A cake so sticky it had to be emphasized twice, the St. Louis Sticky Gooey Cake at Peels pays loving tribute to the St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, a concoction invented — depending on who’s telling the story — in the early 1940s at either the Koppe Bakery or the St. Louis Pastries Bakery. Regardless of who was responsible, we should thank both for giving the world a cake that combines all of the airy, restrained pleasures of a brioche with the delightful sin found in sugar impregnated with dairy and then melted into a thick, sanity-robbing morass.
At Peels, Shuna Fish Lydon has put her own impressive spin on the St. Louis signature, obscuring its pleasantly dense, subtly sweet brioche foundation beneath a thick layer of sweet, buttery custard that’s barely protected by a crackly, fissured crust. In a way, it’s like the best breakfast Danish ever created. In another, it’s original sin, served in a paper wrapper. Either way, it’s very difficult to leave alone, and a piece of history we’d be happy to eat every day. The $3 cake is also a proud occupant of the Sweatpants end of the Fat Pants spectrum, though that shouldn’t prevent you from going back for more.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 7, 2011