Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is one of those cakes you may see a lot at potlucks and parties. It's very simple to make and is extremely rich.
Butter cake is baked with basic ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, flour, and leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda. It is considered as one of the quintessential cakes in American baking.
Butter cakes are traditionally made using a creaming method in which the butter and sugar are first beaten until fluffy to incorporate air into the butter. Eggs are then added gradually, followed by alternating portions of wet and dry ingredients. Butter cakes are typically rich and moist when stored at room temperature, but they tend to stiffen, dry out, and lose flavor when refrigerated.
Gooey butter cake originated in St. Louis during the 1930s. As the story goes, the cake was first made by accident by a St. Louis-area baker who was trying to make regular cake batter but reversed the proportions of butter and flour.
Gooey butter cake is usually about an inch tall and often dusted with powdered sugar. While sweet and rich, it is somewhat firm and can be cut into pieces like a brownie. Gooey butter cake is often served as a type of coffee cake- not as a formal dessert cake.
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission highlights a place on its website called Gooey Louie - The Place for Gooey Butter Cakes. "Come taste the cake unique to St. Louis. Voted Best Gooey Butter Cake by St. Louisans seven years in a row: 2009-2015. All flavors baked daily from scratch in small batches."
This Ooey Gooey Butter Cake recipe calls for an entire half cup of butter. That, combined with 8 ounces of cream cheese, make these particularly rich.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 9x13 baking pan.
Combine cake mix and butter with pastry blender until crumbly. Hand stir in 2 eggs.
Press mixture into prepared pan. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese. Gradually add powdered sugar. Once combined add vanilla. Hand stir in chopped nuts.
Spread on unbaked crust. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Cut Ooey Gooey Butter Cake into pieces.