A layer of sweet yeast cake is baked with a gooey, buttery, sweet custard topping in this scratch-made indulgence. All-natural ingredients, pantry staples, no box mix required.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

Zulka sugar reached out to me again!  I love this product.  You can read more about it here.

Basically it is a more natural, less processed, organic, non-GMO version of the good ol’ granulated sugar we already know and love.  So, they wanted me to post a recipe in honor of non-GMO month, which happens to be, hello, October!

I had to think long and hard about this.  Just like the last time I posted a recipe for Zulka, I wanted to make sure that whatever I did really allowed the sugar to shine.  I mean, I use a lot of sugar here on Baking a Moment…

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It’s all good, but for this post, I didn’t want any other ingredient to outshine the sugar.  No pumpkin.  No chocolate.  No fruit.  No peanut butter.  Just pure, unadulterated cane perfection.

Also, let’s be sure to shed light on the idea of a fabulous dessert that is baked from REAL ingredients.  Not from a mix, not from a box, just wholesome, fresh, actual food, that was grown from the ground, or produced by animals that are healthy, well-cared for, clean, and happy.

Have you ever heard of gooey butter cake?  I had.  It first crossed my radar about 10 years or so ago.  It was popularized by a certain celebrity chef who shall remain nameless.  It consists of a boxed cake mix, a block of cream cheese, and a pound of powdered sugar.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s seriously delish.

But I’ve always longed for a slightly more wholesome version.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

Oh my lordy.  Lordy, lordy, lordy.  I cannot even tell you how happy I am to have discovered this recipe.

You know how I have that neurotic compulsion to only post original recipes here?  Ya, well, that’s going out the window today.  This one is, as is, absolute perfection!  I had some ridiculous notion about bruleeing the top…  Totally unnecessary.  This is it.  Don’t change a thing.  PERFECTION, I tell you!

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

Do you see those crusty corners?  I wish you could taste them through your screen.  They are so crunchy-chewy and caramelly.

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

The puffy cake on the bottom?  Omg.  It’s a yeast cake, people.  PEOPLE.  It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!

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And that gooey topping?  So buttery sweet, soft and sticky…

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

I’m head over heels in love with this cake.  Did I mention that it is totally from scratch?  I love baking from scratch.  Baking from scratch gets such a bad rap.  It’s really not hard.  I think it’s actually easier than using a mix.  Who doesn’t keep butter in their fridge?  And eggs?  And sugar and flour in their cupboard?  I mean, isn’t it like a thousand times easier to just stay cozy at home and bake with all the things you already have, than to make a special trip to the store to purchase a box of heaven-knows-what?

I’m gonna give a shout out to a few of the wholesome, high-quality, super fresh and fab ingredients I used to bake up this pan of sweet perfection (and no, they aren’t paying me):

Rosenberger’s Milk
Keller’s Butter
Zulka Sugar
Alderfer’s Eggs
Manuka Dr. Honey
Lagrima Vanilla

I’m lucky enough to live in an area where fresh eggs, butter and milk are all produced within a three mile radius.  I’ve already filled you in on the fabulousness of Zulka.  I had the pleasure of sampling Manuka Dr. Honey at IFBC, and besides being loaded with all sorts of health-boosting properties, the flavor is outstanding.  And I’m sure you remember Lagrima vanilla extract from this post.  Superb.

Now wouldn’t you rather have a cake crafted from these kinds of quality ingredients than something you dumped out of a cardboard box?

St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake | Baking a Moment

Especially when it tastes this amazing?

Also I love that this recipe is called “St. Louis” Gooey Butter Cake.  It’s such a happy coincidence that I ended up making it the same week that my dear sister-in-law (originally from St. Louis, MO) gave me another neice!  Yay!  I’m an aunt!  Again!  😀

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Now it’s time for the giveaway!  I’m so happy to be able to offer two of Baking a Moment’s readers each a four-pound bag of Zulka sugar.  You can make a wholelotta St. Louis Gooey Butter Cakes with that!  

All you have to do is answer this question: what is your favorite homemade sweet treat?  Leave your answer in a comment at the bottom of this post.  If you want a few extra entries, you can like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and/or tweet about the giveaway, and like Zulka’s Facebook page.  Good luck, friends!  And enjoy your St. Louis Gooey Butter Cakes!  😉

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St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

A layer of sweet yeast cake is baked with a gooey, buttery, sweet custard topping in this scratch-made indulgence. All-natural ingredients, pantry staples, no box mix required.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: St. Louis gooey butter cake
Servings: 24 squares
Calories: 199 kcal
Ingredients
For the Base Layer:
For the Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg (large)
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Instructions
Make the Base:
  1. Stir the milk, water, and yeast together in a small bowl, and set aside to proof.

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and salt.
  3. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, and beat in the egg.
  4. Alternately add the flour and milk mixture, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Beat the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Press the dough into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch baking dish, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours).

Make the Topping:
  1. Stir the honey, water, and vanilla together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and salt together until pale and fluffy.
  3. Scrape the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl, and beat in the egg.
  4. Alternately add the flour and honey mixture, scraping the bowl after each addition.
  5. Dollop the mixture evenly over the top of the base layer, and smooth into an even layer with a spatula.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. (Cake should be golden on top but still liquid in the center.)

  7. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into squares.

Recipe Notes
Recipe barely adapted from The New York Times.
Nutrition Facts
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 199 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 153mg7%
Potassium 27mg1%
Carbohydrates 27g9%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 288IU6%
Calcium 9mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.