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Gooey Butter Cookies

Gooey Butter Cookies have all the delicious flavors of gooey butter cake, but in cookie form. A sprinkling of powdered sugar makes them extra special!

Gooey butter cookies scattered on a metal cooling rack on a gray counter

After almost 13 years of blogging here on My Baking Addiction, it’s pretty safe to say that I go in phases with what I’m whipping up in the kitchen.

Sure there are seasonal ingredients like pumpkin in the fall and cranberries in the winter, but beyond that, I typically bake up whatever I feel like baking up and right now I’m in a total cookie phase.

From my very favorite chocolate chip cookies and Peanut Butter Blossoms to these Gooey Butter Cookies, I just can’t enough of cookie baking.

WHAT ARE GOOEY BUTTER COOKIES?

If you’re not from the midwest and have never heard of gooey butter cake, you might be confused by the name “Gooey Butter Cookies.”

These cookies are a take on gooey butter cake, which is famous in St. Louis, Missouri. 

Cream cheese and butter mixed together in a metal mixing bowl

While there’s a more complicated traditional recipe, most home bakers in the Midwest make their gooey butter cake with a layer of yellow cake batter, made with cake mix, topped with a cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar mixture that gets spread on top.

When it bakes up, the cake becomes a bit of a crust with the gooey cream cheese “filling” on top.

These Gooey Butter Cookies use all of the same flavors as the famous cake, but in a more portable form!

Gooey butter cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl

HOW TO MAKE THESE COOKIES

I’ve long been a huge fan of gooey butter cake – you simply can’t go wrong with butter, cream cheese, and sugar, right? 

So when I stumbled upon a recipe for Gooey Butter Cookies, I knew they’d instantly become one of my favorites. And since Gooey Butter Cake and cookies both use a boxed cake mix, the recipes come together in no time. 

Ball of gooey butter cookie dough being rolled in powdered sugar on a white plate

So they’re perfect when you’re short on time, or have a bit of a cake mix hoarding problem like I do.

To make these cookies, you’ll need:

  • 1 8 ounce package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 large Egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar
Balls of gooey butter cookie dough on a baking sheet, ready to bake

(Psst! Forgot to set out your butter and eggs again? Learn how to bring butter and eggs to room temperature and how to soften cream cheese.)

Mix together the cream cheese with the butter, then add the egg and vanilla. Mix in the cake mix and chill the dough for 1 hour.

You don’t technically have to chill the dough before baking, but it makes the dough a lot less sticky and easier to roll. So I recommend it!

Powdered sugar being dusted on top of a pile of gooey butter cookies on a white plate

Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place them on a lined baking sheet and bake.

Before serving, I like to dust them with a bit more powdered sugar, just like their cake cousin!

Hand holding up the two halves of a gooey butter cookie to the camera to show the cakey texture

CAN YOU FREEZE THESE COOKIES?

If you want to freeze your Gooey Butter Cookies, the best way would be to freeze the dough before it is baked.

I have a helpful tutorial on how to freeze cookie dough that walks you through the best way to do it.

You could freeze the baked cookies, but they are so soft and cakey that you’ll want to freeze them on a baking sheet before putting them in an airtight freezer bag. You don’t want them to get smashed by putting them in the bag first! 

These Gooey Butter Cookies are soft, cake-like and just plain delicious. Give this recipe a try with lemon cake mix and devil’s food cake mix, too! 

Three gooey butter cookies arranged next to a glass of milk on a white plate
Three gooey butter cookies arranged next to a glass of milk on a white plate

Gooey Butter Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Gooey Butter Cookies have all the delicious flavors of gooey butter cake, but in cookie form. A sprinkling of powdered sugar makes them extra special!

Ingredients

  • 1 8 ounce package Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1 large Egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly combined.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  3. Add cake mix, and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Cover dough and refrigerate for one hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Portion the dough into 1-inch cookie balls and roll the balls in the powdered sugar. Place cookie dough balls on prepared cookie sheet, at least 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 9-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan before removing them to a wire rack.
  8. If desired, sprinkle cooled cookies with additional powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

Dough refrigeration is not required, but recommended because it makes the dough less sticky; therefore, it's easier to roll.

Store Gooey Butter Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Adapted from allrecipes.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 24 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 157Total Fat 8gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 27mgSodium 192mgCarbohydrates 20gFiber 0gSugar 11gProtein 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Gladys L.

Tuesday 19th of February 2019

Can you use salted butter?

Jamie

Wednesday 20th of February 2019

Hello! I haven't attempted this recipe with this substitution, so I am not sure of the result and if it would make the cookies too salty. If you happen to give it a try, I'd love to know how they turned out. Thanks so much for stopping by. -Jamie

Luzdelia Arroyo

Friday 7th of September 2018

These recipes are sime and easy to follow. Hard ro make a mistake.. Love them. Thank You LA

Jamie

Sunday 9th of September 2018

So happy to hear you enjoyed the cookies, Luzdelia! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your feedback! -Jamie

Caroline

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

The recipe isn’t showing up and I would like to make these tonight. 

Jamie

Thursday 8th of February 2018

Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention, I've fixed the glitch! -Jamie

Stacey

Saturday 11th of February 2017

Is there an egg substitute available? My son is allergic to eggs but I've made these for s party and they are awesome!! I wish he could have them too!

Jamie

Sunday 12th of February 2017

Hi, Stacey! You can try 1 mashed banana for every egg or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. I hope your son enjoys them!

Jamie

Sunday 12th of February 2017

Hi, Stacey! You can try 1 mashed banana for every egg or 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce. I hope your son enjoys them!

Brandy Phelps

Monday 6th of February 2017

Love love love these cookies, I made them yesterday for Super Bowl and I was the hit of the party!!! I made a small little change by using zest of one lemon in the cake mix and a little bit a fresh lemon juice as well. After taking them out of the oven I make a powdered sugar glaze using more lemon juices as flavor and top with a raspberry and dusted with more powder suger. They were gorgeous!

Jamie

Monday 6th of February 2017

I'm so happy to hear that, Brandy!

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