A 9x13 pan of baked gooey butter cake with a spatula removing a piece.
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5 from 1 vote

Original Gooey Butter Cake

This Original Gooey Butter Cake is made with a yeast crust that is topped with a sweet and gooey butter cake mixture.
Prep Time2 hrs 10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time2 hrs 50 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15
Calories: 319kcal
Author: Lauren Allen


For the crust:

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons + 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter , room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the topping:

  • 3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 12 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


  • In a small bowl combine yeast, 1/4 tsp sugar and warm milk. Set aside for 5 minutes. 
  • In a stand mixer cream together the butter and 3 Tbsp of sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the yeast mixture, egg, salt and flour and mix on low until combined. 
  • Increase speed and mix/knead for about 7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and has pulled away from the sides of the bowl. 
  • Press the dough into an ungreased 9x13'' baking dish. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. 

For the topping:

  • Whisk together light corn syrup, water and vanilla until combined. 
  • In a separate bowl cream together the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add egg, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add a little of the flour, alternating with adding the corn syrup mixture, until both are combined. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Drop large spoonfuls of topping all over the risen dough. Use a spatula to gently smooth it into an even layer. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top has set and is golden brown. The center should still seem soft when it comes out of the oven. Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack to room temperature. 
  • Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar.  This cake is best enjoyed the day it is made.



Make ahead:  Though I think gooey butter cake is best enjoyed the day it is made, it can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.
To store:  Store gooey butter cake at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To freeze:  Allow the cake to cool to room temperature and then decide on a freezing method.  I like to cut gooey butter cake into smaller bars and place them in a gallon freezer ziplock bag.  This way, I can thaw just one piece at a time.  You can also freeze the whole cake by covering the pan (as long as it's aluminum and not glass) in plastic wrap or tinfoil and freeze for up to 3 months.


Calories: 319kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 139mg | Potassium: 48mg | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1.3mg