Ooey Gooey Cake Mix Bars

A couple months ago, my family went to visit my grandparents in California. It has been a while since we had last been out there and I have been seriously missing spending time with them. Yes, this is the same grandma that supplies a lot of the yummy recipes on this blog from her incredible cookbook she made and compiled of recipes she has had since she was first married.

While we were there, she made these bars for one of the desserts. I could not stop eating them! Partially because all I have wanted with this pregnancy is sugar and sweets. I asked her for the recipe and she said it had been in the cookbook all these years and I had just somehow overlooked it. They are SO easy to make and are the perfect combo of ooey-gooey and delicious! Trust me, you need to make these!

Ooey Gooey Cake Mix Bars from chef-in-training.com …These are so simple to make and are absolutely delicious!

Ooey Gooey Cake Mix Bars

These bars are melt in your mouth delicious and super easy to make!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 337kcal



  • 1 box yellow cake mix dry
  • 8 Tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 egg

Gooey Layer

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter and egg. Mix until smooth and well combined.
  • Pat and press dough evenly over the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking pan. Set aside.
  • In a separate large bowl, beat and cream the cream cheese. Add the eggs and beat until smooth for a minute or two. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until well combined.
  • Pour over crust and bake at 350 degrees F for about 25-30 minutes or until done. Do not over bake.
  • When done, remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into.


Calories: 337kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 50mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Vitamin C: 0.001mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg
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Recipe comes from Paula Deen

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #chefintraining and/or #chefintrainingblog. I would love to see how these recipes take shape in your kitchens.

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  1. candy silva

    yummy,bet it would be good with different flavored cake mixes lemon etc. thanka for the recipe.

    1. Angela


      I cooked this exactly as the instructions says and at 30 mins the middle still wasn't done but the outsides were. So at 40 mins I checked and still the same thing the middle still not done and outiafes are. So checked at 50 mins and still not done but almost. Mine was done at 55 min. I'm wondering if it's cause of where I live though. I live in Oklahoma.

    2. Sandy K

      I'm going to make this today but in response to Angela...the recipe says "Do NOT overbake"...so maybe that's where the " ooey gooey" comes from?

    3. Charlotte

      This is an old recipe that someone in St. Louis, MO created many years ago -- before Paula Dean claimed it. It's called "Gooey Butter Cake" and it's supposed to be slightly gooey in the middle. If the edges are dark and crunchy, you've overbaked it. I usually bake the cake for approximately 35 minutes. I've made it so many times over the past 30 years, that I can generally tell when it's time to take it out. I usually rock the pan back and forth to see how gooey it is -- but it sets a little when you take it out of the oven and let it cool. The bakeries in St. Louis don't follow this recipe. They pour the sugar/cream cheese mixture over yeast dough and bake it. It tastes more like coffee cake.

    4. terri

      It's supposed to appear a bit 'raw' in the center.. it's a "Gooey" bar (aka Gooey Butter Cake).. when you eat it, it's still gooey. do NOT over bake, or it ruins it. yes. you can use any cake flavor. Pumpkin Gooey Bars are fantastic, too!

    5. Martha in Texas


      these never completely set my gma has been making this recipe for yrs she called it Chess cake. It has nothing to do with OK is doesn't totally set here in East Texas either..
      Martha n tx

    6. Brian

      Yes!! I make them and they are yummy

    7. Dianne Evans

      This "Gooey Butter Cake" recipe originated in the 1930's when a German baker who was trying to make a regular cake batter, used the wrong proportions of ingredients. It was an instant hit. It was made popular in the US in 1943 and published in the 1990's Jr. League of St. Louis cookbook. Many people think Paula Deen created it, she didn't!

    8. Karen McBride


      see recipes for Chess Pie Squares...same thing

    9. Nancy

      I'm making these right now, can't wait to taste them! The center will appear soft, but don't over bake them. It will set as it cools. This is the first time I make these, but I'm made the pumpkin butter cakes for Thanksgiving every year since I discovered the recipe and the very first time I made them I thought the same. I thought it was supposed be firmer, but no, the were just right.

    10. Bev

      Just took these out of the oven. I wish I had read the comments before. I'm afraid I may have overbaked it. Didn't know the center should be gooey and would thicken while cooling. Thanks for all the reviews.

    11. Sandra

      We have used strawberry cake mix and it is really good.

