Gooey Butter Cake


I spent this past weekend visiting my family in my hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.  I always like to bake something when I am there (more people to eat my food!) so I decided to make a St. Louis original  – Gooey Butter Cake!  This cake is usually eaten as a breakfast coffee cake, and as the name indicates, it is rich!!  The legend of the Gooey Butter Cake is that it was first made in the 1930s by accident.  A German American baker in South St. Louis reversed the proportions of sugar and flour while trying to make regular cake batter, and the rest is history. (Read more about it here).  There are several different recipes out there for this cake. The version that I grew up eating has a thin layer of dense, moist cake on the bottom and then is topped with a gooey, buttery filling.  Yes, it is made with cake mix which some people might think is cheating.  But I say why not take a little help when you can get it!  This recipe came from my mom’s cousin, although it is very similar to Paula Dean’s recipe   


You can see how gooey it is!





Gooey Butter Cake (recipe from Gaye Frederic)

For the cake:
1 18 ¼ oz box yellow cake mix
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

For the filling:
1 8 oz package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
1 16 oz box (about 4 cups) powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13×9 inch baking pan.

In a medium bowl, mix together the cake mix, 1 stick butter, 1 tsp vanilla and 1 egg. Put the mixture in the prepared baking pan and lightly press it into an even layer.

In a large bowl using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and 8 Tbsp melted butter, and beat until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and mix well. Pour the filling over the cake layer.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. You want the cake to be golden brown around the edges, but very gooey in the center. Let the cake cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

17 thoughts on “Gooey Butter Cake

  1. Pingback: Skinny Peanut Butter Brownies | Chez CateyLou

  2. Kathryn came home from college this weekend and couldn’t wait to make this. We are still in a food coma. Her boyfriend ate five squares of it! But we decided that because it is vegetarian, it must be healthy. 🙂

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