One bite and you’ll know why.

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If you haven’t yet tried gooey butter cake (also affectionately referred to as ooey gooey butter cake), you’re in for a treat.

Some sources claim the utterly indulgent confection came about by accident. According to the New York Times, it all started in the 1930s when a St. Louis baker botched the proportions of butter while baking a coffee cake. Like many Southerners, he refused to be defeated and, instead, embraced the sugary treat, selling portions that immediately became a hit.

There have been many iterations of the bars that might look like a batch of blondies at first glance, but, delve in and you’ll find that the best gooey butter cakes have the most delicate layer of crispiness on the top with an utterly decadent center. Gooey Butter Cake has quite a different consistency than the cookie bars we're used to. You might never know unless you slice into one, but it actually has a cake layer at the bottom, which is then topped with a sweet mixture that typically includes some combination of butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla; though there are many opinions on the exact formula for the classic—sound familiar, gumbo fans?  During the holidays, pumpkin, peppermint, and even red velvet versions have made appearances, to the dismay of gooey butter cake purists. You can even make it in a flash by using a box of yellow cake mix (get that recipe here). 

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No matter how you eat it, Gooey Butter Cake is one of the South’s most treasured recipes. Share with us: It is a holiday staple in your house? If so, we would love to hear about your favorite recipe!