Monica's favorite gear for
making Gooey Butter Cake
These are ideal for adding ingredients as the mixer is running. They are dripless and dishwasher safe.
This 5-qt. mixer gets so much use in my kitchen. It comes with a glass bowl with handy measurements. I added a stainless steel bowl; it's nice to have both.
Also available: stainless steel bowl
I've been using this durable pan for many years. The lid is a great convenience, too.
This is another tool that gets lots of use in my kitchen. In this recipe, I used it for combining the dry ingredients before mixing them into the batter.
This grid pattern cooling rack is awesome and the #1 recommendation of Cooks Illustrated. It also fits perfectly inside a half baking sheet to create a baking rack.
This fine mesh strainer is perfect for sifting powdered sugar for lightly dusting the top of the cake.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

A baker's mistake in the 1930's became a regional favorite. There's no yellow cake mix here; this recipe is made completely from scratch.


Gooey Butter Cake

By Monica              24 servings
This popular St. Louis cake has been a regional favorite since the 1930's. Most recipes use a yellow cake mix, but this yummy version is made completely from scratch. Serve it as a breakfast, brunch coffee cake, with afternoon tea, or as a dessert. Cut bite-size squares for party platters.

This popular St. Louis cake has been a regional favorite since the 1930's. It is characteristically crispy around the edges and gooey in the center. Most recipes begin with a yellow cake mix, but this yummy version is made completely from scratch. Serve it as a breakfast/brunch coffee cake or a dessert.

Ingredients
  • BOTTOM LAYER:
  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temp (any milk will do; use cream or evaporated milk for richer flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • TOP LAYER:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (same as confectioners or icing sugar), plus additional for dusting top
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

MAKE BOTTOM LAYER:
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, use electric mixer on medium speed to blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, then add milk and vanilla; mix until uniformly blended. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing after each addition (begin each addition on low speed and increase to medium speed to avoid flying flour), scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared 9x13 pan. (Spraying your hands lightly with cooking spray makes it easier to spread the sticky dough.) Set aside.

MAKE TOP LAYER:
In a separate medium bowl, use electric mixer at medium speead to beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. On low speed, mix in powdered sugar and salt until combined. Then mix in vanilla and eggs, mixing in eggs one at a time at medium speed until uniformly combined. Scrape down bowl, and continue to mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture over bottom layer in pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

BAKE until golden brown around the edges, approx. 40-45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook so it stays gooey in the middle. (Cake will rise in the oven, especially around the edges, and fall as it cools. It gets crusty around the pan edges and should remain gooey inside the outer edges.) Cool completely and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving. 245 calories, 9.8g fat, 6g sat fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 79mg potassium, 37.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 27.1g sugars, 2.9g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 12


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This popular St. Louis cake has been a regional favorite since the 1930's. It is characteristically crispy around the edges and gooey in the center and is really more like a bar than a cake. Most recipes begin with a yellow cake mix, but I make this yummy version completely from scratch. Serve it as a breakfast/brunch coffee cake or a dessert. 

According to local legend (and Wikipedia), gooey butter cake was the result of an ingredient mix-up by a baker in the 1930's. All I can say to that happy mistake is, "St. Louis thanks you!"

This cake is such a thing in St. Louis that you'll find it in the bakery section of every grocery store and served at many restaurants. The Schnuck's grocery store where I shop always has a display devoted to this cake where you can buy it as a whole boxed cake or by the slice. There's even a bakery here called Gooey Louie that sells nothing but different flavors of gooey butter cake. A local coffee company, Kaldi's, makes their own popular version of this cake. Some restaurants have riffed on the main theme and made gooey butter cookies and ice cream. St. Louisan Molly Killeen moved to New York City and opened a bakery, Made by Molly, that sells a gooey butter cake that got featured in the New York Times. Without a doubt, this cake is definitely a thing for St. Louisans. There's a reason--it's sinfully delicious!

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A variety of flavors may appear in St. Louis stores throughout the year (pumpkin, chocolate, etc.), but the original flavor is simple buttery gooeyness. In this from-scratch recipe and most of the yellow cake mix recipes, the gooeyness actually comes from a cream cheese and butter topping. Some will argue that there is no place for cream cheese in real-deal gooey butter cake, and others insist that there must be a yeast batter used in the cake. But, my recipe is based on the version that I've most often enjoyed around the city since moving to St. Louis 30 years ago. Which version is the original will, no doubt, remain a topic for debate.

