Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

If you grew up in the Southern part of the United States then you are probably familiar with gooey butter cake.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

You might also know it from Paula Deen on The Food Network who has made a cottage industry out of the dish, going so far as to sell countless varieties of them on QVC.  Growing up we never had gooey butter cake.  My first experience with it was about ten years ago and I was hooked.  The only thing I did not like was the cake mix base.  I think you know what I am going to say next … I decided to make a gooey butter cake from scratch!

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Since this is for the Top Chef Just Desserts Elimination Challenge … Challenge, and the challenge last week was a black and white dessert, I decided to make a black and white gooey butter cake.  I went with a dark chocolate base, made with Dutch-processed cocoa for an extra dark color, and a white chocolate topping.  This is a very rich dessert, so a little really goes a long way.  It is best to let these chill thoroughly before cutting, but let these warm up to room temperature before serving so you get the full impact of the flavors.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake   Serves 16 – 24

For the base:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the topping:
1 – 8 ounce block cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9″x13″ (quarter sheet) pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Begin by preparing the base.  In the bowl of a mixer combine the flour, cocoa, baking power, baking soda, salt, and sugar until well mixed.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Add the melted butter, both eggs, and vanilla and mix until a stiff dough forms.  Turn the dough out into the prepared pan and press it so it covers the pan evenly.  Set aside.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

In a medium bowl cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth and evenly mixed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each.  Next add the vanilla, powdered sugar and melted white chocolate and mix until thoroughly combined.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Pour the topping over the base and spread it so it is even.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the top is browned and the center is just slightly jiggly.  Cool at room temperature for one hour then chill in the refrigerator until very cold, at least 2 hours or overnight.  Cut the cake into desired number of pieces and dust with powdered sugar just before serving.

Black and White Gooey Butter Cake


Black and White Gooey Butter Cake

Time for the Elimination Challenge … Challenge Round-Up!

Until next week!!

© 2010, Evil Shenanigans. All rights reserved.

Author: Kelly

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  • there are no words to talk about how much i love gooey butter cakes.

    you win 🙂

  • Wow. That is unreal. I am constantly blow away by your recipes and pictures. Beautiful!

  • This is the first time I’ve ever heard of gooey butter cake. Sounds good!

  • Oh my God, I think I gained 10 pounds just reading about your cake and drooling over the gorgeous pictures. I’m right there with ya on the making the cake from scratch. I myself am not a cake mix person either. Despite the weight gain, I may have to try this recipe.

  • Liz @ Blog is the New Black


  • oh MY!

  • Ooooh! I love this one! I need a bite and now:)

  • Holy Yum! That looks awesome

  • MMM!!! I am absolutely not familiar with it, but goodness… I think I want to be!! Gorgeous pics!

  • Oh holy moly this looks SO good!

  • You’ve been teasing me on Twitter for days about this cake! I’m so happy you finally posted it! So for the photo, did you cut a circle out of the long cake? Or did you make a smaller one for photographing?


  • This cake looks amazing! I love the way you plated the dessert. Did you also bake using molds or did you cut the pieces with a large circular cookie cutter? The cake looks incredibly dark and rich, magnificent!

  • For those who asked, I used a cookie cutter to cut the round piece for the photos. If well chilled it cuts like a dream!

  • Being from St Louis, I have had my fair share of GBC (and my mom’s gooey butter cookies!). I am definitely going to have to try this version.

  • Mmmmm – I have a favorite gooey chocolate cake recipe but I love your double layer! I am so going to try this recipe – the kids and I will scarf it down. It looks amazing!

  • I also have to say that I am always discouraged when I go looking for a recipe on the internet, find one only to see that it is made with boxed cake mix! Oy! Thanks for the fab recipe!

  • I cannot wait to try these! I always hated the cake mix part too and didn’t make them very often because of that. Now I have no excuse with your recipe!

  • Wow!Love this. I’ll be posting Paula’s Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cakes recipe on my Blog very soon. And, yes, the one thing I mention in my blog is how a box cake mix is used…and I’m not a fan of that. But, the cake is wonderful! Thanks for your spin on it. Beautifully presented.


  • I’ve made other gooey butter cakes before and I wasn’t that impressed, however, this looks so much better! I’ll have to give them another try 🙂

  • RavieNomNoms

    I have never heard of this or even seen a picture of it…but wow that just looks, sinful! Yikes, I feel like that would be such a bad news in my house…looks so yumilicious!

  • Dena

    Hi! This looks awesome and I think I’ll make it for a dinner party this weekend. Question – do you bake the base first and then put the topping on it and bake it again? I know it sounds silly – but in your pix, the base looked baked before you put the topping on. Thanks!

  • Dena – No, you bake it all at once. The base is very thick, that is why it looks set up. Just follow the directions and you should be fine! Hope you enjoy it!

