Have you heard of gooey butter cake yet? It is like a poke cake meets pound cake and it is utterly delicious.
Butter Cake Theory
Is there theory behind this? Darn right! The batter starts as a pretty basic vanilla pound cake, but using buttermilk, which is gives it a little bite and less sweet.
But the gooey part, the element that really sets it apart, is the butter sauce. This technique isn’t new or novel to bakers or chefs. It comes from the idea of basting sponge cakes with simple syrup for flavor and texture benefits. In fact, it is one of the my favorite secrets for making boxed cake mix better.
Gooey Butter Sauce
The cake alone will just be cake. You need the butter sauce to make it a true butter cake. As mentioned before, it is just a butter flavored simple syrup. The aroma alone is hypnotizing. The original recipe uses a blend of vanilla and almond extracts, but I’ve found that all almond packs more of a punch.
You’ll pierce the cake many times with a toothpick to allow this sauce to seep down into every holes and crevice, keeping the cake itself super soft, and well, gooey.
Apply the first layer and let is set, then the second layer, and finally the third. The first will absorb right on in, but the second and third will start to form a glaze or shell.
History of Gooey Butter Cake
The history is up for debate, like most cakes of this kind, but they nearly all date back to the deep South.
This particular recipe can be credited to Taste of Home. I made a few of my own tweaks, but since baking is much like chemistry, some of the largest elements aren’t adapted.
I do recommend using a standard 10-inch tube pan. Decorative pans, even the simple ones, are going to pose a very large issue of sticking.
Also, grease well and flour. Invert the cake after cooling for 5-7 minutes. Long enough that it won’t fall apart, but not so long that it has fully cooled and will be hard to remove.
This butter cake is great as-is, but feel free to add more sauces for serving. Here are my favorites:
Fresh fruit and whipped cream are also excellent choices, as are candied walnuts.
Storage & Freezing of Butter Cake
Like most cakes, it is best enjoyed in the first 2 days of baking, but can be eaten up to 5 after being cooked.
Store covered at room temperature with a non-metallic overing (not aluminum foil) as it has the tendency to pick up a metallic taste.
You can freeze this butter cake, but I recommend freezing in individual slices in small freezer bags with as much air as possible removed. Allow to thaw for 15-20 minutes.
You can give it a quick trip at 50% power in the microwave to soften it a bit.
More homemade cake recipes:
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Gooey Butter Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
- Sift together dry ingredients including flour, baking, powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with an electric and mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar, beating well again.
- Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Add vanilla, blending again.
- Alternate adding buttermilk and dry ingredients until just mixed.
- Transfer to tube pan.
- Bake for 55-75 minutes, or when the top is lightly browned and it passes the toothpick test.
- Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet, parchment paper or aluminum foil to catch drips.
- While cake is cooling, make butter sauce by mixing butter, sugar, almond extract and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat.
- Pierce cake liberally with a toothpick. Spoon 1/4 of sauce over the top of the cake. Wait a few minutes and then baste sauce on the sides, down the center and over the top. Wait for it to dry again and do this one more time. It will start to form a glaze.
- Store covered at room temperature until ready to serve.
- If you’ve tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!
Adapted from Taste of Home Blue Ribbon Butter Cake Recipe.