My city of St. Louis has a few "don't miss" classics: Ted Drewes frozen custard, toasted ravioli, thin crust pizza, and gooey butter cake. As a lover of desserts, of course, the one I want to focus on is gooey butter cake!
Many variations of gooey butter cake have become popular, but if you are a purist, St. Louis has three gooey choices. One boasts a yeast crust, another a cake mix bottom, and the third a cake base from scratch.
Carla from Chocolate Moosey tasted two yeast versions from two ultimate sources on a recent trip to St. Louis. Gooey Louie had her favorite, followed closely by Park Avenue Coffee. She and her family road-tripped to St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Louisville on an eat-as-you-go adventure, and Carla says the best food of the trip was this St. Louis favorite.
Of the many flavored options, Carla liked the original the most. Follow her gooey butter cake recipe and you can have this St. Louis classic without the trip.
Miss Information’s Kelley gives us her Ooey Gooey Chocolate Toffee version. She uses the yellow cake mix variety of gooey butter cake with enhancements from Heath bars and chocolate chips. Kelley gives this gooey butter cake, filled with as much love as chocolate and toffee, to her special friends Pete and his wife, Christina. Christina donated a kidney to Kelley’s husband and saved his life. If this is the cake you give to someone who saves your husband's life, you know that it's a very special cake!
Carla offers a second version, apple butter gooey butter cake. Since she is a "from scratch" baker, this recipe uses her own yellow cake layer. I am sure the apple flavor makes a good recipe even better. Carla gives us this hint about the gooey layer:
It’s more prominent if you serve the cake the same day you baked it while either still warm or at room temperature. If you do refrigerate any leftovers, let the cake sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature before eating. It may not be as gooey at this point, but it’s still a worthy dessert.
I bet this would be amazing as a Thanksgiving treat!
At Cupcake Project, I add another two gooey butter possibilities. If you love everything salted caramel (and who doesn't?), you will love my salted caramel gooey butter bars.
I also use a homemade crust, topped with a layer of salted caramel. If you are rushed, store-bought caramel sauce works fine. For complete decadence, drizzle the finished bars with more salted caramel sauce and then try to eat just half! Yum! Butter and salted caramel... who could ask for more?
Commemorating my recent trip to Idaho, I will tempt you with gooey butter potato donuts.
These morsels are a cross between yeast and cake donuts with a piped-in gooey butter filling. When my husband tried one, he asked where these had been all his life!
Stefani Pollack is a blogger, freelance recipe developer, and social influencer from St. Louis, Missouri. Visit her blog, Cupcake Project, to find original recipes for unique from-scratch desserts and perfected classics. Visit her Instagram account, @cupcakeproject, for her curated look at the best treats from around the world.