Missouri - Gooey Butter Cake (Old St. Louis Bakery Style)

You may be familiar with Gooey Butter Cake, but probably the newer, convenience recipe that uses a cake mix, cream cheese and confectioners sugar.  Well this, is the real deal -the original - Old St. Louis Bakery Style Gooey Butter Cake. 

There are several legends of how the Gooey Butter Cake came about, but long story short - somebody goofed!  The baker was trying to make a traditional cake batter and accidentally reversed the amounts of sugar and flour.  What resulted was a confection with a cake like bottom layer, and a gooey, buttery top layer.  

This goof, turned into a delicious surprise and the people of St. Louis and Missouri have embraced it since the 1930's.  

While there are plenty of recipes for "quick" Gooey Butter Cake,  I wanted to make the authentic version and was pleased to find this recipe on St. Louis Today (www.stltoday.com). 

for the sweet dough...

1/4 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar 
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • Heat 1/4 cup milk until barely lukewarm, about 100 degrees.  Put milk in a small bowl; sprinkle yeast evenly over milk.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve.  Set aside. 
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat 6 Tablespoons butter, 3 Tablespoons sugar and 3/4 teaspoon salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add 1 egg and beat until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl. 
  • Add flour in three additions and the milk mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour.  Be sure to scrape the bowl of the milk mixture so that all yeast transfers to the dough.  After each addition, beat on the slowest speed to combine, scraping the bowl occasionally.  After the final portion of flour has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
  • Butter two 8 inch square pans or two 9 inch round pans; and press and stretch the dough into the pans.  (If the dough resists stretching, covering the pan and allowing the dough to rest for 15 minutes or so should help.)  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours. 

for the filling...

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1 cup cake flour
powdered sugar, for dusting 

  • Shortly before the dough is done rising, combine 3/4 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and corn syrup in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes. 
  • Scrape down the bowl; add the vanilla extract and 1 egg.  Beat until combined, then beat in the remaining egg.  Add 1/4 cup milk and cake flour and mix to combine on low speed.  Scrape down the bowl and give the mixture a final stir. 
  • When the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover the dough with dollops of filling, dividing evenly between cakes.  Spread filling almost to the edges.  Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until topping is crisp and golden brown.  (Topping will melt and spread as it bakes.)
  • Let cakes cool in the pans on a rack.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before cutting and serving. 

You can not imagine how divine this cake is!  You will be sooooooo glad this recipe makes 2 cakes - that way, you can share one and hide the other one just for you!  

I can't wait to find a reason to make Gooey Butter Cake again!  


1 comment:

  1. This was so heavenly and melted in my mouth!! I can see why you would want 2 of them, they won't last long :)