Butter Cake Attempt #2 (St. Louis Style)

Gooey Butter Cake

Gooey Butter Cake

I have once again avoided working on a lovely Sunday by sequestering myself within the walls of my kitchen. I am visiting a dear friend this afternoon whose father passed away Tuesday. I’ve never been good with expressing empathy and I often find that cooking must substitute for the words I cannot find. I spent this morning baking a Butter Cake (Version #2) to bring to her.

This butter cake is of the St. Louis “gooey” variety, similar to Paula Deen’s version, but made from scratch rather than a mix. I found this recipe on Mama’s Empty Nest, adapted from Heimburger Bakery in St. Louis.

I baked mine for 33 minutes, rather than the 25-30 minutes called for in the recipe. I’ve seen too many gooey butter cakes consisting of a cake shell oozing with a filling  resembling pancake batter (blech!). I wanted a moist outcome closer to Tres Leches. I am once again disappointed. I would call it “gloppy butter cake”. Not awful, but the paste-like, interior leaves something to be desired.


Fit to Print


Today, I’ve completed scouring my blog of all that may appall or offend those who think they “really know” me. In the beginning, in 2008, my blog was a journal of my raw, uncensored thoughts and feelings. Nothing was off limits –my entire chaotic life and ugly thoughts were blog fodder.  Over the years, and without realizing it, my posts have morphed into a sort of food blog – light on what’s happening in my head and heavy on what’s going in mouth –or burning in my kitchen.

This metamorphosis left me in a quandary. Because this blog was entirely uncensored, those who knew me best were not permitted to read it – boyfriends were unaware it existed, friends and family warned to stay away. After much indecision, I’ve decided to share my blog in its new food-centric form, veneered into a friend- and-family-friendly version.  Sadly, this meant hiding the more shocking bits from my readers. It’s heartbreaking to tuck away 6 ½ years of writing somewhere unreachable.

My plans aren’t to write just another food blog – there are hundreds already out there, better written and with finer photographs than anything I could produce. This is a portrait of my life’s messy ordeals and triumphs, narrated through my kitchen exploits – the bastard child of Bridget Jones and Anthony Bourdain – in print. Watch me test life’s recipes in search of contentment while simultaneously attempting those for the ultimate butterkuchen, covered with shards of sugar crust.

German Butter Cake
**adapted from a recipe of unknown origin

2 eggs
75 g sugar
150 g melted unsalted butter
140 g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
100 ml whole milk

75 g unsalted butter
75 g sugar
1,5 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon whole milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and sugar an 8” square pan. Whisk sugar and eggs until thick and pale. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add Almond extract to milk. Mix butter into sugar and eggs. Add half of the milk an, half of the flour- mixture and combine. Add the remaining milk and flour and stir. Pour into pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the center is just set.

Meanwhile make the topping: Place all ingredients in to a pan and let come to boil. Take the half-baked cake out of the oven, spread the topping on the cake and bake until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean and the topping is golden, 15-20 minutes longer.