July 8, 2013

Snickerdoodle Gooey cake

I had never heard of gooey cakes until last year. They started popping up in my blog reader and the combination of cake base topped with a sticky, buttery topping caught my eye. It wasn't until I was flipping through the Smitten Kitchen cookbook looking for a dessert to take to a potluck that I found a version that I had to make immediately. Deb's recipes tend to have that affect on me.

The thing that sticks out about this gooey cake is the topping. Cinnamon and sugar forms a thin crust over the creamy center, reminiscent of a creme brûlée. Cinnamon and sugar are not fancy flavors-they remind me more of a favorite breakfast (cinnamon-sugar sprinkled over hot, buttered toast) than they do of a fancy dessert. 

The cake cuts into bars and ends up being perfect for toting along to an event. It feeds a crowd and is something different than everything else on the table. 'Tis the season for barbecues, picnics, and potlucks. This won't disappoint, and there won't be any leftovers either! 

Snickerdoodle Gooey Cake

adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, by Deb Perelman


For the base:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3/4 sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk

For the gooey layer:

1/4 cup honey (or light corn syrup)
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour

For the topping: 
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prep a 9x13 pan by lining it with parchment paper and spraying with a nonstick spray. 

For the base:
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer until the color lightens. Pour in the milk and the egg and mix until combined. 
Whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt) and then add into the wet ingredients. Beat until just mixed together.
Pour the dough into the pan and spread out until bottom of pan is covered. Put aside.

For the gooey layer:
Back in the mixer, beat the butter and sugar together. Add in the egg and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of bowl when needed. Whisk together the honey, milk and vanilla. Pour in 1/3 of the flour and mix until just combined. Add in 1/2 the honey mixture and do the same. Repeat until all the flour and honey mixture have been mixed in. Careful not to overmix here. Pour over the base layer and spread until evenly covering it. 

For the topping:
Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and pour in an even layer over the entire cake.

Bake for 25 minutes. The gooey layer will still be, well, gooey under the topping. Cool for a few minutes in the pan and then lift out using the parchment paper and cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, cut into bars. 


  1. I always loved Snickerdoodles as a kid, and in cake form I'm sure they're even better! :)

    1. Cake is totally my weakness so anyway I can turn cookies into cake is a win :) Thanks for stopping by!


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