grease your spatula with a bit of butter or nonstick cooking spray, it will be much easier to press the dough into the pan without it getting stuck to the spatula.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cake as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • The butter sauce will thicken the longer you cook it. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes, and it was thick enough to hold its shape when poured over the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 426mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 72g | Vitamin A: 842IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 1mg
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