CPK Butter Cake Recipe

Learn how to make the legendary CPK Butter Cake with our step-by-step recipe. A taste of California Pizza Kitchen's sweetness at home!

CPK Butter Cake

    CPK Butter Cake

  • Cuisine: American
  • Category: Dessert
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories: 300 calories

California Pizza Kitchen's (CPK) Butter Cake is a legendary dessert that has won the hearts of many diners. This delectable treat is a sweet, warm, and indulgent masterpiece that perfectly complements CPK's savory menu. It's often described as a heavenly blend of flavors and textures, making it a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.

CPK's Butter Cake typically consists of a buttery, moist cake base that's rich and slightly dense, with a sweet and slightly tangy cream cheese layer on top. The cake is baked to perfection, creating a delightful contrast between the soft, warm cake and the creamy, slightly caramelized cream cheese topping. It's usually served warm, allowing the flavors to meld together beautifully.

One of the key highlights of CPK's Butter Cake is its simplicity. While it may seem uncomplicated, it's the perfect example of how high-quality ingredients and expert preparation can result in a dessert that's unforgettable. It's often garnished with a drizzle of vanilla bean sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, adding another layer of decadence to the experience.

CPK's Butter Cake has become an iconic dessert, and while the recipe itself remains a closely guarded secret, its popularity has led many home bakers to try and replicate its deliciousness. Whether enjoyed at the restaurant or recreated in your own kitchen, CPK's Butter Cake is a delightful treat that embodies comfort and indulgence.


Discover the secrets of creating a mouthwatering CPK-inspired Butter Cake at home! Indulgence awaits in every delicious bite. 🍰🤤


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened

Method Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan or two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, which usually takes about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter and cream cheese mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan(s) and smooth the top.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes for round pans or 30-35 minutes for a rectangular pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs.
  9. Allow the cake(s) to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan(s) and let them cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. Once the cake is completely cool, you can frost it with a cream cheese frosting for that California Pizza Kitchen-style touch.

Enjoy your homemade butter cake with cream cheese, similar to CPK's delicious dessert! 😊

Recipe Video

CPK Butter Cake

This is a video about CPK Butter Cake.

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Recipe Tags: CPK Butter Cake, CPK Butter Cake Recipe, Recipe


Serving California Pizza Kitchen's (CPK) Butter Cake is a delightful experience that enhances its indulgent flavors. Here's how you can serve it:

  • Warm and Fresh: CPK's Butter Cake is best served warm. If you're dining at a CPK restaurant, it will typically be served to you fresh from the oven, still warm and comforting. If you're making it at home, you can warm individual slices briefly in the microwave or in a low oven before serving to recreate that freshly baked experience.
  • Plating: To plate the cake, use a dessert plate or a shallow bowl. Place a warm slice of the butter cake in the center.
  • Toppings: CPK often serves their butter cake with a drizzle of vanilla bean sauce or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You can replicate this by adding a generous scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream on top of the warm cake. Alternatively, you can create a simple vanilla sauce by mixing vanilla extract with powdered sugar and a small amount of milk or cream. Drizzle this sauce over the cake.
  • Garnish: For an extra touch of elegance, you can garnish the dessert with a fresh mint leaf or a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
  • Serve with Style: Present the dessert with care, making it look visually appealing. The contrast of warm cake and cold ice cream or sauce is not only delicious but also visually striking.
  • Enjoy Promptly: CPK's Butter Cake is best enjoyed promptly while it's warm and the flavors are at their peak. Encourage your guests to savor every bite of this delightful treat.


  1. Room Temperature Ingredients: Ensure that your butter, cream cheese, and eggs are at room temperature. This helps in achieving a smoother and more even batter.
  2. Measuring Flour: When measuring the flour, it's best to spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with a flat edge. This ensures you don't accidentally use too much flour, which can result in a dense cake.
  3. Do Not Overmix: When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix just until they are combined. Overmixing can lead to a tougher cake.
  4. Pan Preparation: Grease and flour your baking pan(s) thoroughly to prevent the cake from sticking. You can also line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper for easy removal.
  5. Testing for Doneness: Use the toothpick test to check for doneness. Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean or with just a few crumbs, the cake is ready.
  6. Cooling: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it. This helps it set and makes it easier to remove from the pan without breaking.
  7. Variations: Get creative with your cake. You can add lemon zest for a citrusy twist or fold in some chocolate chips or chopped nuts for added texture and flavor.
  8. Frosting: If you prefer a sweeter cake, consider making a cream cheese frosting to spread over the top. A simple cream cheese frosting can be made by combining cream cheese, powdered sugar, and a bit of vanilla extract.
  9. Serving: As mentioned earlier, serve the cake warm for the best experience, and consider adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of vanilla sauce for extra indulgence.
  10. Storing: Store any leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for a day or two, or in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. You can reheat slices in the microwave for a few seconds to enjoy them warm again.

Ingredient Substitutes

The followings are some common ingredient substitutes that you can use in the butter cake recipe:

  1. Butter: If you're looking to reduce the fat content or prefer a dairy-free option, you can substitute butter with an equal amount of vegetable oil, coconut oil, or a dairy-free butter alternative like margarine.
  2. Cream Cheese: If you want a dairy-free or vegan alternative to cream cheese, you can use a dairy-free cream cheese substitute made from ingredients like almonds, cashews, or tofu. These alternatives can often be found in health food stores or made at home.
  3. Eggs: To make the recipe egg-free, you can use egg replacers such as applesauce, mashed bananas, yogurt, or silken tofu. For each egg, you can generally substitute 1/4 cup of the chosen egg replacement.
  4. Milk: If you need a dairy-free option, you can replace the whole milk with almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or any other non-dairy milk of your choice. The flavor may vary slightly depending on the milk you choose.
  5. Vanilla Extract: If you don't have vanilla extract on hand, you can substitute it with vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence. You can also use almond extract for a different flavor profile.
  6. Sugar: You can experiment with different sweeteners. Granulated sugar can be replaced with brown sugar, coconut sugar, or a sugar substitute like Stevia or Erythritol for a lower-calorie version.
  7. Flour: If you want to make the cake gluten-free, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend as a substitute for regular all-purpose flour. Make sure it's a 1:1 replacement.
  8. Baking Powder: If you're out of baking powder, you can make your own by combining 1 part baking soda with 2 parts cream of tartar.
  9. Salt: If you're looking to reduce sodium, you can omit the salt entirely or use a smaller amount to suit your dietary preferences.


Embrace the joy of baking and savor the taste of CPK's Butter Cake in the comfort of your home. Dessert perfection awaits! 🍰✨

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