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Will the Real Gooey Butter Cake Please Stand Up?

Posted By Suzanne McMinn On May 27, 2009 @ 1:05 am In Cakes,The Farmhouse Table | 30 Comments

Gooey Butter Cake, where have you been all my life? A recipe for Gooey Butter Cake was posted in the forum recently and I knew I had to try it as soon as I saw it. GOOEY BUTTER CAKE. Are you serious? I bet God serves stuff like that on the menu in Heaven.

Amazed I’d never heard of Gooey Butter Cake before, I did a little searching around and found that it has been supposedly popularized by Paula Deen. Of course, then I had to check out her recipe.

Which one to bake, which one to bake?

Then I decided I really should bake both of them, so I held a little mini Gooey Butter Cake bake-off in my kitchen. The recipes were quite different from one another. I was intrigued.

Gooey Butter Cake #1

The recipe posted in the forum here comes from a St. Louis Junior League cookbook.

How to make St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar to prepare the crust. Cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling together. Pat into the bottom and sides of a greased 9 x 9 pan.

To prepare the filling, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Mix in egg until combined. A bit at a time, alternately add the flour and evaporated milk, mixing after each addition. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Mix at medium speed until well blended.

Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until cake is nearly set. Do not overcook. Let cool in pan.

Gooey Butter Cake #2

You can see Paula Deen’s original recipe here.

How to make Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake:

1 18 1/4-ounce package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar and mix well. Spread over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.

I used my homemade yellow cake mix instead of a storebought mix. (Paula Deen!) I don’t know if a storebought mix would have resulted in less cake for the crust, but I found the crust to be far too thick. (I used a 9 x 13 pan, as instructed.)

But even aside from the cake crust, I had other issues with this version. The filling was far too small. Even if the crust had been smaller, the filling itself was still quite thin. And is this really a butter cake? Taking into account that the Paula Deen cake is twice the recipe size of the St. Louis version, there’s more butter in the St. Louis version. The cream cheese overwhelms the Paula Deen version. I’m not saying it didn’t taste good, but I ordered a butter cake and she brought me cream cheese bars.

And completely aside from the point, but what’s with the instructions for 8 tablespoons of butter? Somebody tell Paula that 8 tablespoons is half a cup or one stick.

I know. Now I’m just whalin’ on her.

The real Gooey Butter Cake? It’s version #1, hands-down. It was sweet, buttery, and delicious, and everything I expected a Gooey Butter Cake to be!

Okay, now who wants some butter cake? I have extra….

Find these recipes at Farm Bell Recipes for the handy print pages and to save them to your recipe box:
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake
Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake

See All My Recipes

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