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st. louis gooey butter cake

(3 ratings)
Recipe by
Carol Matthias
Winfield, IL

I grew up outside of St. Louis and a local bakery made this yummy St. Louis traditional cake. I had looked for years for a recipe to make it (since I no longer live near there)...and finally found it in the New York Times (of all places) a year ago. It's an amazing version -- very authentic! It's time consuming, but worth it.

(3 ratings)
yield 18 serving(s)
prep time 3 Hr 30 Min
cook time 45 Min

Ingredients For st. louis gooey butter cake

  • 3 Tbsp
    milk, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 tsp
    active dry yeast
  • 6 Tbsp
    butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp
  • 1 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 lg
    egg, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 c
    all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp
    plus 1 teaspoon corn syrup, light
  • 2 1/2 tsp
    vanilla extract
  • 12 Tbsp
    butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 c
  • 1/2 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 1 lg
  • 1 c
    plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • confectioners' sugar

How To Make st. louis gooey butter cake

  • 1
    Start by making the cake dough. In a small bowl, mix milk with 2 tablespoons warm water. Add yeast and whisk gently until it dissolves. Mixture should foam slightly.
  • 2
    Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream 6 T butter, 3 T sugar and 1 t salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in one egg. Alternately add flour (1 3/4 cup total) and milk/yeast mixture, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition. Switch to a dough hook on the mixer and beat dough on medium speed until it forms a smooth mass and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 7-10 minutes.
  • 3
    Press, stretch and nudge dough into an ungreased 9" x 13" baking dish (I actually use 2 8" square aluminum disposable baking pans, so I keep one cake for us and give the other cake away). Cover the dish with plastic wrap, put in a warm place and allow it to rise until doubled, 2 1/2-3 hours.
  • 4
    When you are close to the end of the rising period, make the gooey butter topping. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream 12 T butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 t salt until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in one egg. Alternately add flour (1 cup plus 3 T total) and corn syrup mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition.
  • 5
    Spoon this topping in large dollops over the risen cake and use an offset spatula to gently spread it in an even layer. The cake will be done in 30-45 minutes -- start checking at the 30 mark -- the cake should rise and fall in waves and have a golden brown top, but will be very soft in the center when down. Allow to cool in pan before sprinkling with confectioners' sugar for serving.

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