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Coca-Cola Cake Recipe

Coca-Cola Cake Recipe

The pressure was beginning to mount. What the hell was I supposed to contribute (as a hostess gift) to a garden/BBQ party thrown by two caterers? This was certainly one instance where slice n' bake cookies would not cut it (no pun intended).

Nothing says BBQ to me like "Texas," and nothing says "Texas" to me like my favorite Southern dessert: my mother's Coca-Cola cake. Trust me, this is the best chocolate cake that you will ever eat. Period.

Beautiful photo from:


Ingredients (cake)

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa (I like Ghirardelli, though my mom swears by Hershey's)
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients (icing)

  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 9 tablespoons Coca-Cola
  • 24 ounces (3 cups) confectioner's sugar (a.k.a. powdered sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine: sugar, flour and marshmallows. In a saucepan, add: butter, oil, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Stir frequently and bring to a boil. Pour over dry ingredients (sugar, flour, marshmallows), blending well. In a separate bowl, combine: baking soda and buttermilk, then eggs and vanilla. Whisk briefly, then fold in to batter, mixing well. Pour in to a greased 13'x9' pan (I use aluminum) and bake for 35-45 minutes, I typically set the timer for 40 min's.
While cake is baking, begin making icing (recipe below). Once cake is ready, remove from oven. Delicately prick holes in to cake (using a toothpick), then ice immidietly. This will allow the icing to seep in to the cake's crevices.

In a saucepan, combine: butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola. In a separate bowl, add confectioner's sugar. Pour boiled ingredients over confectioner's sugar and blend well. Add vanilla extract and continute to mix until icing is smooth and free of clumps. Evenly spread over hot cake.

*When cake has cooled, cut in to squares and serve. Cake can be stored in or out of fridge, covered

Coca Cola Cake

Coca Cola cake is an outrageously fudgy and moist chocolate cake slathered with an equally chocolatey pecan frosting. How amazing is that?

The cake itself is already to die for. Thanks to Coca Cola &ndash and this isn&rsquot a paid advertisement &ndash this cake is packed with flavor. The marshmallows give it a chewy crust, to boot.

Then there&rsquos the frosting. It&rsquos sweet, buttery, chocolatey, and loaded with pecans.

Together, the ingredients create a glorious harmony of flavors and textures that&rsquos impossible to resist.

This Coca Cola cake may just as well be called crack cake. It&rsquos just that addictive.

How to make a classic Southern Coca-Cola cake that truly tastes like soda

Leave it to Southerners to take a chocolate cake and figure out how to add more sugar to it. Our sweet teeth are, of course, legendary, so it isn't any wonder that we've figured out the best way to put saccharine sodas into our sheet cakes and pound cakes. There are 7-Up Cakes from Savannah and Dr. Pepper Cakes in Texas and even Ale-8-One ginger cakes in Kentucky, but the most famous of all is the Coca-Cola cake.

First published not in Atlanta — the home of the iconic soda brand — but in Charleston, West Virginia, recipes for Coca-Cola cake have made appearances in cookbooks and newspapers since the mid-20th century. Still, the cake remained more of a curiosity, its cupful of soda a secret ingredient of intrepid home bakers, until the mid 1990s, when the roadside chain Cracker Barrel added Double Chocolate Fudge cake to its menu.
Its closest analogue is the Texas sheet cake, a large, mildly chocolatey cake made with buttermilk and topped with a pecan and powdered sugar frosting. Like red velvet cake, Texas sheet cake and Coca-Cola cake both rely on careful chemistry for leavening. Instead of creaming butter and sugar, as one does for many layer and pound cakes, ratios of acidic and alkaline ingredients create carbon dioxide in the cake, causing it to rise and take on a slightly rosy hue.

In the case of Coca-Cola cake, you've got the Coke itself, plus buttermilk and cocoa powder acting as the cake's acids and a hefty scoop of baking soda to neutralize them. This style of cake is ultra easy and quick to throw together — it really is just stir and bake.

