Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lemon Gooey Butter Cake

I love Paula Deen, and for some reason this weekend, her cookbook The Lady & Sons Just Desserts called out to me. I have been making chocolate and nut type edibles the last couple of weeks and was just in the mood for something different. I choose a lemon Gooey Butter Cake. Although Paula is famous for these, they are not her original creation.

The Gooey Butter Cake originated in the 1930s. According to legend, a German baker added the wrong proportions of ingredients in the coffee cake batter he was making. It turned into a gooey, pudding-like filling.

This cake consists of a dry, flat base covered with a "goo" mixture. It is sticky and chewy and very delicious. This ultra-sweet treat is a St. Louis tradition and available in local bakeries all around the city of St. Louis. The original cakes are made with a yeast raised sweet dough on the bottom, but now days most recipes use a cake on the bottom. It is generally served as a type of coffee cake and not as a dessert cake.

I like the lemon a lot! Traditionally you would sprinkle these with powdered sugar before serving, but since I am not really a fan of the, I didn't. And its not like they need more sugar! I would like to try the pineapple variation next. The recipe and variations that follow have been taken straight from her book. BUT look at the other variations I found online!
Almond Joy
Apple Cinnamon
Banana Chocolate Chip
Berry Explosion
Caramel Apple
Chai Latte
Egg Nog
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
. . . Ok, I give up! Too many to type! Check out this bakery site for other ideas. No recipes are provided (they are trying to sell you these, after all!), but it sure gets the ideas flowing. By the way, Paula sells these for $29, plus shipping on QVC. Apparently they make great gifts! The recipe is simple easy, so try one! Let me know if you do!

1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 egg
1/2 cup (1 stick butter), melted
1 8-oz pack cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 16-oz box confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well. Pat into the bottom of prepared pan and set aside.
  3. Still using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth; add eggs and vanilla. Dump in confectioners' sugar and beat well. Reduce speed of mixer and slowly pour in butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour filling onto cake mixture and spread evenly. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Don't be afraid to make a judgment call on the cooking time, because oven temperatures can vary. You want the center to be a little gooey, so don't bake it past that point! (and she's not kidding! - Dee)
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Just remember that these wonderful little cakes are very, very rich, and a little will go a long way.
Pumpkin Gooey: Follow the original recipe, adding a 15-ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top each square with a pecan half. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Pineapple Gooey: Add a 20-ounce can of drained crushed pineapple and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Lemon Gooey: Use a lemon cake mix in place of the yellow cake. Add the juice (approximately 1/4 cup) and zest of 2 lemons to the cream cheese filling. Proceed: as directed above.

Carrot Cake Gooey: Use a spice cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Peanut Butter Gooey: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and an extra egg to cream cheese filling. You can sprinkle the top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if you like. Proceed as directed above.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: Use either yellow or chocolate cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling. Proceed as directed above.

Banana Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix. Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas and an extra egg. Proceed as directed above.

Nutty Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts to the cake mixture. Proceed as directed above.

Chippy Gooey: Stir 1 cup white chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, Heath Almond Toffee Bits or Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits into filling. Proceed as directed above.

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