You don’t have to be from St. Louis to love sweet, gooey butter cake – just a lover of all things sweet! The cake bakes a bit flatter than standard slices and is topped with a buttery cream cheese layer – not quite a cake, a bar or a cheesecake, but still totally delicious. Many recipes like this one start with a box of yellow cake mix. Here, a little pumpkin pie spice adds a festive, warm-spiced flavor and makes the cake a worthy entry for your Thanksgiving dessert spread.
Why is it called sticky butter cake?
In the 1930s, a worker at a St. Louis bakery mixed up the butter-to-flour ratio in the bakery’s cake recipe. Since these Depression-era ingredients were expensive, the head baker decided to bake them anyway. The result was a “flat, gooey mess”, but the locals loved it. That’s one hell of a mistake! Later, a version with cake mix and cream cheese added the “ooey” to gooey butter cake.
How sticky is too sticky for butter cake?
When it comes to ooey gooey butter cake, there’s a sweet spot between too firm (like a cheesecake) and too soft (a bit of a soupy mess). Make sure to bake the cake until the top layer still wobbles a little in the middle, then let it cool completely on your counter before slicing. The cake will also firm up if refrigerated for a few days, so for maximum stickiness, serve it the day it’s baked.