Marilyn Scull's culinary education came in the most fundamental form - her mother's kitchen. "I'm sure most people say this, but my mom is one of the best people in my life," Scull says. "She's my hero. She's always been my hero. She's taught me everything I know about baking, and she puts up with my dad. She taught me everything I know, which is why I tend to not understand why people have to go to school to learn this."
Scull says Evelyn Schotte is just as surprised as she is at the success her old recipe has found. "My mom and I are a lot alike. She'll come in here and she's amazed at how many cakes we make in a day," she says. "To me it seems like nothing. Today we had 70 cakes to make. I haven't touched one of them. Those guys are done. All they're doing is bagging powdered sugar to get some boxed cake mixes done. This place could run without me, but I like being here. Dale likes me being here."
Scull's basic recipe has gone through some changes. But Mom's recipe remains the classic known throughout St. Louis kitchens.
Mom's Traditional Gooey Butter Cake Makes one 9" x 13" cake
Crust 1 18.25 ounce box yellow cake mix 1 egg 4 ounces butter
Filling 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 pound powdered sugar 4 ounces butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixer dump box of yellow cake mix, 1 egg and 4 ounces of butter. Mix until it's a stiff dough.
Spray a 9" x 13" pan with cooking spray. Put the dough in and spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Then pull the dough up the sides of the pan about a half-inch and even out the dough again.
Into the same mixer (no need to clean out) put the 2 eggs, vanilla and the 4 ounces of melted butter. Mix till combined. Slowly add the cream cheese until combined.
Add half of the powdered sugar, mix, then add the other half and mix until all is combined. Pour into the crust and bake for 45 minutes.
Remember: It's called a gooey butter cake. The filling will still move in the middle of the pan a little when you take it out but will firm up when it cools down.