by Olivia

ST. LOUIS GOOEY BUTTER CAKE – This sweet buttery concoction is a St. Louis favorite dating back to the depression when a baker made a buttery mistake. It wasn’t a loss but a win-win because the beloved gooey butter cake was born from his error.

You might be wondering what exactly is a gooey butter cake? Well, it’s a frosting-free cake that bakes up with a soft, smooshy layer of cake on top that is kind of like custard only denser and sweeter.

The recipe starts by making a kind of crusty bottom layer to hold the gooey batter. Similar to making a pie crust, butter is worked into flour and sugar then patted into the bottom and sides of the pan.

The gooey batter has more butter, sugar, egg, evaporated milk, flour and corn syrup. It’s all beaten together and spooned into the crust, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and baked.

If you overcook it then it’s no longer gooey – it’s just a regular old cake – and probably a really good one. If you under cook it then it will be far too gooey and raw. Not a good one.

When it’s ready the top of the cake should wiggle when you shake the pan and the outer edges should be firm. If it were a regular cake you would want to cook it more. But it’s not a regular cake. It’s a mistake cake.

St. Loooee goooee butter cake.

I can’t stop saying it in a singsong voice all around the house at all hours of the day and night. It’s so bad someone shoved cake into my mouth just to shut me up.

St. Loooee goooee butter cake.

I can’t get you out of my head. Or heart.




Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 33 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes

Learn how to make St. Louis' most popular cake easily from scratch!


  • Crust:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces
  • Filling:
  • 1 + ¼ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • confectioners' sugar


Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x9-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl stir the flour and sugar together.
  3. Add the butter cubes and toss to coat. Use a pastry blender, potato masher or fork to cut in the butter until small crumbs form.
  4. Pat it into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.

Make the filling:

  1. In large mixing bowl cream the sugar and butter together on medium speed about 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg on low speed.
  2. Beat in the flour, on medium speed, a third at a time alternating with the evaporated milk until smooth and combined.
  3. Beat in the corn syrup and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Spoon into the crust and spread evenly. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar generously over the top.
  5. Bake 25 to 33 minutes or until cake is set around the edges but still wobbly in the center when the pan is shaken. Don't overcook!
  6. Cool in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar and cut into squares to serve.
Nutrition Information:
Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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