These gooey butter cookies are a handheld version of the famous cake. They’re soft, gooey and totally irresistible! Roll them in sprinkles for a fun and festive look.
I make gooey butter cookies, along with stained glass cookies and peppermint bark cookies every year around the holidays. They’re great for cookie exchanges and take just minutes to put together. You can’t stop at just one cookie!
You’ve probably heard of gooey butter cake, but have you ever tried gooey butter cookies? They are SO very delicious and couldn’t be any easier to make. I’ve rolled these cookies in sprinkles to dress them up for the holidays!
How do you make gooey butter cookies?
This recipe starts with a box of cake mix. I use white cake mix, but yellow or chocolate cake mix would also be great options. The cake mix is combined with cream cheese, butter, egg and vanilla extract to make a thick dough.
This dough is on the soft and sticky side, which can make it a bit difficult to work with. I chill the dough until it’s firm before I roll my balls. If you have any issues with the dough sticking to your hands, you can coat your hands in a little cooking spray to make the process go smoother.
After the balls of dough are formed, I roll them in colorful sprinkles. If you feel like your balls of dough are too soft after you’ve rolled them, you can always put them back in the fridge to chill before you add the sprinkles.
Tips for gooey butter cookies
- Your cookies will form some cracks as they bake. This is normal and part of the charm of these rustic looking cookies.
- Gooey butter cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
- Be sure not to over bake your cookies! They’re meant to be soft and gooey.
- Traditional gooey butter cookies are rolled in powdered sugar, so you can try it that way if you prefer instead of using sprinkles.
Gooey butter cookies are a super unique treat and they’re great for parties, holiday cookie exchanges, and gift giving. You don’t have to wait for Christmas to roll around to make these cookies – you can swap out the holiday sprinkles for any color of sprinkle that fits your occasion.
I like to package up gooey butter cookies in gift tins and pass them out to family, friends and teachers during the holidays. Everyone is always so pleased to have a homemade gift and I get tons of requests for the recipe!
More holiday treats
Gooey Butter Cookies
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 18 1/4 ounce box white cake mix
- 1 cup sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
- Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer and beat until fluffy and thoroughly combined, 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg, vanille and white cake mix to the bowl. Beat on low speed until just combined.
- Cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, then coat each ball in sprinkles. Place 2 inches apart on the sheet pan. You will need to work in batches.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just set. Cool for 5-7 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Repeat the process with the remaining cookie dough.
- Serve, or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
I’m wondering about the ingredient ratio, as now cake mix boxes have been reduced again to between 15.25 and 16.25 ounces. Is there an adjustment needed for the add-in ingredients?
That’s a great question. I will re-test this recipe with the smaller cake mix boxes and get back to you soon!
Can I make the dough a day before and refrigerate overnight? Or is it best to only refrigerate for 30 minutes?
That should be fine, you may just need to let it rest a bit at room temperature if it’s too hard to scoop straight out of the fridge!
Hello, Can I substitute the cream cheese for sour cream? Or any other substitute?
I don’t think sour cream would work as a substitute!
Can you swap out any flavor cake mix? I was thinking of making these for Valentine’s Day with a red velvet mix!
Yes any flavor will work!
Would this work with a gluten free cake mix?
I haven’t tried it that way but I believe it would work!
Yes I just made them with a gluten free yellow cake mix. Instead of vanilla I used orange extract and about a tablespoon of orange zest. They just may be my favorite cookie this year. By the way the 17 oz Pillsbury box mix worked out just fine.
Hi l like this cookie can I replace cake mix to flour??
Unfortunately that won’t work as the cake mix contains all the sugar and leavening agents in the recipe.
Hi! I see you said they freeze well. I wanted to clarify, the dough itself, not the made cookies. I was going to make these this week to freeze for a few weeks away for a party.
You can freeze either the dough or the baked cookies. The sprinkles I used in this photo can smear a little when frozen and thawed from the condensation related to being in the freezer. So just use a different type of sprinkle that’s not the non pareil variety and it should be fine.
Does it matter what size the cake mix is?
Any standard sized box is fine!
Do these freeze well?
Yes they do!
I love you and your recipes
Thank you Phyllis!