Gluten Free Dairy Free Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Gluten Free Dairy Free Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

After I posted the gluten free recipe makeover I did for Georgia I received an email from a reader named Diane whose son is 7 years old, autistic and on a gluten free, casein free diet. She said her son’s favorite dessert is Gooey Butter Cake and she had not had good luck converting it and asked for my help.

This was a little more challenging than normal because not only have I never had Gooey Butter Cake, I had never even heard of it. So I hit the internet to see what I could find out.

Well, turns out the world of Gooey Butter Cake is roughly divided into two camps; those that use a boxed cake mix with butter and cream cheese and those that use a yeast type cake dough with lots of butter, no cream cheese and a topping made of corn starch, eggs, sugar and flour.

I can only assume that the latter was the original and the recipe eventually was made more convenient by the use of boxed cake mix and the cream cheese in some way duplicated or came close to the flavor of the original topping.

Since the recipe Diane sent me was the former version, I decided to start with that.

Here is the recipe I was sent:

Bottom half of the cake:
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter
2 eggs

Top half of cake
2 eggs
1 package cream cheese softened
1 lb powdered sugar
1 stick butter

Mix cake mix, stick of melted butter and 2 eggs together and press into 9x13x2 pan. Cream eggs and softened cream cheese together. Mix in powder sugar. Slowly add melted butter. Pour over cake batter. Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Diane had tried making the cake with gluten-free cake mix, Earth Balance and dairy free cream cheese.  She was not happy with the result. The bottom part was dry and she didn’t care for the taste of the topping, although the kids did.  They agreed, however, that the bottom was too dry.

So I went with my secret weapon for moist gluten-free, dairy free or vegan cakes and cupcakes: Vegenaise. I love to use this in baking, as it results in a really moist cake. Since we are so happy with Vegenaise, made by Follow Your Heart, around here I also used Follow Your Heart’s dairy free cream cheese.

My cake was certainly not dry!  In fact, the resulting effort was so moist it is almost like a pudding cake.  There were two layers but I am not sure they are as distinct as a traditional Gooey Butter Cake should be. Also, my bottom layer was more gooey than the top layer – hmm…

So what’s the verdict? In my opinion, this gluten-free, dairy free cake is delicious. But I did what I always do when I need an honest opinion about anything “alternative” – I tricked my husband into tasting it. I was happy to hear the cake got a big thumbs up!

Should I call this a Gooey Butter Cake?  I’m not sure. I am going to let Diane be the judge. But I am not going to rest on my laurels just because this was a really delicious dessert.

If you have a really good gluten-free flour blend you like, you can use 1½ cups of that in place of the flours and starches.


5 from 3 votes
Gluten Free Dairy Free Gooey Butter Cake Recipe
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Dairy Free Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 733kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


Bottom Layer

  • ½ cup superfine white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup superfine sweet rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk - (the lite has less of a coconut flavor than full fat -shake can well before measuring)
  • ½ cup Vegenaise
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


  • 2 large eggs - at room temperature
  • 8 ounces Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese Alternative - at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup soy free Earth Balance - melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13x2 inch glass or ceramic baking dish with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the sugar, coconut milk, Vegenaise and vanilla. Add the coconut milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir or whisk to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and let sit for about 15 minutes or so, it will become less liquid as it sits.
  • In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs and cream cheese alternative on medium high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar, mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the vanilla, mix well and then gradually add in the melted Earth Balance.
  • Bake for 40 - 50 minutes or until the cake looks set but not dry. Let cool and dust the gluten free
  • Gooey Butter Cake with more powdered sugar.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Dairy Free Gooey Butter Cake Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 733 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 54mg18%
Sodium 263mg11%
Potassium 52mg1%
Carbohydrates 140g47%
Sugar 107g119%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 80IU2%
Calcium 67mg7%
Iron 0.8mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Butter Cake Cream Cheese Sweet Vegan Mayonnaise
  1. Daily Morning Coffee
    October 26, 2010

    Looks nice and yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will surely try this out.

