Fall is in the air, and that means pumpkin season is here! This pumpkin gooey butter cake recipe is one of our favorites. It’s easy to make and so delicious! The vanilla cake batter crust is perfect with the gooey butter filling. It’s a delicious fall dessert and would be great for Thanksgiving!
This cake is a combination of a pumpkin pie and a vanilla cake. It has a creamy, gooey butter texture and a delicious cookie-like crust made from cake batter! It’s really a fun recipe to bring to Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving and perfect for the holiday season.
What is gooey butter cake?
Gooey butter cake is a type of dessert that originated in St. Louis, Missouri. It consists of a yellow or German chocolate cake mix crust, with a gooey filling made from butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and eggs.
How to Make Gooey Butter Pumpkin Cake
Tools You’ll Need
9″ Springform Pan or 9×13 Rectangular Pan
Measuring Cups and Spoons
The full recipe and measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Boxed Yellow Cake Mix – This is the mix that creates a delicious crust for the cake.
Eggs – Use whole, organic eggs when possible. The eggs act as a binding agent in this recipe.
Unsalted Butter – Adds to the gooey butter texture.
Canned Pumpkin – Libby’s canned pumpkin is great for this recipe. You can also use an organic canned pumpkin too.
Cream Cheese – Use full-fat cream cheese. Make sure the cream cheese is completely soft, you can microwave it for 20 seconds to ensure it has a creamy and soft texture.
Vanilla Extract – Use pure vanilla extract to add flavor and also enhance the flavors in the recipe.
Brown Sugar – A type of sugar that is brown in color. It is made by adding molasses to white sugar. You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar.
Ground Spices – This recipe uses cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to add flavor.
4 Steps to Making Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake
- Prep a round cake pan, with all of the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the box cake base and pour it into the prepared pan.
- Mix the filling ingredients and pour the pumpkin mixture over the cake mix.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes.
How to Properly Prepare a Cake Pan
Prepping your cake pan correctly is key to making sure this recipe comes out perfectly. Make sure to use either a 9-inch round cake pan or a 9×13 rectangular cake pan.
Spray the pan with cooking spray and then line the bottom with parchment paper.
This will help to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan and also make it easier to remove the cake from the pan.
Expert Tips For The Best Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake
Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This includes pumpkin puree, eggs, and cream cheese. Room-temperature ingredients mix together much easier and produce a more consistent cake.
Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing can cause the cake to be dense and tough.
Don’t overbake this recipe, the cake is supposed to have a gooey texture once it sets.
Let the cake cool completely before cutting into it. The gooey butter filling needs time to set up, so resist the urge to cut into it too soon.
Check our Kitchen Conversion Chart for any measurement questions.
Variations and Substitutes
You can substitute yellow cake mix for a pumpkin cake, white cake mix, or spice cake mix.
Substitute pumpkin puree for sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree.
Ground spices for pumpkin pie spice. You’ll add 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice instead of the ground spices the recipe calls for.
Make brown butter by melting it on the stovetop until it browns. This brings out a delicious nutty flavor. You can use browned butter in place of regular butter in this recipe.
Use different types of extracts like almond extract or pumpkin extract.
Add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit to the batter before baking.
How to Warm Cream Cheese and Butter
If your cream cheese and butter are not at room temperature, place them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until they are soft to the touch.
How to Store Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
This cake can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If you want to keep it longer, store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let the cake thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Pumpkin Gooey Frequently Asked Questions
Gooey butter cake gets its name from the gooey filling that is made with butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar. It has a gooey texture to it and a buttery flavor.
You can store pumpkin gooey butter cake at room temperature or in the fridge. If you live in a hot climate, it’s best to store it in the fridge so that the buttercream filling doesn’t melt.
Yes, you can freeze pumpkin gooey butter cake. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let the cake thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Gooey butter cake is said to have originated in the Midwest, although its exact origins are unknown. The cake is said to be invented in the 1930s and has become popular in the 80s. It’s been a staple in Midwestern cuisine ever since.
The best part about this cake is that it can be baked in a 9×13 pan. It’s a great way to feed a crowd or take to a potluck. You can also bake it in a square cake pan too. We prefer using a round springform pan for this cake. I love the way the edges look when the sides are removed.
Yes, you can use fresh pumpkin puree in this recipe. It will be more work and doesn’t add anything to the flavor, but if you’re passionate about making your own puree, that is fine! You’ll use cup per cup when substituting fresh and canned.
Best Substitutes for Pumpkin
Here are the 2 best substitutes for pumpkin puree:
Butternut Squash Puree – This is our favorite pumpkin substitute. It’s sweet and has a similar texture to pumpkin puree.
Sweet Potato Puree – Another great pumpkin substitute. Sweet potatoes are a little bit sweeter than pumpkin so you might want to add a little less sugar to the recipe.
What to Serve with Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
There are so many delicious things you can serve with pumpkin gooey butter cake! Here are some of our favorites:
- Ice cream
- Whipped cream
- Cinnamon sugar topping
More Pumpkin Recipes You’ll Love
Now that you know everything you need to make a perfect pumpkin dessert, we can’t wait to hear what you think!
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 4 large egg, 1 and 3 separated
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, 2 sticks separated and melted
- 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 8 ounces cream cheese, super soft
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare a springform pan or a round cake pan with parchment paper and cooking spray.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the boxed cake mix, 1 stick melted butter, and 1 egg and mix in a bowl.
- Pour into a prepared round cake pan or springform pan and press an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine pumpkin puree, super soft cream cheese, 3 eggs, dark brown sugar, 1 stick melted butter, vanilla extract cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Beat on low until the ingredients are fully mixed. Make sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- Pour the pumpkin filling over the cake batter in the pan.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 to 50 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown. The center should be a little gooey.
- Let the cake rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it.