But what all of those tangy ingredients don't do is curb any of the sweetness of the cake. In fact, you'll find that most recipes call for the addition of anywhere from one to two cups of marshmallows, in addition to the soda and two types of sugar. It's a lot, and too much for me. (Feel free to bless my heart, as needed.) Even worse, all of that extra sugar covers up the herbaceous bitterness characteristic of Coca-Cola itself. Why even add all that soda if you can't taste it?

For my take on the iconic cake, I kept all of the soda and the sugar in the batter, but cut those 'mallows. I also decided to toast the pecans, and instead of stirring them into the frosting, as is traditional, I sprinkled them on top. Leaving a good quarter cup of the nuts barely chopped also gives the cake a bit of texture, counteracts some of the sweetness, and helps to bring out the inherent bitterness of the soda. Finally, I poured in just a touch more Coke into the frosting than is typical, giving it a drizzleable consistency and bold cola flavor. Poking holes in the top of the cake, a reader suggestion, helped the frosting soak into the cake, further upping flavor and moisture.

But hey, if you think I'm nuts for messing with a good thing, go ahead and add in your miniature Jet Puffs as you'd like. They'll melt into the batter and add, yep, more sweetness. Either way, you'll end up with an unbelievably moist and slightly sticky cake with a distinctive flavor that smacks of the South.

Coca-Cola Cake
Serves: 16
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Total time: About 1 hour, plus cooling time

2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Coca-Cola
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup Coca-Cola
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

To make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly butter a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and flour.

In medium saucepan, combine the Coca-Cola, butter, oil and cocoa and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat and pour over the dry ingredients. Mix well. Stir in the eggs and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Immediately stir into the batter mixture. Mix well and pour into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 45 minutes.

About 10 minutes before the cake is finished, make the frosting: Sift the powdered sugar into a second large bowl.

In a small saucepan, ​​​​​combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa. Place over medium heat and cook until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and pour over the powdered sugar. Add the vanilla and whisk until smooth.

When the cake is finished, use a toothpick or skewer to poke holes all over the surface. Pour the frosting over the hot cake, allowing it to seep into the holes. Top with the toasted pecans.

Let the frosted cake cool completely in the pan, cut into squares and serve.

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Photo (newspaper clipping): Yesterdish
Photo (cake): Kate Williams

Kate Williams is the former editor-in-chief of Southern Kitchen. She was also the on-air personality on our podcast, Sunday Supper. She's worked in food since 2009, including a two-year stint at America&rsquos Test Kitchen. Kate has been a personal chef, recipe developer, the food editor at a hyperlocal news site in Berkeley and a freelance writer for publications such as Serious Eats, Anova Culinary, The Cook&rsquos Cook and Berkeleyside. Kate is also an avid rock climber and occasionally dabbles in long-distance running. She makes a mean peach pie and likes her bourbon neat.

Coca-Cola Cake

2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
6 tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans

To make the cake: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly grease a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.

In a bowl, sift together the sugar and flour. Add the marshmallows.

In medium saucepan, combine the butter, oil, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over the dry ingredients blend well.

Dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk just before adding to the batter along with the eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: Place the powdered sugar in a large bowl.

In a medium saucepan, ​​​​​combine the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over the powdered sugar, blending well. Stir in the vanilla extract and pecans.

When the cake is finished, remove it from the oven and immediately spread the frosting over the hot cake.

Let the frosted cake cool completely in the pan, cut into squares and serve.

Per serving: 547 calories (percent of calories from fat, 42), 4 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 26 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 58 milligrams cholesterol, 229 milligrams sodium.

Make the frosting

Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

To make the frosting, cook the Coca-Cola in a pot for at least 10 to 12 minutes, or until the soda has reduced to half the size. Add in the butter and the cocoa powder, then whisk together. Once it starts boiling, add the sauce to a bowl with four cups of powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

This boiled icing is so easy to make! Start with whisking milk, butter, and cocoa powder together and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Spread it over the hot cake and let it cool. This frosting get’s thick quickly when it cools down so it’s best to start making it when you take the cake out of the oven. This way you can spread it immediately on it after whisking it up.


