UPDATE: Caution before making this recipe. I have been receiving feedback that about 50% of the time the result are not great. The cakes sink in the middle and are too wet & greasy from all the butter. I also get feedback that the Butter Cakes worked great. I need to work on the recipe and try to figure out why this recipe is not 100% successful for everyone. Check back in a few weeks.
I just discovered Warm Butter Cake. Unfortunately. A toasty butter cake, topped with a thin layer of vanilla cheesecake, and that topped with a sweet crunchy sugar crust. Yes, a blow torch is involved. It is warmed, and served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Just one bite and I entered a meditative state while the buttery goodness slowly dissolved in my mouth.
I heard so much about the Warm Butter Cake dessert served at Mastro’s Steakhouse and California Pizza Kitchen that I just had to try it. Yes, you can go to either of those wonderful restaurants and order it any time you want. I don’t know where the recipe originated but I adapted this one from Epicurious.com that matched all the copycat recipes. It is actually easy to make, and very dangerous to know that.
Now for the bad news. This recipes calls for 4 sticks of butter and 1 package of cream cheese for 6 individual cakes. I started to add up all the calories and carbs and stopped at 1000 per cake. At that point what difference does it make. This is going to be my new special occasion treat, in addition to dark chocolate of course. Cold Butter Cake is even wonderful for breakfast with a cup of Italian roast coffee. These are great make-ahead desserts, and just need to be warmed in the microwave for 1 minute before serving. UPDATE: I updated the recipe to chill the cooked cakes in the fridge overnight to avoid mushy centers. This seems to solve the problem some people were having. Warm in microwave before adding the brûlée topping and serve.
Try to use the mini-springform cake pans if you can. You can purchase them at Amazon here. You can also use oversized Ramekins. The kitchen torch I used is filled with butane and is a wonderful tool to have on hand for small jobs. Here is a good home use one and don’t forget to order the butane cartridge.
The Epicurious recipe actually made only 4 individual cakes, but I stretched the batter to six cakes. The recipe makes a lot of batter, and filling them to the top risks spill over. Honestly the cake is so rich it does not need to be so big. I found that 6 pans filled 3/4’s of the way made the perfect size cake.
Warm Butter Cake or 1000 Calories of Bliss
- 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Layer
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar + 6 teaspoons for top
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees (do not use convection). It's best to make the cakes a day ahead of time and chilled in fridge overnight.
- Spray 6 mini springform pans with baking spray. Place pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Prepare the cake batter
- In a stand mixer cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar for 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat on low for 20 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix one more time.
- Whisk flour and salt, then slowly add to the creamed mixture. Beat on low until just incorporated, making sure not to over beat.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pans filling them almost 3/4's of the way up.
Prepare the cream cheese layer
- In a the stand mixer bowl, whip together cream cheese and granulated sugar until creamed. Scrape sides and add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat again until smooth and fully combined.
- Ladle he cream cheese mixture on top of the butter cake batter. Wipe any batter from the top of each pan.
- Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cakes. Continue cooking for another 5-15 minutes if needed, checking at 5 minutes intervals.
- Remove from oven and let the cakes cool in the pan. Wrap each cake with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve, remove cake from pan, and place on a serving plate. (If desired, microwave the cake until warm for approximately 30 seconds). Sprinkle one teaspoon of sugar on top and with a kitchen blow torch brûlée the top and sides of the cake to caramelize the sugar crystals.
- Serve immediately with one scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top or just whipped cream.