I saw a recipe for Houdini bars on Cakespy today. It reminded me of the newer recipe for gooey butter cake that calls for cream cheese and yellow cake mix. Gooey butter cake is the Houdini bars sans the coconut and nuts. I first heard of St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake when I wrote an article on it for Family Circle. The traditional cake is of German origin. Traditionally, the crust is not a cake mix, and the ooey gooey inside is made of butter not cream cheese.
I made the Houdini bars today but didn’t have the exact ingredients, so I improvised. My version is: a box of golden vanilla cake mix, one stick of melted butter and one egg mixed together for the crust (pat into bottom of greased 9×13 pan); 1/2 package lowfat cream cheese, 1/2 stick softened butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1/2 cup coconut mixed for topping crust; and some pecans to cover half of the bars. (Some of us like nuts; some don’t.) Bake 325 for 25 min. (My oven runs hot.) Cool and cut.
OMG…these are deliciously buttery! The coconut is a nice addition.
When I was in St. Louis, I got a traditional gooey butter cake at Federhofer’s.
It was nothing special to look at but tasted good.