Maggiano's Little Italy is one of the most popular Italian chain restaurants in the United States. They have great offerings for all courses, and Gigi's Butter Cake is one of their best desserts. But how can you make this cake at home? We've taken care of the delicious research to help you make your own Maggiano's, home-style.
To make Maggiano's butter cake at home, you start with a standard butter cake with the addition of almond extract. Make a brown butter glaze to soak the cake when it's done baking, and serve with whipped cream and fruit.
If you don't have your own go-to recipes for these, we've included our recipes to get you on your way to butter cake bliss.
In this article, you'll see recipes for the cake, the brown butter glaze, and even fruit sides such as Maggiano's roasted grapes. We'll also see how to reheat it in case you end up with leftovers and how to get Maggiano's delivered right to your door in case you'd rather skip the bake. Read on to learn all about it!
Butter Cake and Brown Butter Glaze Recipe
Gigi's butter cake is built upon a traditional butter cake base with a couple of tasty additions. This cake is flavored with almond as well as vanilla and is topped with a decadent brown butter glaze.
Here, we've got a recipe to help you whip this up on your own. If you already have a favorite butter cake recipe, try adding in a half teaspoon of almond extract to the batter and topping it with the brown butter glaze after baking.
- For the Cake
- 1 Cup of Sugar (granulated)
- 1 Cup of Butter (unsalted, softened)
- 3 Eggs (room temperature)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- For the Brown Butter Glaze
- 4 Tablespoons Butter (unsalted)
- 6 Tablespoons Sugar (granulated)
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Set the oven to 350º Fahrenheit (180º Celsius) to preheat.
- Beat together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. You can use a stand mixer or electric beaters. It's also possible to beat by hand, but it will take a lot of elbow grease.
- Add the eggs one at a time until incorporated into the butter mixture. Then, add the vanilla and almond extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
- Stir in a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined, then mix in a third of the milk. Repeat until all of the flour mixture and milk are in the batter.
- Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan and add the batter. You can also make individual portions for the real Maggiano's experience. To do so, see the notes below.
- Bake the cake until you can pierce you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean, around 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you make the brown butter glaze.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Swirl the butter and allow it to continue cooking until it turns brown and has a toasty, nutty aroma.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk in the sugar. Continue stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Whisk in the lemon juice and vanilla extract and continue to cook until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
- Use a skewer to poke holes into the butter cake, then drizzle the brown butter glaze over the cake. Let the syrup soak in for 5 minutes, then serve!
This recipe makes one large cake, but Maggiano's bakes their butter cakes in small, individual pans. You can do so with this recipe as well, but you'll want to cut the time.
Since individual cakes have a larger surface-area-to-volume ratio, they will cook more quickly. Plan for around 30 minutes, but times will vary depending on the size of your pans.
For individual cakes, you can simply pour the glaze on top of the cake instead of poking holes before turning them out.
What to Serve With Gigi's Butter Cake
This butter cake is rich and delicious all on its own, but it also plays nicely with others. In fact, Maggiano's serves it with some compliments on the side.
Depending on where and when you've had this cake at Maggiano's, it may have been served with different garnishes. These typically include some kind of fruit and cream. This makes a lot of sense, as the brightness of the fruit and the lightness of the cream can help balance this rich dessert.
Let's take a look at some of the classic options.
A classic option that goes along nicely with almost any cake, strawberries make a great garnish and foil to this butter cake as well. Strawberries have a freshness and tartness that balances the cake nicely.
You can use sliced fresh strawberries as is. You can also briefly cook them with some water, sugar, and cornstarch to glaze them and intensify the flavor. If you only have frozen strawberries, you can prepare a topping with them this way too, but they will be softer and not as fresh tasting.
You can see how to make a strawberry topping in the video below. Her method includes butter as a secret ingredient, but you might prefer it without to complement the butter cake.
While Maggiano's sometimes serves the butter cake with strawberries, the roasted grapes are their usual go-to for fruit. Everyone has seen cake served with strawberries, so roasted grapes can be a nice surprise for guests or a way to keep things interesting for yourself.
While strawberries can be used either fresh or cooked into a sauce, grapes really work best for this when cooked. The texture of raw grapes is too bouncy to work well as a cake garnish. Roasting also amps up the sweetness and tartness of these grapes.
To roast grapes, simply rub them in a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as canola oil, and toss them in a 425º Fahrenheit oven for 15 to 20 minutes. You'll know their done when the grapes are bursting from their skins.
To make these grapes even more sweet and tangy, you can add a splash of balsamic vinegar before roasting them. You can leave them on the stem or add some fresh thyme near the end of cooking for an aesthetically pleasing presentation.
Gigi's butter cake is often served alongside a dollop of fresh whipped cream, topped with a couple of mint leaves. The lightness of whipped cream offers a very nice contrast to the heaviness of the cake.
Of course, you can use store-bought whipped cream, but you might as well take advantage of the bake time and whip some up by hand. Simply whisk heavy whipping cream with a drop or two of vanilla extract or fresh vanilla beans and a small amount of sugar.
We recommend going light on the sugar since the cake is already quite sweet. However, you can adjust to your taste. You are, after all, the kings and queens of your cakes and creams.
How Do You Reheat Butter Cake?
If you somehow manage to have leftovers after making this butter cake, we applaud you. You have more willpower than us. You can enjoy this cake at room temperature, but it's really at its best heated up again.
Fortunately, reheating this cake is easy. Place the cake in an oven-proof dish and cover it with foil. Put it in the oven while it's still cold, then set the oven to 300º Fahrenheit. Starting in a cold oven helps the cake reheat gradually so it warms all the way through.
Remove once the cake is warm, but not so hot it's cooking more. This may take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on your oven.
How Many Calories Are in Gigi's Butter Cake?
If you want to enjoy Gigi's Butter Cake without worrying about the caloric impact, we recommend you scroll to the next section and don't look back. Go now, live and enjoy your life.
Now that it's just us calorie counters, you probably won't be surprised to learn that Gigi's butter cake packs a whopping caloric wallop: 1090 calories.
In terms of macronutrients, this cake contains 61 grams of fat, 134 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein. This means that roughly half of the calories come from fat (fat contains around 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates come in at around 4 calories per gram).
So is Gigi's Butter Cake a health food? Certainly not, but you knew that already. We can't advise that you have a serving of this cake after every meal, but indulging occasionally and sharing with good company and good conversation can be part of a healthy, happy life as long as you don't overdo it.
Does Maggiano's Deliver?
Following the recipe we've laid out, you'll have the closest thing you can get to Gigi's Butter Cake at home. But sometimes, you might want the real deal without the hassle of baking yourself.
Fortunately, many Maggiano's locations deliver, so that you can enjoy this cake or their other menu options without needing to leave your home. You can order delivery, to-go, and curbside pickup right on the Maggiano's Little Italy website.
If the Maggiano's nearest you doesn't offer delivery, you might still be in luck. Many delivery apps cover select locations. You can check UberEats, DoorDash, GrubHub, or other apps to see if your nearest location is covered.
Gigi's Butter Cake from Maggiano's Little Italy is more than a dessert. It is a piece of art. But now you don't need to go to the museum to savor it yourself. Armed with our recipe and tips, you'll be able to whip it up yourself at home, piece of cake. Or, on those lazy days, you can have it delivered right to your door.
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