Ok, I don’t even know if he’s had it before, but this seems like something that he’ll find out about sooner or later. Gooey Butter Cake. Awww, yeah. The St. Louis dessert that is so rich you can have about one square before you get ill, but in a goooood way.
A legend about the cake’s origin is included in Saint Louis Days…Saint Louis Nights (ISBN 0-9638298-1-5), a cookbook published in the mid-1990s by the Junior League of St. Louis. The cake was supposedly first made by accident in the 1930s by a St. Louis-area German American baker who was trying to make regular cake batter but reversed the proportions of sugar and flour.
John Hoffman was the owner of the bakery where the mistake was made. The real story is there are two types of butter “smears” used in a bakery. A gooey butter and a deep butter. The deep butter was used for deep butter coffee cakes. The gooey butter was used as an adhesive for things like danish rolls and stolens. The gooey butter was smeared across the surface, then the item was placed in coconut, peanuts, crumbs or whatever was desired so they would stick to the product.
John hired a new baker that was supposed to make deep butter cakes, but got the two butter smears mixed up. The mistake wasn’t caught until after the cakes came out of the proof box. Rather than throw them away, John went ahead and baked them up. They sold so well, John kept producing them and soon, so did the other bakers around St. Louis.
And there you go. After the jump, the recipe for this wonderfulness.
1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 stick (1/2 c.) butter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened 2 eggs
1 (1 lb.) box confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Mix together cake mix (just the mix, not the other ingredients called for on the box) with butter and 1 egg. Pat into an ungreased 9×13 inch cake pan. Cream together cream cheese, 2 eggs, powdered sugar and vanilla. Pour over cake mixture, spreading to the edges. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes.
It’s that easy, and God, is it good. Serve it with coffee to cut the sweetness.