Copycat California Pizza Kitchen Butter Cake Recipe

This California Pizza Kitchen Butter Cake recipe is dense, sweet, moist, and maybe even better than the original!

Served warm, it’s kind of like a sugar cookie, and a pound cake had a baby. So it’s buttery, tender, and pretty much to die for.

How To Make California Pizza Kitchen’s Butter Cake 

This CPK Butter Cake is unique because it consists of two layers.

First, you have a dense and tender butter cake on the bottom that’s insanely delicious. This would be incredible on its own!

But then, you’ll add a decadent cream cheese layer that’s a little like cheesecake.

As it bakes, the whole thing infuses together to make one incredible dessert.

Another key to making this just right is the size. It’s perfect because it’s made in individual portions and served warm, right from the oven.

This way, you know it will be wonderfully crisp around the edges with an insanely moist and fudgy center.

I don’t recommend making this in a large pan because it will likely overcook on the edges before the middle is ready.

How To Serve California Pizza Kitchen’s Butter Cake

So yes, CKP Butter Cake should be served warm with a big scoop of decent vanilla ice cream.

But I’ve had a lot of luck serving it cold too! Drizzled with a little lemon glaze and topped with fresh berries, for example. Yum!

Another great option is to add a drizzle of salted caramel before adding the ice cream! Just remember to let the cake cool a little before you dump on the ice cream' otherwise it’ll squish like mine below :-)

California Pizza Kitchen’s Butter Cake

This recipe is enough for 4 servings - I like to use ramekins. Remember to take out all the ingredients about 30 minutes early so they can come to room temperature!

Cake Batter Ingredients:

  • 215 grams of Unsalted Butter (1 cup)
  • 55 grams of Cream Cheese (2 ounces)
  • 225 grams of White Sugar (1 cup)
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Salt
  • 90 grams of All-Purpose Flour (3/4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract/Paste

Cream Cheese Layer Ingredients:

  • 60 grams of Cream Cheese (3 ounces)
  • 35 grams of White Sugar (3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 large Egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract/Paste


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F/ 163°C and spray the ramekins with cooking spray. Line the bottom of each with a disc of parchment paper.

For the Cake Batter:

  1. Beat the butter and cream cheese (cake batter) until smooth, then incorporate the sugar in a large bowl. Mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix until fully incorporated. 
  3. Add the salt and half of the flour to the bowl and gently stir with a spatula.
  4. Add the rest of the flour and gently mix until you no longer see flour streaks.
  5. Set the cake batter aside. 

For the Cream Cheese Layer:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined in a medium bowl. 
  2. Add the half egg (whisk a whole egg in a small bowl and add half to the batter by weight).
  3. Add the vanilla and mix until smooth and lump-free.
  4. Set aside. 

For the Butter Cake:

  1. Place the ramekins on a cookie sheet so you can move them around easily.
  2. Divide the cake batter between the four greased ramekins. It should be about 1 cup each.
  3. Gently smooth the top with a spatula or butter knife. 
  4. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the four ramekins, pouring it on top of the cake batter. It should be pretty thin.
  5. Bake the butter cakes for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. 
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly on a wire rack - about 5-10 minutes. 
  7. Run a butter knife around the edges and release the cakes onto plates. 
  8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

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