Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cake

Inspired by the gooey butter cake of St. Louis, Missouri, this Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cake has two textured layers: a chewy brown sugar base and a filling so rich with butter, eggs, and pumpkin purée that the middle sinks down into a creamy, custardy valley.

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cake
Makes about 12 servings
  • 3⁄4 cup (165 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup (113 grams) plus 6 tablespoons (84 grams) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 5 large eggs (250 grams), divided
  • 11⁄2 cups (188 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 8 ounces (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (15-ounce) can (425 grams) pumpkin
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) spiced black rum
  • 33⁄4 cups (450 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan; spray pan again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, granulated sugar, 6 tablespoons (84 grams) melted butter, and 2 eggs (100 grams). Add flour, baking powder, and salt, whisking until smooth. Spread into bottom of prepared pan; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed until smooth. Add pumpkin, and beat until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rum, remaining 3 eggs (150 grams), and remaining 1⁄2 cup (113 grams) melted butter, beating until smooth. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, beating until well combined. Pour over cake base, smoothing with an offset spatula.
  4. Bake until center is slightly set, about 40 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.


    • Hi Sue,

      thank you for reaching out! Although we have not tested this recipe with anything other than rum, you can definitely substitute. Here is a good link with helpful substitutions: https://whatscookingamerica.net/alcoholsub.htm. You can substitute with water, white grape juice, pineapple juice, apple juice or apple cider, or syrup flavored with almond extract. Substitute equal amounts of liquid. Happy Baking!

      • Thank you! I have apple juice on hand so I’ll try that. Or maybe the almond extract flavored syrup. Decisions, decisions.


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