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Classic Cola Sheet Cake

The popular chocolate sheet cake made even sweeter by the addition of your favorite soft drink.

Many well-loved, classic recipes have one thing in common: their origins, while rooted in history, are sketchy and hard to trace. Such is the case for the Cola Cake. Most will agree that this indulgent creation is of Southern origins Coca-Cola was, of course, created in Atlanta, Georgia. Plus, Southern bakers are well known for creating rich desserts using whatever food items are on hand. One theory as to the cake&aposs beginning goes back to the days of World War II, when sugar, as well as other food items, was rationed and hard to come by. At that time, The Coca-Cola Company was the market leader in their industry and held the contract to supply the US military with soft drinks. The company was exempt from the sugar rationing imposed by the government, which allowed all the Coke sold in the United States to be made with sugar, while many of their competitors were forced to use less tasty sweeteners. Therefore, Coke was promoted as an alternative to sugar, and the soft drink found its way into ham glazes, barbecue sauces, and baked items.

Another theory is that The Coca-Cola Company wanted to expand into other markets in order to improve sales, so they began creating recipes using their products, in their own test kitchens. That theory may be true, but it seems more realistic that home cooks across the country simply created new recipes based on what products were available, whether it was sugar or an alternative.

Regardless of the history, a study of vintage, dog-eared, community cookbooks from around the South will usually produce some variation of this cake recipe. In 1970 Southern Living published Our Best Recipes, the first of many cookbooks, and included a recipe for Cola Cake calling for 2 cups of sugar as well as 1 cup of cola. It may be the added sweetness from the soft drink, or the extra tenderness and leavening afforded by the carbonation, but the cola cake has remained as popular and become as classic as the beverage that inspired it.

Similar to the Mississippi Mud Cake, the Classic Coal Cake can be baked, frosted, and transported in the same pan. For an added Southern twist, try this Peanut-Cola Cake.

Coca-Cola Cake

As much a confection as it is cake, this dessert combines two layers of chocolate goodness — a dense and caky brownie and fudgy topping. The two elements merge when the cake is pulled from the oven and, while hot, is covered in a generous swath of frosting. As the frosting settles down, it melts onto the surface and melds with it.

Full-sugar Coke is a must here.

Make Ahead: Bake and serve within 2 days, or wrap the baked cake well and freeze defrost completely before frosting.

Servings: 20

Yield: (makes one 9-by-13-inch cake)


For the cake: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use cooking oil spray to lightly grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan.

Whisk together the buttermilk and baking soda in a small nonreactive bowl. (The mixture should foam up a bit.)

Combine the butter, Coke and cocoa powder in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, sift the flour with the granulated sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with balloon-whisk attachment. Pour in the hot Coke mixture beat on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until well incorporated. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and buttermilk-baking soda mixture, mixing well, to form a thin batter. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 27 minutes, or until the cake has risen and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake sit in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes.

For the frosting: Sift together the confectioners' sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer.

Whisk together the butter and melted chocolate in a small bowl, until smooth. Add the vanilla extract. Pour the chocolate mixture over the confectioners' sugar-salt mixture, add the Coke and beat on low speed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until well combined and smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl often.

To use the frosting right away, carefully place dollops of it on top of the warm cake. Smooth them out with a small offset knife or spatula. The frosting will begin to melt down as you spread it, but it will firm up as it cools.

If you make the frosting in advance (while the cake is baking), press plastic wrap directly onto its surface.

  • Poke holes on the cake after baking, right before adding the frosting. That way, the frosting will seep down into the cake, making it extra fudgy and moist.
  • Don&rsquot like Coke? No problem! You can use other sodas such as root beer, Dr. Pepper, and Pepsi, as an alternative.
  • Since baking is an exact science, measure your ingredients as accurately as possible.
  • If you do not have salted butter available, you may use unsalted butter, but add a teaspoon of salt to the mix.
  • While we set the baking time to 30 minutes, the doneness of the cake still depends on your oven. Test using a toothpick or skewer to know if the cake is done.
  • Warm the cake in the microwave for a few seconds and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for that extra oomph!

