Gooey Butter Cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep Time: 
Cook Time: 
Total Time: 
Serves: 18
A famous St. Louis coffee cake--a yeast cake base topped with a mixture of butter, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla that is altogether baked into a delicious dish. Best for brunch or afternoon tea. Recipe adapted from The Smitten Kitchen.
  • For the cake:
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) milk at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons(30g) warm water
  • 1¾ (10g) teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons (109g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¾ cups (174g) all-purpose flour
For the Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (70g) light corn syrup
  • 4 teaspoons (18g) vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons (218g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups (362g) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (119g) all-purpose flour
  1. For the cake:
  2. In a small bowl, mix the milk and the water.
  3. Add the yeast and whisk very gently until it dissolves.
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy.
  5. Add the egg and continue beating till incorporated.
  6. Alternately add flour and the milk mixture, scraping down sides of the bowl well.
  7. Mix until the batter turns into very soft dough.
  8. Press and stretch the dough into a greased 9x13 glass or ceramic pan at least 2 inches deep.
  9. Cover dish with plastic wrap and put in a warm place till doubled, 2-3 hours.
  10. Make the topping:
  11. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  12. Whisk corn syrup with 2 tablespoons water and the vanilla.
  13. Use an electric mixer and cream the butter, sugar, and salt until light and fluffy.
  14. Beat in the egg.
  15. Alternately add flour and corn syrup mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowls.
  16. Spoon topping in large dollops over risen cake and use a spatula to spread it evenly.
  17. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown but till liquid-y (jiggly in the center).
  18. Allow to cool in the pan before sprinkling with powdered sugar for serving.
Use a ceramic or glass baking pan as a thinner metal baking pan can speed up the baking process and burn the cake. If using a metal pan, check on the cake at 30 minutes. The recipe is easily adaptable; try adding cinnamon or other spices and extracts for new flavors! Warning: This cake gets less gooey as days go by, although it's sure not to last that long. In general, it's best at room temperature or reheated!
Recipe by Honest Cooking by Mercato Fabbrica at