The first time I experienced Gooey Butter cake was a few years ago at my cousins wedding in St. Louis and my life was changed forever. It may have had to do with the fact that I had not eaten and been travelling almost all day, however, when I discovered this in my little gift bag in my room, I couldn’t stop eating. My dad barely even got a bite because I promptly stole his. (Sorry, dad.)
This particular dessert is very well known in the St. Louis area, so if you happen to live near there or are travelling through, you must make a stop. If you are like me and this is not on your usual route of places travelled, this recipe is a good substitution.
Rumor has it that this unique dessert was created by accident at a local bakery in the St. Louis area during the 1930s. Due to the financial circumstances of the time, the food was not wasted and was baked anyways. With the bakery taking a chance, they sold them and to their surprise it sold very well. Now they have added all different things them such as chocolate, peanut butter and strawberries, along with many other flavors.
For the crust:
- 1/3 cup whole milk, warmed (105-115 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
For the filling, cream:
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- powdered sugar
- Coat a 9x13-inch baking pan with butter
- For the crust, whisk together warm milk and yeast; let stand until slightly foamy, roughly 5-10 minutes.
- Cream together 4 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add 1 egg, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract; beat until combined.
- Add 1 ¾ cups flour into additions on low speed, alternating with the milk-yeast mixture; increase speed to medium-low and beat until a smooth, slightly elastic dough forms that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 3-6 minutes.
- Press the dough into the bottom and 1 inch up the side of your prepared pan; poke a fork multiple times into the dough to create small holes; loosely cover with plastic wrap. Place pan in a warm space for dough to rise, roughly 1 ½ hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack at the center of the oven.
- For the filling, cream 2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 ¾ cups granulated sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, 1 egg yolk, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon pure almond extract; beat until combined.
- Add the cornstarch; beat to combine on low speed. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour in two additions on low speed alternating with 3 tablespoons milk, until combined.
- Place the cream mixture into the pan on top of the crust; spread evenly almost to the edges.
- Bake until the top is a light-golden brown, a thin shell forming on the top, and the filling is set, but still a little jiggly.
- Let cake cool completely in pan on a rack. To serve, dust cake with powdered sugar.
Careful! This recipe is hard to stop eating after one slice. If you are trying to get ready for a bikini ready body this summer… well lets just say this may not be the best recipe to help you with all the butter and sugar.