The Neighborhood Spot: Mcarthurs Bakery
Scott Rinaberger is the owner of McArthurs Bakery, which has been in business since 1956. Each bakery in town takes a lot of pride in the uniqueness of its gooey butter cake, he told HuffPost. There are so many variations today that I see it as being similar to fried chicken. Like fried chicken, there is no such thing as bad gooey butter cake. You probably like the one thats closest to what your mom used to make, but you really cant go wrong, no matter what you choose.
McArthurs offers St. Louis south city classic and chocolate chip versions, in sizes from 8-inch squares to full sheets that can feed as many as 80 people. The bakery makes 175,000 gooey butter cakes each year, and the cakes are available both at the bakery and at local Aldis and Save A Lot grocery stores.
Our gooey butter cake is a balance between being sweet and being overly sweet, he said. One thing Ill tell you, we strongly believe in powdered sugar and in having lots of goo in the center. The way I see it, the cake is just there to hold the goo in place. The base of their version is made with yeast. Our base is more delicate, not nearly as firm, as some of the other kinds in town, he said.
What we do well is the classics. Thats what people expect out of the McArthurs brand getting a gooey butter cake like the one their grandparents enjoyed 60 years ago, he added.
McArthurs tips for home cooks
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“With air-roasted coffee, the beans are constantly in loft, so they’re constantly moving, they’re not touching hot metal,” he says. “In a traditional coffee roaster it’s more of a convection heat where it has to heat from the outside of the bean to heat to the inside of the bean … The whole point of buying a really great steak is you want to taste the steak, you don’t want to just taste the char on the outside of it. That’s kind of a similar process with this. You want to taste the nuances of a really great coffee origin bean, but you don’t want to taste the roast profile on the outside of it.”
On the top of Schotte’s roasting wish list is beans from Burundi, hailing from Eastern Africa south of Rwanda. Being able to do more unique coffees, as well as controlling product quality, were the goals of the soon to open roasting facility.
Schotte is making another jump with his new space, aiming to have it be environmentally conscious. The Loring air roaster is 91-percent more energy efficient than traditional roasters, and the building will also use reclaimed products. The structure will also be running off of solar panels, generating 50 kilowatts of power. The recycling and coffee ground composting will continue in the cafe, just like the Lafayette Square and Downtown locations.
The roasting facility and cafe plan to open within the next month.
The Willy Wonka Of Gbc: Park Avenue Coffee
After years of being a strictly local indulgence, gooey butter cake has been gaining a national reputation, most notably when Iron Chef Michael Symon of Food Feuds declared Park Avenue Coffee to have the best GBC in town. The shop, which has five locations in St. Louis, is owned and operated by the brother-and-sister team of Dale and Marilyn Schotte. We grew up in a large Catholic family, and for big events, everyone was commissioned to make a dish, Dale Schotte told HuffPost. Our mom always made the gooey butter cake, using her grandmothers recipe.
For the Schottes, the fun is in the flavors, and they offer a host of imaginative versions that rival Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory. They bake 73 varieties of gooey butter cake, including moms traditional, red velvet, butter pecan, chocolate chip cookie dough, turtle and Elvis . Seasonally, they offer specials like pumpkin caramel pecan, peppermint bark, eggnog and gingerbread.
We have the top six sellers available at all locations every day, plus six seasonal flavors, he said. We bake 50,000 cakes a year, and weve shipped to all 50 states and around the world. For those who want to re-create the GBC taste in their own kitchens, Park Avenue Coffee offers a bake-at-home mix in moms traditional, double chocolate and white chocolate raspberry versions.
Park Avenue Coffees tips for home cooks
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Different Flavors Of Gooey Butter Cake Cookies
An easy way to customize the flavors for these is to simply use a different flavor cake mix. Its seriously that easy. You can use chocolate, red velvet, whatever floats your boat. Some will spread more than others just by their other ingredients. But, its fun to play with them and see what you can make. The most important part to these is the cream cheese, butter, and coating in powdered sugar.
Some other fun ways to customize these cookies is to add peppermint pieces to the powdered sugar. Just another fun way to add holiday spirit into your cookies. Or change the flavoring of the extract. For example, to make these funfetti just add butter extract and 1-2 tablespoon of sprinkles to the batter. And voila, youve done it!
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How To Make The Perfect Gooey Butter Cake According To St Louis Chefs
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Some desserts are made to be eaten while wearing a tight-waisted ballgown or a perfectly tailored little black dress. Light-as-air macarons or adorably tiny petits fours are the post-prandial choice of the sort of person who nibbles daintily, brushes crumbs away from still-lipsticked lips and declares, I couldnt eat another bite.
Gooey butter cake is not that kind of dessert.
In its birthplace of St. Louis, GBC is the sort of treat thats best enjoyed while wearing the roomiest sweatpants possible, preferably while standing at a kitchen counter or seated at a splintery picnic table at a swelteringly hot family reunion . It has never been and couldnt be even if it tried a dessert that puts on airs.
Its looks are unassuming, to put it kindly. In the traditional version, its served directly in its baking pan and covered with nothing more than a light dusting of powdered sugar. Yellow, flat and unadorned, it lacks height, depth and decoration. But take one bite and youll realize that, despite its humble looks, gooey butter cake will get you right in the feels: buttery, sweet, crunchy and creamy sensations come with each blissful bite.
Read Also: Mcarthurs Gooey Butter Cake Recipe
Gooey Butter Cake Cookies With Cake Mix
Using cake mix takes the stress out of finding/having the right ingredients, but is also a great time saver! And for those non-bakers, this recipe is just a few steps easier. Youre still making something unique and different, so dont think that this is cheating or not baking from scratch, you still are!
