Words by Meghana Patnana
Saint Louis, the city I grew up in, is famous for something called Gooey Butter Cake. My whole life I grew up thinking this was a common dessert. When I first found out it was strange to the rest of the world and just a Saint Louis native treat, I was shocked- only because it is one of the yummiest desserts or snacks (depending on your sweet tooth). Gooey Butter Cake’s core ingredients involve cream cheese, yellow cake mix, vanilla, butter and powdered sugar. Really can’t get any better than that.
Here is a recipe that I use when I am at home:
(This serves a party of 10-15)
- ½ cup of butter (not margarine!)
- 18 ounces of yellow cake mix (usually one box)
- 8 ounces of cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or spray with Pam) one deep 9x13 rectangular cake pan. I would suggest a deep pan, because the cake rises when it is cooking.
- Melt butter. Put butter in a bowl and into the microwave. 30 seconds should do.
- Empty cake mix into a large bowl.
- Stir melted butter, along with one egg, into the cake mix.
- Pour mixture into pan. Mixture should have the consistency of sticky dough.
- In a separate large bowl, mix the cream cheese, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and the remaining two eggs.
- Stir and beat for three minutes with an electric mixer set on medium high speed until there are no more lumps!
- Pour evenly over top of the cake mixture in the pan and spread with a spatula.
- Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until golden brown on top (this time is estimated, must watch over!) I like when the cake is a darker gold, a tiny bit brown. There will be a paper thin sugar "topping" that will form while the cake is baking. It the top layer of sugar hardening, and this is what will turn golden brown. It’s super yummy!
- Allow cake to cool COMPLETELY. So important, because you need to cool so that you can properly cut into it. The cake will usually sink and set, this is normal!
You can choose to refrigerate, but I like it at room temp!
Sprinkle, dump, toss (however much of the powdered sugar you want) on the top.