    12. Debra

      How do you make the pumpkin ones?

    13. S


      Amen! You are spot on with how the origins and how to bake it. :)

    14. dawn

      Same thing happened to me...but I noticed the original Paula Deen recipe called for it to cook 45-50 min

    15. Chelsa

      Nothing has made me madder while cooking as much as trying to spread this "crust". Other than that it's great.

  2. candy silva

    yummy,bet it would be good with different flavored cake mixes lemon etc. thanks for the recipe.

  3. Mir


    I love the simplicity of this! Yellow cake mix doesn't even taste the same when it gets doctored this wonderfully. Great recipe!

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    One of my fave recipes on my site that I made 3-4 yrs ago uses yellow cake mix and it's a gooey bar. Basically the combo of cake mix + cream cheese (or sweet. cond. milk) is always a winner! So sweet that your grandma made a cookbook for you AND that the recipe has been in there the whole time! pinned

  5. Emily @ Life on Food

    How simple but lovely! This totally reminds me of the desserts we have out a church potluck.

  6. Nicole

    Sorry if I may have missed this ... But do these need to be refrigerated?

    1. Chef in Training

      yes I would keep the leftovers refrigerated in an air tight container.

    2. terri

      we just cover ours and leave them out, but then again I have a 6'5" 20 yr old and the bars don't usually last more than 2 days LOL.

  7. Matt Robinson


    These look ridiculously good and so easy to make. Can't wait to try them!

  8. Lynn


    Great easy recipe! I subbed Butter pecan cake mix and added about 1 1/2 cup of coconut. I cooked it for about 10 minutes longer. They turned out great!! Highly recommend this easy recipe!

    1. Lynn

      Forgot to say that i added the coconut to the top layer!

  9. Crystal

    Looks and sound delicious!! Thanks for the recipe!! Pinning :)

  10. emily


    This is Paula Deen's recipe. Of course its good!

  11. Brenda

    would like to see the calories and nutrition info on these

  12. shamene@sayitwithcake

    These look delicious!!

    I was wondering if you are still having your link party on Tuesdays? I didn't see on for this week? Thanks!

  13. Amy

    Could these be frozen?? How would that be done?

  14. Michele

    Next time I make these I'm going to do 8 oz of powder sugar instead of 16 oz. It's way to sweet. Also I might add a can of fruit pie filling to the top of the cake. I'm hoping the fruit will be tart enough to offset the sweetness.

    1. Mary


      I totally agree with you I put them in refrig to 'harden" a little - they are so sweet, they
      don't even faste good - all you can taste is powdered sugar. i was thinking I mis calculated
      the measurement - waste of good ingredients!

  15. jean sibley

    I made the ooey gooey bars , I used a lemon cake mix and it was to die for, I will make another for a tea that I will be attending, thank you for the recipe.

    1. Cynthia Helms


      I’ve been reading all the responses and wondering if anyone used lemon cake mix. I’ve made these for years and always used lemon as well. My recipe is called Lemon Chess Bars. And yes, I totally agree with you, they are sinfully good!

  16. Kaytee


    Just got done baking these - I used lemon cake mix and it was amazing! Just an FYI - these goes from "ooey gooey" to "too done" pretty quickly so trust the baking times!

    1. Kaytee

      Also, I used 8 oz powdered sugar and it was just fine - next time I'll add some lemon zest to cream cheese to zing it up.

  17. Maryanne


    I made these today and they came out awesome.. I divided it into 2 8x8 square pans and they baked in exactly 25 minutes and they were perfect. I always divide stuff like this into 2 pans since theres only 2 of us here and then I can freeze one of the pans. otherwise the whole thing would be gone in 24 hours!!! thanks for sharing!

  18. Tara Walls

    Step 4 says to beat cream and cream cheese, but I only see cream cheese listed in the ingredients. Can you clarify if there is supposed to be cream, too?

    Thanks! Can't wait to make these!

    1. K Sil

      I almost got confused too. Lol it just says cream the cream cheese. Don't add cream. Just beat (cream) the cream cheese. :)

    2. E. Wald

      It actually say "beat AND cream the cream cheese", so she is only talking about cream cheese, and there is no cream necessary! :)

  19. John Kelleher

    Question - Yellow Cake Mix - Old size (18.5 oz) or New size (15.5 - 16.5) Yep, they kept the same price, but made the amount of mix you get smaller.

