Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

This cake is more like a gooey, very rich pumpkin pie bar or piece of pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust.

It’s a Paula Deen recipe that I spotted with over 2000 5-star reviews. Anytime 2000 people can agree and deem something excellent, I just have to try it.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake - Like a gooier, richer version of pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust!! Butter + cream cheese = lives up to its GOOEY name! Make it for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie!!

In typical Paula form, there are two sticks of butter, four eggs, and four cups of confectioners’ sugar. Is the cake sweet? You bet but it’s manageable.

I was originally going to use 3 cups of sugar but when I was mixing up the batter, it seemed very thin with just 3 cups and I worried about the cake setting up. So I dumped in that final cup of sugar. Hey it’s a once a year thing. I gave the cake to my daughter’s teachers as well as some neighbors. No one mentioned it was too sweet. They just said how incredible it was.

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I used a spice cake rather than yellow cake base because spice cake and pumpkin go hand-in-hand.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake - Like a gooier, richer version of pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust!! Butter + cream cheese = lives up to its GOOEY name! Make it for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie!!

I had a hard time judging when the cake was done because you want the edges set but the middle still a little gooey. I pulled my cake out at 55 minutes (longer than recommended), but all ovens, moisture content in pumpkin puree, pans, etc. vary. Maybe I could have pulled it out earlier but I am notorious for taking banana bread out of the oven too early, only to slice into the middle and it still be raw. Wasn’t in the mood for that so I baked a little extra.

I stored the cake in the fridge because I like pumpkin pie and similar desserts chilled.

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake - Like a gooier, richer version of pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust!! Butter + cream cheese = lives up to its GOOEY name! Make it for Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie!!

Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake

This cake is more like a gooey, very rich pumpkin pie bar or pumpkin pie with a spice cake crust. It’s a Paula Deen recipe with over 2000 5-star reviews. The cake is sweet but it’s manageable. I used a spice cake rather than yellow cake base because spice cake and pumpkin go hand-in-hand. Bake until the edges set but the middle is still a little gooey. I stored the cake in the fridge because I like pumpkin pie and similar desserts chilled.

Ingredients:

Base

  • one 16.25-ounce box spice cake (yellow cake may be substituted)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • one 8-ounce package brick-style cream cheese, softened (don’t use lite or fat-free)
  • one 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting before serving
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Base – To a large bowl, add the cake mix, egg, butter, and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan with a spatula or your fingers; set aside.
  3. Filling – To a large bowl (same one you used for the base is fine, just wipe out with a paper towel), add the cream cheese, pumpkin, and beat until smooth.
  4. Add the eggs, vanilla, butter, and beat until smooth and incorporated.
  5. Add the confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin pie spice, optional salt, and beat until smooth and incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  6. Evenly pour pumpkin mixture over the base and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until edges have set and center is still a bit gooey and jiggly. For me, it took 55 minutes for the filling to all set up, with the exception of a 4-inch circular area in the middle that was still a bit gooey and jiggly. Start checking at 40 minutes since all ovens, pans, climates, and ingredients vary. Cake firms up and has less jiggle as it cools.
  7. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before dusting with confectioners’ sugar, slicing, and serving. However, I prefer to cover and refrigerate for 4+ hours, or overnight, so it’s well-chilled before serving. If you’re chilling it in the fridge, don’t dust with confectioners’ sugar until right before serving or the sugar will ‘melt’ into the cake. Cake will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Adapted from Paula Deen

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16 comments on “Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake”

  1. 4 cups of powdered sugar does sound like a lot but if 2000 people like it, so would I! There does appear to be a lot of wet ingredients to soak it all up. This gives me another idea for the Halloween party next weekend!

    • It’s also a huge cake. Yes it’s ‘only’ made in a 9×13 but it’s tall. So it feels bigger than a typical 9×13 dessert. For example there are some brownie recipes baked in a 9×13 that are flat and so having a big ole brownie doesn’t feel as huge but this is so dense and thick that you could literally cut the pan into 24 servings type of thing. I digress :) But yes it would be great for a Halloween party!

  2. THIS is my kind of dessert. GORGEOUS and omg yummy.

  3. Averie I know this is a hit, because I have made Paula deens pumpkin gooey cake twice. And your kitten is just so sweet. I love her…she is still so tiny

  4. hey girl this looks so yummy!

  5. I agree, once in awhile going full out with the butter & sugar is ok… I mean, 2000 people can’t be wrong!

    I love pumpkin and I bet the spice cake makes this extra amazing!

  6. Love it, Paula’s recipes are so classic and always so sweet! But sweet in a good way. But the teachers loved this!

  7. I firmly believe that gooey butter cake is one of the world’s most Perfect Foods. And here, it’s the perfect food tailor-made for fall. I love it!! 

  8. Yuuuuuuummmm!! A traditional gooey butter cake has been on my must-make list for a while now. I need to make that first and then this pumpkin version!

  9. Oh my gosh- these look absolutely fabulous!! I love almost anything pumpkin, so I’ll be trying these out. Especially pumpkin with chocolate.

  10. I made this a couple of years ago. Still trying to exercise the weight it put on me! i damn near ate the whole thing! it’s delicious!

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