Gooey Cakes

Serves 10

Cake
1 box yellow cake mix -- (18.25-ounce)
1egg
1/2 cup butter -- (1 stick) melted

Filling
1 package cream cheese -- (8-ounce) softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 box confectioners' sugar -- (16-ounce)
1/2 cup butter -- (1 stick) melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter
and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.

Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add
eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce
speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.

Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50
minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time,
because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little
gooey, so don't bake it past that point!

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares.

Pumpkin Gooey: This variation has to be at the top of my list,
especially around Thanksgiving. For the cake part, I sometimes use a
spice cake mix. I have even used a chocolate cake mix, but I think my
favorite is the basic yellow cake mix. Follow the original recipe,
adding a 15-ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the
cream cheese filling. Bake as usual, remove from oven, and allow to
cool. Cut into squares and top each square with a pecan half. Serve
with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Pineapple Gooey: Add a 20-ounce can of drained crushed pineapple and
an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Lemon Gooey: Use a lemon cake mix in place of the yellow cake. Add the
juice (approximately 1/4 cup) and zest of 2 lemons to the cream cheese
filling. Proceed: as directed above.

Carrot Cake Gooey: Use a spice cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts
and 1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots to the cream cheese filling.
Proceed as directed above.

Peanut Butter Gooey: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and an extra egg to cream cheese filling. You can sprinkle the top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if you like. Proceed as
directed above.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: Use either yellow or chocolate cake mix.
Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of
filling. Proceed as directed above.

Banana Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix. Prepare cream cheese filling as
directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas and an extra egg. Proceed as
directed above.

Nutty Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts to the
cake mixture. Proceed as directed above.

Chippy Gooey: Stir 1 cup white chocolate chips, peanut butter
chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, Heath Almond Toffee Bits or
Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits into filling. Proceed as directed
above.