Laurel Hart

Computational linguist — Software engineer

Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies

Adapted from ‘allrecipes’
Inspired by ‘Lil’ Luna’: Monster Eye Cookies, Multicolor Monster Eye Cookies


  • 1/4 cup fat or oil (notes)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (notes)
  • 1 egg or egg substitute:
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package white or yellow cake mix
  • powdered/confectioners' sugar


  • Fat or Oil: Recommended options:
    • 1/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
    • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
    Or my favorite:
    • 2 tbsp vegan butter, softened
    • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • Cream Cheese: I tried a couple of vegan options for cream cheese. I found that Daiya had too strong a taste, which even doubling the amoung of vanilla extract couldn't quite mask. Finally I landed on Tofutti, which worked excellently. Whipped tofu may work, as well, but I have not tried it. Between dairy cream cheese and Tofutti, I found that using vegan cream cheese made for lighter, fluffier cookies, with no noticeable taste difference.

Adaptations / Variations

  • Halloween: Add fun colors and candy eyes! Lil' Luna uses neon food coloring. I haven't been able to find neon in stores, but using gel icing colors can produce really vibrant results. If you go with just 1 color, I recommend green. Purple and orange look great, too!
  • Red Velvet: Instead of white or yellow cake mix, use a red velvet cake mix. Voilà!
  • Vegan adaptations:
    • Choose non-dairy based fat/oil and cream cheese.
    • With regard to finding a cake mix: most of Duncan Hines' cake mixes are vegan, though the boxes aren't marked as such. Other big brands may be, as well; many vegan bloggers have investigated, so a little googling should answer for any specific brand.
    • If you want to do Halloween variation, I highly recommend using Wilton products. All of their icing colors are vegan, and it is pretty easy to find which of their other products are vegan (and kosher!)


  1. Combine cream cheese and softened fat/oil until fluffy.
  2. Add in vanilla and egg/egg substitute (and food coloring, if applicable).
  3. Gradually add in cake mix.
  4. Put dough in freezer to chill. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Put powdered sugar on a plate.
  6. When oven is done preheating, take dough out of freezer. Use a spoon to measure out dough and roll into balls. Roll balls in powdered sugar.
  7. Bake 15 to 17 minutes. I found that dough using dairy cream cheese needed a little longer to bake.
  8. Transfer to wire rack to cool. If adding eyes, give the cookies a few minutes to cool first so that they eyes do not melt, but it is easier to add them before the cookies have cooled completely.