Gooey Butter Cake – A St. Louis Tradition!
Ain’t nothing like the real thing baby! St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake is a yeast bread topped with the namesake ‘gooey’ layer. Walk away from the cake mix and try this legacy treat instead!
I first posted this recipe several years ago but it was lost in that dark hole called ‘Archives’ and seen by few. When the Food Network theme for this week called for ‘Cake’ I decided it was time to refresh this post for a real St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake and share it with more than me, myself and I.
My Grandparents lived in the most charming little home on St. Louis South Side. Through the magic of Google Maps I was able to find their home and it’s funny how it seemed SO much larger to me as a girl but the influence of that woman, the sweetness she always showed me and the experience of spending time in her kitchen were huge.
As a young woman I rented a small house closer to her so that I was able to visit her more regularly; usually to take her out to dinner one night each week after I got off work and then always to visit on Sunday. I just loved going to her home and I remember lovingly the Sundays spent there that included a trip to the bakery after church for a string tied box of St. Louis’ own Gooey Butter Cake.
South St. Louis was the heart of Gooey Butter Cake territory when that area was filled with German immigrants and was a treasure-trove of family-owned, German-style bakeries. Legend has it that Gooey Butter Cake was originally an accident in the 1930’s when a local baker mixed up the proportion of butter in a standard coffee cake. His thriftiness wouldn’t let him pitch the product so he decided to sell it by the square and it was such a hit that his accident eventually became an iconic signature of the entire city.
There are multiple families of bakers who lay claim to the origin of this treat and the truth is that the exact story of who invented it will forever remain a mystery. It’s amazing how far into a rabbit hole I had to go to find the perfect recipe but the one I use had been discovered in 2003 by a St. Louis baker named Chris Leuther who discovered a bound notebook of recipes during the demolition of an old bakery; this is one of the few that he downsized for the home baker to use. Thanks Chris!
As important as it is to know what it is, it’s also relevant to know what it is not. While decades of bakers have been making a quicker version for home cooks (Paula Deen even claims it as hers!), the truth is that a version using cake mix for the base and cream cheese for the topping will make a totally different treat.
I admit I’ve never had it but those I know who hold onto this tradition with me as something important from our ‘homeland’ have told me it’s just not the same and that the result is something far too sweet. The slightly sweetened yeast dough of the original is a great balance for the topping which really is gooey…and perfect and there is not a drop of cheese in sight!
More important facts? I read an article in the New York Times (where our recipes are almost identical) that said this cake was often next to pumpkin pie on the Thanksgiving dessert table. Whoa…really? Gooey Butter Cake is a breakfast pastry; think coffeecake, not dessert cake. I know the Times is revered and all but, ahem, the writer was not from St. Louis. Clearly. 🙂
Heck I saw another recipe in the Times from 1989 that would have you cut a purchased cake into pieces and fit it into a pan and then cover it with the topping and bake it. NO!! Why yes I do get a bit passionate; this is after all the stuff of my childhood; it’s hard to see so many, for lack of better words, screw it up!
I will admit that as a girl; it was the Gooey part that held my attention. I might have scooped off that topping and fed the yeast dough to our dog hiding under the table. Somehow those topping ingredients melded together to become a thick, buttery and yes, gooey topping that was just perfect.
Where I might typically avoid the outside edges of a dessert baked in a pan, with this cake it’s the best part. The sugar and butter caramelize next to the pan and create not just ooey and gooey but a bit of chewy as well!
The gooey part of the recipe I found was the only disappointment when I made mine in 9″ square pans instead of the suggested 8″ square ones. Trying a 9″ round pan was the immediate answer but I still needed to find the smaller square pans; we never brought one home from the bakery in a string tied box that had a round cake inside of it! Still, it’s what I suggest you use if you also don’t have 8″ square pans.
As an adult I enjoy the juxtaposition of the two components in Gooey Butter Cake; one just slightly sweet and yeasty that is the perfect foil to the sweeter, almost toffee like baked topping but there has to be enough of that topping too. It’s perfect; you’ll see!
