I thought I’ve seen them all when it comes to cakes and dessert bars. Recently, I was introduced to gooey butter bars and this has opened my eyes to a whole new world of sweets I have yet to explore!
They’re a popular, long-standing St. Louis treat. While there are numerous various on the gooey butter bars, it’s basically a two layered dessert. It starts with a shortbread crust bottom and topped with a melt in your mouth butter cake.
Together, these two layers create this decadent delightful little treat.
While these gooey butter bars are perfectly fine as is, they’re the perfect blank canvas to garnish with your favorite fruits. I added a combination of strawberries and grapefruit segments on top. It’s the ideal transitional dessert to say farewell to the citrus of winter and hello to the berries of spring and summer. Forget strawberry shortcakes and peach buckles this summer, I’m going to be making all sorts of variations on these gooey bars!
While you wait for the gooey butter bars to cool down and set up, I marinated the fruits in a liquid mixture of honey and grated ginger (for a little zing!). Once the gooey butter bars are ready for serving, drain the fruits and add them to the cake bars. Save the marinating juice to lightly drizzle on top of butter bars, or use it sweetened iced tea! Add a few sprigs of mint for the final touch of pop and freshness. If you’d like, a dollop of freshly whipped cream adds another dimension of luxury. Be sure to cut small portions. These gooey butter bars pack a big punch and you really only need a little slice to be super happy!
Here are my changes to the original GOOEY BUTTER BARS recipe:
- Instead of 2/3 cup half-and-half, I used 2/3 cup whole milk.
- Instead of 1/2 tsp almond extract, I used 1 tsp vanilla extract.
- Add 1/4 tsp fine sea salt to cake batter
- Instead of 3 cups strawberries, I used a mixture of strawberries and grapefruit segments.
- Add fresh mint to garnish