Gooey butter cake cookies made from scratch (no cake mix!).


Gooey Butter Cake Cookies (NOT made with a cake mix!) @dessertfortwo

I haven’t talked much about living in St Louis, have I? After living in 3 different states in the last 3 years, we struggle to put roots down and get ‘too comfortable’ in any one place.

As I write this, we never know where the future will take us. Most likely, St Louis isn’t home. We tell ourselves we’re close to family here, but, really, ‘close’ means a 9-10 hour car drive. ‘Close’ is now open to interpretation.

It’s not that we’re not happy in St Louis at all! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: you Midwesterners are NICE. I spent my twenties in California and walked away with a number of friends that I can count on one hand. They are life-long friends, but few, they are. I’ve been in St Louis 11 months, and I am having to reschedule coffee dates with multiple people because I’m terrible at time management during the week.

We’ve done some amazing things in our short time: hockey games, football games, Broadway plays, concerts. These tickets just keep falling in our laps, and we have no shortage of people to call to join us. It’s pretty grand.


There’s a huge food scene here, but to be honest, I cook at home. A LOT.

We have a great CCSA (Combined CSA, meaning several farms contribute) that gives us fresh produce, meat, dairy and eggs each week. I’m so giddy to cook everything in my bag each week, that it never occurs to me to go out to eat much.  But the restaurants we have eaten at meet or exceed my expectations.

We’re currently doing a barbecue tour of the city with a group of friends where we choose a different smoke joint every Friday. Besides the one time I ordered pickles as a side dish and got an entire pint of ’em (even a pregnant chick would agree that’s too many pickles!), it’s been pretty good.

I have to admit one of my favorite things about eating barbecue on Fridays with our friends (besides the endless laughter) is that we can take it to-go and eat it at a bar. Can you believe there’s a bar that allows you to bring in outside food?! I know we are the envy of the bar. You know how good barbecue smells. Yeah, you do.

There are TWO food magazines in this city. Not one, but two. I’m impressed. What else impresses me? Gooey butter cake. I love that every bakery has it. And I love it that I’m not judged one bit when I order it for breakfast. This place called Russell’s on Macklind has seasonal flavors, and their coconut gooey butter cake and cranberry-orange gooey butter cake is exceptional.

I feel cheated that I didn’t grow up with this cake. Everyone knows Boston Cream Pie, but why not Gooey Butter Cake? I’m here to fix that. Another thing I’m here to fix: gooey butter cake recipes using cake mix. This cookie recipe tastes exactly like gooey butter cake minus the cake mix. {insert wild applause here}

It’s the cream cheese, guys. It makes it taste like a cake mix. I also have a pumpkin gooey butter cake recipe on this site that makes me beam. Now, I give you gooey butter cake cookies.


Notes on gooey butter cake cookies:

These gooey butter cake cookies are the softest, gooiest, chewiest cookies I’ve ever made. And they are ridiculously delicious. I made a batch and took them to a sick friend. What? Sugar aids recovery (#notadoctor). She’s a St Louis native, and she flipped over the cookies. I mean, part of me thinks it’s the pain meds talking, but the other part of me knows that I ate 3 in one sitting the first time I made them. I never do that. But I had 12 bites. In a row. I even leaned on a table while eating to fully take in how delicious they are.

You gotta make these.

Go ahead, eat 12 bites in a row. These gooey butter cake cookies want you as much as you want them.

Yield: 1

Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

Gooey Butter Cake Cookies

Gooey butter cookies, made without cake mix!

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Total Time 59 minutes


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, add the cream cheese and butter. Beat together with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 30 seconds.
  2. Slowly add the sugar to the cream cheese mixture while continuously beating. Beat the sugar into the cream cheese mixture until light and fluffy, 1 minute.
  3. Next, add the vanilla, whole egg, and egg yolk. Beat until combined.
  4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the cream cheese mixture in three increments, beating in between each addition.
  5. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. This is not optional. Like, at all.*
  6. Preheat the oven to 325-degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Have the powdered sugar ready in a shallow bowl nearby.
  8. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon of dough, roll it in your hands to form a ball. Roll the dough into the powdered sugar before placing them evenly on the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 14 minutes. Keep a close eye on these cookies--they should not brown in the oven. The top of the cookies will be puffed and slightly wet. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before serving.


*YOU MUST CHILL THESE COOKIES FOR THE RECOMMENDED ABOUT OF TIME. I keep getting emails about the cookies spreading, and this is what happens when you use non-chilled dough. Please, follow instructions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 149Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 2g

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