It may seem to just be a breakfast treat to you but for me it’s SO much more! In the same tradition as my Grandma; my dad made a trip every Sunday to a local bakery and brought home a paper and a Gooey Butter Cake; still in a bakery box tied with a string.
We never tired of it (and neither did the dog!). Walk down memory lane with me and try this original version. Yes it takes longer but I’m betting there is no going back; nothing else compares to the real deal!
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PIN ‘Real St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake’
Real St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
For the sweet dough
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 & ¾ cups all-purpose flour
For the Gooey Topping
- 1 cup (2 sticks) Butter softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 2 & ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon milk at room temperature
- 1 & ¼ cup cake flour
- Powdered sugar for dusting
To Make the dough
- Heat the milk until barely lukewarm, about 100 degrees. Put milk in a small bowl; sprinkle yeast evenly over milk. Let sit for 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and beat until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add all-purpose flour in three additions and the milk/yeast mixture in two additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Be sure to scrape the bowl of the milk mixture so that all yeast transfers to the dough. After each addition, beat on the slowest speed to combine, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- After the final portion of flour has been incorporated, increase the speed to medium-low and beat for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and slightly elastic.
- Butter two 8-inch-square pans (or try 9-inch cake pans) and press and stretch the dough into the pans. (If the dough resists stretching, covering the pan and allowing the dough to rest for 15 minutes or so should help.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours.
Make the Gooey Topping
- Shortly before the dough is done rising, combine the butter, sugar, salt and corn syrup in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the bowl; add the vanilla extract and 1 egg. Beat until combined, then beat in the remaining egg.
- Add the milk and cake flour and mix to combine on low speed. Scrape down the bowl and give the mixture a final stir.
- When the dough is done rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the dough with dollops of the topping, dividing evenly between cakes.
- Spread topping almost to the edges (leave about a half inch uncovered with topping). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, until topping is crisp and golden brown; do not overbake. (Topping will melt and spread as it bakes.)
- Let cake cool in the pans on a rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before cutting and serving.
I can’t wait to try this recipe out. I’ve been watching high and low for a true recipe. I made the mistake of trying the quick version and was not pleased. I hope this will give me the same taste as the ones you can find in convenience stores made by prairie bakery because that crackly top is what I’m looking for
Exactly! Anyone who thinks a cake mix and cream cheese do the trick have been fooled! 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it; it’s always a trip down memory lane for me.
I had heard someone on the local Fox2News sharing the Gooey Butter Cake in cupcake form and selling in St Louis the other day. I checked all the grocery stores around me and could only find squares at the local Walmart. So those are not the real deal. I started researching recipes and decided to try yours. I grew up in Ferguson, Mo so I remember local bakeries making this. I wish to share a photo of mine but that doesn’t seem possible. I also tried one of those other recipes for cupcakes with cream cheese filling. The crust was not a cake mix but also no yeast. So when it called for 2 cups powdered sugar and cream cheese I had my concerns. They were a mess! I will never make that again. I would like totry this in cupcake form. Thanks for sharing this recipe it turned out great!
I’m eager to try this, but my stand mixer has no paddle attachment, only pairs of beaters and spiral dough hooks (it’s a Sunbeam Mixmaster from the late ’70s). Would either of those work?
The recipe I’ve been using is from St. Louis’ Heimburger Bakery (closed in 1983) as published in the 1994 “Saint Louis Days, Saint Louis Nights” cookbook by the Junior League of St. Louis. It has the classic realio, trulio filling with NO cream cheese. The crust is a shortbread, flour + sugar + butter. In the 9″ pan the recipe calls for, the crust is very thin, which is one reason I want to try your recipe! Interestingly, there is *no* GBC receipt in my other beloved STL cookbook: “The New Saint Louis Symphony of Cooking” from 1964 (I have the 1977 ninth printing) by the Women’s Association of the St. Louis Symphony Society (and doesn’t *that* date the book, along with a multitude of recipe credits to various “Mrs. His Name”s!).
You can always knead the dough by hand; I haven’t done that in a long time though…so just until it’s well mixed and elastic.
This is the recipe that was for the GBC that was always got from the bakery every Sunday morning. Never had one with a shortbread crust although that sound good too!