Cracker Barrel&rsquos Chocolate Coca-Cola cake began as a happy accident. How on earth did a famous soda become a key ingredient to a chocolate cake? Well, here&rsquos the story.

It was 1997 when Cracker Barrel decided they wanted to incorporate Coke into more on their recipes. They had a long-standing relationship with Coke. And while Coca-Cola was becoming a common ingredient in savory dishes such as roasts and stews, it had never been used in a dessert. So Cracker Barrel felt it would make an interesting addition to their menu.

So, they asked a manufacturer to experiment on chocolate cake batters infused with Coke. To their surprise, the cake batter they received was even richer, denser, and darker than the one they created in their own kitchen.

What they found out later was that the outside company accidentally doubled the amount of cocoa in the recipe. Which resulted in a richer, fudgy, more decadent cake. And, just like that, the Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake was born.

The cake was initially offered periodically in 1997, but because of the high demand for the product, Cracker Barrel added it permanently to their menu in 2009.

You can now buy the entire cake. Which is perfect for potlucks and family get-together&rsquos. Of course it&rsquos also available in single slices. To be enjoyed after your meal or as a midnight snack.

To this day, the original Cracker Barrel recipe remains a secret, but thanks to the above copycat recipe, you can make this rich, decadent dessert at home at a fraction of the cost.

Buttermilk: Oh, buttermilk. One of those ingredients that you either always have in your fridge, or you never have in your fridge. There is no in between. If you’re not an avid baker, chances are you definitely do not have buttermilk on hand frequently, if ever. Buttermilk is fantastic for baking, as it adds a very subtle tang along with tenderness to the batters it’s added to. In my opinion, there should never be a Coca Cola cake without buttermilk! I highly recommend making sure you grab some for this recipe, but in a pinch, you can use the following substitute:

  • Buttermilk Substitute:
    • 1 Tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice
    • 1 C milk
    • Stir, let stand for 5 minutes
    • This recipe will be equal to one cup of buttermilk

    Cinnamon and Marshmallows: If you’ve perused recipes for a while, you’ll find that many people add cinnamon and mini marshmallows (previously discussed) to their Coca Cola cake. I love both of these ingredients but for me, it’s just not how we grew up enjoying this cake. It’s not how we traditionally made Coca Cola cake.

    Glaze: This cake is delicious on its own, but the glaze, added while the cake is still warm, adds a fudge-tastic topping that completes it.

    Three things are very important in our Coca Cola cake icing instructions:

    • Making the glaze while the cake is in the oven.
    • Pouring while the cake is still hot.
    • Ensuring that the Coca Cola has boiled down to half a cup. If the Coke does not reduce and thicken up, you’ll be left with a glaze that’s too runny and seriously lacking in fudge.

    Powdered Sugar: Nobody wants a lumpy glaze on a Coca Cola cake. Sift your powdered sugar. You want it to blend in smoothly to the glaze and avoid white lumps!

    Diet Coca Cola: N o. Just a Big No. Don’t do it. This, and all other, Coca Cola cake recipes call for regular Coca Cola only!

    Double Up on Chocolate: As I said above, this cake has a lovely, medium chocolate intensity. If you want to make it with a deeper chocolate intensity, here’s how to create a double chocolate Coca Cola cake :

    Make the following adjustments to the recipe below:

    • Add 1/2 cup cocoa to the cake instead of the 1/4 cup called for.
    • For the frosting:
      • Boil your Coke down to ¼ a cup instead of a ½.
      • Add ¼ a cup of chocolate syrup to make up for the lost pop.
      • Reduce your powdered sugar to 3 cups (still sift it well!)
      • Add ½ cup cocoa powder instead of 1/4 cup

      Interested in mega chocolate? Use dark chocolate cocoa powder . Holy. Moly.

      Making Coca Cola Cake with Cake Mix: I often use cake mixes in my recipes, but with this cake being so EASY to make and the fact that it always comes out so amazingly moist and delicious, this is a time I never even think about using a cake mix.

      Watch the video: Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. Sallys Classics. Sallys Welt (January 2022).