Nutritional Information per serving. 245 calories, 9.8g fat, 6g sat fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 79mg potassium, 37.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 27.1g sugars, 2.9g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 12

Step-by-step photos for making
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients:

  •  flour
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • butter
  • milk
  • granulated and powdered sugar
  • vanilla
  • eggs
  • cream cheese

IMG_7454.jpg

Step 2. Mix the bottom layer.

  • Begin by whisking the dry ingredients together.

view on Amazon:  POURfect mixing bowls (I love these--they're easy to hold for adding ingredients without spills while the mixer is running); wire whisk

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Using a hand-held or stand mixer,

  • blend the butter and sugar until fluffy,
  • add an egg and mix
  • add vanilla and milk and mix,
  • add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition

view on Amazon:  my KitchenAid stand mixer

GooeyButterCakeBars1a.jpg

Step 3. Use your hands to press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. 

  • TIP: spraying your hands with cooking spray makes it easier to spread the sticky batter.

view on Amazon:  9x13 cake pan with lid

GooeyButterCake_Bars2.jpg

Step 4. Mix the top layer, again using a mixer:

  • beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy,
  • add the powdered sugar and salt and mix,
  • add 1 egg and vanilla and mix,
  • add another egg and mix until smooth.

GooeyButterCake_Bars1.jpg

Step 5. Spread the top layer mixture evenly over the bottom layer.

GooeyButterCake_Bars3.jpg

Step 6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. If you peek through the oven window, you will see the cake rise dramatically and unevenly as it bakes. This is normal.

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Step 7. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. It will shrink back down and even out as it cools.

view on Amazon:  wire cooling rack

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Step 8. Before serving, sprinkle the cake lightly with powdered sugar. I sift mine through a small strainer to get a light dusting that doesn't clump.

view on Amazon:  mini wire strainer

GooeyButterCake_Bars4.jpg

Cut and enjoy! Cut it into bars and enjoy this rich, decadent, splurge-worthy treat for breakfast, brunch, or dessert.

Cut bite-sized squares for party platters. You can cut approx. 48 1.5" squares from 1 pan. Place each one in a mini paper cupcake liner and arrange them on a platter to make them easy to serve.

Want a cake mix short-cut? If you'd prefer the convenience of using a yellow cake mix to make this cake, fellow St. Louis blogger Cheryl at TidyMom.net has a classic recipe. 

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Although King-Man and I aren't originally from St. Louis, 30 years of living here has turned us into die-hard fans of this local delicacy. I also make a cookie version of this cake that we love. I'll be sharing that recipe in a later post.

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Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Gooey Butter Cake
By Monica              Servings: 24 servings
Ingredients
  • BOTTOM LAYER:
  • 2-1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 1/4 cup milk, room temp (any milk will do; use cream or evaporated milk for richer flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • TOP LAYER:
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar (same as confectioners or icing sugar), plus additional for dusting top
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp.
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

MAKE BOTTOM LAYER:
In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In large bowl, use electric mixer on medium speed to blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg, then add milk and vanilla; mix until uniformly blended. Add flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing after each addition (begin each addition on low speed and increase to medium speed to avoid flying flour), scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared 9x13 pan. (Spraying your hands lightly with cooking spray makes it easier to spread the sticky dough.) Set aside.

MAKE TOP LAYER:
In a separate medium bowl, use electric mixer at medium speead to beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. On low speed, mix in powdered sugar and salt until combined. Then mix in vanilla and eggs, mixing in eggs one at a time at medium speed until uniformly combined. Scrape down bowl, and continue to mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour mixture over bottom layer in pan and spread evenly with a spatula.

BAKE until golden brown around the edges, approx. 40-45 minutes. Be careful not to overcook so it stays gooey in the middle. (Cake will rise in the oven, especially around the edges, and fall as it cools. It gets crusty around the pan edges and should remain gooey inside the outer edges.) Cool completely and dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.

Nutritional Information per serving. 245 calories, 9.8g fat, 6g sat fat, 46 mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, 79mg potassium, 37.6g carbs, 0g fiber, 27.1g sugars, 2.9g protein; Weight Watchers SmartPoints: 12
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Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 2017








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