Gooey Bars (aka Cream Cheese Bars)

I have no idea what these bars should actually be called or where this recipe really came from… It’s likely to have come on the back of a cream cheese box for all I know. (Actually, Google helped me to find this recipe which is the same). This is another recipe that my family loves. My sisters practically know this recipe by heart. Similar to the “best dang thing ever bars”, my sisters also prefer to underbake these bars, hence the name gooey bars. I tend to like my bars fully cooked so they hold their shape better. If you prefer an even gooier texture, take these out of the oven a couple minutes early.

I know some of you will shudder at the thought of using a box cake mix. I agree that in general, I would much rather make a cake/cookie/brownie from scratch. For starters, it’s a lot more fun as a baker to measure everything out and follow a recipe that has more than two steps. Not to mention knowing exactly what is in your food (and being able to pronounce it all!) I do however believe that boxed cake mix has a time and a place. One of those places being in this bar.

These bars taste almost like a cheesecake with a great chewy shortbread crust. Everyone that tried one really enjoyed them and Hubby ate an embarassingly large number of these bars.

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Gooey Bars

Yield: 30


1 box yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 eggs
1 pound powdered sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese


Mix cake mix, margarine & 1 egg with fork. Press into bottom of greased 9 x 13 pan, set aside.

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese and 2 eggs for 4 or 5 minutes. Pour over cake mixture.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into bars.

Recipe from my step mom

Don’t forget – I’m offering a chance to win a cute tote if you donate $5 or more to my Avon Walk by the end of January. See details here.

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27 Responses to “Gooey Bars (aka Cream Cheese Bars)”

  1. #
    Sunshine — January 20, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    These look fantastic!

  2. #
    Jess — January 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    my husbands family calls them butter-gooey cake.

  3. #
    Kelly — January 20, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Hi! These are actually called Gooey Butter Cakes, and they are a Paula Deen recipe (hence the butter and cream cheese!) I love making them with a red velvet cake mix….so good.

  4. #
    Andrew's Mom — January 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Ooey gooey butter cakes have been around for decades – they started in St. Louis – very close to my hometown. I remember making this recipe years before Paula came on the scene. She just made them more famous! Everyone goes nuts when you make them – I make them with all kinds of flavors – pineapple, lemon etc. Yours look great.

  5. #
    Jen — January 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for all the information about where the bars originate from. Wherever they came from, they sure are good. I saw some comments on the link of variations that people have tried like swirling in some berries and using chocolate cake mix. Kind of like a cheesecake brownie

  6. #
    Dyanna — January 21, 2010 at 12:25 am

    Here in Kentucky they’re called Chess bars and have been around for a very long time. I’m not a native to KY and a coworker introduced me to these. I looked at them and thought “What the heck is that?” but once I tried one I was HOOKED! I just love how simple they are to make.

  7. #
    kitchen koala — January 21, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Whatever you call them, they’re pretty darned good!

  8. #
    Katie — January 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    YUM! Those look really delicious. And I love the colors you always put in the background.; The blue with the orange tint of the abrs is just perfect!

  9. #
    Ingrid — January 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Yours looks like how my first and only batch turned out but I think I’d like them better gooey and with a little less sugar.

  10. #
    Julie — January 21, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Yum…I love these things!

  11. #
    Colleen — January 29, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    These look delicious! And I love using boxed cake mix!

  12. #
    Kasey — March 5, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I made these for a friends birthday this past weekend and they were a big hit!

  13. #
    Tyler — September 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    I just made these today and they are delicious! I left mine slightly gooey and it’s so good!

  14. #
    Lisa @ Cents to Save — April 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    I love these bars!

  15. #
    Lindy S — March 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ust made these, yum! But I am curious to know where I can find some variations, i.e., with nuts, chocolate, fruit flavored, etc……I love to experiment!

    • beantownbaker — March 16th, 2013 @ 2:49 pm

      I haven’t had a chance to play around myself with this recipe. I’m sure if you searched online, you’d find some other variations. Let me know what you try!

  16. #
    Britanny — May 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    My mom used to make them for us when I was little. I am 25 now. And I am pretty sure they have been around for quite some time. Paula Deen probably only highlighted the fact that they were around. But yes Yum!

  17. #
    Stephen — July 28, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always interesting to read through articles from other writers and practice something from other sites.

  18. #
    Kathy — September 26, 2013 at 9:43 am

    How can you make these to taste like pumpkin? If you add in pumpkin, do you need to cut back on something else??

    • beantownbaker — September 26th, 2013 @ 10:33 am

      Oh that’s a great thought… What about using a box of pumpkin cake mix? And then throwing some pumpkin spices in the cream cheese mixture? If you try this variation, definitely let me know how it turns out!

  19. #
    jonay — June 2, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Omg these look amazing cannot wait to try! I will experiment though!

    • beantownbaker — September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:08 pm

      If you do, let me know how it goes!

  20. #
    Sheryl — August 21, 2014 at 8:16 am

    This has been around for years and yes it came from a Philly box. Was a family tradition for holidays at our house, but you can make with lemon as well

  21. #
    Judy Seggerman — February 14, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    I have been making these for years…but I dust with powdered sugar when cool. I can’t go to a family function without taking them.We call them Butter Cheese Squares.

  22. #
    bida — December 7, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    I have made these for over 20 some years. I mix pecan pieces in the crust. Family just loves them. Making them tomorrow.

  23. #
    Leisa McCannon — July 1, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I make mine with Butter Pecan Cake mix and they are awesome. I am trying lemon this weekend.

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