St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake with Bananas Foster Sauce.
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, with its slightly sweet yeast-risen cake topped with a layer of gooey butter and brown sugar deliciousness, is even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and Bananas Foster Sauce.
Anyone who knows me well knows what an audiobook addict I am. Well, I’m kind of a book addict in general. Ok. Not kind of.
Hello. My name is Rebecca and I’m addicted to books.
But, audiobooks have saved our home from being completely taken over by bookshelves. Also, audiobooks are responsible for a lot of domestic chores getting done around this house on a regular basis. That sink full of dirty dishes, unmopped floors, and piles of laundry suddenly become an excuse to listen to whatever novel I’m currently in the middle of.
I’m not sure you understand how mind blowing this is. Audio books have made scrubbing toilets a treat. Something I actually look forward to. This is something my younger self could never have imagined. But, there you have it.
Recently, I listened to The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer. Which is a brilliant, fascinating book, by the way. At one point one of the characters bakes a Bananas Foster Butter Cake.
I had to pause the book and think about that. Bananas Foster Butter Cake? I wasn’t sure what that was, but I was sure going to make it.
Butter Cake is a pretty generic term.
All the term indicates is that it’s a cake in which butter is an ingredient. But, St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake means something specific. Well… sort of.
Some versions of St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake call for a basic yellow cake as the base with a cream cheese mixture for the topping. But, true St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake involves a layer of slightly sweet yeast risen dough with a gooey brown sugar and butter topping.
Legend has it that St. Louis Butter Cake came about by accident when a St. Louis baker added too much butter to one of his coffee cakes. Instead of throwing it out, he cut it into squares and sold it anyway. It was such a hit that it became one of the city’s signature dish.
Now that I’ve tried it, I understand why. This stuff is seriously delicious. I mean… St. Louis Butter cake is lick-your-plate-clean-and-go-get-another-piece-even-though-its-going-to-cost-you-another-hour-at-the-gym kind of delicious.
I’ve heard that, keeping with tradition, people in St. Louis often eat this for breakfast. This is also something I can totally get behind. Actually, this is something I have gotten behind already, having had a piece for breakfast this very morning.
St. Louis Butter Cake is absolutely fabulous all on it’s own.
BUT. A scoop of vanilla ice cream and a few spoonfuls of bananas foster sauce takes it to a whole other level. I mean… just look at that yumminess.
While working on this recipe, I made an entirely different kind of butter cake – one in a bunt pan more akin to a pound cake. Bananas Foster sauce is absolutely delicious on that type of a cake as well. Of course it was. Is there anything Bananas Foster sauce wouldn’t be delicious on?
Then I made this St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake and let me tell you. It’s like the sauce was created for this cake. The bottom yeasty layer soaks up all that brown sugar rum spiked sauce. And the bananas just soak into the gooey butter topping. Yum. Yummy. Yummers.
You may notice that my recipe for Bananas Foster Sauce doesn’t call for the sauce to be ignited after adding the rum.
I know that’s the traditional, show-stopping way to make this sauce, and if you’d like to set your sauce afire then I totally think you should. But it’s also unnecessary. The point is to burn off the alcohol in the rum, something that can easily be done simply by cooking the sauce for a few minutes after adding the rum.
I don’t know if this is what Stephanie Meyer had in mind when she wrote Bananas Foster Butter Cake into the storyline of The Chemist. But, God bless her for the idea.
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake with Bananas Foster Sauce
You might also like:
- Butterscotch Cake
- Carrot Cake with Caramel Rum Sauce
- Banana Crumb Cake with Caramel Rum Sauce
- Caramel Cake with Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream
For more delicious recipes, follow me on Pinterest.
Bananas Foster Butter Cake
- ½ cup milk, at room temperature
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp water, at room temperature
- 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup +3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 stick (4 oz or 8 tbsp) butter
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 large bananas, cut into slices that are approximately 1-inch thick
- ½ cup dark rum
- Stir the milk and yeast together in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to come alive.
- Add the butter, sugar and salt to a medium size bowl and beat with a hand held electric beater until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined and the mixture increases in volume a bit, about 2 minutes longer. (You could use a standing mixer; however, they are generally a bit too large to whip this small amount of butter and sugar into a light and fluffy mixture. If you choose to use one anyway, stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.)
- Dump the butter and sugar mixture into the bowl of a standing mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can continue using the hand held mixer if you prefer, but the dough will come together faster and easier with a standing mixer.)
- Alternate adding the flour and yeast mixtures: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the milk, ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the milk, ⅓ of the flour. Beat each addition on medium-high speed for about 30 seconds, until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, beat the dough until the texture is very smooth, 1-3 minutes.
- Press the dough into an even layer in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until it's doubled in bulk, 2-3 hours.
- When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the topping.
- Add the honey, water and vanilla to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the butter, both sugars and salt to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and beat for another minute to combine.
- Alternate adding the flour and honey mixture: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the honey, ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the honey, ⅓ of the flour. Beat on low speed after each addition just long enough to combine ingredients. Be careful to not over beat.
- Spoon dollops of the topping across the cake and then use a spatula to smooth into an even layer. Be gentle - you don't want to press the air out of the risen dough.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake is done when the surface is a rich golden brown and the edges are set, but the center is still very jiggly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a large heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar melt, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Add the bananas, stir to coat and bring back to a boil.
- Stir in the rum and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring gently to not mash the bananas.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve immediately. You can also store this bananas foster sauce for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Let cool completely at room temperature before covering tightly and storing it in the refrigerator. Before serving, heat slowly in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
- Cut the cake into squares or rectangles. Serve each slice with a few spoonfuls of warm bananas foster sauce and a dollop of vanilla ice cream.