Have you ever had the butter cake from California Pizza Kitchen? If not, you should. There’s a lot of good food on CPK’s menu, but California Pizza Kitchen’s butter cake takes the cake. (Get it?!)

Then, if you love it as much as I do, you should make it at home with this recipe. It’s not exactly like the butter cake from CPK (it never is), but it’s pretty darn close and is the best butter cake recipe I’ve made. (And in the restaurant, it’s the best dessert.)

And of course, I add condensed milk to my butter cake recipe because every dessert is better with condensed milk. (Some people like cream cheese, but I like condensed milk at room temperature.)

Keep in mind, at CPK the cakes are made individually for single servings and not a large cake for an entire family like this.

easy cpk butter cake

For cake pans, I suggest using this set for less than $20 on Amazon. This recipe is for one 9-inch cake pan, however, the butter cake from CPK is made in a smaller cake pan.

butter cake cpk pans

With these, the only thing that changes in this recipe is the cooking time if you use the smaller 4-inch or 7-inch pan. The cooking time will be much less, but your butter cake will be more similar to the one at CPK since their portions are much smaller than 9-inches.

Butter Cake from CPK Recipe

Butter Cake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 sticks of butter (softened)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of milk (you can substitute thicker milk, like buttermilk)
  • 1/4 cup of condensed milk (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

cpk butter cake

how to make butter cake from cpk

california pizza kitchen butter cake

Butter Cake Directions

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees

2. Use non-stick spray or butter the bottom of a round cake pan (Mine is about 9 inches.)

3. Sprinkle some sugar on the bottom of the cake pan and the sides of the pan (This is what creates the light crust of caramelized sugar as a top layer. Parchment paper will prevent sticking, but I don’t use it.)

4. At low speed, mix all of the ingredients (in the order listed) in a large bowl or electric mixer. Note: As you add each item to the mixer you should be mixing them one by one – not waiting until the end to mix them all together.

    • softened butter
    • sugar
    • flour
    • eggs
    • vanilla extract
    • milk
    • condensed milk (optional – this is not a key ingredient)
    • baking powder

5. Pour batter into cake pan

6. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the golden brown middle comes out clean

7. Enjoy your warm butter cake right away with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or set it on a cooling rack to save for later!

cpk butter cake copycat

At the restaurant, it’s served warm with vanilla ice cream on top. I highly recommend eating it this way… sooooo good!

It’s so easy, even a three-year-old can make it. Seriously, click here to see if you didn’t watch the video!

Besides butter cake, what’s your favorite cake? Red velvet cake, pound cakes, a bundt cake, lemon bars, triple layer chocolate cake, or even key lime pie? Find me on Instagram at @ChristinaAllDay and let me know what your favorite sweet dessert is.

When it’s a special occasion, I know my husband is going to surprise me with this gooey butter cake. It’s always a good choice.

If you like this post, I suggest checking out my recipe for banana bread. It’s my favorite! For more copycat recipes, click here.

  1. shernell says:

    I love homemade desserts. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Emily says:

    I’ve never had the Butter Cake at CPK but you have me intrigued! I wonder if I could make a copy-cat healthier version of it! 😀

  3. Constance says:

    Wow– this looks amazing! Reminds me of 7-up cake! Totally making this one! Yummy!

  4. Katelyn says:

    Does this use all purpose flour or self rising flour

  5. Constance says:

    Really good. Loved the flavor. Would be nice served with fresh strawberries sliced and blueberries.

  6. Michele Lowrey says:

    What size cake pan?

    • Hi Michele, I used a standard, round cake pan. Around 8″ or so.

      • Sandy says:

        When I made this, I used about a 9 inch wide cake pan but there was too much batter to I had to split it in two pans. Well it totally burned I think because my pans were not deep enough so they cooked too fast. I’m a very novice baker so please tell me how deep the pan needs to be also. This might be obvious to others but idk what I’m doing over here. ????

  7. Rose says:

    Sounds like it’s definitely worth a try. I have all the ingredients so I will make it tomorrow! But I was wondering what size of pan you use? You mentioned in a comment a “standard” round cake pan. I have 8, 9, 10 12, 14 and 16 inch round cake pans. So I’m not sure which the standard is.

  8. Pmquarles says:

    I’ve had CPK butter cake a number of times, and I LOVE IT! Gathering all of the listed ingredients from the list that you provided. What I did not see was baking powder. Unless I’m using Cake Flour, most from scratch recipes call for baking powder.
    Please Advise!
    Thanks- A Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to You 🙂

  9. JO ANNE says:

    Please comment on the baking powder question! How does this cake rise? Thank you!

    • Hi JoAnne… I don’t think I left that ingredient out of the recipe, but the cake does rise. Mine did without it.

      I’ll have to try this recipe again to be sure I didn’t forget to include it in the blog post and let you know to be sure!

  10. Cheryl Barnes says:

    I loved watching your beautiful daughter make and mix this cake. I am going to share it at church for our potluck. I will have to double the recipe though so every one gets a piece. It really looks so good.

  11. Theresa Gilmore says:

    Where is the original recipe that calls for parchment paper under the butter and sugar? It also incorporated cream cheese on the top. I made THAT recipe quite a few times but now it’s been replaced with this. Could you please let me know where to find it. Thank you

    • Hi Theresa. This is the only butter cake recipe that has ever been on my blog, but I think I know what you’re referring to. A link to this post was recently added to a recipe website. It was added because a prior butter cake recipe blog post was deleted and no longer exists. That may be what you’re referring to. I’m sorry I can’t help more.

  12. Richard says:

    I made this tonight and it came out almost perfect. One thing that was missing was salt. I’m not sure if you assumed the butter was salted but I typically only use unsalted butter when I bake. I’m thinking maybe 1/2 should be enough. Also I made mine in ramakins instead of a pan and my bake time was cut about 15 minutes. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Nikki says:

    Salted or unsalted butter?

  14. Sarah says:

    I made this tonight and it was delicious! I baked it at 375 in a 9″ spring pan. I set my timer for 30 minutes but let it go over. The edges were slightly too done but the rest of the cake was great!

  15. Gizelle says:

    Hello, I’m a 19 year old who likes to bake a lot for fun, so forgive me if this seems a bit obvious. I’m not really understanding the step about putting butter and sugar on the pan. What is it’s purpose? I made it yesterday & again today (it was absolutely delicious, thank you so much for this recipe). The butter & sugar weren’t really giving much taste & I nearly burned it (thankfully I didn’t). Should I he adding more to the pan? Thank you!

  16. Kathryn Adams says:

    Is the milk that you use regular canned milk or sweetened condensed milk?

  17. Debra says:

    Is there a glaze for this cake? Like butter sugar I seen another one that had a glaze and you poke holes in it and brush the glaze on.

  18. Maria says:

    Hello! We love the CPK Butter Cake, so thanks for this! When you say “Mix all of the ingredients (in the order listed) in a mixer”, do you mean for us to beat after every single ingredient is added, or after all the ingredients are added? We mixed after every ingredient and it didn’t come out smooth or pourable. Thanks!

    • Christina says:

      I’m going to be more specific in my post, so thanks for asking. As you add each item to the mixer you should be mixing them one by one – not waiting until the end.

  19. Jayde Porter says:


  20. Cori hirsh says:

    Made this dessert and it was delicious

  21. Ang says:

    It’s so good!! Something to make once a year, something to indulge in.

  22. Natalie Smith says:

    This recipe is amazing! Thanks Christina for this dessert 😉

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I'm Christina!

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 a millennial mom here to inspire you to live your best life without feeling anY mom guilt.

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