Gooey butter cake is one of the things I miss most about the St. Louis area. My family used to get it from Cottage Bakery in St. Charles. I made the recipe exactly as written, but mine is like soup, even after baking an extra 10 minutes and cooling. I now live in Idaho, so I am wondering if it could be the higher altitude? Do you think if I add a little more flour it would set up? Any suggestions? Great taste, however. I really miss having local bakeries, one of the down sides of living here in the Magic Valley.
I apologize for the late reply Kim, I was out of town visiting my daughter.
I’ve never heard of it fail like this and it can be hard for me to figure out why but my thoughts run to maybe the yeast? Did you proof it first to make sure it was active? That might have been it? Other than than I can’t see why my results should differ so completely from yours. The bottom is like a yeast dough so should have some body when it goes into the baking pan…and the ‘gooey’ part is somewhat thick. It will melt and become sort of sticky and firm up but that dough should have been more like a sweetened bread.
Maybe double check your measurements and be sure to test your yeast and it might be your altitude. I live at altitude in Denver too so I do modify mine a bit but I shared the original recipe because most of my readers are at sea level. I cut back a bit on the sugar if I recall; a pretty standard method for high altitude. I hope you do give it another try, it will always be a favorite here. I also have a quicker recipe on the blog for Gooey Butter Cake Overnight French Toast. Bread and eggs are in the bottom and it’s topped with the same topping and baked. Yummy and Gooey!
Oh my, I am seriously sooo excited to try this. I happened across your site and recipe this morning after searching for years for a similar recipe to one I made 6 yrs ago for my divorce recovery group. Obviously I haven’t searched constantly or very hard, but the one my sister made this summer just wasn’t it! The version I made looks like the gooey portion was about ½ what it should have been, which makes me happy because that was the best part. Lol. When I do end up making it, I’ll come back and comment 🙂
There is an abundance of recipes based on something someone started to try and mimic this but it starts with a cake mix so it’s not even close! I hope you do try it, there’s nothing like the real deal.
The only other thing I’ve ever done is I make a french toast that is baked with that ooey gooey mixture on top. That’s a nice taste of gooey butter cake without going through the yeast process with bread.
Yes please let me hear from you if you make it!
Mr. Leuther worked at the Warner-Noll bakery for quite a few years, and that was our family’s go-to bakery when I was a kid, so now I can pitch all the gooey butter recipes I’ve collected over the years. (For the record, none of them cut it.)
Thinking of Warner-Knoll, they made a killer apple pie too. They threw in a handful of raisins and then, just to gild the lily they _iced_ it with a vanilla glaze and a chocolate drizzle. Made your taste buds cry, “More please!”
For your recipe, do you use two 9” pans? That is what the recipe says, but earlier you stare that there isn’t enough “gooey” that way!
You’re right…I need to change that! I still use 9″ cake pans because they have less volume than the 9″ square pans. I have yet to buy 8″ square pans but if you have those, they would be perfect. I am overrun with pans; I’ll probably always use the cake pans for mine. I’m going to modify those instructions to say the same. Thanks Angela!
Thank you for the real deal. I am glad to find a kindred spirit. It gets my blood pressure up to see Paula Deen’s name attached to this amazing food.
Oh Kelly I know EXACTLY! Just as bad? I saw a woman blogger from the St. Louis area tout her post about Gooey Butter Cake so I looked and it was damn box cake disaster. The sacrilege! 🙂
I remember living on the other side of the Mississippi when I was young up unti I was 17 years old. My uncle who we saw nearly every week would go to Kruta’s Bakery in Washington Park, Illinois. We all lived in Belleville. My uncle would bring home Gooey Butter Cake. Still to this day I remember that cake and I am 74 years old. That is what brought me here to your recipe today. I want to make one for my family. Are you familiar with Kruta’s Bakery in Illinois. I imagine it has closed by now.
Hi Sherry…and no I’m not familiar with them. While I know there were a couple of bakeries on the South side, my dad and mom settled in the North County of St. Louis and we grew up in Florissant, MO, quite a way from Belleville. All of those old bakeries are gone…which is sad. I miss having a place like that to go to.
Ingredients list for the filling doesn’t match the filling instructions.
