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Easy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake: The Classic St. Louis Recipe With A Twist

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I like to think of gooey butter cake as serendipity. It’s a dessert that was most definitely a happy accident when it was discovered. Red velvet gooey butter cake? Even more serendipitous!

st louis red velvet gooey butter cake recipe

Easy Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake: The Classic St. Louis Recipe With A Twist

The Lou, that’s the nickname for St. Louis, is home to many things. Our Midwest city is famous for the Gateway to the West, Cardinals baseball, Blues hockey, Clydesdales and a great big river that runs right in front of downtown. St. Louis is also fairly well known for food, too!

We put square pizza on the map with Imo’s. No other frozen yogurt tops what is Ted Drewes. If Italian food is what you crave then you’ll find all the best in the location known as the Hill. Lots of candy shops and bakeries are favorited around the country. Speaking of bakeries… a delicious cake recipe was invented right here in St. Louis. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.

The happy accident that became gooey butter cake actually happened right here in St. Louis, MO in the 1930’s.


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History Of Gooey Butter Cake

How did gooey butter cake come to be? Well, it was totally by accident! And it’s a good thing too, because it’s so delicious.

The story goes that a German baker accidentally (here in St. Louis) reversed the amounts of flour and butter which resulted in more of a crust consistency on a bottom layer with a gooey layer on the top. (I prefer the gooey layer to be cream cheese flavor, but there are a few different variations.) The happy accident turned out perfect.


Red Velvet Gooey Butter Box Cake Mix Hack

Since the original gooey butter cake was made in an actual bakery, the dessert was totally made from scratch. BUT it’s easy to make this recipe using a box cake mix hack. That’s how we make it at our house and it’s by far a family favorite.


Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cake Recipe


  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (3 1/2 cups for the recipe. Set aside the other 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top.)

red velvet gooey butter cake ingredients



Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2:  Grease a 9×13 inch pan.

Step 3:  Mix cake mix, 2 eggs and melted butter. 

mixing red velvet cake mix in kitchenaid mixer

mixing red velvet cake dough in kitchenaid mixer


Step 4:  Press dough into pan. (This will make the crust.)

red velvet brownies cake crust


Step 5:  Mix cream cheese, 2 eggs, powdered sugar and vanilla. 

mixing cream cheese filling

cream cheese filling recipe


Step 6:  Pour over cake mixture that’s pressed int0 the pan.

easy to make cake mix hack st louis gooey butter cake


Step 7:  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.

red velvet gooey butter cake


*** TIP ***

It will be gooey on the inside so do not over bake.

gooey butter cake filling


Step 8: Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

sprinkled powdered sugar


Step 9:  Enjoy!

red velvet gooey butter cake squares

So delicious!!!

This is the perfect treat for anytime really. It’s a family favorite and I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. Looking for something gluten free? I have a gluten free gooey butter cake recipe on the blog HERE.


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Thank you for your support and for being here. Have a very dandy holiday season!


blog owner at Seeing Dandy Blog
A mom blogger for over 15 years, Tara Smith lives in St. Louis, Missouri with her audiologist husband and four kids. Her blog has been featured on local media television shows like News 4 Great Day and Show Me St. Louis, as well as in the Farmhouse Style Magazine for Country Sampler. She loves to travel, explore the Midwest, make crafts and read.

This post could contain affiliate links or be sponsored which means I earn from advertising. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. More details here.

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