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.