  20. Tammy Bowman

    My Grandma made these too, but she always called them goodie cake.....love it, and make it for holidays and on those "special ocassions" ya know, like Thursday or Tuesday!!

  21. Are Hall

    In the south these are called Gooey Butter Cakes, and they are fabulous made with chocolate cake mix, or made as a pumpkin gooey butter cake. Google Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake or Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake. We've made lots of flavor variations, lemon is good too. Chef in Training is right, DON'T OVERBAKE, THE CENTER IS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOEY!

  22. Tracy M


    These are absolutely delicious and a real Southern favorite. To tag on to a few of the other comments regarding bake time, I get the best results from baking them around 40 minutes :)

  23. r

    How much should the cream be added please? It's not mentioned in the ingredients but in the recipe itself.

  24. Janet Beck

    I had same recipe that i decided to make last week. I knew I had a cake mix in cabinet, so I just asked husband to get the cream cheese. When I was ready to start, I discovered my cake mix was a pudding in mix box. I didn't think it would make a big difference, but it took 1 1/2 cups of butter and some water to get it thin enough to get it out of mixing bowl. Did not rise except around pan edges. Had a good taste, but certainly could never have been served as a bar cookie. Definitely pay attention to the recipe.

    1. barbie

      You use the cake mix dry, it should be almost like a dough that you can pat down in the pan.

    2. Jacqueline Herendeen

      This is not a cake. Look at the picture - bars that are oozy gooey in the center. You used too much butter and there is no water used in this recipe.

  25. Diana

    It's called Gooey Butter Cake. We've been making it in The St. Louis area for years and years!!!

  26. Michelle

    These are fantastically delicious with carrot cake mix for the base. So yummy in the fall!

  27. Doris Boatwright

    I'm from Georgia and have been baking this for years. They are great and easy. Can be done with different flavor cake mixes and when they come out of oven you can sprinkle powder sugar on top. Easy peasie

  28. Jill


    Made these for dessert tonight. My son and I just had to sample one a bit ago. They are amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  29. barbie

    hi, I made this last weekend and they are outstanding, however mine were slightly burned on the sides...anyone else have this issue? And I took them out at 38 minutes! thanks.

  30. Jeanette


    Made these for a party at work this week. They turned out good, but I think next time I will keep them in the oven a bit longer. Also, I baked them on Wednesday night. Good flavor at the party on Thursday at lunch, but even better the next day after being in the fridge overnight!! From now on I'll be making these two days in advance... the flavors just improve with the extra time :)
    Great recipe!

  31. Teresa Hodges


    I made these using Lemon cake mix. They were Yummy!!

  32. Michigan Beth

    This is a Paula Dean recipe. She should be given full credit.

    1. Chef in Training

      Sited her after the recipe now. Sorry about that, this has been in my grandmas cookbook for 15+ years and I was in no way trying to steal credit for anything. She has been sited now and thanks for bringing it to my attention :)

    2. Jacqueline Herendeen

      This recipe has been around for over 30 years - long before Paula Deen

    3. erinlea


      It's actually not a Paula Deen recipe. This recipe has been around for ages. My great great grandmother used this recipe. Paula Deen just made it more known and coined the recipe like it was hers even though it is not.

    4. Sharon L

      No! I live in St. Louis and this is a very old recipe! Not a Paula Deen recipe, SORRY

    5. Sandy

      I've had this recipe for over 30 years. It is not a Paula Dean original, so no need to worry.

  33. Sarah


    We have been making these for years, but we call it Sugar Creme Cake. Yes it looks like it is not done in the middle, it is supposed to. DO NOT overbake!! LOVE this recipe!! Yes it is good with a lemon cake mix...

  34. Edd

    This is "gooey butter cake" it originated in St. Louis, Mo. I love Paula Dean but she didn't come up with it. People on St. Louis have been making these before she came around.

  35. Martha in Texas


    over the years we have made it in every flavor imaginable from choco to peanut butter to Lemon. Just changed the cake mix and added a little flavoring in cream cheese layer.... Love this recipe. When I didn't have gma's written down and she couldn't find her I had found Paula Deen's Later when we found her recipe they were the same..

  36. Jean

    Oh my! I made these for my game club tonight and I must say they may be the best bar I've had in awhile! Excellent! Thank you!

  37. Gretchen

    Here in Ohio we call these Chess bars.

