Recipes so good it oughta' be a sin!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gooey Lemon Butter Cake

Somewhere between Lemon Bars and a Chess Pie, the
Gooey Lemon Butter Cake (based on a Paula Deen
recipe) is sure to thrill!
For many years Mama worked at Garner's Shoes in downtown Newberry, SC. Her co-worker there for all that time was a wonderful lady by the name of Mrs. Margaret Shealy. By the way, for my non-Southern readers that is pronounced, Mizz. Mama and Mrs. Shealy loved trading recipes and sharing homemade treats with each other. Many of Mama's recipes are actually written on old blank sales receipts from Garner's.

Mrs. Shealy was quite a card and she had a phrase she would use whenever she tasted something that was just incredibly delicious. She would take a bite and then say, "Hmmm... that's good enough to make you push biddies in the creek!"

Mrs. Margaret Shealy
To this day I have no idea what the actual meaning of that phrase might be. Biddies, of course, are small chickens but why something delicious would make you want to push them in the creek escapes me. Still, I can't taste something that is jaw droppingly good without thinking of Mrs. Shealy and  hearing her exclaim about pushing biddies in the creek. This snack cake fits the bill. It'll make you want to "push biddies in the creek!"

I'd heard about Paula Deen's "Gooey Butter Cake" for several years but had never bothered to give it a try. Honestly, most recipes that start out with a cake mix I pass by. That's not really fair on my part because one of Mama's most incredible cakes starts off with a box of white cake mix and flies off the handle after that! Still, I'd heard so much about this cake I decided to pick up a box of cake mix and give it a try.

Admittedly, it's not a lot to look at. It sinks down a bit in the middle and doesn't rise high like you expect from most cakes. But, oh boy, when you bite into a piece it more than makes up for the lackluster presentation! Talk about pushing biddies in the creek!

I decided to do a lemon version which starts off with a lemon cake mix and uses some lemon juice and lemon zest in the filling. It really makes your mouth water! You can think of this somewhere between a lemon bar and a snack cake. It even has sort of the texture of wonderful chess pies - super moist and bright.

Paula's original calls for a yellow cake mix with vanilla in the filling, so you can go either way. In fact, you can pretty much do all sorts of stuff with this by using chocolate, peanut butter, or other fruit flavors.

I have to admit, my original skepticism with this recipe upon taking it out of the oven proved wrong. This little baby will definitely make you want to push biddies in the creek! Mrs. Shealy would be proud.

Gooey Lemon Butter Cake (Paula Deen)

Recipe by Paula Deen
A luscious and moist cake that is halfway between lemon bars and a chess pie in a pan!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 15 pieces

  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 1 large egg
  • 8 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tbs. lemon zest
  • 8 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 16 oz. powdered sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In large bowl combine the cake mix, egg, and melted butter and stir with large spoon until combined.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared cake pan and smooth evenly into corners and all sides.
For the filling:
  1. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until smooth.
  2. Add eggs, lemon juice, zest and melted butter and beat to combine.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add powdered sugar in 1/4 cup increments beating well after each addition.
  4. Pour filling over cake batter in prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out with just a few crumbs adhering. Do NOT over bake! You want a luscious and moist cake!
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