Our fault for not reading closer…my daughter making it right now as a Christmas present for her Cincinnati-born father. Sure hope we didn’t just waste time and money. Please consider correcting this.
Ingredients list matches instructions.
Becky, I do apologize and I’m looking into this. I had an assistant decide to revise the recipe for a larger pan because that’s how she had made it and my error for not checking her work. I’m apologetic and certainly hoping it works for you. I have an old archived copy that I’ll retrieve and insure those numbers match in both sections.
A restaurant I worked at in Ohio found a recipe for this REAL version and I’ve been in love ever since. Since I left there, I’ve been searching everywhere to find a recipe similar to the one they made. I tried the first thing I came across one day and quickly realized that cream cheese should NOT be in the ingredients, as it was nothing like what I was looking for. It’s amazing that I searched over 80 recipes and this was only 1 of 2 that I found that are real gooey butter cake. So many people are missing out! People need to start shouting this recipe from the roof tops! You truly have made my day by posting this, it turned out perfect.
Hey Maddie thanks so much for your comments and know that I feel the exact same way. I actually have seen two bloggers that moved to St. Louis that pushed off that cream cheese mess as ‘THE’ Gooey Butter Cake and no…no it is NOT! It might taste OK but there is no replacing the yeast bread which is what makes the super sweet topping work; together they’re perfect!
Love your memory of getting this in a bakery after church. In NJ in the 60’s our bakery served “the real deal” on Sundays. Yes, in a white box tied with string. Looked for decades for recipe. Know the NYT’s article! After all these yrs will try. The whole town knew it was our Dad having the bad luck to get behind him on that 2 lane country road on Sundays!
Lovely to hear…sounds like my same experience, just further away!
THANK YOU! I was on a business trip to St Louis and fell in love with this treat. I am a hobby baker (but actually attended culinary school) and every recipe I read (and it was a lot), I said no way is this it. I am pretty good at reading recipes and thinking about what it would taste like before even making it. I am super excited to try this recipe out! This the first I read and went Eureka!
Hope you love it as much as we do…this one is the real deal!
This is REAL gooey butter cake and comes out perfect. Never make a recipe for this that includes cream cheese. I take the boxed cake mix short cut, and I love it. This is the right version that will come out tasting like gooey cake batter that has too much sugar in it, exactly how I like it 🙂
Thank you X 10! Growing up in South St. Louis, then the West End (Portland Place) and then the County (near Affton) my family always has this wonderful cake from many German bakeries, and of course Mrs. Hullings. I have looked for a true original version for lo these many years, and you have provided it. I made it at once after finding your site and reading your story. It is wonderful that your Grandmothers house is still standing, as so many are gone. YES this IS the real deal. Thank you again for taking the time to publish this for those of us who still remember the “good old days”. I am in your debt.
Thank you CJ. You know what really inspired me the most? Seeing the truly awful recipes that were circulating as if they were ‘our’ gooey butter cake. So glad you enjoyed the effort; hearing from someone who has enjoyed a recipe is what makes this work worthwhile!
Can you suggest a substitute for corn syrup? It’s grown out of favor since now almost all corn grown in the U.S. for syrup, biofuels, and cattle feed is GMO. Thanks!
I found a couple of things Kaye. Google ‘organic corn syrup’ and you’ll get several resuts; maybe one of those would work.
You could also try Lyle’s Golden Syrup; it’s from England I believe and I’ve heard of people using it. I get mine at a local World Market.
Or just make your own simple syrup; here’s one recipe I found:
If you try any of those; please do let me know what workss!
This looks divine! I’m planning to make this real soon but I have two quick questions. 1) Do I have to line the pan with parchment paper, grease it and dust it with flour? 2) Can I cut the recipe in half if I want to make only one pan? Thanks a lot!
I don’t line my pans for this and have never had an issue but if you want to, go ahead…won’t hurt either. You can try to cut it in half but I hesitate to say whether it would work or not since I’ve never done it…you would certainly need a much smaller pan if you’re going to try that. If you do it and it works, please let me know!