    1. Gretchen

      and Paula Deen did not come up with this recipe.

    2. Becky

      You are right! This recipe has been around much longer than Paula Deen has been taking credit for it.

  38. Rhoda

    LOVE this recipe! It's been a family favorite for years and is ALWAYS my youngest son's 'birthday cake' request!

    Recipe works with any flavor cake mix but our personal favorites include a white mix or lemon. This has become my all-time 'go to' when i must take a dessert.....ALWAYS a winner.

  39. Britt

    You forgot one teaspoon vanilla . I've had the cake without vanilla and it just taste like sweet cream cheese

    1. Beverly Peterson

      Thank you for the vanilla info!!

  40. roxanne

    i make a version of these too. It's really important to mix the cake mixture really well otherwise it will have a grainy texture. I add the zest and juice of one lemon to the cream cheese. This is a really wonderful recipe. Always a pleaser with or without the lemon. Because they're gooey, I put them in the freezer overnight, then take them out of the pan to get nice cuts.

    1. Richard Grune

      I am going to add blue berry's to this... My wife loves blueberries... All the variations sound great.

    2. DJ



  41. Karen

    Yummy!! these have been a tradition in St Louis for years:) we call it Gooey Butter Cake.. I add a half stick of melted butter & 1 tea of vanilla to my "gooey" part/filling. It's ok if toothpick doesn't come out clean.. Cook until middle of cake doesn't shake/wiggle.. It's supposed to be "gooey".. If not they can be too tough to chew.. Enjoy :)

  42. J. Scott

    Very good ,try chocolate or other flavor cake mix and rest as written

  43. mary ann blay

    This looks great, I live at 5100 feet elevation, I will try this and follow the directions on the cake box for high altitude.

  44. Beverly Peterson


    I cannot thank you enough for publishing this recipe!! I had gone to a local bakery and tried this because it looked so yummy and it was divine! I just had to look for it online and found it on your blog- it is perfection!! I would love to buy a copy of your Grandmother's cookbook if it is available for that!! People, you HAVE GOT to try this recipe- it is absolute heaven!!

  45. Belinda


    Very good, wasn't flakey like the picture looks still very good!

  46. Talithia

    hi! I am think of making these bars tomorrow. One question, can I add lemon or vanilla extract to the cream cheese and sugar mix? I'm thinking lemon ooey gooey bars sounds very tasty. Thoughts.
    Thanks for sharing!

  47. Deborah Gelacio

    How many cups in the 16 oz powdered sugar. I buy my sugar in bulk and was wondering.....

  48. Beth Walters

    The only cake mix I have in the cupboard is red velvet, so I will have to "sacrifice" and use that. Can't wait to try it!

  49. Connie

    k I'm going to step out on a limb here and make this sugar free as possible. Using Sugar free cake mix and Swerve sugar substitute. I'll try and se how it goes. :)

  50. Karen Gonser

    The recipe Ooey gooey cake mix bars, In the gooey layer is says to beat cream and cream cheese, My question is how much cream do you use? thanks

  51. Debbie LeDoux

    How well do these travel? I would like to take them on a 6 hour car trip along with other baked goods. Would they need to be in a cooler or would it be best to make something else? I would hate to make the anyone sick.

  52. Debbie LeDoux

    Do these travel well - without refrigeration? We have a 6 hour drive and I am looking for bars that travel well and do not need to be refrigerated. The weather would not be very warm. Also, after cooled, do these need to be refrigerated? Thank you.

  53. Nicole @ Three 31


    My aunt makes the most DELISH dessert we call CHESS BARS that are exactly like this. Since moving to Texas, I've seen them called Neiman Marcus Brownies and Texas Gold. Whatever you want to call them, they are AH-MAZE-GING!!!!!!!!

    As much as I love them, I often forget about them. But, thanks to you and this post, I'm going to make a batch for tomorrow's Christmas program at church ..... if I don't eat them all beforehand.

  54. Rhonda


    Just a heads up don't ever try to make these into cupcakes, I tried and I don't know what happen but its just not pretty at all. I love this recipe and have made them before, but wanted to make it different this time and won't be trying that again.

  55. Tracy

    I just made these (they are in the oven). I'm sure my kids will approve and so will my hubby. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

  56. Kathi Dominick

    Just wondering if you can use ANY flavor of cake mix to make these?

