Rich and sticky St. Louis gooey butter cake

This fudgy cake impresses just about anyone.

I've made this sweet, buttery cake many times by now. The first time in 2010 for Silvia's and Basil's – our language school mates' – house warming party in Oderberger Stra├če. The St. Louis gooey butter cake is so good, in fact, that no one believed I made it myself.

The soft fudge topping on a buttery layer of cake is crazy good but whenever I've made this cake I've cursed the many steps of the recipe. But then I have some and am I'm dying to make it again! Bonus: If you manage to not eat it the cake keeps well for a day or two, so making it a day ahead of the party is no problem.

I adapted the recipe to the metric kitchen from Smitten Kitchen.


St. Louis gooey butter cake

(16 to 20 servings)

CAKE. Steps:
1. Combine: 
90g butter, room temperature +
3 tbsp sugar +
1 tsp salt
1 egg
Cream ingredients by using an electric mixer, when light and smooth, beat in the egg
2. Combine: 
3 tbsp milk, room temperature +
1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
Mix together until slightly foamy
3. Add:
250ml wheat flour
Alternately add flours and yeast liquid to the creamed butter mixture while still mixing. Beat the dough for roughly another 10 minutes, until it forms a smooth mass that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Mine was still quite sticky.)
4. Butter an approximately 32.5 x 23-centimeter baking dish (glass or ceramic so as not to burn the cake). Press and nudge the dough to form an even layer. Cover the dish and let the cake rise in a warm place for 2.5-3h before you add the topping.

TOPPING. Steps:
1. Turn oven on 200°C
2. Combine: 
3 tbsp molasses (home made molasses: 50ml dark sugar + 2tbsp hot water) +
2 tsp vanilla sugar +
2 tbsp water
Mix together in a small bowl
3. Combine: 
180g butter, room temperature +
350ml sugar +
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
As above: cream ingredients by using an electric mixer, when light and smooth, beat in the egg
4. Add:
250ml wheat flour – as above: alternately add flours and molasses water to the creamed butter while still mixing. Keep beating for another 5-7 minutes.
5. Scoop the topping onto the risen cake and gently spread the gooey topping over the cake using a spatula. Bake for around 30 minutes. Cake will rise and fall in waves. When the top is golden brown the cake is done – and hopefully still gooey in the centre. Allow to cool properly before sprinkling with confectioners’ sugar for serving.

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