Gooey Butter Cake

Have you heard of gooey butter cake yet? It is like a poke cake meets pound cake and it is utterly delicious.

overhead of sliced butter cake


 

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.

bundt cake with butter glaze

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.

almond butter glaze in a bowl

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. You can also use a bourbon sauce if you want the cake to have a little kick.

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.

side view of butter glazed cake

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.

Cake Pan

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.

crossectinal view of cut cake

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.

Serving

This butter cake is great as-is, but feel free to add more sauces for serving. Here are my favorites:

two slices of butter cake, strawberries and whipped cream

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.

slices of cake with fresh fruit

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.

gooey butter cake for pinterest

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Gooey Butter Cake

4.82 from 11 votes
With lots of rich, buttery flavor, this EASY Gooey Butter Cake recipe is the best! The butter sauce really sends it over the top!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

Cake:

Butter Sauce:

Instructions

  • 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.
    butter cake in a mixing bowl
  • Transfer to tube pan.
    cake batter in a 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.
    pricking cake with toothpick
  • 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!

Nutrition

Calories: 549 kcal, Carbohydrates: 75 g, Protein: 6 g, Fat: 25 g, Saturated Fat: 15 g, Cholesterol: 118 mg, Sodium: 286 mg, Potassium: 119 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 51 g, Vitamin A: 821 IU, Calcium: 57 mg, Iron: 2 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 549
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: butter cake recipe, gooey butter cake
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
overhead of sliced butter cake

Adapted from Taste of Home Blue Ribbon Butter Cake Recipe.

Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.82 from 11 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. I believe you have use the wrong name for this cake. This appear to be a Kentucky butter and not a gooey cake

    1. It is like a Kentucky butter cake, but since I’ve never been taught by a true Kentucky local, I prefer to not use the name. It’s like someone not from Maryland calling a crabcake “Maryland Style” but having no clue. Trying not tick anyone off 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    When the 3 words: gooey, butter, and cake are the name of the recipe, well, you know you can’t go wrong. It’s all amazing goodness. Goodness!!! Yum!

  3. 5 stars
    Nothing beats a simple cake. Great to whip up when you need dessert in a hurry. Perfect to take along to a pot luck too.