Gooey Butter Cake

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Gooey Butter Cake, a classic American dessert, is a delightful treat known for its rich, buttery flavor and irresistibly gooey texture. Originating from St. Louis, Missouri, this cake has become a beloved sweet across the country.

It’s the perfect combination of a dense, cakey base topped with a soft, gooey layer, making it an ideal dessert for any occasion. Let’s dive into how you can make this decadent cake at home.

Ingredients

For the Cake Base:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Gooey Topping:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • A pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven and Prepare Pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. Make the Cake Base: In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined and a soft dough forms. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan, creating an even layer.
  3. Prepare the Gooey Topping: In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, and mix well after each addition. Gradually blend in the melted butter. Slowly add the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt, and continue mixing until well combined.
  4. Assemble the Cake: Pour the gooey topping over the cake base in the pan. Use a spatula to gently spread it evenly over the base.
  5. Bake the Cake: Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The edges should be set and golden, but the center will still be slightly gooey. Be careful not to overbake as the gooey center is the signature of this cake.
  6. Cool and Serve: Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, cut it into squares. You can dust it with additional powdered sugar before serving for an extra touch of sweetness.

Tips for the Perfect Gooey Butter Cake

  • Use Quality Ingredients: For the best flavor, use good quality butter and cream cheese.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure your butter and cream cheese are at room temperature to achieve a smooth, lump-free topping.
  • Don’t Overmix: Mix the ingredients just until combined to avoid a tough cake base.
  • Check for Doneness: The cake should still wobble a bit in the center when it’s done. It will firm up as it cools.
  • Let it Cool: Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting into it, as this helps set the gooey layer.

Variations to Try

  • Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake: Add cocoa powder to the topping for a chocolatey twist.
  • Lemon Gooey Butter Cake: Include lemon zest and juice in the topping for a citrusy flavor.
  • Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake: Add canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to the topping for a fall-inspired version.

Conclusion

Gooey Butter Cake is a sumptuous dessert that’s sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Its rich, creamy texture and deep buttery flavor make it a hit at any gathering. Whether you stick to the classic recipe or try one of the variations, this cake is bound to become a favorite.

Serve it as a dessert after a family dinner, bring it to a potluck, or enjoy it as a special treat with your afternoon coffee. No matter the occasion, Gooey Butter Cake is a delightful indulgence that’s worth every bite.

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