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St. Louis deep butter cake

Maedl's picture

The NY Times had a short article and recipe for St. Louis Deep Butter Cake last week. I remember we had some posts about the cake some time ago. The recipe that accompanies the article looks really good and sounds very much like the cake I remember.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/04/dining/04appe.html?ref=dining

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #1 of 16)

I tried this and really liked it.   It has such interesting textures; it's crisp, soft, and chewy at the same time. Nice.

Gretchen's picture

(post #65251, reply #2 of 16)

A friend use to make this cake all the time when the kids were in school--from the cake mix, of course, and I LOVED it then.  Might try the new improved version. It is good.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Maedl's picture

(post #65251, reply #3 of 16)

Yes, that's the deep butter cake! It used to be such a treat when I was growing up. Actually, I don't know anyone who made it at home--St. Louis had some great bakeries in the 1950s and 1960s, and that was where you got the cake. Most of those bakeries are gone now, so it's really special to have the recipe.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com
Ozark's picture

(post #65251, reply #4 of 16)

Did you have trouble spreading the cake batter in the pan? Very hard to get smooth.

 


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #5 of 16)

Ozark,


The first layer (w/Yeast) is pressed into the pan.  And  I don't recall a problem with spreading the second layer (first was stiff, but second much looser). I used a larger pan than called for so my finished cake was not as high as it should have been had I followed the recipe to a t. I really did like the cake though, and plan to do it again.


My only negative thought was a dislike for getting it out of the pan and that it has a rustic (homemade) look that might not "look" like the special cake it is (I have some friends who are not foodies and might just yawn). To remedy this, I thought I might try it as muffins next time to see if that would work.  I have several muffin sizes and may just experiment with a batch.


I had never had this cake before, so my interest came from the NYT article. What made it a standout for me were the texture combinations (that I believe come from the two batters, which are not aparent in the finished cake). I considered the taste exellent and have no experience with a previous version.


Let me know how yours turns out.  I'll be curious to hear your take.


 

Ozark's picture

(post #65251, reply #6 of 16)

I followed it to a T also. First layer was very sticky. Finally used a spoon dipped in water to try to smooth it out. Tastes very good. Really stuck to the bottom of the pan. Might be because I used a dark metal pan.

 


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #7 of 16)

I just realized why mine may have been easier to spread than yours.  I mixed the yeast dough and pressed it in the pan.  Got all my ingredients ready for the 2nd layer.  Left home for a while and when I came home and looked, it seems the first dough had not risen. I judged this to be a bad yeast problem and threw it out and started over on the yeast layer with fresh yeast. So, by the time I got to the 2nd layer my ingredients had been on the counter all day, the butter in the batter was VERY soft. That may explain my ease. I had no sticking problem at all, it came righ out of the pan.

Heather's picture

(post #65251, reply #8 of 16)

Is the cake really sweet in the middle?

DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #9 of 16)

It's not too sweet to me. But sweet enough. Many cakes have icing and I frequently dislike them because the icing is so sweet it overpowers the cake.  Since this is without icing the sweet in the middle doesn't offend.  I would judge it to be about as sweet as a nice Danish pastry.


Edited 11/12/2009 11:47 am ET by DonnaDoll

Heather's picture

(post #65251, reply #10 of 16)

The article made me nervous when it said that the center was like a pecan pie, which I find sickeningly sweet.

I was thumbing through a CI issue while waiting in the check-out line yesterday. They have "perfected" this cake by using vanilla pudding mix. :-(

Marcia's picture

(post #65251, reply #11 of 16)

I do SO agree with you about pecan pies and am unable to understand how people can eat and enjoy them.

I did not see what you wrote about CI; it did not compute. ;-)

DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #12 of 16)

I was curious, so I Google around and found that there are a variety of recipes out there with a range of ingredients....so wide is the ingredients list that I can't see how the recipes could possibly create a similar result. Wiki has an article:


http://en.wikipedia.org/Wiki/Gooey_butter_cake that's interesting. But even the origin is disputed elsewhere;two families taking credit for the original.


The various ingredients include cake mix, with cream cheese toping and some use almond extract and some vanilla.  Even the from scratch ones don't resemble each other;some claiming yellow cake bottom and some a yeast dough, some were for round and some for oblong or square cakes,and even the yeast differed in preparation from the NYT recipe, (allowing the dough to rise before putting in in the pan). One had cinnamon, one chocolate and another peanut butter.


I think we need someone with prior knowledge of the cake to weigh in on this and rate it.


Paula Deen's is with cake mix and got raves from her fans:


http://recipes.pauladeen.com/index.php/recipes/view/gooey_butter_cake/


But for the life of me, I can't imagine it could taste anything like the one I made!  :)

MadMom's picture

(post #65251, reply #13 of 16)

Paula Deen would get raves from her fans if she battered and deep fried butter and put sugar on it.  Ohh, wait, I think she has tried that.



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DonnaDoll's picture

(post #65251, reply #14 of 16)

You're so right!  And some people love food that is just thrown in a crock pot. It may work for some dishes but I think when you brown the meat and add ingredients with care you get a different product!

Gretchen's picture

(post #65251, reply #15 of 16)

As I said, 25 years ago another mother at school brought this to all the tailgates, made it with cake mix, and I absolutely loved it-- a person who does not eat sweets.


As with a number of cakes/recipes/etc., they have various incarnations.


The Tunnel of Fudge cake was great back a number of years ago--required cake mix AND frosting mix. It has been redone by CI in a made from scratch.


Gretchen
Gretchen
Maedl's picture

(post #65251, reply #16 of 16)

The cake we ate in St. Louis was a rectangular, yeast-based cake. No one made it at home, it was always bought from a bakery, but since most of the good bakeries have gone out of business, desperation leads one to trying to find a recipe. Using a cake mix was the easier way out, and the cake wasn't very much like the bakery cakes. And no, absolutely no chocolate, and definitely no peanut butter ever came in contact with an authentic gooey butter cake.

Margie
Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay:
Where Food and Culture Intersect
www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com

Margie Between the Alps and the Chesapeake Bay: Where Food and Culture Intersect www.alpsandbay.blogspot.com