The Gooey Butter Cake. A staple in Southern kitchens.
Prairie City. A staple in convenience stores.
You may know Prairie City for it’s cookies, they’re huge, delicious, and diabetes inducing in the absolute best way.
I’m personally a fan of their peanut butter cookies. It sounds simple, in WV it’s made with a thin layer of yellow cake as the crust, cream cheese in the center, and topped with a crumble mixture and confectionery sugar. Sometimes the topping is more of a the yellow cake, or even puff pastry. It’s intended to be a very crispy cake, and not as sweet as a traditional cake topped with frosting. Obviously there’s 100 different versions as a recipe has been passed down through the years, but most agree that it’s a thin, crispy cake, meant to be cut and consumed like a breakfast pastry.
Traditionally the crust is yeast based so it bakes up almost like a dough. Either way this little cake is a bit of an homage to the “non-traditional” version made with yellow cake and cream cheese. It doesn’t have much cream cheese flavor but you can tell it’s there. The crust is what makes it; it’s quite flaky so it gets absolutely everywhere and it’s a bit greasy/oily. It’s very filling too, and would make an excellent breakfast cake. Be aware that while it isn’t terribly sweet it still has a richness from the butter which can be off putting.
If interested, you can find them at most convenience stores (I’ve found mine at Marathon’s and BP) and select grocery stores. They retail for around $1.49-$2.00, depending on the store. To my knowledge you can’t buy these in any multi-packs or larger sizes, so wherever your store keeps the single serve cakes is where you’ll catch these.