Recipe: Best.Cake.Ever.

I’ve never been much of a cake fan. Growing up I always requested either a pie or an ice cream cake as my birthday treat. Cake always seemed too dry and airy. I like my desserts dense and rich. Like a good thick, chewy brownie… mmm. I’ve since discovered that cake doesn’t have to mean dry and light and have found a few that really make my heart sing. This is one of them. And oh dear god, does it fit the bill.

Butter Cake Mastros

Enter the butter cake from Mastro’s Steakhouse in Beverly Hills. Every year for Numero Uno’s birthday, we go to an extravagant dinner at a steak house. Every once in a while we switch it up, but Mastro’s is the staple and this year was no exception. Usually we get a big group together, but since we had everyone out for our engagement party, we decided that a dinner for just the two of us would be nice.

We had been talking about this butter cake for weeks leading up to the dinner. We finally get to the dessert portion of the meal and out comes a “surprise” piece of chocolate cake with a candle and “Happy Birthday” written on the plate. In the past, when we’ve had a large group, a platter of each of the desserts (butter cake included) is presented and ends up getting devoured, despite the protestations of “no, no, I couldn’t possibly.”

Mastros Chocolate Cake

But this plate contained no butter cake. We felt that it would be too indulgent to order a second dessert, especially since we really were too full to even attempt to finish this one, as delicious as it was. So home we went with images of butter cake floating in our heads.

The next day, I felt bad that Numero Uno had missed out on his annual tradition. Always looking for an excuse to bake, I decided to recreate this cake at home for his actual birthday dinner on Sunday. I think I may have won “Best Fiancee of Life” award. No apologies for that (not so) humble brag. This ish was goooood.

I found several recipes online that recreated this masterpiece and all looked roughly the same, so I picked one and went with it. When you see the ingredients you’ll understand why it’s so dang good.

Mastro’s Warm Butter Cake

Cake Batter

  • 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray four mini springform pans* with baking spray. To prepare the cake batter, in a stand mixer cream butter, cream cheese, and sugar for 1-2 minutes (this will get super fluffy!). Add vanilla. Add eggs one at a time and beat on low for 20 seconds after each addition. Whisk flour and salt, then add to the creamed mixture. Beat on low until just incorporated, making sure not to over beat.

To prepare the cream cheese layer, in a small bowl whip together cream cheese and granulated sugar until creamed. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

Pour cake batter into prepared springform pans, then top each with an even layer of the cream cheese mixture. Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and sweetened whipped cream.

*Note: I did not have mini springform pans, so I substituted in four oven-safe bowls, which worked out perfectly. I also baked the cakes on top of a baking sheet to catch any spills.

The cake batter and cream cheese layer bake together and become one deliciously indulgent cake. These are so moist, dense, and delicious that you’ll have a hard time eating any other cake again. Making this batter into four cakes resulted in pretty large servings, given the richness. You could certainly make them in smaller bowls or even muffin tins for more manageable treat.


Cake Batter

Cake Batter

Cream Cheese Layer

Cream Cheese Layer

Cakes Prebake

Cakes Baked

Are you shocked that I didn’t get a picture of one flipped out and nicely presented with ice cream and whipped cream? Me neither.

What is your favorite re-created restaurant dish? Or, what dish would you love to re-create at home?

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