Thanks so much for this recipe and for sharing your memories. Your cake sounds delicious but it doesn’t look like my memory of the Gooey Butter Cake my gran brought us (in CA) from Mrs. Billings restaurant in St. Louis. That was more coffee cake with crumbles on top. I’ve been looking for a recipe since she died over 40 years ago.
Sorry about the auto correct. Mrs. Billings should have been Mrs. Hullings.
There were a lot of variations on the original; I’m sure someone decided to add a crumble topping but the original Gooey Butter Cake did not include that topping.
The photograph you have illustrating this article is of Lubeley’s Bakery. The woman in the center is Helen Lubeley. I believe this is akin to their traditional gooey butter cake. Unfortunately, it’s an end of an era because this Friday, they are retiring and we will no longer be able to get their crumb cakes,etc. Would be wonderful if you could get their crumb cake recipe–a favorite of many St. Louisans. Thanks for the recipe.
Lubeley’s had the best of the GBCs around where I grew up in Affton. I went to high school with Helen Lubeley. Must’ve been her next generation namesake. I also went to school with, or knew well, a Haas, Wolff, and Gambaro – all children of wonderful neighborhood bakeries. We too would go after mass on Sunday and pick up a GBC. (And to Velevet Freeze for black walnut ice cream that evening!). Try to eat healthier now, but am going to try this for my son to taste. We live in Phoenix, but he went to SLU. I kept telling him he had to try the GBC. I tried to find one for him like I remembered but the grocery store versions are not the same. Thanks for posting.
And thank you for sharing that story, and my dad went to St Louis University!
It’s a bit of a labor of love because it’s got the yeasted layer but I’ve never had anyone not love it.
Thank you so much for this recipe! We moved to Connecticut from The Hill of south StL ten years ago and dream of the gooey butter cake. every trip back to StL we visit Missouri Baking Company and Imo’s Pizza!!! Got a recipe for Imo’s style pizza?
Imo’s pizza is made with provolone instead of mozzarella and a barely spiced marinara sauce.
Imo’s uses Provel cheese it is a processed cheese combination of cheddar, swiss and provolone. I grew up on the Illinois side of St Louis and am 100% passionate about my St Louis style foods. ( BBQ, Pizza, pork steak, Gooey butter cake, toasted ravioli) Not into the St Louis style pizza with the cracker crust and Provel cheese. In fact, my brother hated it so much he would yell terrible things about Imo’s.
I would have loved to have been able to print out your entire story. I have a book of Ooey Gooey Butter Cake! It must be the most published recipe with stories of many people claiming ownership. Here is what I know. This TREAT is fantabulious! It’s origins is definitely in the St. Louis area.
I cannot thank you enough for this recipe. We had a bakery in Springfield, IL that made this cake and they gave the recipe out when they closed, but they omitted the flour in the topping and I had a oven fire at my son’s house. I am so excited to make this. I have looked for this recipe for forty years. I could only find it with cream cheese. The recipe from the bakery had 2 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, and 2 cups of sugar. That was it. So you can imagine the mess it made every time I tried to make it, which was many. Thank you so much. This will bring back many memories of my childhood as well.
I’m glad too! I think if it’s something you had growing up it holds a special place doesn’t it…and of course I still love the topping the best! 🙂
Community Bakery on the west side next to Zorn’s Drugstore? I think they made it on a sheet cake pan and then cut it into several rectangles. It was the best! I’ll have to try this soon, because it is certainly not correct to use a cake mix or cream cheese.
Being from Belleville just outside of St Louis I am thrilled to find this authentic recipe. Can’t wait to make it. Quick question. In the instructions it said to divide the filling evenly between cakes?
Oops let me go fix that quick…it originally called for two 8X8 pans and I prefer it made in one 9X13 and my mistake for not revising that!
I love that you love it too…and now so do my neighbors in Castle Rock, CO!!
My first intro to Ooey Gooey Buttercake was the box cake / cream cheese version, and while tasty, I personally found too sweet. I prefer homemade from scratch because it always yields a much better tasting product in the end, so I was estactic to find this recipe! I made it for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit… people were begging for more after their take home portions were gobbled up! This Ooey Gooey Buttercake was even better the next day for breakfast with a nice cup of joe.
