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When it comes to summer meals, there are a few recipes that we fall back on time and time again. We’ve got a 5-ingredient grilled pizza recipe that’s easier than ordering takeout, Ina Garten’s foolproof ribs recipe is always a hit, and we’ve got more big-batch cocktail recipes on our list of things to do that we don’t know what to do with. But you never know what to do for dessert. Sometimes we go to the old strawberry shortcake fallback, other times we just flag down the ice cream truck and let them tend to our hungry guests. But cake expert Martha Stewart
The gooey butter cake recipe is so good, we think it might become our new favorite summer dessert.
Even if you’ve never had gooey butter cake before, it’s pretty famous, especially in St. Louis, where the recipe originated. Unlike most cake recipes, which start with a batter and are leavened with baking soda or baking powder, Stewart’s Gooey Butter Cake is made with a soft leavened dough. It should rise for about an hour, and during that time you can mix the cake filling in your stand mixer.
The filling is made with butter, sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, corn syrup and flour. Many people judge corn syrup, but it’s not the high-fructose stuff, and it’s key to giving your buttercake the gooey texture that gives it its name.
In the video, Stewart also does something that blew our minds. She butters her baking dish and lines it with parchment, but then, to keep the parchment from curling up before adding the dough, she uses two binder clips
to press the edges of the parchment to the sides of the dish. This holds everything in place while she fills the dish with batter and filling.
According to Stewart, it will have a golden brown top when complete, but won’t be placed in the center. The cake will rise and fall as it bakes, giving it a bubbly, uneven appearance, but that’s part of the charm. Once the cake has cooled, Stewart dusts it with icing sugar, and the result is a cake “crispy on top, chewy on the bottom, and gooey in the middle”. Add a few summer berries on top for garnish and you have a signature dessert for all your picnics, barbecues and potlucks this season.
Looking for more summer recipes? Giada De Laurentiis has plenty:
Watch: 5-Ingredient Grilled Pizza Easier Than Ordering Takeout