How to Make St. Louis Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Updated on December 21, 2019
RedRavenwords profile image

Sophie Jackson is a British cook and freelance writer who has been published in a number of UK magazines.

St Louis Pumpkin Gooey Cake
St Louis Pumpkin Gooey Cake | Source

A Cake With No Equal

The St. Louis Gooey Cake (also called the St. Louis Butter Cake, Ooey Gooey Cake or Chess Cake) has no real equivalent in British baking. Said to have been created by accident in the 1930s, it combines a firm biscuit-type base, with a semi-soft, almost cheesecake-like topping.

Gooey cake is hugely popular in the American city of St. Louis where it was created, with some bakeries specialising solely in this cake. The original cake has a plain, sweet top layer, but there are now lots of variations including pumpkin varieties.

Finding UK recipes for this cake using British measures and ingredients is difficult. I have therefore adapted my version from US recipes, using ingredients you should readily find in UK supermarkets.

One of the ingredients you will need is pureed pumpkin. This can be bought in tins online, or from certain supermarkets, but a cheaper alternative is to make your own from fresh ingredients. Follow my guide to making pumpkin puree; it is so easy to do, and you can make huge batches and freeze portions.

I hope you have fun baking this—I certainly enjoyed discovering the delight that is St. Louis Gooey Cake! And if you have any problems, I have included a troubleshooting section below.

The St. Louis Gooey Cake has a firm, biscuit style base and a soft, sweet top layer.
The St. Louis Gooey Cake has a firm, biscuit style base and a soft, sweet top layer. | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of St. Louis Pumpkin Gooey Cake

Cook Time

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Makes 20-24 slices


  • Ingredients for the base layer:
  • 320g plain flour
  • 113g unsalted butter, melted
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • Ingredients for the top layer:
  • 425g pumpkin puree
  • 250g tub soft cheese
  • 220g icing sugar
  • 113g butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground allspice, ground cloves, ground ginger
  • Optional ingredients:
  • Splash of whole milk


  1. Grease and line a 30cm x 20cm (12in x 8in) baking tin with baking paper. Pre-heat your oven to 190C or Fan 170C or Gas Mark 5.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients for the base layer, then add the egg and melted butter. Mix with a spoon. You should end up with a stiff, firm dough that sticks together, but is not wet or sloppy. If the mixture remains too dry, add small splashes of whole milk until it comes together. Be careful not to add too much and make it wet.
  3. Spoon the dough into the prepared baking tin and use your fingers to press it to the edges and into the corners. It should not break apart easily, nor should liquid come out when you press into it. Set the tin to one side.
  4. In a clean bowl combine the pureed pumpkin and soft cheese. You can do this with a spoon or, to get a smoother blend, use an electric mixer. Add the butter, eggs and spices, then the icing sugar. Make sure everything is well combined and then pour the topping onto the base layer.
  5. Place in the pre-heated oven and cook for 40–50 minutes. Depending on the oven it may take longer than this to cook through completely. When the cake is ready the mixture should not wobble in the pan, and when a skewer is dipped into the middle, it should come out with no cake batter sticking to it. It can take a little trial and error to get this right, but when the cake is properly baked it should have a golden brown top that looks glossy. Place the tin on a wire rack and allow it to fully cool, before cutting into 20–24 squares.
This is the base layer of a St Louis Gooey Cake before baking.
This is the base layer of a St Louis Gooey Cake before baking. | Source

Serving Tip

Serve this cake hot or cold, plain or with cream or ice cream!


Q: I added milk to the base layer ingredients and now it is too wet, what do I do?

A: Add more flour to soak up the excess liquid. Only add a tablespoon at a time, and mix fully before deciding if you should add more.

Q: The cake has been in the oven for over an hour and is still not cooked, what do I do?

A: It may be that your tin is quite deep and the oven's heat is taking a while to get through. If it is an electric oven turn the temperature up by 10 degrees and give a little longer, checking back every 15-20 minutes to see how the cake is doing. When the cake is done, there should be no wobble and when a knife or skewer is placed in the middle, it should come out clean (no wet batter, but cake crumbs are ok). Be patient and make a note of any changes you made to the timings or temperature for future reference.

Q: I can't get hold of pumpkin, can I use anything else?

A: Any squash will work for the topping. Try butternut squash, which is usually available all year round in the supermarkets.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)