That stuff you made first? A horrible quick method that has absolutely no connection to the original; I think someone said Paula Deen did that one. SO glad you tried this; at least one other person sees why I am so passionate about the real deal!
I don’t think Paula Deen came up with the cake mix/ cream cheese version (she may claim that she did), but I’m 53 years old, born, raised and still live in St. Louis and we’ve made the cake mix version since the late 70’s. You could find it on every holiday table and more.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever had gooey butter cake from any of the southside bakeries, but I’m certain I had it from Schnuck’s Nancy Ann bakery. I’m looking forward to trying this version!!
Really? I never once saw it in St. Louis all the years I lived there. I don’t know who came up with it but it’s not the same is it? The yeast base for this is what makes the super sweet topping work; otherwise I think more sugar might break my mouth. 🙂
I took a few extra minutes to read through many of the comments posted here. You and I are on the same team, for sure! Cake mix is not gooey butter cake. It has to be sticky, sweet, and have that wonderful yeast dough.
I love you. Because you speak the truth! 🙂
I agree with you both, Traditional Gooey Butter Cake is definitely Not made with Cream Cheese and a Cake Mix.
Thank you for posting a recipe that true St. Louisan’s can relate too.
I sure do miss all the old time corner bakeries.
Love this story! I am a St. Louis native transplanted in Central Florida. I just finished making what I call “Almost St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake” for a school auction. The kitchen smells sweet and heavenly and the taste is pretty close to what you’ve described…thick buttery, toffee like. I assign the disclaimer “almost” because nothing will ever capture the memories of Sunday morning breakfast with gooey butter. Little O’s Soda Shop in St. Charles sells a good gooey butter cake. One bite and I went back decades.
Thank you soooooo very, very, very much fo posting this recipe! Words cannot express….
You see, I grew up in Philadelphia and as a child, Sunday’s after church were the bomb, as far as food! We stopped at the same German bakery on our way home. Butter cake was Always on the list as well as shiny, sweet brown and yellow rolls for sandwiches. Oh my…… I live in Califfornia and believe me when I tell you, just to find something that even resembles what we know as a “Bakery”, forget it!
For many years I have tried to make this wonderful, nothing like it in the world butter cake and have never come close. I just knew there had to be yeast! Those recipes all over the place with cake mix involved are just horrible! I cannot wait to make this!!
I just love your site and feel as though an angel was with me today when I happened upon it! Don’t go away!
Maybe you’re my angel…doing what I love and putting all of this work online is such a labor of love. Having someone find something and be excited about; ESPECIALLY if there is a story like yours? Absolutely priceless. Thank you so much for sharing; you’ve made my day!
Hola soy de Argentina tenemos una pequeña pasteleria artesanal en mi ciudad natal, vi por primera vez este pastel en el programa dulces de america, e intentado la receta y resulto ser maravillosa es asi que la hemos puesto a la venta en nuestro local, un abrazo DIOS LA BENDIGA, Ariel.
Thanks for sharing!
I’m originally from St. Louis, although I haven’t lived there in about a decade stories like this one always make me home sick.
No one makes better gooey butter cake than South St. Louis
I love the Missouri Baking Co. I go back every chance I get.
I don’t even make it as good as they do…like you it can make me homesick and I haven’t lived there for over 30 years!
Me too Kelly. My husband and I used to bicycle from Forest Park to Missouri Baking company to justify the delicious cheesecake. Yes. Very homesick.
My husband’s family was German and there were always stories about how good the baked goods were (always done from scratch), this may have been one of them. There was always talk of a butter cake of some sort. He is diabetic now and I am wondering if it will be just as good using a sugar sub. or a half and half. I want to make this for him and hope to surprise him with it. Also would like to use the gluten free flour if possible. Was wondering, thoughts?
Thank you for the recipe, if it comes out well I am going to make it for my nieces also. Now I am going to check the rest of your recipes cake recipes they all look yummie, thanks.
Susan…without doing my own trial I can’t offer any advice on substitutions. I’m sure the GF flour would be fine if you’ve used it for yeast doughs before but I just don’t know about using a sugar substitute for that gooey part. I think you should try it…I’ll be over here crossing my fingers!