  • What a beauty! This looks like something I’d order at a fine restaurant! Can’t wait to try it!

  • This cake is evil!!!! It’s just calling my name!!! Now all I need to do is go to the gym for a couple of weeks so I can make this.

  • Kelly, that cake is calling to me. Please make it stop.

  • Ah, the memories; I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis where story has it the gooey butter cake originated. Think it was an uninspired mistake that just turned out good! My dad bought one at a local bakery every Sunday after church.

    My only confession on those Sundays? I tried to steal as much of that gooey topping as possible! And now I’ll have to confess after this upcoming Sunday too cause I’m dying to try your black and white version. YUM? YEP!

  • Fiona

    What brand of white chocolate chips did you use? I can’t seem to find white chocolate chips at my local grocery stores, only “white chips” or “vanilla chips.”

  • Oh wow!! Why did I have to look? That cake looks so devilishly tempting right now.

  • Fiona – I used Ghirardelli white chocolate chips, but you could easily use a bar of white chocolate. Just chop it up!

  • I’ve had gooey butter cake and love it, but yours I believe supersedes anything I’ve had before.

  • This looks deadly and divine! I can imagine how intense the chocolate and cream cheese combination is. YUM! I love your site.

  • I have never heard of this gooey butter cake before, but I definitely like the idea. I’ll definitely be giving this one a try!

  • Sounds very decadent though I must confess I’d use the mix base myself.

  • A stunning cake! The word butter is all you really need to perk my ears.

  • wow. that’s a good looking dessert. congrats

  • Congratulations on Top 9, I knew you would rise to the top with this beautiful dessert!

  • Wow, it’s only breakfast time right now, but I definitely want some of this. Beautiful photo!

  • This has guilt written all over… so worth it though…

  • Joy

    That looks great. I may try this for the holidays.

  • I’ve only ever had one gooey butter cake ever, and it was a Paula Deen version and I wasn’t too impressed, but this… this I’m excited about trying! And great job on advancing to the next round of PFB! Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • This looks like an extremely dangerous recipe to have in my possession. I’m going to pretend I never saw it….LOL

    It looks absolutely divine!

  • I’m a native Southerner, but I must be completely out of it since I’ve never heard of Paula Deen’s version of gooey butter cake, or anyone else’s, for that matter. But I’m most definitely captivated by your recipe here. Simply brilliant, and a must-make recipe.

  • Helena

    I made this cake immediately after I saw it and it was definetely one of the worst-looking and messiest cakes I ever made, but it was SOO good!

  • Hear that? That’s my resolve crumbling.

  • Pingback: Tasty Tidbits: Pumpkin, Chocolate, and Cream Cheese — Kuchen Together()

  • @Peregrining

    Great cake, where did the sauce come from? The cake or did you add it prior to plating?


  • Peregrining – The sauce is just a little chocolate sauce that I added prior to plating the cake. 🙂

  • Gooey butter cake sounds goofy enough to try….

  • Oh wow that looks amazing!! I can’t believe I hadn’t ever heard of this before. I want a pan or two 🙂

  • Pingback: Pecan Chocolate Chip Gooey Butter Cake | Evil Shenanigans - Baking & Cooking Blog()

  • HJ

    I made it this afternoon – oh my, it is so yummy! The combination of dark chocolate brownies and white chocolate cream cheese topping is heavenly! My husband asked me to get rid of it before he eats the whole thing 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • Lori

    The fact that a cake mix was NOT used in this recipe was exactly what I was looking for when I decided to make a version of the gooey butter cake for my mom for Mother’s Day, and your recipe was absolutely perfect–easy to make and tasted amazing–the ideal combination! Thank you so much for sharing… my mom loved it and asked me to share the recipe.

  • Pingback: Black and White Gooey Butter Cake | Tastefully Decadent: Livre Aux Trésors()

  • Ron

    I really loved this recipe! Just wanted to say I gave it a try and here’s how it went:


  • jessica

    what did you use to make it such a clean circle? Any tips?

  • Jessica – I chilled the cake and used a biscuit cutter. Easy!! 😀

  • Christi

    I found this on pinterest and had to make it right away. Holy cow! I think this is one of the most delicious cakes I’ve every had in my life! It is rich and perfectly sweet. I followed the recipe with one exception…I substituted semi-sweet chocolate chips for the white chocolate chips (I am a true choco-holic!). It worked out great and tastes way better than I imagined! I will definitely be making this again and passing this recipe on to family and friends!

  • Rob

    The picture of the base looks like it was cooked before the top layer went on. Mines just come out of the over I stuck to the recipe and cooked both layers together. Had a quick taste while it cools and yum – not bad as its the first thing I’ve cooked in 5 years – much better than the supermarket cakes lol. Thanks for the recipe.

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