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Author Notes: I was asked "What would you serve for a Great Gatsby party?" We were promoting our St. Margaret's Hospital Guild's Designer Show House and the signature dessert is a "Maggie's Bar". This is a rift on an old St. Louis classic, the gooey butter cake. This isn't Melissa Clarke's NYT recipe--but the version with the packaged cake mix. I took liberties with the Maggie's bar by adding lemon to fit the Gatsby theme and swapping almonds for the pecans in the crust. In the summer, this is a great base for a frozen berry compote with lime zest, cardamon and mint. —lorigoldsby
Makes 15 pieces
packet yellow cake mix
tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped
non-stick cooking spray
- Combine cake mix, chopped almonds, lemon zest and melted butter. Prep a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter and lightly pat mixture into pan.
Gooey Butter Filling
ounces cream cheese, softened at room temp
large eggs, room temp
meyer lemons, juiced and zested
pound powdered sugar
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on med-hi for 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated.
- Add juice of lemons. If meyer lemons are out of season, use 2 small lemons and 1/2 of an orange or substitute a small box of lemon pudding mix (you are starting with a box cake mix, so get over yourself!)
- Lower your mixer speed to stir and add in your powdered sugar. Slowly increase speed to med-hi and beat for 3 minutes.
- Pour cream cheese mixture over cake crust mix. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes. The edges will be chewy and puffed, the center will be somewhat soft and gooey.