    1. Genet E Harris
      July 8, 2021

      Thete is no egg in the cake bottom layer ? Is this a mistake ?

      1. Gluten Free & More
        July 12, 2021

        No, it’s not a mistake. It uses Vegenaise, an egg-free mayo alternative, which makes up for eggs in that layer.

  2. Donna
    October 26, 2010

    I have nver had gooey butter cake either but this looks amazing!

  3. Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    October 26, 2010

    What a delightful cake indeed!!!!

  4. gfe--gluten free easily
    October 26, 2010

    I used to make this recipe, but we didn't call it gooey butter cake. I'm drawing a blank on what we did call it now. Hubby always mistakenly thought there was lemon involved, but no lemons or lemon juice were included. Yours looks great, Carol! BTW, one can save a lot of money by just getting the full-fat coconut and using half of that (after shaking) and half filtered water for whatever measurement is called for. Lite coconut milk is just coconut milk with water added per my understanding. Homemade lite coconut milk works great and saves a lot as they are both the same price at my store. ;-)

    Another successful conversion, Carol! Now I'm still thinking on what we called this cake. Chess Cake I think and then sometimes it was called some kind of bars. Hmmm …


  5. Kristina @ spabettie
    October 26, 2010

    YES !! this sounds FABULOUS!! thank you – I WILL be making this !!

  6. Joy
    October 27, 2010

    Looks like a great makeover already but I am excited to see the next one! I started using Vegenaise in baking after I tried your vegan German Chocolate cupcakes, I agree! Cakes and cupcakes come out so moist.

  7. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free
    October 27, 2010

    Carol, this is fabulous! I am so going to make this for my hubby! The one recipe he always requested before going gluten free was Paula Deen's Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Butter cake. Similar to the recipe you were sent but using pumpkin as well. Sooo good but sooo naughty! Had not even thought about trying to recreate it gf….

    1. Monica Harris
      November 11, 2017

      How much pumpkin did you use and I’m on sugar free as well. Any suggestions for not using powdered sugar for icing?

      1. Gluten Free & More
        November 13, 2017

        Hi Monica,
        Kim was saying that this cake reminds her of Paula Dean’s butter cake (but Paula’s contains pumpkin, is slightly different in ingredients, and isn’t gluten-free – but you could adapt it to be by using GF cake mix). If you want to check out Paula Dean’s recipe, here’s the link. As far as a substitute for powdered sugar… that’s tricky. I checked for alternatives online and found a product called Swerve that’s a lower glycemic option. There’s also a way to make powdered sugar using a lower glycemic option like xylitol and a starch … check out this post to see how.

        Hope this helps! You may have to experiment with the recipe and see how things go before it comes out the way you’d like. Let me know how it goes with the alternatives – I’d love to know.

  8. Carla Spacher
    October 27, 2010

    How sweet of you to help this child! Looks delish!

  9. The Short (dis)Order Cook
    October 28, 2010

    I have a recipe from Paula Deen's cookbook that uses cake mix and it's delicious. I never thought of a gluten-free version as it's been a lon time since I made it. Now that you have shown a gluten-free version, I'm thinking I have to give it a shot. I'd love to see a gluten-free version that isn't dairy free ('cause it's a BUTTER cake after all).

  10. Anne Marie
    October 28, 2010

    This sounds really good. Must try!

    I wonder how it would taste with cut up apples mixed in (apple cake).

    (Before I was on a wheat free diet, I used to make an apple cake that looks similar to the picture.)

  11. The InTolerant Chef
    October 29, 2010

    Still can't find any veganaise here in Austalia.

  12. caseyb
    June 8, 2017

    Espresso powder is in your directions but not in the ingredient list? I’m hoping to make this tomorrow and just noticed, can anyone help me with how much is needed? Many thanks!!

    1. Gluten Free & More
      July 31, 2017

      Sorry Casey, the espresso powder was listed in the directions by mistake. I’ve since corrected it. I hope you enjoy the cake!

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