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Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

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Five ingredients are all it takes to make a clone of the famous Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that you will find at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen.

fork cutting into a slice of ooey gooey butter cake

When I dined at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, I tried the Queen of Southern Cooking’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  You might know it by some of its other names, such as Chess Cake, Chess Squares, or Cream Cheese Squares.

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake at her restaurant in Pigeon Forge Slice of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Before leaving the store, I purchased a box of the mix so that I could make a batch at home and see how it compared to the Cream Cheese Squares that my husband has been making for years.

Box of Paula Deen Cake Mix

The box indicates that it is 20 ounces, but I wanted to know how much each of the packets weighed so I placed them individually on my kitchen scale.  The Gooey Filling Mix weighed 8 ounces and the Ooey Cake Mix was 12 ounces.

Inside Box

I made them following the directions on the box and this is how they turned out:

Baked Ooey Gooey Cake

They look pretty good, don’t they?

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (clone recipe)

The funny thing, though, is that they didn’t look like the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake that I had at the restaurant.  (See the 2nd picture above in this post.)  

To me, the restaurant’s version was nearly identical to the recipe for Cream Cheese Squares.  To prove my point, I made a batch – see below.

Pan of Cream Cheese Squares

I went one step further and decided to conduct a little taste test among friends.  Granted, they did not dine with us at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and had not tried either recipe before the taste test.

Plate of Cream Cheese Squares

While they enjoyed both, the winner of the taste test ended up being the boxed mix of Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  I admit to being a little disappointed, hoping that the Cream Cheese Square would be the winner.

I decided to figure out how to recreate the box mix version.   Since I knew the weight of the ingredients in the box of Paula’s cake mix, I felt confident that it would be easy to make using a regular cake mix that one could pick up at most grocery stores.

Being a “butter cake,” I purchased a box of Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix.  Since there were more than 12 ounces in the mix, I used my kitchen scale to figure out the unsifted volume to use.  It came out to approximately 2.25 cups of cake mix.

The amount of powdered sugar in the original was 8 ounces.  The weighted, unsifted volume on my scale came out to approximately 1 3/4 cups.  I followed the directions on the box of Paula’s mix using Duncan Hines mix and they turned out very much like Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (from the box, not the restaurant).

Homemade Butter Cake

While the clone version of the box of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is good, I think the recipe for cream cheese squares is a near-perfect match of the same dessert served in Paula Deen’s restaurants.

Paula Deen’s Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe Clone

slice of chess cake

Yield: 16

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (Clone)

Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (Clone)

A box of cake mix, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and butter are the star ingredients in this simple homemade version of Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.  

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 1 box butter cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Place cake mix, 1 egg, and stick of butter (melted) into bowl of mixer and beat for 1 minute until it becomes a soft dough.
  3.  Spread mixture evenly over bottom baking dish.
  4. Combine remaining eggs, cream cheese, and powder sugar in mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  5. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake batter and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool completely before cutting.


If the batter is too stiff to spread with a spatula, lightly moisten your hands and spread the dough until the bottom of the pan is covered.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 340Saturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 55gSugar: 42gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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slice of ooey gooey butter cake


Warning:  These treats are loaded with sugar and are highly addictive.

Want to go to Pigeon Forge?  Read these posts:

LuLu's in Gulf Shores
Gulf Shores - Wild Hearts
Wild Hearts Day Cruises In the Gulf Of Mexico


Thursday 17th of September 2020

I don’t like cream cheese, can I use something else? Or leave it out?


Thursday 17th of September 2020

Unfortunately, no. That's a very crucial component of the recipe. I recommend that you try it. You might be surprised at how it tastes once it is baked.

Christina Murrey

Wednesday 16th of September 2020

I love Paula Dean


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Is it 2 cups of powdered sugar or 16oz by weight?


Tuesday 15th of September 2020

That's a great question! Honestly, I don't think it makes a difference in this recipe. When I make it, I just measure it out (I don't weigh it).

Rita O'Saile

Saturday 5th of September 2020

I have been making these Newman Marcus Brownies for almost 40 years! I have tried different flavors but always went back to my original using butter pecan cake mix and real butter. These are very rich so small squares are best. I have never shared my recipe before except for family and it took years for them to get it out of me. 😂! I use 1 stick of Butter,cake mix and 1 egg in bottom layer. 2 eggs, 8 ozs cream cheese and 16 ozs powered sugar in top layer, sprinkle with chopped pecans and bake @ 300 50-60 mins making sure not to overbake. Cool and enjoy!

Carol M Turnbull

Thursday 13th of August 2020

It's impossible to follow the directions. The last line says to "Allow to cool completely before cutting." Nope. Won't happen in this house! We also didn't have time to take any photos. Getting ready to make it again. Still don't think any of cooling or photos will happen.


Friday 14th of August 2020

Girl - you scared me with that first sentence and then had me rolling through the rest. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. :)