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Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

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The Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a dessert that epitomizes indulgence. Originating from the American South, a region celebrated for its rich and comforting culinary traditions, this cake has garnered immense popularity across the United States for its decadent layers and unique texture. At its core, this dessert is a harmonious blend of a dense, chocolatey base, a sweet and nutty pecan pie filling, and a creamy, smooth cream cheese topping. The result is a multi-layered cake that offers a symphony of textures: a crunchy crust, a gooey center, and a lusciously soft topping. Its taste is equally complex, combining the deep, rich flavors of chocolate and pecans with the sweet, tangy creaminess of the cream cheese. This cake is not just a treat; it’s an experience, making it a favorite for celebrations, holidays, and any occasion that calls for something truly special.

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Ingredients Breakdown

Chocolate Layer Ingredients and Alternatives

The foundation of the cake, the chocolate layer, requires high-quality cocoa powder and chocolate chips to achieve its rich flavor. For those looking to experiment, alternatives like dark chocolate or milk chocolate can be used to adjust the sweetness and intensity of the chocolate flavor.

  • Cocoa powder: Provides the deep chocolate flavor.
  • Chocolate chips: Add texture and pockets of melted chocolate.
  • Alternatives: Dark chocolate for a less sweet option, or milk chocolate for a milder taste.

Pecan Pie Filling Essentials

The pecan pie filling is what gives this cake its signature gooey texture. Key ingredients include:

  • Pecans: The star of the filling, offering a nutty crunch.
  • Corn syrup: Creates the gooey, sticky texture.
  • Brown sugar: Adds a rich, caramel-like sweetness.

For a twist, maple syrup can be used instead of corn syrup for a deeper flavor profile.

Cream Cheese Topping Variations

The cream cheese topping is crucial for balancing the sweetness of the cake with its tangy flavor. While traditional recipes call for plain cream cheese, variations can include:

  • Vanilla extract: Enhances the cream cheese flavor.
  • Lemon zest: Adds a fresh, citrusy note.
  • Mascarpone: For a richer, creamier texture.

Step-by-Step Baking Guide

Preparing the Brownie Layer

  1. Mixing the batter: Combine melted chocolate and butter, then stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined.
  2. Baking: Pour the batter into a prepared pan, creating the base layer.

Mixing the Pecan Pie Filling

  1. Combining ingredients: Whisk together corn syrup, eggs, and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in chopped pecans.
  2. Layering: Gently pour this mixture over the baked brownie layer, spreading evenly.

Creating the Perfect Cream Cheese Topping

  1. Preparing the topping: Beat cream cheese with sugar and vanilla until smooth. Spread over the pecan layer.
  2. Final bake: Bake until the edges are set but the center is still slightly gooey.

Baking Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Cake

  • Don’t overmix: To ensure a fudgy brownie layer, mix the batter until just combined.
  • Layer carefully: Pour the pecan filling gently to maintain distinct layers.
  • Check doneness: The cake is done when the edges are set but the center slightly wobbles.
  • Cooling: Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan for the layers to set properly before slicing.

This step-by-step guide ensures that even novice bakers can achieve the perfect Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake, a dessert that’s as rewarding to make as it is to eat.

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Advanced Baking Tips

How to Ensure a Gooey Texture

The hallmark of the Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is its luxuriously gooey texture. Achieving this requires a careful balance of baking time and ingredient ratios. To ensure the center remains gooey, avoid overbaking the cake. The edges should be set and slightly pulling away from the pan, but the center should still wobble when gently shaken. Using a thermometer, the center should reach no more than 180°F (82°C) before removing it from the oven.

Adjusting the Recipe for Different Pan Sizes

If you’re using a pan size different from the one specified in the recipe, adjustments to the baking time are necessary. A larger pan will spread the batter thinner, reducing baking time, while a smaller pan will result in a thicker cake that needs longer in the oven. Keep a close eye on the cake and test for doneness as you approach the adjusted baking time.

Storage and Serving Suggestions

To maintain its texture, the cake should be stored in the refrigerator if not consumed within a few hours of baking. It can be enjoyed cold or gently reheated in a microwave for a few seconds to bring back the warmth and gooey texture. For an extra indulgent treat, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce.

FAQs

What Makes the Cake “Ooey Gooey”?

  • The “ooey gooey” texture comes from the pecan pie filling layer, which is made with a combination of corn syrup, brown sugar, and eggs. This mixture remains soft and sticky, creating a gooey contrast to the denser brownie layer and the creamy cream cheese topping.

Can I Use Store-Bought Brownie Mix?

  • Yes, a store-bought brownie mix can be used as a time-saving alternative for the base layer. Choose a high-quality mix for the best results and follow the mixing instructions on the package before adding the pecan pie filling and cream cheese topping as directed.

How Long Does the Cake Stay Fresh?

  • When stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the cake can stay fresh for up to 5 days. Its flavors often deepen over time, making it just as delicious, if not more, a day or two after baking.

Can This Cake Be Made Gluten-Free or Vegan?

  • Absolutely! To make a gluten-free version, substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend. For a vegan version, use plant-based substitutes for butter, eggs, and cream cheese, and ensure your chocolate is dairy-free. Adjustments may slightly alter the texture, but the result will still be deliciously indulgent.

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This Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of flavors and textures that come together to create a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or new to the kitchen, this cake promises to delight and impress.

Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

Indulge in the ultimate dessert with this Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake. Combining a rich chocolate base, a gooey pecan filling, and a creamy cream cheese topping, this cake is a decadent treat perfect for any occasion.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 Serves
Calories 580 kcal

Equipment

  • 9x13 inch baking pan
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons

Ingredients
  

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Pecan Pie Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Topping:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • Prepare the Chocolate Layer: In a large bowl, mix together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Prepare the Pecan Pie Filling: In a medium bowl, combine corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir in eggs until well blended. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour this mixture over the chocolate layer.
  • Prepare the Cream Cheese Topping: In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Dollop over the pecan layer and gently spread to cover.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center is slightly soft. Allow to cool before slicing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • For a gooier texture, slightly underbake the cake, checking it 5 minutes before the recommended baking time.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. For best flavor, let it come to room temperature or warm slightly before serving.
  • Variations: For a gluten-free version, substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free blend. For a vegan version, use suitable substitutes for butter, eggs, and cream cheese.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of caramel sauce for an extra indulgent treat.
This Chocolate Pecan Ooey Gooey Butter Cake is a rich, decadent dessert that's sure to impress. Whether for a special occasion or a cozy night in, it's the perfect way to treat yourself and your loved ones.
Keyword Baking, Butter Cake, Chocolate, Dessert, Ooey Gooey, Pecan

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