Thank you for the nice recipe.
I’m not from St. Louis and it doesn’t matter. This cake sounds fantastic. Every weekend I make some type of breakfast cake or pastry for the week. I know what I’ll be making this weekend.
And for those who use cake mix….a yeasted cake like this stands heads and tails above in taste and texture. Just my honest opinion…and Barb, you know I’m opinionated!!
I read an article by a blogger FROM St. Louis talking about Gooey Butter Cake and it’s history as a St. Louis tradition, etc., etc. and then she made the damn cake box version. I about died. I’m thinking that is the Paula Deen bastardization of something good; that’s all…but not that I’m opinionated at all. 🙂 What time should I be there?
If you have them…do use 8″ pans…I’m still craving a bit more ooey gooey with each bite!
Yum! I have actually never seen a gooey butter cake recipe that didn’t use a box cake mix.
That is just so wrong. I ‘think’ Paula Deen might be credited with that revision but it’s not a revision. It’s a yeast bread people!! 🙂
Sorry, although my grandmother was a southsider also, I never had this version. In the west county bakeries they made a GOOEY butter cake – no cream cheese but a lot of powdered sugar and eggs so that’s what my memories are made of. Still make it for friends in Spain but they all declare it TOO sweet (even my New York Cheesecake is too much for them). Glad you posted a photo to set the record straight (next time I make it I will try to remember to take a photo and send to you). There will always be an argument over which is the real thing, but not to worry, there is room for the both!
This recipe is from one of the original bakeries that made the cake and it’s all we ever had no matter where we were in the city. This was just it. No doubt it’s changed a lot over all of these years but as you mention; available in West County but not the same? No surprise to me!
Love reading about your Grandma and her cooking, Barb! Food memories are just the best. I’ve always found St Louis Gooey Cake to be very enticing both in its name and description, but haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet. This will have to change soon! Your photos are making me very hungry this morning!
I still love it after all these years too but there are those memories; not a bite is taken that moments of family don’t fill my head!
Yup, this is the real deal. Those versions with cream cheese are good, but they should be called something else. This is one of those dishes we almost never make — it’s so easy to buy, since we’re here in St. Louis. But homemade ones rock. At least yours does!
Just got another comment that this is not what she knew growing up in St. Louis. Maybe we’re a generation apart after everyone decided to make it; albeit not always authentically! This recipe is from a treaure trove of recipes collected from some of those original south side bakeries and it’s the same that I recall making all those MANY years ago. 🙂
Just the name gooey butter cake makes me hungry. What a wonderful story. Your grandmother and I would stand eye-to-eye. 🙂
So I would have to call you shorty and guess you get to choose. Amazon Woman or Jolly Green Giant. That’s my legacy! 🙂
Sweetness. In more ways than one! GREG
You are always too cute; and it’s always appreciated!
Barb, I’ve never come across a treat quite like this and am intrigued. Will have to try it. Pinned for later. Thanks!
I’m getting some 8″ pans though Holly; I want more goo with each slice! 🙂
Lovely thanks Barb. I can’t wait to give this one a try – I’ve been waiting for it since I first heard you were making it.
Hope you love it too; surprising not teeth hurting sweet unless you do what I did as a kid! 🙂
How lovely! I love the story with this post xo
Oh my word, Barb! This sounds truly divine and much, much different from the currently popular “gooey butter cakes” made with cake mix and gobs of butter. It’s most definitely one that I will be trying soon.
That is one person quick and easy version; I fail to see how it could begin to compare. I’ve never done it and never will. It would be sacrilege!
This looks so good. It would go perfect the the cup of coffee I am drinking.
It would be…it was always meant to be a breakfast cake with coffee…so you’ve got the first half going on! 🙂
Mmmmmm, sounds wonderful. This kind of reminds me of 24 Karat Gold Bars or those wonderful things from Panera Bread called gooey butter pastries that for one reason or another I can only find at their stores in Kansas City. Food from childhood just seems to transport you right back doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing.
Sort of makes sense…maybe the legend of gooey butter traveled across MO as far as KC? I’ve never hear of 24 Karat Gold Bars; are they a layered yeast and sweet topping treat too?