Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Deep Butter Cake

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Whoever it was who wrote to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and requested the recipe for Helfer’s Pastry Shop’s Deep Butter Cake has my deepest gratitude. That cake has been a favorite of mine since the seventies.  That fact that I can now make it at home makes me swoon.  It was quite by accident that I stumbled upon it here and, naturally, had to make it immediately.  It was as good as the version the shop sells, but I like to think that my adaptation of their already delicious recipe is what makes it Food for the Gods.  The above link will take you to the original recipe, my adaptation is below.

Deep Butter Cake

from Helfer's Pastries and Deli Cafe adapted by Pattie Tierney

For crumb mixture:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor (see note)
1 cup all-purpose flour

For batter:
11/3 cups granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Butter Sweet Dough Flavor
13/4 cups cake flour
Powdered sugar, for garnish

Prepare the crumb mixture. In a small mixer bowl beat together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add salt, vanilla, butter flavoring and flour; beat at low speed just until crumbly. Cover and refrigerate.

Prepare the batter. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch-square baking pan.

Combine 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 cup butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large mixer bowl; beat on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy. Add eggs; beat on high speed 2 to 3 minutes or until light.

Combine milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring. Alternately add cake flour and milk mixture to batter, starting and ending with flour. Beat on low speed, scraping sides of bowl, until well mixed.

Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly in prepared pan. Spread batter over crumb mixture. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until top is deep golden brown and cake tests done in the center with a wooden pick. Cool 5 minutes.

Place a flat plate or cake board on top of the pan. Hold the pan and plate together securely; turn over. Carefully remove the pan. (The crumb side is now the top of the cake.) Dust with powdered sugar.

Note: According to the original recipe, the inclusion of butter flavoring is essential to the success of this recipe.  While butter flavoring may have its place, it can’t hold a candle to this wonderful bakery emulsion. You can find it on Amazon here. Trust me when I tell you that you’ll never be sorry that you have this ingredient in your pantry.  It makes a world of difference, transforming your tasty pastries and baked goods into bakery shop quality products.


Honey at 2805 said...

The cake looks delicious! I think the link is broken to King Arthur product.

I'm back from an extended blog break and would be delighted for you to join in on the Potpourri Friday Party again!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

You're right, Honey, thanks for calling that to my attention. The link is fixed now. Thanks for the visit and the update on your suspended blog break. Welcome back!

Mich - Piece of Cake said...

What a lovely butter cake! I have never come across butter flavouring and that sounds really nice. I should try and track it down locally.

Lisa Boyle said...

This looks so absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try it here. :-) Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." Hope you have a wonderful holiday. Many blessings, Lisa

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Oh my goodness, it looks so moist! I need to try this soon!

Patricia @ ButterYum said...

I used to live in St. Louis, but never heard of this cake. After reading your glowing reviews, I can't wait for an opportunity to make it soon.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

This looks so yummy and rich. Thanks for sharing at Wow.

Deborah H. Bateman said...

This cake looks absolutely delicious. it looks light and airy, but rich and creamy. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing, Deborah H. Bateman

Unknown said...

I am anxious to try this recipe...My dad grew up in St. Louis and, though I didn't, we were in town every few months to visit my grandmother. Dad would take me to any number of bakeries in the area for DEEP butter cake. I always wanted to order the GOOEY butter cake but he insisted that the deep butter cake was better. There is a distinct difference between the two that many people do not realize. Gooey butter cakes have survived as a St. Louis tradition but deep butter cakes seem to have vanished with the many German bakeries we used to frequent! I always want to correct people who think these two are one and the same. I've even seen recipes for "deep gooey butter cake." I realize that most are too young to have had the chance to try both types of cake... Many thanks for this recipe!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Enjoy this, Lesli. Yes, there is a HUGE difference between the cloyingly sweet Gooey Butter and the wonderfully rich deep butter. I am very serious though when I say that the butter flavored emulsion is the best. That is what makes this cake taste Bakery Shop delicious.

Maria Elena said...

Just wanted to let you know my daughter and I made the cake today and it came out delicious!!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!!!

Rosemary Q said...

Oh, my! I made this cake two times in a week because my family devoured it and asked for more! It is DELICIOUS! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Sweet Tea said...

My Dad was from St. Louis. As a little girl, I lived in St. Charles. So, I am very familiar with Hefler's Deep Butter Cake. I cannot wait to try this recipe. And, yes, I'm springing for the Butter Sweet Dough Flavoring from King Arthur Flour. In fact, I have a few other recipes it may work well in! Wish me luck!!!

Rudi said...

Hi Pattie,
Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, although I never lived in St. Louis, all of my grandparents grew up there, and this is a cake from their youth they would often bring back with them whenever they went to visit. It was my absolute favorite as a child, and all efforts to find a recipe resulted in gooey butter instead; until now. I'm deeply excited to try this deep butter cake!

A question, the ingredients list for the crumb mixture shows double the quantities compared to the preparation instructions below it. Can you clarify which is the proper quantities? Thanks and Happy New Year!

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

Thank you, Rudi, for calling that to my attention. The discrepancy lie in my doubling the crumb mixture (The more the better, I say!), and failing to reflect that in the directions. Enjoy!