Julie Granda, a baker and Midwestern expatriate from Springfield, Ill., is poised to open Butter Cake Babe Coffee Cafe later this spring in the Nashville Farmers' Market downtown. The cafe takes over part of the former Nashville Coffee Co. space. (The other part of the space is going to Arnold Myint's new grab-and-go location.)
Granda previously had a cafe in Springfield, Ill., where butter cakes were one of her specialties. She came to town on account of her husband, musician Michael "Supe" Granda of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, who's based here now. (He wrote humorously about their Missouri-boy-meets-Illinois-girl romance in a song called "I Married a Cubs Fan," which is played at St. Louis Cardinals games.)
Once in Nashville, she realized nobody was making gooey butter cakes here. So she's taking up the mantle. She'll also sell scones and cookie bars and coffee, along with bagels and various cream cheese spreads.
I had never heard of a gooey butter cake, and I'm not sure I can even wrap my mind around the concept until I try one. But it seems to be a coffee cake, not a dessert cake, with a bottom layer of regular cake topped with a gooey layer that's almost like pudding or the filling of a chess pie.
Granda plans to sell several different versions, including pumpkin, blueberry and "the Elvis": peanut butter, chocolate and banana.
To go with the spiffy logo, the Butter Cake Babe space will have a vintage look in aqua, pink and brown. Granda hopes to be in business full swing by late May or early June.