  57. Julie


    Wow! I just made these and they are amazing! Very easy to make too. But I had to look online to figure out how many cups 16oz of powdered sugar is. It said about 3 3/4 cups, so that's what I used. I wish the cups were listed in the recipe though because online it also said 2 cups for a liquid 16oz, so some people might get confused and make it wrong. But overall great recipe- and I'm going to try the lemon cake mix like some reviewers suggested next!

  58. Arlys Kuehn

    Does anyone have the nutritional facts about this item?

  59. Melanie H


    I made these with a Pink Velvet cake mix. They were quite good and very pretty!

  60. Sheila

    My mom use to make these for us when were little, only we called them Goody Bars (we're Virginia country bumbkins).
    Also we dust the top with powder sugar while hot. Use a plastic knife to cut like cutting brownies, to get a smoother bars.
    They are so good!!!

  61. Lisa B

    Could you do this with chocolate cake mix?

  62. Suzy


    With so many good comments I was expecting these to be good. I did not like them. Too sweet- and I love sweets/candy/etc. They did not have a lot of taste other than powdered sugar - and I put 1 tsp vanilla in gooey layer as someone suggested.

  63. Julia K


    Making them right now...added grated rind of one lemon to the filling because I used a lemon cake mix. for ..the camera club meeting

  64. Jamie

    These appear to work just fine with a gluten free cake mix too! It looks like the bar might not hold up as well but the bites I scooped out of the pan with a spoon sure taste good!

  65. Pam

    I tried these for the first time last week, and WOW! Were they good! I am contemplating a Nutella bar, folding the Nutella into the cream cheese mixture, and using a chocolate or devil's food cake mix. Any suggestions as to how much Nutella to use and also how much should I cut back on the powdered sugar? Sorry, I did not read all the comments, so if it's there, I did not see it.

  66. Kristen

    Does it have to be refrigerated after baking for storage?

  67. Joyce Henn


    Someone made these for a reception, and they were very good. I think I like them even better than the butter cakes.

  68. Amy Z

    Made this, but did a red velvet cake base. Oh. My. Goodness. Heavenly.

  69. Vickie

    Can someone tell me if something other than cream cheese can be used for the "gooey layer"? I have a granddaughter who hates cream cheese and any type of cheesecake type desserts and I know she wouldn't eat this made with the cream cheese. Would sweetened condensed milk work and if so, how much should I use? Appreciate any help because I would love to try this. Thanks!

  70. Kristin

    OMG - it's a definite KEEPER! Easy and everyone loved it.

  71. Kathy

    The googey part of the recipe only calls for cream cheese. In the directions, it calls for cream. Did you leave that out of the recipe or m I misreading it? Thanks.

  72. Christina


    Yummy easy and I had every ingredient available in my kitchen. Will make again!

  73. Jen Skelly

    I've made these several times and had the same problem with the center not cooking. My tip is to make sure to spread the top layer just as thickly to the edges before baking. They came out much more evenly done this way.

  74. Andrea

    The size of popular cake mixes has changed, used to be 18 oz, now 16.5 in Duncan Hines mixes. Most of recipes call for 18.5 unless they're newer recipes. This might be why cooking times vary.

  75. Andrea Dehler

    Most cake mix recipes call for 18.5 oz, but now mixes only contain 16.5. Might change cooking times, etc.

  76. Sandra

    I have tasted wedding cake Ooey gooey, does anyone know how to make it

  77. Elizabeth Smith

    I put a cup of chopped toasted pecans in the cake layer. Just push them down into the dough so that they are evenly distributed. People embarrass themselves going back for seconds...4 times, lol.

  78. Frances


    At 30 minutes the center was still gooey so I placed my dish inside a bigger dish with a little water in the pan (like you bake a cheesecake) and within a few minutes it was done! SOO GOOD!!

  79. Janice Greggs

    To much powered sugar, cooks to long I would say 20 minutes,crust would not burn. This is the first time I’ve made these. I’ll make them again my way

  80. Jeannie


    Great recipe. We added a little chocolate drizzle to some of the bars. We decided it was wonderful with and without the chocolate.

  81. ashley soukup


    My top layer did not turn out like the picture. It was not crispy.

  82. Rachel


    The only thing I did different was save 3/4 cup of the crust mix then crumbled it over the gooey layer before baking. It gave it a nice crust with the gooey layer underneath. So good!!

  83. Kelly

    How many days in advance can I make this before a family gathering.