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Gooey butter cake has always been a family favorite of ours. If you’ve never had gooey butter cake, don’t let the name gross you out – it’s really good! It’s basically a thin layer of yellow cake with browned edges topped with a melt-in-your-mouth soft/buttery/sweet layer. After it bakes and cools, the top gets flaky like a brownie. Seriously, it’s the best.
You know those people that constantly say “Oh I can’t eat that, I’m a texture person”? This will undoubtedly make those people nervous but I don’t think they should have any issues with it. I’m not even sure that gooey is really the right word to describe the dessert. I don’t consider myself a “texture person” at all but I do draw the line at finding ground bone or eggshells in my meal. So gross! I’m happy to report that my cake was bone and eggshell free! Although, I don’t know how it would get bone in it…
Right now, I have two more recipes developed and photographed that I haven’t posted yet and one of them is another gooey butter cake recipe! This one is flavored and was a lot of fun to make. I think the flavored one might be more of a crowd pleaser than this recipe but this original one is still my favorite.
If you want email notification when the flavored gooey butter cake recipe (or any new recipe) gets posted, you can sign up for my newsletter and click the “Notifications of new blog posts via email” check box. I also post on Instagram when my recipes go live but there’s really no guarantee you’ll see it on there so email is probably the best way.
I actually had a recipe for gooey butter cake that I posted four years ago but I recently deleted it. That’s the first and only recipe I’ve deleted off of my blog. I debated on deleting it for a long time. It was good and had a few good reviews but it just didn’t make any sense. Plus it had dairy in it which I can’t eat anymore. Oh, and the recipe photo was awful.
This new recipe tastes exactly like traditional gooey butter cake (from what I can remember) and it’s free of both dairy and gluten. I basically just took our family recipe, replaced the cake layer with my own cake recipe, and replaced the butter and cream cheese with dairy free equivalents – I recommend specific brands at the links in the recipe.
A classic St. Louis dessert made dairy free and gluten free. Yellow cake is covered in a sweet and creamy “gooey” layer with a perfectly flaky top.
Bottom cake layer (see notes for a shortcut):
- 1 1/2 C almond flour
- 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 C honey
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 C (one stick) earth balance soy free buttery sticks, melted
Top gooey layer:
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a lightly colored, metal 9×13 inch pan. *see notes*
- Using either a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together the honey, 4 eggs, and 1/2 C butter alternative.
- Sift the almond flour, coconut flour, and baking powder into the wet ingredients and continue to combine. Pour this batter into the greased pan and use a spatula to spread it out more evenly, if necessary.
- Using a mixer again, beat the cream cheese alternative until it is as smooth as possible (it may stay a little lumpy but you will be able to completely smooth it in the next step).
- Add the two remaining eggs, the other 1/2 C butter alternative, and vanilla extract and beat until completely smooth.
- Gradually mix in all of the powdered sugar. The end result should be like a smooth batter. Pour this over the bottom layer and gently tap the pan on the counter to get it to spread out evenly.
- Bake for 35-50 minutes. Be careful not to overbake. The center should still be a little jiggly and finish setting once it’s removed from the oven. Additionally, some oil will pool on the top of the cake – don’t confuse this oil with undercooked batter or you could end up over cooking it. The ends of the cake should end up a dark brown but not black.
- Once the cake has been removed from the oven and cooled, you can either leave it as-is or dust with additional powdered sugar before serving.
This recipe traditionally has a dark brown crust but if you don’t like yours as dark, you can line the pan with parchment paper and it shouldn’t darken as much.
Brands other than those I’ve linked to in the ingredients section may or may not work but these are the brands I tested the recipe with. The only exception is the grain free powdered sugar – I used conventional powdered sugar but either one will work fine.
Shortcut: make the bottom cake layer by using store bought gluten free yellow cake mix as close to 19 oz as possible. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer to combine the cake mix with one egg and 1/2 C of the butter alternative – it will be crumbly. Press this into the bottom of the pan and proceed to make the gooey layer as directed.