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Authentic St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake

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“There are many great gooey butter cake recipes out there but this is different from the cake mix variety because it has a yeast dough bottom. I grew up eating these cakes from a little bakery in Clayton, Mo and this recipe is as close to those as I've ever come across.”
2hrs 10mins
2 cakes

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. For Dough:
  2. In large bowl cream sugar, shortening and salt until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and beat well 1 minute until well blended.
  4. Dissolve yeast in the warm milk.
  5. Add flour, then milk-yeast mix and the vanilla to the sugar mixture.
  6. Mix 3 minutes. (Use dough hook if possible).
  7. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead 1 minute.
  8. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a towel.
  9. Set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
  10. Than divide dough into 2 equal pieces.
  11. Pat (or use a rolling pin)each half into a circle about the size of the cake pan. (I usually use two 9" cake pans. Springform pans can also be used.).
  12. Transfer dough to each pan and pat up the sides so the gooey butter doesn't run underneath.
  13. Prick a few times with a fork to keep from bubbling up during baking.
  14. For gooey butter:
  15. In large bowl, combine sugar, butter and salt.
  16. Add egg and corn syrup.
  17. Mix enough to blend well.
  18. Add the flour, water and vanilla, mixing well.
  19. Divide the gooey butter in 2 equal parts.
  20. Spread over dough in each pan.
  21. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  22. While cakes are standing, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  23. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until topping starts to turn golden.
  24. Do not over bake or the topping will not be gooey.
  25. Let cakes cool completely on wire rack.
  26. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
  27. Serve at room temperature and store uneaten cakes in fridge.

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