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.
If you want to see what this pairs well with or need some gluten-free substitutions, keep scrolling!
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.
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 its portions are much smaller than 9 inches.
Butter Cake from California Pizza Kitchen Recipe (Copycat)
CPK 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 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
- vanilla extract
- condensed milk (optional – this is not a key ingredient)
- baking powder
5. Pour batter into the 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!
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.
Drink to Serve with CPK Butter Cake
What if I told you that there’s a way to enhance this delightful experience even further? Yes, by carefully selecting the right beverage, you can elevate the flavors of butter cake to new heights.
Here are five options to serve.
Classic Pairing: Coffee
When it comes to classic pairings, coffee is a natural choice. The robust and slightly bitter notes of a well-brewed cup of coffee contrast beautifully with the rich sweetness of butter cake.
Opt for a medium to dark roast for a full-bodied experience, and consider adding a touch of cream or milk to balance the flavors.
Elegant Match: Tea
For those seeking a more refined pairing, tea offers a sophisticated alternative to coffee. The delicate and nuanced flavors of various tea varieties can harmonize wonderfully with the subtleties of butter cake.
A fragrant Earl Grey or a floral jasmine tea can provide an aromatic and refreshing counterpart to the cake’s richness. Alternatively, choose a robust black tea like Darjeeling or Assam to complement the buttery flavors and add a hint of malty depth.
Indulgent Delight: Hot Chocolate
Indulgence knows no bounds when pairing butter cake with a luscious cup of hot chocolate. The velvety, chocolatey goodness of this drink serves as a decadent companion to the cake’s buttery crumb.
Opt for a high-quality cocoa powder or melt a bar of your favorite chocolate to create a rich, creamy hot chocolate. You can even top it off with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an extra touch of luxury.
Fruity Harmony: Berry Infusions
If you’re looking to add a touch of brightness and tanginess to your butter cake experience, consider pairing it with a refreshing berry-infused drink. Whether it’s a berry iced tea, a sparkling berry lemonade, or a fruity herbal infusion, the vibrant flavors of berries can cut through the richness of the cake and create a harmonious balance.
Experiment with different combinations like raspberry, strawberry, or mixed berry blends to find your perfect match.
Liquid Luxury: Dessert Wine
For those special occasions that call for a touch of elegance, dessert wines make a delightful pairing with butter cake.
Opt for a sweet wine such as a late-harvest Riesling, Moscato d’Asti, or a luscious Sauternes. The honeyed sweetness and complex flavors of these wines complement the cake’s buttery notes, resulting in a luxurious and indulgent combination.
Cheers to the perfect union of cake and beverages!
Gluten-Free CPK Butter Cake Substitutions
Living with gluten intolerance or choosing a gluten-free lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of indulging in a delicious cake. With a little creativity and the right ingredient substitutions, you can transform your favorite cake recipes into gluten-free delights.
I’ll explore some key ingredient swaps and techniques that will help you achieve a moist, tender, and scrumptious gluten-free butter cake… or any cake you decide to bak at home.
The Flour Swap
The most crucial step in making a gluten-free cake is finding a suitable replacement for all-purpose flour. Opt for a gluten-free flour blend specifically formulated for baking.
These blends usually contain a mixture of rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum or guar gum. If you prefer to create your own blend, you can combine alternative flour like almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour.
Keep in mind that different flours have varying absorbency levels, so it may require some experimentation to find the right combination for your desired texture.
Gluten-free cakes tend to be drier than their traditional counterparts, so it’s essential to incorporate moisture-enhancing ingredients. One popular choice is adding applesauce or mashed bananas to the batter.
These ingredients not only provide moisture but also contribute to the cake’s flavor profile. Other options include yogurt, sour cream, or even vegetable purees like pumpkin or sweet potato.
Experiment with different additions to achieve the desired moistness and texture.
Gluten plays a crucial role in providing structure to baked goods, so it’s essential to incorporate binding agents in gluten-free baking. Xanthan gum and guar gum are commonly used to mimic the binding properties of gluten.
These ingredients help prevent the cake from becoming crumbly. Add about ½ teaspoon of either gum per cup of gluten-free flour to maintain the cake’s integrity.
Leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda play a significant role in ensuring a light and fluffy cake. However, when baking gluten-free, it’s important to double-check that these ingredients are gluten-free as well, as some brands may contain traces of gluten.
Look for certified gluten-free baking powder or make your own by combining baking soda with cream of tartar and a bit of cornstarch. This ensures that your cake rises properly without any unwanted gluten.
To elevate the taste of your gluten-free cake, experiment with flavorful additions. Consider adding a dash of vanilla extract, citrus zest, or even spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
These additions not only enhance the overall flavor but also help mask any subtle differences that might arise from gluten-free substitutions.
By making a few ingredient swaps and following these tips, you can create gluten-free cakes that are just as moist, tender, and delectable as their traditional counterparts.
So, dust off your mixing bowls, gather your gluten-free ingredients, and embark on a delightful baking adventure.