Gooey Butter Cake

Growing up in St. Louis, Gooey Butter Cake was one of my favorite desserts.  When I moved to Ohio in college, it became an absolute surprise to me that no one had ever heard of it!  Now that I live in Wisconsin, I still have a hard time believing that folks here don’t know what this amazing cake is – but it has become one of the most requested recipes I have among my circle of friends.

Although there are many different versions that STL residents swear by – this is the one that has been passed down in my family.  It’s super easy and amazingly delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

  • (1) Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • (4) Eggs
  • (1) Box Powdered Sugar (1 box is 1lb. – if your store only sells Powdered Sugar in bags – most come as 2lbs. so you will use 1/2 the bag)
  • (1) Package Cream Cheese
  • (1) Stick Butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Use a 9×13 glass baking dish.

Beat stick of butter with 2 eggs until creamy and smooth.  Slowly add and beat in yellow cake mix.  Press mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.

Mix remaining 2 eggs and package of cream cheese until creamy and smooth.  Slowly add and beat in the full box of powdered sugar.  Pour over mixture pressed into dish.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes.  Cake is done when top is crackled and top filling appears firm.

Step 1

Step 2 side view

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lasagna

I never really thought my Lasagna was anything overly special, but people seem to really like it!  My husband’s colleagues frequently request that he brings it to work potlucks, in fact – I thought of this posting because I just made one last night for his work Halloween Party – and it’s a really great and relatively inexpensive option if you are looking to make a meal that can feed a lot at a family gathering or to take to a new mom, etc…  I generally make two at once and either freeze one for dinner later or pop it in the fridge and cook the next day.

INGREDIENTS (makes 2 lasagnas):

  • (2) Boxes of lasagna noodles (if you want to save some time, they make oven ready noodles that you don’t even have to boil ahead of time)
  • (2 lbs.) Ground Beef
  • (1) Large Container of Ricotta Cheese (whole milk based is better if you can find it)
  • (1) 8 Cup Bag of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • (2) Containers Shredded Fresh Parmesan cheese (I usually use Frigo 5 oz. containers – my store carries it in the refrigerator aisle by the rest of the shredded cheese)
  • (3-4) Eggs
  • Spaghetti Sauce – Because I use so much of it, I don’t typically use my homemade sauce for this recipe – so, I recommend around 3 – 24 oz. cans of Hunt’s Traditional Sauce,  but really any kind of sauce that you like will work!
  • minced garlic, salt and pepper, dried basil and onion powder for seasoning

INSTRUCTIONS (I do a lot of eyeballing with this recipe, so I’ll do my best to quantify):

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Use a 9×13 glass baking dish or large foil lasagna pan.

Brown and Drain the Ground Beef – divide into 4 equal portions.

Prepare the Cheese Mixture:  Mix entire container of Ricotta cheese with at least 2 cups Mozzarella cheese  (you can add more if you like it really cheesy!), one 5 oz. container Parmesan cheese and eggs with minced garlic, salt and pepper, dried basil and onion powder to taste – I love seasoning so I use at least 2 tablespoons of minced garlic in mine!  Divide Cheese Mixture into 4 equal portions.

Pour enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.  Add first layer of noodles – I can fit 4 noodles long ways and 1 across.  Spread one portion of Cheese Mixture on top of noodles – top with 1 portion of ground beef.  Dollop top of ground beef with at least enough sauce to spread evenly, and if you are using oven ready noodles, to get the noodles wet.  I like my lasagna really saucy so I probably put more sauce than most.  Repeat noodles, cheese, beef and sauce layer.  Add one final layer of noodles.  Pour enough sauce over top of noodles to cover EVERY inch of them (if you don’t do this, the top layer of noodles gets hard and yucky when baked).  Top with at least 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese and 2.5 oz (half a container) of Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle with basil.  Cover with foil and cook for 45 min – 1 hour.  When there are 15-20 minutes left, remove the foil so the cheese can get all nice and brown and bubbly.

Repeat instructions for your second Lasagna.

Mangia!