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Gooey Butter Cake in a Bag

Recipe and photography by Bev Davis.


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Posted  December 4, 2017

The delicious yellow cake crust for this recipe is easily mixed together in a zippered bag.  Or, use a bowl and fork.  Both are genius substitutes for stand mixer.  An electric mixer is required for the cream cheese filling.  This is my creative twist on a classic recipe known as The Original Neiman Marcus Bars and Texas Gold.  Also known as Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  Those recipes were far too sweet for me.  Rather than use 4 cups of powdered sugar, I used 2 cups.  Added lemon juice and salted butter.   Awesome results!  Love the slightly sweet and a lemony flavor.   The salt lessened the sweetness.   I also placed the baked cake under the broiler.  The golden brown color is beautiful.  No need to sprinkle extra powdered sugar on top.  Pretty and scrumptious!

VARIATION:  After baking, do not place cake under broiler. 

The top will have lovely bits of color.


1 double zippered freezer bag, quart size*

1 box yellow cake mix

1 large egg

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) salted butter (not margarine)*

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

juice from 1/2 small lemon (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Open bag.  Roll back edges and stand upright.  Cut open cake mix and pour into bag.  Add one egg and one stick (8 tablespoons) of melted/cooled butter.  Smooth bag from bottom up to remove air.  Zip

closed.   Press and turn bag frequently to thoroughly combine ingredients.  Do this for about 10 minutes. Mixture will form into a smooth, easily managed dough.  Open bag.  Remove batter. Press mixture evenly into bottom and sides of a lightly buttered 10" cake pan or a 9x13 baking dish.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth with electric mixer.  Add two eggs, vanilla, and one stick (8 tablespoons) melted/cooled butter.   Mix well.  Add powdered sugar.  Mix well. Stir in lemon  juice (if using).   Spread evenly over cake batter in prepared pan.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes.  Oven temperatures vary.  Decrease to 325 degrees if baking too fast.  Avoid over baking.  Gooey center will jiggle.  Place under broiler for 1 or 2 minutes to brown. Watch closely to prevent burning.  Filling will thicken as it cools.  Let stand 15 minutes before serving.  Or, chill one hour before serving. Makes one single-layered cake.


Combine ingredients in a bowl if desired (a stand mixer substitute).  Use unsalted  butter to lessen sweetness.  Or, use salted butter if a really sweet cake is preferred.   I used

a 10" cake pan.  Press the crust until thin because it will thicken while baking.

Opened bag, cake mix, melted butter, and one beaten egg.

I used a large tablespoon to create this design.  Held the tip face down and pressed in... all around the crust.

Filling poured into crust.  Ready for the oven.