Sure, many people go to California Pizza Kitchen for their pizza, but the CPK butter cake is perhaps even more delicious! If you've ever wanted to make this amazing dessert from home, this recipe will satisfy your cravings!
California Pizza Kitchen butter cake is delicious any time of year. It's rich and sweet, and the perfect way to end any meal. Not to worry; it's also super easy to make! Just mix up two bowls of ingredients you probably have on hand, layer them in a pan, and bake. Then serve with ice cream or whipped cream and wait for your family (and your tummy) to thank you.
I love copycat recipes, because I have gotten more and more where I don't like to eat out all the time. Plus, we're an hour away from the nearest California Pizza Kitchen, so this isn't an easy craving to fill at their restaurant! (I have the same issue with Lupe Tortilla's fajitas, except they are half a country away, which is why I made my version of their recipe.)
Most of these ingredients you probably already have on hand; they're all fairly standard items for baking!
- cream cheese
- all-purpose flour
- vanilla extract
See recipe card for quantities.
Making the cake is also pretty simple! Just mix up ingredients in two bowls with a hand mixer or stand mixer, layer them in ramekins or a cake pan, and bake!
1. For the cake layer: Cream together butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add egg, vanilla, and salt, and beat to mix.
2. Slowly add flour to mixture, continuing to beat as you go. Use a slow speed to avoid spraying flour all over your kitchen ;) Set aside.
3. For topping: In another bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add half an egg (see tips below) and vanilla extract, and beat to combine.
4. Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by greasing it with vegetable shortening or butter and then coating with flour. (See tips below)
5. Spread first mixture into pan and smooth to make a flat layer.
6. Spread the second mixture on top, and smooth again as needed. Bake in 325 degree (Fahrenheit) oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
After cooking, allow the cake to cool completely, then serve with vanilla ice cream and/or dollops of whipped cream.
Tip 1: To use half an egg, crack it into a separate bowl, and scramble it with a whisk or fork. Use some kind of scoop - a small measuring cup works well - to take about half of the egg out. It doesn't have to be exact!
Tip 2: To prepare a pan, you first need to grease it. You can use butter or vegetable shortening (like Crisco), and apply it with a wadded-up paper towel to the bottom and sides. It doesn't need to be very thick, but try to not leave any dry spots. Then put a small amount of flour - maybe half a tablespoon - into the pan. Turn and tilt the pan while tapping the side, so that the flour is distributed and covers the previously-greased areas. If any loose flour remains, tap it into the garbage!
If you order the butter cake at California Pizza Kitchen, you will see it's baked in individual portions. You can do this yourself by using ramekins and dividing the cake batter and topping among each one. The cooking time may be less, depending on the size of your ramekins, so be sure to use the toothpick test earlier than 45 minutes!
If you use ramekins, you can serve the cake still in the ramekin, or remove it to a plate to better copy what CPK does in their restaurants.
To make the CPK Butter cake, you will need:
- 2 medium mixing bowls
- 1 small bowl to scramble and divide the egg for the topping
- hand mixer (a stand mixer works but may be overkill!)
- 9-inch cake pan (or ramekins)
- measuring spoons and measuring cups
- a whisk and a spatula
Store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Reheat in the microwave for 30-40 seconds. Then add ice cream or whipped cream before serving.
If you want to find a CPK restaurant in person, use the location finder on their website.
CPK Butter Cake
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ½ egg room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Set out 2 eggs, 2 sticks of butter, and cream cheese to soften and come to room temperature
- Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit / 163° Celsius
- Begin with the cake layer. Place butter, cream cheese, and sugar into one of the mixing bowls. Use a hand mixer to cream these ingredients together.
- Add the egg, vanilla extract, and salt, and use hand mixer to beat until combined.
- Keeping the hand mixer on low, slowly add flour and mix until all of the flour is incorporated. Set first mixing bowl aside.
- Moving on to the topping layer, cream together sugar and cream cheese with your hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat to combine. Set second mixing bowl aside.
- Prepare 9-inch round pan or ramekins by greasing with butter or vegetable shortening, then dusting with flour.
- Spread the contents of the first mixing bowl into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Spread the contents of the second mixing bowl on top of the first layer, but do not stir. If necessary, smooth this layer as well.
- Bake in a 325° Fahrenheit oven for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool before carefully removing from the pan. Slice and serve alone, with ice cream, or with dollops of whipped cream.