Photo courtesy of Getty Images / bhofack2

BY Julie Kendrick

What is gooey butter cake, and why is it so popular in St. Louis?

Gooey butter cake isn’ t the prettiest looking cake.

It’s bright yellow, fairly flat, lacking in fancy adornments and traditionally served directly from a baking pan, covered with nothing more than a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

But that doesn’t stop St. Louis.

Establishments all over the city – from neighborhood corner bakeries to chic urban bistros – from serving their own version of this local delicacy.

It is intensely sweet, but it’s really all about the texture.

Aficionados argue about which piece is best: the crispy-and-chewy brownie-like corners or the soft, creamy sides.

The History

Like many great dishes, St. Louis’ gooey butter cake was born from a mistake.

In 1930, a baker mistakenly reversed the proportions of butter and flour in his cake batter.

With way more butter than flour in the recipe, the resulting cake was a buttery blob that spread out all over the pan.

Unwilling to it toss out and lose the revenue, the baker instead named it "gooey butter cake.”

A New Generation

While the city’s love for traditional gooey butter cake has continued, there’s a new generation of bakers in town who are putting a modern twist on the classic version.

What’s new in the world of gooey butter cake?

There are new flavors like triple chocolate, white chocolate raspberry, peanut butter, chocolate chip, strawberry cheesecake, brownie, cinnamon, pumpkin, eggnog, gingerbread and red velvet.

Explore more of St. Louis’ gooey butter cake on 10Best!

Photo courtesy of Getty Images / bhofack2

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