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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.


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


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


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
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Gooey Butter Cookies

By: Jamie
4.32 from 58 ratings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 22 minutes
Servings: 24 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!


  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 1 large Egg room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix 15.25 ounces
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar


  • In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and butter until thoroughly combined.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
  • Add cake mix, and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 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.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 9-12 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on the pan before removing them to a wire rack.
  • If desired, sprinkle cooled cookies with additional powdered sugar before serving.


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.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 154kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 190mg, Potassium: 27mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 255IU, Calcium: 57mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.32 from 58 votes (58 ratings without comment)

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  1. Tara Walker says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful cookie! I made these yesterday, just as written, and they are very good!! Too good, because I can’t eat just one! :) Thanks again!

    1. Jamie says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Tara!

  2. Melissa says:

    LOVE THESE! I whip this recipe up all the time. I literally crave these cookies. Amazing.

    1. Jamie says:

      Thank you, Melissa!

  3. Claire terborg says:

    Can’t get the recipe. 

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Claire! Just scroll down after you click the link, and the recipe is towards the bottom. Let me know if you need anything else!

  4. Morgan says:

    My cookies didn’t turn out . They were deflated, greasy and flat … Any ideas? 

    1. Jamie says:

      I have made these several times and never had this issue, so I am not sure what happened. May I ask what brand of cake mix you used and how long you refrigerated the dough?

  5. Morgan says:

    If we make your homemade cake mix to use in this recipe do we include wet ingredients too? (Butter)…

    1. Jamie says:

      Hi, Morgan! Yes, just follow the cake mix recipe as written. Let me know if I can help you further!

  6. Shauna Seiler says:

    Do you think you could add food coloring to the mix to make them pastel colors for Easter?

    1. Jamie says:

      I haven’t tried adding food coloring to these cookies, but I think it will work just fine. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Ann says:

    My husband is a big butter cake fan. When I saw the recipe yesterday I knew I had to make these cookies. 
    Baked them last night, easy and sooooooo good. He loves them! 
    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Jamie says:

      So glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe, Ann! Thanks so much for coming back and leaving your feedback – it is much appreciated. Enjoy those cookies!

  8. Sheila - Johannesburg SA says:

    I am not a fan of box cake mixtures, could you give the approximate quantities required for the “cake mix” if you want to make from scratch?

  9. Kate brown says:

    I am headed to the get out my peace cake mix and my apron..

    1. Jamie says:

      Sounds like a great plan, Kate! Enjoy!

  10. JulieD says:

    These look amazing…must try these…I love soft cookies!

    1. Jamie says:

      They’re so easy and so good! Definitely give them a try, Julie!