Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake

Oh, that Paula Deen. SoupAddict does believe that woman is out to kill us all — every last one of us — one stick of butter at a time.

But, SoupAddict also believes that that woman does know her desserts.

Dear Paula: You had SoupAddict at “gooey.”

(Dear Reader: SoupAddict apologizes for summoning the sappy spectre of Rene Zellweger. It was uncalled for.)

SoupAddict has no idea how she landed on this recipe while motoring around foodnetwork.com. It’s not like she was doing a keyword search on “gooey.” Generally speaking, one does not want their food to be gooey.

“And how’s your steak tonight, Miss?”

“Mmmm, so gooey. It’s perfect!”

But somehow, the title just works with this cake (which is a flavor variation in Ms. Deen’s popular Gooey Butter Cake recipe). See how this insipid little plan works? Get people hooked on the gooey butter by making baking videos where you look into the camera with those long, flirty Southern eyelashes and affectionately call the cakes “gooeys” and pretty soon, the world’s arteries belong to the Deen family fortunes.

I’ll get back to you and your evil ways, Paula, as soon as I put the finishing touches on my own Cinnamon Swirl version.

Please pardon SoupAddict for the extremely uninteresting photo of the cake’s ingredients, but, it all comes together so quickly that there’s actually not much to photograph.

SoupAddict is generally not a cake mix kind of girl, but honestly, it was the cake mix that made this recipe worth making (as opposed to the odd St. Louis versions SoupAddict has encountered in the past). Similar to a pie, the “crust” is key here. It has to be decidedly cakey but substantial — a delicate balance between batter and tart dough (which is almost always the problem with modern St. Louis versions).

This is what makes Paula the evil genius. She knows that a $1-a-box cake mix is the easiest way to get that balance.

Paula’s recipe calls for a 9×13 cake pan, but SoupAddict is always looking for excuses to use her ruffly deep dish pie plate.

The best way to describe the flavor profile of this cake is a creamy pumpkin cheesecake on a bed of yellow cake. And it’s purty, too.

SoupAddict loves the unexpected action shots. Here, the lens focused on some powdered sugar poofing up at the front of the bowl.

Ready to go into the oven.

SoupAddict had enough leftover to make a little dish of same for Mother of SoupAddict.

(Of course, at the time, SoupAddict did not realize that she was simply falling in line with Paula’s evil plan — she simply thought she was being nice to Mother of SoupAddict. It was only later, composing this blog post, that SoupAddict realized she was just Paula’s pawn, spreading butter addiction by proxy.)

Holy crap, did this smell good coming out of the oven.

Sometimes SoupAddict’s verbal eloquence fails her.

SoupAddict dons her photographer’s cap and prepares to take some beauty shots. (This is what they’re called in the print industry. Beauty shots. Or hero photos. Implying that you photograph the subject at the best it can be. But Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake is not particularly pretty once you slice into. So really, the best Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake can be is in your tummy. But SoupAddict won’t go there. Mostly because she lacks the proper tools, not because she lacks the gumption. “I’m goin’ in!” she imagines exclaiming, hot on the trail of some yummy morsel with her tube camera.)

No, SoupAddict does not at all recommend that you slice the cake in front of your guests, because it’s gross. Like a pumpkin pie gone horribly, horribly wrong. But once sliced, mmmmmm. Once sliced, your guests will think you are a pumpkin genius. (And you, too, will be guilty of doing Paula’s butter bidding.)

Another beauty shot. Next, SoupAddict the Photographer wonders to herself, “Maybe some teeth marks would be kicky fun.”

So, SoupAddict breaks out some craft carving tools and begins to artfully dig little trenches in the pie slice, like a master sculptor would do.

As if!

SoupAddict added teeth marks the only way she knows how — the only way that makes sense. And that’s not with carving tools, people.

Hmm. Not quite toothy enough. Let’s try this again.

Better, but … one more time…

Nah, [nom nom nom] forget the teeth marks.

“Hey, where are you going, little buddy? Get.in.my.belly.”

Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake (Paula Deen, Foodnetwork.com)

For the Cake:
1 (18 1/4-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 tablespoons butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 13 by 9-inch baking pan.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla, and butter, and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Make sure not to overbake as the center should be a little gooey.

Serve with fresh whipped cream.

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