While Arizona-grown Mastro’s restaurants, including Mastro’s Steakhouse, Mastro’s City Hall and Mastro’s Ocean Club, now boast locations in nine different states and is regularly touted nationwide for its award-winning steaks and impressive wine selection. Valley residents know the high-end North Scottsdale-founded restaurant for the true crown jewel of all the concepts’ dessert menus — the Mastro’s Signature Warm Butter Cake.
In fact, you’ll often hear Valley residents admit to skipping dinner all together in favor of enjoying the rich butter cake with a glass of wine. The signature dessert has even been featured in pop culture on shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” A quick Google search will turn up dozens of copycat recipes from aspiring home chefs. There’s been hundreds of articles noting its glory in publications nationwide, and there’s even an admittedly outdated Facebook page that was once dedicated to sharing news about the now time-honored dessert.
The home of the warm butter cake, the original Mastro’s Steakhouse, opened in North Scottsdale right before the turn of the century in 1999, a few short years later the legendary butter cake debuted on the menu. Since a lot has changed with Mastro’s being sold a couple years later in 2007 by its original founders and namesake leaders Jeff and Mike Mastro, who went on to open other successful concepts including Dominick’s Steakhouse, Steak 44, Ocean 44 and Steak 48, the butter cake has stayed the same.
The restaurant group is often regarded as having been able to maintain its consistency and high quality, even after that first sale to Kinderhook Industries, then to Houston-based restaurant, hospitality and entertainment group, Landry’s in 2013, leading to additional restaurants continuing to open nationwide.
While butter cakes of all kinds are loved far and wide, according to Justin Floerchinger, the regional executive chef for Mastro’s Restaurants, Mastro’s take on the classic dessert is successful because of its one-of-a-kind baking technique, which includes adding a sweet frosting before placing the cake in the oven.
“Mastro’s butter cake has a cult-like following which we are happy to support,” Floerchinger said. “The Signature Warm Butter Cake debuted in the mid-2000’s. Besides the rich taste, we believe the textures are the main reason why it is so popular.”
“The butter cake has a sweet cream cheese frosting that is layered on top of our yellow cake before it is baked. This melts into the batter – giving the cake its descriptive name. Then, it is flipped upside down before serving and raw sugar is bruleed on top creating a slightly crunchy layer,” he continued.
To finish off the cake, it’s served with fresh fruit and a generous scoop of ice cream, giving guests a super buttery, sweet and warm cake topped with cold ice cream and tart fruit — providing an addicting combination of textures and temperatures. We also recommend trying some of Mastro’s equally legendary whipped cream to go along with the cake to get the full butter cake experience.
As the cake’s popularity has grown over the last 15 years, the restaurant has even debuted different flavors of the cake. Two years ago, the restaurant launched the pumpkin spice butter cake for the fall. This version adds pumpkin, cloves, cinnamon and pumpkin spice to the classic yellow cake and is served with caramel sauce for extra autumn flavor.
Chocolate lovers can indulge in a limited edition chocolate version of the cake as well. This take features a devil’s food cake with chocolate chips that’s baked in the same unique way as the signature butter cake for a similar texture but with rich, chocolate flavor. It’s then served with chocolate ice cream, raspberry sauce and a white chocolate drizzle.
While these two flavors come and go, the Signature Warm Butter Cake is always available alongside more than a dozen other lesser-known desserts, which include pecan pie, cheesecake and gelato.