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Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

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Pumpkin gooey butter cake is simple to make and tastes like fall. It is part cake bar, part pumpkin cheesecake and all delicious!  

Fork going into piece of pumpkin gooey butter cake topped with maple whipped cream.

Starting with a cake mix makes whipping up this fabulous ooey gooey pumpkin cake a cinch.  It just takes a few simple ingredients and is ready to go in the oven in no time at all.

Then you can enjoy the simple crust and rich ooey gooey pumpkin filling. They are a fabulous make ahead fall treat. Really this pumpkin butter cake just might be the perfect autumn dessert.

Are ooey gooey butter cakes a thing where you live?  We are just a couple hours outside of St. Louis and if St. Louis is known for anything (outside of baseball and the arch of course) it is gooey butter cake. 

For the un-ooeyed of you out there, ooey gooey butter cake is part buttery, cakey crust and part ooey gooey cheesecake-like topping.

dusting powdered sugar over gooey pumpkin bars

You usually dust it in powdered sugar and go to town.  It’s just how it’s done.

Of course over the years, people have taken it from it’s original form and created all sorts of fun flavors.  I made one laden with sprinkles for a fun birthday gooey butter cake

We have also have a recipe for apple lovers. Apple gooey butter cake uses apple butter to bring big apple punch with the same butter cake texture you have come to love.

powdered sugar dusted pumpkin gooey butter cake bar on plate ready to eat.

I’d be perfectly happy with this instead of pumpkin pie on our Thanksgiving table to tell you the truth.  Of course that would be semi-blasphemous so maybe we’ll just have both instead!

Tips for Making a Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Luckily putting this yummy treat together is super easy.  Just mix together a yellow cake mix, melted butter and an egg.

Ingredients including cake mix, eggs, butter, cream cheese, vanilla, pumpkin, powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla, ready to be made into pumpkin gooey butter bars.

Press that mixture into a greased 9×13″ pan to form the crust. I lined my pan with aluminum foil in the video so I could lift it out and cut pretty pieces. 

I don’t normally do that if I am just baking them up for my family.  You are welcome to bake and serve them right from the pan, but feel free to follow suit if you are willing to go the extra mile to impress someone with perfect pieces.

The biggest tip for making the filling is to make sure you get the butter and cream cheese beaten smooth before adding anything else.  That will ensure the finished product is lump free.

Just make sure both are fully softened and scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. It really is that easy.

Mix in the remaining ingredients and pour it over the crust. Bake until the edges are golden and the center has just a little wobble. 

You don’t want it to be soupy, but you do want to avoid letting it set completely. That wobble is what gives you that gooey finish!

The hardest part of the whole thing is letting it cool and chill. Waiting to dive in is no fun!

Though if you aren’t going for picture perfect pieces, you can dig in whenever you would like. My youngest sister warms her gooey butter cake up in the microwave, so there’s no reason you couldn’t eat it warm. 

It will just be really soft and super gooey. Even gooeyer than normal! It will taste delicious but likely look like a hot mess.

lifting square of cream cheese and pumpkin cake bars

Gooey butter cake is almost always finished with a sprinkle of powdered sugar. I usually just sift some on for a simple but pretty finish.

It is best to wait until right before serving to do with, otherwise the powdered sugar can be dissolved by any moisture or condensation on the cake.

But the pumpkin made me want whipped cream, so I added a dollop of maple whipped cream on top. We all give the combination two thumbs up and highly recommend you do the same!

Ingredient Information and Possible Substitutions

We really like using a yellow cake mix for the base of these bars. However, a pumpkin or spice cake mix would be a great way to switch it up and accentuate your favorite flavors.

Both salted and unsalted butter work well in this recipe, so use whichever you have on hand.

slice of pumpkin gooey butter cake with maple whipped cream.

Full fat cream cheese works best in recipes like this. Reduced fat can work in a pinch, but using the real deal gives you the best texture and flavor.

Feel free to use pumpkin pie spice instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg called for in the recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use fresh pumpkin in gooey butter cake?

Yes! Feel free to use homemade pumpkin puree if you want. A 15 oz. can is about 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin, so substitute that amount of fresh pumpkin puree.

Just be sure your puree has a similar consistency to the canned version, sometimes homemade pumpkin can contain extra moisture which will make it hard for the bars to set.

How do you store gooey butter cake?

You can cover your pumpkin butter cake and keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days. Keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Or freeze the bars in freezer safe containers for up to a couple of months.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Fork going into piece of pumpkin gooey butter cake topped with maple whipped cream.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

Servings: 16 Servings
Author: Carlee
This gooey pumpkin butter cake brings fall flavors together with one of the classic ooey gooey butter cake recipes. The result definitely ranks up there as a favorite pumpkin dessert. it is perfect with a dusting of confectioners' sugar or a dollop of whipped cream.
4.95 from 34 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours



  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup butter melted


  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9×13" pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine cake mix, egg and melted butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan. I like to press mine up the edges just a bit to form a crust all the way around.
    1 box yellow cake mix, 1 large egg, ½ cup butter
  • Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
    ½ cup butter, 8 ounces cream cheese
  • Add the pumpkin, eggs and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Don't over mix as you don't want to aerate the mixture too much.
    15 ounces pumpkin puree, 3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Stir in the powdered sugar and spices then pour the pumpkin mixture onto the prepared cake layer.
    3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Bake for about 45-55 minutes. The edges should be golden and the center of the pumpkin layer should have just a bit of wobble left, but not be too liquid-y. (You want that cake to be ooey and gooey!)
  • Cool completely and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Dust with additional powdered sugar or top with whipped cream and enjoy!


Feel free to use a spice cake mix instead of a yellow cake for a deeper flavor.
You can also use pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.
For the best results, use full fat cream cheese.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 379kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 393mgFiber: 1gSugar: 36g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating

Roy Jones

Saturday 18th of November 2023

Great recipe. I have a calibrated oven and also always test with an oven thermometer. This recipe takes longer than 45 minutes to be “wobbly” and in middle. At 45 it was still “liquify” in the middle.


Saturday 18th of November 2023

I am glad you liked it. The baking time can definitely vary a bit, which why I like to include visual indicators in addition to times. I should probably include a range to account for that. Thank you!


Thursday 9th of November 2023

I know this is going to be good. I’m thinking it would be a fun addition to our Thanksgiving dessert table!


Thursday 9th of November 2023

Yes, it is perfect for Thanksgiving!


Wednesday 4th of November 2020

We do love pumpkin at our house, and I love that this is made with a cake mix. Simple is always good!


Sunday 8th of November 2020

It is so easy and so darn good!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 28th of October 2020

I made this and I remember it was sooooo good! Just love the consistency of it!


Sunday 8th of November 2020

YAY! I am so glad you liked it!

Family Around the Table

Saturday 30th of September 2017

What a delicious fall treat! Sounds, and looks, amazing.


Saturday 30th of September 2017

It is soooooo good!