I've seen the recipe for Paula Deen's Gooey Butter Cake on the foodnetwork.com website about a million times but I had no idea what butter cake was. Then I saw this post which raved about how delicious butter cake was...and compared it to cotton candy, spun sugar and creme brulee topping. The cotton candy thing sold me. I threw the recipe together for a small picnic near Laguna Beach having absolutely no idea what to expect. Make sure to let the cake cool completely because the topping is still liquid after it comes out of the oven. I made the mistake of only letting it cool for about an hour and my gooey topping oozed off! I suppose thats okay if you are serving the entire thing right away, but if not make sure to wait till it solidified a little.
The cake is a yeast cake that was moist, tender and not overly sweet. But that's okay because the gooey topping was the star of this recipe. There was a very thin layer at the top that was sweet and crunchy- almost like the caramelized sugar on top of a creme brulee- then underneath that was rich, gooey, sweet goodness that was somehow 100x better than frosting on a cake. The entire cake was buttery with a light base and rich topping. Also, it tasted exactly like a donut. At least to me and my boyfriend. No idea why, can't explain it, but it did. But it was still delicious and he still licked the bowl clean. And then ate another piece cold from the fridge later because he claims he likes it better cold. We will be calling this the Donut Cake from now on. The delicious Donut Cake that I'm only allowing myself to make every 2 months or else we won't be able to roll ourselves out the front door.
It's hard to really describe this cake unless you've tried it...so you should try it! It's easy and you'll like it. and if you don't, you can give the rest to your neighbors.