St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake gets a keto makeover! This easy cake recipe is rich and incredibly buttery, but still low carb enough to fit into your healthy keto diet. Sugar free and grain free.
I feel like I have been waiting forever to make a good keto gooey butter cake recipe. I’ve seen so many glorious conventional gooey butter cakes, which really are more like bars than cake, and I kept eyeing them, wondering if I should take a stab at making a healthier, low carb version.
What was stopping me, you ask? Simple. The lack of good low carb boxed vanilla cake mix. The original St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake takes boxed cake mix and when I re-make a recipe, I like to pay homage as much as I can to the original recipe.
But now, with the advent of not one but two really good keto cake mixes on the market, I decided it was time to give it a go. Both Good Dee’s and Swerve make really good vanilla cake mixes that are perfect for a low carb version of gooey butter cake.
What is Gooey Butter Cake?
You have to admit, it’s such a great name, it makes you want to run to your kitchen and make it straight away, doesn’t it? But what exactly IS gooey butter cake? Well I’ve been doing my research on that!
- It originated in St. Louis, Missouri, and like any traditional recipe, it seems to have many iterations. But generally it’s a flat, dense cake topped with a gooey sweet filling of cream cheese and butter.
- The cake portion is usually made with boxed cake mix, but you add a lot more butter, fewer eggs, and no additional liquids, so it doesn’t rise much but stays dense and buttery.
- The filling is made by beating cream cheese, butter, eggs, and powdered sugar (or sweetener) together and pouring it over top. Then it’s baked just enough so that the topping stays ooey and gooey.
- You then sprinkle it with a liberal amount of powdered sweetener/sugar.
- It’s also often baked in 9×13 pans and cut into squares, so you may see it referred to as gooey butter bars.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
How to Make Keto Gooey Butter Cake
I tried several different versions of this cake so I could give you some options.
The first time I made it, I used the Swerve Vanilla Cake mix for the crust, and simply followed the rest of the recipe I found on the Tidy Mom blog, swapping powdered Swerve for the sugar. Cheryl is actually from St. Louis and I figured she knew what she was talking about!
I took that version to the Oregon Coast when we went away with friends and it was a huge hit.
But knowing that not everyone wants to use, or can afford, the keto cake mixes, I decided to also make it with one of my own basic keto vanilla cake recipes. I did cut the amounts back by one third so it wasn’t too much cake and not enough filling.
I also tried adding some butter to the filling on the second go, to make it more gooey. I’d seen several variations with the added butter and given how much I love butter, I figured it couldn’t be a bad thing.
That version got taken to CrossFit, where it was also a huge hit. But they are hungry people, those crazy CrossFitters.
As I said, you have options here. You could make it with boxed cake mix or with my vanilla cake. But I highly recommend the added butter in the filling. Because low carb sweeteners aren’t like sugar, the filling is more firm when it’s just cream cheese and eggs. Sugar keeps things softer, so the additional butter really helps this keto version.
If you truly want a gooey butter cake, make sure to under-bake it. Don’t wait for that filling to firm up, take it out of the oven while the center is still quite jiggly.
That’s really it! It’s a remarkably easy cake, whether you use boxed cake mix or not. And with these low carb ingredients, how can you go wrong?
Want more gooey dessert recipes? Check out my Keto Desserts Page!
Keto Gooey Butter Cake
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¾ cup powdered Swerve
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Powdered Swerve for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 325F and lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sweetener, protein powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla extract and stir to combine well. Press into the bottom and partway up the sides of the prepared baking pan.
- In another large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in the sweetener until well combined, then beat in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Pour the filling over the crust. Bake 35 to 45 minutes, until the filling is mostly set, but the center still jiggles, and the edges are just golden brown.
- Remove and let cool, then dust with powdered Swerve and cut into bars.