I used to make these and my chocolate crinkle cookies all from scratch, however, I know that not everyone carries these ingredients in their houses, so I’ve posted recipes using cake mixes! Of course, you can simply replace those mixes with your own favorite dry cake mix ingredients. Which means these are easy to make gluten free as well.
The Best Gooey Butter Cake In The World Is Located At This Missouri Bakery
Those of us with a sweet tooth can never get enough of our favorites goodies like gooey butter cake. The decadent dessert just hits the spot pretty much any time of the day or the night. While we have no shortage of spots to order the popular Missouri treat, one stands above the rest. In fact, this Missouri bakery might make the best gooey butter cake in the world.
Do you agree that Park Avenue Coffee in Missouri makes the worlds best gooey butter cake? If not, who does? Let us know in the comments! If youre a fan of pies, make a beeline for Peggy Jeans Pies in Columbia, which boasts a selection of more than 30 pie flavors.
The Best Gooey Butter Cake In St Louis Area
Editors Note: This story was originally published in 2017. Some information has been updated.
Legends aboundabout the true origins of gooey butter cake, with one common denominatorlike toasted ravioli, it is purported to be a mistake of glorious proportions. Some believe a baker created the St. Louis original in the 1940s by adding the wrong amounts of ingredientstoo much glycerin and not enough leaveningto what was supposed to be a deep butter cake, resulting in the gooey pudding-like filling. Others say shared recipes at union bakers meetings resulted in the quirky cake. Still others claim the rationing of sugar during World War II created the perfect storm for the gooey masterpiece. Most people cant even agree on the decade. Whatever the provenance and whenever the start, St. Louisans take pride inand eat a ton ofgooey butter cake.
But the affection for gooey butter cake, sometimes called ooey-gooey butter cake, isnt limited to the Gateway City limits. What follows are some of our favorite locations to partake of the praiseworthy pastry.
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The James Beard Winner: Cravings
Native St. Louisan Tim Brennan owns Cravings Restaurant and Bakery, which is a two-time winner of a James Beard Award for Best Dessert in the Midwest and was named One of 10 Best Places to have Dessert by USA Today.
Brennan learned to love gooey butter cake when he was growing up in St. Louis Soulard neighborhood. When he was a child, a trip to Fresenbergs Bakery was a weekend treat for his family of eight kids.
Its a very sweet cake, and Ive learned from my many years of running a bakery here that this city likes things on the sweet side, Brennan told HuffPost. Hes especially drawn to the point-counterpoint of the cakes crust and filling: I love that contrast in consistency between the chewy crust and the creamy filling. The texture is what makes it so wonderful.
Whenever gooey butter cake is on the menu at Cravings, the loyalists flock in, he reported. Although the dessert has a strong pull of nostalgia for those who grew up eating it, Brennan said its also gained a following from the younger set. Lots of people who love it are way too young to remember the corner bakery version, he said. I have nieces and nephews in their 20s who really like it.
Cravings tips for home cooks
What you drink to accompany that warm-from-the-oven slice is important, too. Brennan takes his GBC with a cup of very strong black coffee. With all that sweetness from the cake, youll need it, he said.
Park Avenue Coffees Second Location In Downtown St Louis Is Now Open
Situated in the former Starbucks space at 521 Olive, the coffee shop is in the heart of the business district.
Courtesy Park Avenue Coffee
Park Avenue Coffee expanded its footprint in the city today, with a new downtown location opening in the former Starbucks space at 521 Olive. It marks the St. Louis coffee shops second location within a five-block radius.
When Starbucks left that space, they left a huge void in the business/financial district of St. Louis, says owner Dale Schotte. Within a two-block area, theres the five biggest buildings in downtown St. Louis. Those business people arent walking five blocks to get coffee.
Accordingly, the new location will be open during the workweek, from 7 a.m.2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Courtesy Park Avenue Coffee
Courtesy Park Avenue Coffee
In addition to coffee and tea, available food options include a scratch-made quiche and a breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheddar on an all-butter croissant.
The new location will also offer Park Avenue Coffees regionally cherished gooey butter cakes, with a wide variety of flavors for every occasion. Current seasonal cakes for November include pumpkin caramel pecan , turtle, and pumpkin proper. Next months holiday flavors will include peppermint bark, ginger bread, and pecan pie.
Courtesy Park Avenue Coffee
Follow Park Avenue Coffee on , , and for updates and more information.
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Where To Find Unexpected Takes On Gooey Butter Cake In St Louis
Our city’s favorite dessert is now available in holiday flavors.
Gooey butter cake at Park Avenue Coffee
The artful combination of tart red cranberries and fragrant bits of orange zest adds a zing to the sweet center of the cranberry-orange gooey butter cake from Russells Café & Bakery. Our pumpkin cake is also a top holiday seller, says owner Russell Ping. Both rest on Pings signature shortbread crust, an innovation that customers order year-round.
At Lady Goo Goo Gooey Butter Cakes, owner Erin Christ has perfected a gingerbread gooey cake this season. At first whiff you smell the clove, ginger, and cinnamon, and a touch of molasses brings out the gingerbread taste, she says. The Lady also offers a peppermintandchocolate chip variety in which Christ tempers the insistent peppermint with sweet, silky chocolate chips.
Brown sugarmaple spice gooey butter cake debuts this season at Park Avenue Coffee. This cake tastes amazing, says owner Dale Schotte. Well have it in all our locations throughout the holidays. Check out the red velvet flavor, nestled in a Ghirardelli chocolate crust and finished with a classic cream cheese frosting for a red, white, and chocolate experience.