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!!
Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake Recipe
This pumpkin butter 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.
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.
What’s in Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake?
To make this ooey gooey pumpkin cake recipe, you’ll need:
- Spice cake mix
- Unsalted butter
- Cream cheese
- Pumpkin puree
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Pumpkin pie spice
How to Make Pumpkin Gooey Butter Bars
Mix together the spice cake base, then press into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. To make the gooey filling, beat together the wet ingredients followed by the sugar and pumpkin pie spice.
Turn the filling into the baking dish, then bake until the edges have set and the center is still a bit gooey and jiggly. See my notes below on bake times.
Can I Use Pumpkin Pie Filling?
No, you need to use pumpkin puree in this pumpkin butter cake recipe. Pumpkin pie filling has spices and sweeteners in it, which would make this dessert far too sweet.
Tips for Making Gooey Pumpkin Cake
I used a spice cake rather than yellow cake base because spice cake and pumpkin go hand-in-hand. If you only have yellow cake mix on hand, feel free to use it instead.
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.
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Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
- one 16.25-ounce box spice cake, yellow cake may be substituted
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 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
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting before serving
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the eggs, vanilla, butter, and beat until smooth and incorporated.
- Add the confectioners’ sugar, pumpkin pie spice, optional salt, and beat until smooth and incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- 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.
- 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. (see note below)
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes:
My FAVORITE PUMPKIN RECIPES on my blog!
My cookbook, Cooking With Pumpkin: Recipes That Go Beyond the Pie is my second cookbook and there are over 50 pumpkin recipes including sweets, savory, drinks, and a photo for nearly every recipe. I’d be super grateful if you headed over to Amazon to check it out!
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