Tried and true Cook's Country St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Bars - decadent and delicious.
We've all had gooey butter bars, but Cook's Country really steps it up with their recipe.
The base isn't made with the popular cake mix mixture; instead, it's made with a delicious, buttery shortbread crust. It's worth making it for that crust alone!
The filling is indeed gooey and buttery. And sweet, too. You'll want to cut these in small pieces because they're very rich and sweet. In a very good way.
These two-layer bars are fairly easy to make with no fancy ingredients. Maybe that's why they're so good.
- Combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt
- Pour in the melted butter
- Stir to combine and press into the pan
Buttery, Sweet Filling Layer:
- Combine the cream cheese and butter
- Add the powdered sugar (slowly or you'll make a mess!)
- Add the eggs, vanilla and salt (omit salt if you're using salted butter)
- Mix it all together and pour it over the cooled shortbread base
- Bake, cool for 3 hours, and devour it
I used Neufchatel (⅓ less fat cream cheese) on one batch, then regular on the second batch. We prefer the Neufchatel and it seems to bake up much better. The end result was tastier, too.
The lower-fat cream cheese will lower the nutrition values listed in the recipe card by a bit, but don't kid yourself that it's in any way a healthy snack. Keep the pieces small, though, and you'll be OK!
These bars can be halved and baked in a 8x8" pan - just watch the baking time. You may need to add five or so more minutes to the baking time. Just make sure they're a little jiggly in the middle when you remove them from the oven.
We love these St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake Bars. They're sweet, gooey, and buttery as advertised. If you know someone with a sweet tooth, take them some of these.
**Shout out to my neighbor, Michelle, for letting me finish baking these bars in her oven since mine broke right after the shortbread part was finished. Thanks Michelle!
- 2 ½ C (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
- ¾ C (3 oz) powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 4 cup (1 lb) powdered sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Put the oven rack in the upper middle slot. Line a 13x9" pan with aluminum foil, overlapping the foil, making sure there are 2 or 3 inches lap over the ends to lift out the bars later. Spray the bottom and edges of the foil with cooking spray.
- For the Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and stir together until flour mixture is evenly moistened. Press the dough firmly down in the bottom of the pan, up to the edges. Prick the dough with a fork so the dough won't puff up, about 20 times.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until just the edges are golden brown. Take the pan out and place on a wire rack to cool completely, 20 to 30 minutes.
- For the Filling: Mix the softened cream cheese and room temperature butter together in a stand mixer bowl until creamy. On low speed, add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, to the bowl. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Reduce the speed to low, then add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, and mix until completely incorporated. Add the vanilla and salt and mix until combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Spread the filling over the cooled crust. Tape the pan on the counter gently to release any air bubbles.
- Bake 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown and edges have cracked. Center should jiggle slightly when the pan is shaken, so don't over bake. Move the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely, at least 3 hours.
- Use the foil overhang to lift the bars out of the pan. Cut into 12 to 16 pieces (they're pretty rich). Dust lightly with powdered sugar if desired.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I use salted butter, so only added a pinch of salt to the filling.
The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla, but that was way too much for me. I use 1 tablespoon and they're perfect.
The edges will probably stick some to the aluminum foil even though you've sprayed it. Make sure the bars are completely cooled and then you can peel it off easily.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 271Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
Nutrition Values are Approximate