Ooey Gooey Butter Layer Cake

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Ooey Gooey Butter Layer Cake Ooey Gooey Butter Layer Cake Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: 12 to 16
Prep Time: 6 hours 40 min
Cook Time: 50 min
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients Add to grocery list


3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
Butter Filling, for assembling, recipe follows


One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Butter Filling:

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup orange juice
3 large eggs
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened and cubed





For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 9-inch round baking pans with butter or spray with cooking spray. Flour generously. Alternatively, you can cut out waxed or parchment paper circles to line the bottom of your cake pans.

To prepare the cake, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally to incorporate all the sugar with the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Mix the flour mixture into the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl down occasionally. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the sour cream.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Tap the bottom of the pans to get rid of any air pockets in the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Then remove them from the pans by inverting. Thoroughly cool your cakes on wire racks before frosting them.

To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a serving plate, with the flat bottom side facing down. Spread half of the Butter Filling over the surface of the cake. Top with another cake layer, inverted, so the bottom of the cake is facing up. Spread with the remaining butter filling. Place the remaining cake layer, also inverted, on top. Cover and freeze for at least 1 hour. While the cake is in the freezer, prepare the frosting.

For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, place the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, with the mixer set on low. If you find the frosting is too soft, just chill it for 10 minutes in the fridge before using.

Remove the cake from the freezer and spread the frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Store the cake, covered, in the refrigerator until the guests arrive.

Butter Filling:

In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter over simmering water. Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the sugar, orange juice and eggs until the mixture is smooth. Return the double boiler to the heat and cook, stirring with a whisk constantly, until the mixture is very thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Whisk in the cream cheese. Remove from the heat and let cool for 30 minutes.

Spoon the filling into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap right up against the surface of the filling to prevent a skin from forming and chill for at least 4 hours.

Cook’s Note: Now, when you’re whisking your gooey butter filling and waitin’ on that filling to get all nice and thick, just keep in mind that before it gets thick, it’ll thin out at first. Don’t worry about that. This happens because the mixture is heatin’ up. But as moisture starts to evaporate, this filling will thicken up. Just remember to keep stirring, and watch out for the air bubbles - you don’t want to beat air into your filling.

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Reader Comments:


How do you get the butter filling to thicken up I can't get it to thicken

By Brittany Harris on December 15, 2013


a bit too rich for me but it was good.

By patloc on November 09, 2013


I'm sure your dessert is wonderful, and it's far prettier than a butter cake. But, where I am from, this is not at all a butter cake. Rillings or Fritzs Bakeries in the far Northeast of Philly have amazing butter cakes. It's ultra gooey, decadent, and does not contain cream cheese or regular cake mix.

By Tara on March 27, 2013


I made this cake yesterday for my brother in laws birthday. It was absolutely gorgeous! I had no problem with the filling, it thickened up nicely.The cake had had a good taste and I thought as I was putting batter in the pans, it would be more like a pound cake. However, when it was done,the cake was VERY heavy and dense, almost rubbery. What did I do wrong?I thought I followed the directions to a tee.Could the brand of flour make a difference?Maybe I should have used cake flour?When I assembled the cake, I used strawberry pie filling on top of the butter filling and used fresh strawberries to decorate the top also. It was a hit other than I thought the cake was a little rubbery.Any suggestions?

By Gena Cook on March 11, 2013


The cake is nice and sweet, am sure it make your day. Happy Birthday Aunt Paula Deen, i share with your dream, May you live long to see your heart desire fulfill on earth.

By FunmiA on January 27, 2013


i am making your ooey gooey butter layer cake and followed the instructions step by step. I even recorded your show on my dvr where you were making this cake. I could never get the filling to thicken up. It just got thinner and thinner. I added the cream cheese and it just clumped like little curdles. I made this filling 3 times and got the same results. Please tell me what I am doing wrong. Thank You so much!!!

By Kim on December 25, 2012


Love to make this. Yummy

By Patricia Holloway on December 18, 2012


Paula I Love Love Love your gooey butter cake recipes. I even made a sweet potatoe cake. I know I'm not the best cook in town but this sweet potato cake recipe will give you a run for your money.

By Tonda shipp on November 16, 2012


Idid your ooey gooey butter layer cake we had abig day at church they had ball with the cake every body ask for recipes i just smile have anice day may the lord bless yuo and your family ella.

By ellasebastian on October 23, 2012


this is great ideas for my birthday bash. i need put a train on top.

By benita michelle wheeler on August 30, 2012


Pamela and Diane - I think the recipe is written out of order. The "Butter Filling" should go between the layers, and the frosting goes all over the outside of the cake. It has the filling written at the end of the recipe though. Put it in between the layers. Louise - Is this the recipe you're looking for? http://www.food.com/recipe/top-me-twice-cake-21437 I almost wanted to make this cake until I read the ingredients and reviews. There is literally five sticks of butter in the cake, counting the filling and frosting. Waaay too much butter for a cake that seems to have mixed reviews. I think I'll stick to my usual recipe.

By Kara on August 18, 2012


Paula, In the mid 1980's - Betty Crocker cook book had a receipe called Top Me Twice. It was a cake mix; then you made a topping with pineapple coconut and something else; after that cooled you made a topping of butter and I believe brown sugar. I have not been able to find that receipe again - do you know of something similar that I can make?

By louise on June 07, 2012


This cake is amazing! I was a little concerned when I began based on all the steps involved. It took a lot of time but it turned out better than expected!! The cake is moist, the filling is wonderful and frosting is perfect.

By Tifinie on May 28, 2012


Omg, I just got some of this at Walmart and holy rich deliciousness!! I just had to look up the recipe because I'm totally making tis for my husband when he gets back from Afghanistan! Maybe toss a bit of chocolate chips in too! So yummmmmmyyyyyyyy! Thanks Miss Paula!

By Erin on May 15, 2012


Very good. All I made was the cake part. I needed a yellow cake for grandparents anniversary. Really like the cake though.

By tammy on March 01, 2012



By GALE S SLACK on February 21, 2012


In reviewing the Ooey Gooey Butter Layer Cake recipe I understand everything until I get to the butter filling, it says it's a filling......but the cake has been iced already, so is the butter filling actually a topping? Thanks and I need to know this soon since I want to make it for church this Sunday. PJE

By Pamela on February 03, 2012


I want to make the Ooey Gooey Butter Layer cake for my husband's birthday. Many of the review say the cake is too dry. What can I add to keep the cake moist? I was thinking of adding vegetable oil. Thanks.

By Pat on January 23, 2012


Too bad that nobody ever came here to respond to the comments. I made this cake the other day and it was HEAVY and DENSE. I didn't care for the texture and way too sweet for me. I've had a lot better cakes with a lot fewer calories! smile

By Karen on January 21, 2012


Hi Paula, I love your show and your recipes but I was disappointed when I saw a black man doing push ups on your show and even more disappointed when I saw you put your foot on his back out of disgust. Now I don't watch your show at all but as I was reviewing your website I see how great your recipes are and decided I might just forgive you and come back.

By Michelle on December 31, 2011

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