4. March’s Featured Recipe

Gooey Butter Cake

St. Louis is certainly known for making the best Gooey Butter Cake and you’ll see why after trying this recipe! It’s authentic Gooey Butter Cake, made from scratch and not from a cake mix and packages of cream cheese. My grandmother, Mildred Nations, saved a scrapbook of recipes clipped from newspapers and magazines. I recently discovered this recipe in her stash. The newsprint has yellowed with age, as one would expect since it’s from The St. Louis Globe-Democrat dated June 11th, 1970. Surprisingly, it’s not as sweet as the typical cake mix version, and serving it with fresh berries would make a very nice spring dessert!
Maybe you have a hidden treasure of recipes at your grandma’s house, too!

Gooey Butter Cake
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups flour
1 pkg. yeast
1 egg

Combine milk and butter in a saucepan, and cook over low heat until the butter has melted.
Thoroughly mix the undissolved yeast with 3/4 cup of the flour, the sugar and the salt.
Add the milk and butter mixture to the dry ingredients. Using a mixer beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add about 1/4 cup flour, or enough to make a thick batter. Add the egg, and beat on high speed for 2 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in the additional flour required to make dough that can be turned out onto a floured board, but is still sticky. Work in just enough additional flour to handle easily, then knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Grease and flour 2 8-inch square pans, 2 inches deep. Shape the dough right into the pans, pressing it up against the sides. It will rise a little in the pans as you prepare the gooey butter filling. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare the filling as follows:

Gooey Butter Filling
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
½ cup shortening (Crisco)
¾ cup corn syrup
2 eggs
½ cup milk
¾ cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
A pinch of salt

Cream the sugar with the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add the white syrup and mix thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until the eggs are thoroughly mixed and the batter is light and fluffy. Add the flour and milk a little at a time, alternately until all has been added. Add vanilla and salt, mixing well.
Pour this filling over the yeast dough and bake in the preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes. When removing from the oven, the filling will have an unbaked appearance because of the high sugar content, but it will set some after cooling. Dust with powdered sugar, and serve when cooled. Best when eaten the same day it’s made!

Source: Variation of original recipe published in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 11th, 1970.

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