Taste

Gooey Butter Cake Is Missouri's Mind-Blowing Dessert That You've Got To Try

St. Louis created something magical.
The original recipe for gooey butter cake starts with a combination of butter, sugar and eggs.
The original recipe for gooey butter cake starts with a combination of butter, sugar and eggs.

A quick trip to the nearest respectable bakery usually cures our dessert cravings. But sometimes we discover a local treat so stellar, it’s worth any amount of travel to try a bite.

Behold: St. Louis gooey butter cake from St. Louis, Missouri. The mind-blowing dessert is, at its most basic, a combination of butter, sugar and eggs layered over a chewy, cookie-like crust. Homemade renditions sometimes use cream cheese and/or boxed cake mix, while the original bakery version is said to require a few more ingredients.

Either way, the result is a thin, sticky sheet cake with crackles on top and a warm, gooey filling that oozes as if it’s slightly undercooked in the BEST way possible.

Yup, this stuff is heaven.
Yup, this stuff is heaven.

St. Louis legend goes that in the 1930s, a local German baker added too much butter to his coffee cake batter, stuck it in the oven, and sold the gooey result anyway. Some 80 years later, residents are still swooning over its warm, runny goodness.

You can find authentic gooey butter cake in oodles of St. Louis bakeries today: Yelpers prefer the Missouri Baking Company, and Federhofer’s is said to work with a recipe closest to the original.

Beyond St. Louis, however, options are slim. Your best bet may be the ooey gooey butter cake ice cream from New York’s Ample Hills Creamery, which is a creamy vanilla base with pieces of actual gooey butter cake studded throughout. But most locals agree gooey butter cake just doesn’t taste the same outside of St. Louis.

We won’t blame you for attempting to make your own, though. Paula Deen’s famous recipe is a place to start (though it may not be approved by purists), as are these mouthwatering renditions:

1
Ooey Gooey Butter Cake
I Am Baker
Get the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake recipe from I Am Baker
2
The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars
The Domestic Rebel
Get The Best Gooey Butter Cake Bars recipe from The Domestic Rebel
3
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
Averie Cooks
Get the Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake recipe from Averie Cooks
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