When I was young, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and there was no Internet, I got this recipe the way you did back then–you tasted the dish that someone else had made and asked for the recipe, which they would give you on a 3×5 card if you were lucky. It was called “Gooey Butter Cake” and I didn’t know that there was a history behind it.
Now, thanks to the Internet and Wikipedia, I have discovered that Gooey Butter Cake is something of a thing in St. Louis, where it is said to have originated. I found out that in many places, it is called “Ooey Gooey Butter Cake”, which is one “ooey” too many for me. There are a couple of basic versions–one completely from scratch and one based on a cake mix, and there are lots of variations that I never even thought of, like pumpkin and lemon and strawberry. There is also chocolate, which sounds awesome… because Chocolate.
My ancient, tattered recipe was of the cake mix version, and since I really wasn’t in a baking mood today, I went with that one.
Gooey Butter Cake is not for the faint of heart, the diabetic, or those who don’t like their desserts SWEET. Because this thing is sweet, and has lots of butter, cream cheese, and a whole pound of powdered sugar. I’m going to cut it, put it in the freezer, and enjoy it in moderation over a long period of time. That’s the theory.
According to Wikipedia, Gooey Butter Cake is traditionally served in place of something like a coffeecake, and not as a true dessert.
It is, true to its name, soft and gooey on the inside, but it’s easy to cut and serve.
One nice thing about this dessert is that it’s very easy to make.
Gooey Butter Cake
makes one 9×13 inch cake
For the cake:
1 yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, softened or melted
For the topping:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the cake: Mix together cake ingredients and press in a greased 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes, or until slightly browned.
For the topping:
Mix together topping ingredients and pour over cake mixture. Bake 10-15 minutes (note: I ended up baking it for 20-25 minutes. It needs to be just past the jiggle stage, but not too far. You’ll have to watch it carefully) Sprinkle with more powdered sugar when done.