So I got a fantastic new cookbook The United Cakes of America by Warren Brown, I am absolutely in love with it and couldn't wait to try at least half of the recipes. In the book Brown provides classic cake and dessert recipes for all fifty states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, (is Washington not a state? I'm confused, can someone educate me please).
Anyway the book is fantastic, there are loads of traditional cakes such as Boston Cream Pie, Red Velvet Cake, Angel Food Cake, New York Cheesecake and Old Fashioned Ice Box Cake but there are also loads of more unusual recipes like a chocolate chip cake (this is basically a massive chocolate chip cookie!!!), Coca Cola Cake, Sweet Potato Cake and Margarita Mousse Cake.
The book is gorgeous in design, very American in red, white and blue, not all of the recipes have pictures but, to be fair many do and I'm not complaining.
Any way back to the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, I am head over heels for this recipe, words cannot describe the unbelievable deliciousness that is this cakey, cheesecakey scrumptious combo!
The goo bit comes from a dousing of cheesecake like batter poured over the regular cake batter just before baking. This is genius! Where has this cake been all my life?
The recipe appears quite long but it really isn't that complicated, prepare all the ingredients before hand and it will be a breeze. Make this cake, you will not be disappointed, it is seriously gooey, moist, delicious and incredibly comforting.
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake - United Cakes of America by Warren Brown
All purpose flour - 12 ounces (2 1/2 cups)
Baking Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Milk - 3/4 cup
Buttermilk - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 1/2 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 3 ounce (6 tbsp)
Vegetable Shortening - 3 ounces (6 tbsp)
Superfine granulated sugar - 15 ounces (2 cups less 2 tbsp)
Vanilla Bean, seed only - 1/2 bean
Eggs - 3
For the Topping
Cream Cheese - 8 ounces
Confectioners' sugar - 16 ounces (4 cups)
Vanilla Bean or Extract - 1 bean seeded or 1 tsp
Eggs - 3
Milk - 1/2 cup
Yield: One 12 inch round cake or 18 cupcakes
1. Preheat the oven to 335 F and place the rack in the centre. Line the bottom of a 12 inch round cake pan with parchment or lightly coat a cupcake tray with non-stick oil-and-starch spray and place paper liners in the cups. (I just sprayed the edges of the holes with easy bake spray before putting my cases in).
2. Measure the dry ingredients and wet ingredients into separate bowls. Whisk each to combine.
3. Measure the Butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla bean into the bowl of a free standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Combine on a medium to low speed for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the eggs one at a time to the creamed butter mixture, allowing each to fully incorporate before adding the next.
5. Alternately add the dry and wet ingredients about a quarter at a time. Scrape the bowl to the bottom and mix for 20 seconds on a low speed.
6. Scoop the batter into prepared pans. (I filled the cupcake cases just under half full with this batter, when you top with the cheesecake batter you want the cupcake cases to end up about two thirds full, I have no idea if this is right the recipe doesn't specify, I might try a bit more cheesecake batter next time just to see).
7. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on a medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the rest of the ingredients (including any variations, see below) and mix for about 4 minutes. Don't worry if lumps of cream cheese remain, they will disappear during baking.
8. Pour the mixture onto the cake batter in the cake pan or scoop it into the individual cupcake liners. For the cupcakes, bake for 18-24 minutes; for the cake, bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until the sides are lightly browned and a wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just a few crumbs on it.
9. Sprinkle the cakes or cupcakes with confectioners' sugar if you like before serving.
Add any of the following to the topping:
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, and 1 ounce unsalted butte, melted and combined.
3 ounces natural peanut butter
Minced zest and juice of one lemon combined with 2 ounces of superfine granulated sugar.
I can't wait to try the variations, I might make half chocolate and half peanut butter next time, I also think Dulce De Leche would be an amazing addition. I'm also looking forward to trying some more recipes from the book, you can tell just by the way Brown talks about cake that he is good. The Caramel Cake, Coca Cola Cake and Hoosier Cream Pie are next on my list.