Last updated November 21, 2014

I have a weakness for ooey gooey cake, sometimes called butter cake or chess squares. I first learned about this sinful dessert when living in Jackson, Mississippi.

The cake is dense, sweet and super moist. It’s almost like eating custard with your hands. Maybe you’re supposed to use a fork, but when a dish is called ooey gooey, there is no need to be proper.

In celebration of summer, I adjusted the traditional recipe to add a tropical twist of pina colada. If you’re in the U.S., you should be able to find boxed pineapple cake mix in the store. Layer in a can of crushed pineapple and top the cake with shredded coconut. After it bakes, the coconut flakes will be crispy little bits of heaven that complement the ooey gooey pineapple base.

This is a fun dessert for a party or for the kids to enjoy, and trust me from experience, you’re coworkers would love for you to bring a pan to work, too.

Once you master Pina Colada Ooey Gooey Cake, try other varieties.

Lemon Ooey Gooey Cake

Use lemon cake mix and layer in lemon curd. Top with shaved almonds.

Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Cake

Use spice cake mix and layer in half a can of pumpkin pie filling. Top with crushed pecans.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ooey Gooey Cake

Use chocolate cake mix and layer in melted peanut butter. Top with chopped peanuts and chocolate chips.


Pina Colada Ooey Gooey Cake

Pina Colada Ooey Gooey Cake


  • 1 16.5-oz. box pineapple cake mix
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 8-oz. can crushed pineapple
  • 8 ozs. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. rum or pineapple juice
  • 16 ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 pan.

In a bowl, mix together the cake mix, melted butter and 1 egg. Press it into the greased pan.

Drain the pineapple. Spread the pineapple evenly in the pan.

In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon rum or pineapple juice, until smooth. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar. Pour over the pineapple.

Sprinkle coconut over the top.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.

Cut into squares and serve.