Thursday, January 31, 2008

Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cakes

I'm not afraid to admit that I like Paula Deen. I'll shun nothing as long as it tastes great and won't give me a heart attack on the spot. (Four days later? Negotiable.) And Paula Deen's food pretty much always tastes good, plus it's easy. My only fundamental issue with Paula is the use of boxed products in some of her recipes. For example, the recipe I'm posting today, Gooey Butter Cakes, calls for a boxed yellow cake mix. I can see how this would be simpler. How it makes sense. But I tried it with the yellow box mix, and did I like it? No. Perhaps it's my palate, perhaps it's that I'm an elitist. Either way, it tasted too synthetic and, well, false. That's the only way to describe it.

But then my good friend pointed me to Whole Food's Yellow Cake Mix recipe. (Here is another Basic Yellow Cake Mix recipe that looks promising.) Call me dim, but I'd never considered that people spent their time actually making cake mixes. I thought if people wanted to make a cake from scratch, well they were going to go whole hog and make/bake that cake right then and there. Apparently not so, and the result? Homemade mixes. And me? Very pleased.

This means I can enjoy Paula's Gooey Butter Cakes with no palate issues and no elitist regrets. It should be noted that Paula's Pumpkin version of these butter cakes are apparently the best of all butter cake variations. I'll be trying it in the future, make no mistake. My grade: B+

Gooey Butter Cakes
(recipe pinched with thanks from


  • Cake
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix (or make from scratch, as I prefer, recipes above)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • Filling
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (16-ounce) 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!
  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.

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