• Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Serves: 16

Easy Gooey Butter Cake

  • Recipe Submitted by on

 Ingredients List

  • For the cake:
  • 3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons warm water (105-110˚ F)
  • 1¾ teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • For the gooey butter topping:
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract OR 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 12 tablespoons (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar, to serve


Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.* Combine the milk, water, and yeast in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. (If you don’t happen to have room temperature milk, the microwave works great.) Mix to dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside to let foam slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until light, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg. Beginning and ending with the flour, alternately add the flour and the milk mixture, until a smooth dough is formed.

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and with wet fingers, stretch the dough until it covers the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until puffed and about doubled in volume, approximately 2-3 hours. I turned my oven to 170˚, turned it off, then put the dough in.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. (Take the pan out first if it is rising in the oven!) To make the topping, combine the corn syrup, water and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to blend. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter, sugar and salt on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Blend in the egg. Alternately add the flour and the corn syrup mixture until just smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Drop large dollops of the topping over the surface of the dough and gently spread the topping into an even layer. Bake until light golden brown, about 25-30 minutes. The edges will be brown and set, but the center will still be light and gooey. Allow to cool briefly in the pan before slicing and serving, at least 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving, if you want.

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