Coca Cola cake is an outrageously fudgy chocolate cake slathered with an equally chocolatey frosting.
Thanks to Coca Cola and hidden marshmallows, this cake is full of flavor. Add some chopped nuts on top, and it’s pretty hard to stick to just one slice.
Honestly, it should really be called crack cake because it’s 100% addictive.
Classic Coca-Cola Cake
Coca Cola cake is a classic southern dessert. It uses Coke for two reasons: flavor and structure.
The soda enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder, while the carbonation helps it rise. The result is a high, moist, drool-worthy dessert.
But wait, there’s a surprise.
As the cake bakes, the mini marshmallows float to the top. Leaving you with gooey melted morsels hiding underneath a chewy brownie-like crust.
It’s hands down the king of soda-infused cakes!
Aside from Coca-Cola, all the other ingredients are pretty standard for this chocolate cake recipe.
Here’s what you need:
For the Cake:
- All-Purpose Flour. The base of any cake.
- Granulated Sugar. For sweetness.
- Baking Soda. The leavening agent that makes the cake rise.
- Butter. For a rich cake. Slice it into small chunks for faster melting. Either salted or unsalted butter works fine.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. For that rich, chocolatey goodness.
- Coca Cola. It’s called Coca Cola Cake, after all! Don’t use Diet Coke – now is not the time to watch your weight.
- Buttermilk. For extra moisture and richness.
- Eggs. To bind the ingredients together and help the cake rise.
- Vanilla Extract. Flavor enhancer.
- Mini-Marshmallows. A key ingredient to achieving that chewy crust.
For the Frosting:
- Butter. Nothing beats a buttery frosting. I like to use salted butter to contrast the sweetness of the sugar.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Double the chocolate, double the fun.
- Coca-Cola. Boil it along with the butter and cocoa powder for a concentrated flavor.
- Powdered Sugar. You’ll use 4 cups, but you can add more or less to suit your taste. Just note that the consistency will change depending on the amount used.
- Nuts. For added crunch. I like pecans or almonds.
How to Make Coca-Cola Cake
Ready to devour a slice? Then grab your ingredients, and let’s bake!
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with oil or butter.
2. Sift the dry ingredients. That’s the flour, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Boil and mix. Boil 1 cup of butter, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1 cup of Coca Cola. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and mix gently.
4. Stir in the remaining ingredients. That’s the buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, and mini marshmallows. Use a spatula until the batter is well combined.
5. Bake. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 40 minutes or until fully cooked. Let the cake cool on a wire rack.
6. Prepare the frosting. Combine 1/2 cup of butter, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 6 tablespoons of Coca-Cola in a saucepan. Cook until it boils, then beat in the powdered sugar.
7. Frost the cake and serve. Spread the frosting evenly over the warm cake. Add the nuts, if using. Then slice and enjoy!
Tips for the Best Cake
Want to create the picture-perfect Coca Cola cake? Just follow these nifty tips:
- Sift and measure the dry ingredients. For a lump-free batter, sift the dry ingredients. Also, be sure to measure the flour by spooning it into the cup – not scooping and packing it in.
- Let the cake cool before slicing. I know it’s hard to wait, but the cake needs to cool completely. That way, you get a clean slice.
- No buttermilk? Make your own by combining 1/2 cup of milk with 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Give it a good stir and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Use quality cocoa powder. You can use either Dutch-process or regular. Dutch will yield a darker cake. Either way, good quality has the best test.
- Try other nuts. Aside from pecans and almonds, you can use walnuts, macadamias, cashews, or pistachios.
- Serve warm or cold. The cake is delicious both ways! For warm, microwave a slice for 10-15 seconds, and the glaze gets all melty. Top with vanilla ice cream for an extra special treat.
How to Store
I love making this cake ahead of time for special occasions. It’s always such a big hit, and it serves a crowd.
What I love even more is having leftovers on hand!
It’s the perfect solution to those indulgent chocolate cravings. They’re also nice to have for unexpected guests.
Here’s how to store them:
To Store: Wrap the cake in the baking dish with plastic wrap or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To Freeze: For make-ahead chocolate cake, wrap it, unfrosted, tightly in plastic wrap and foil. Transfer leftovers to a freezer-friendly tub. Freeze both for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Coca Cola cake taste like?
Coca-Cola cakes taste super chocolatey and perfectly rich. The soda adds more depth and complexity, enhancing the chocolate flavor.
You can’t really put your finger on this special ingredient. But you know it’s extra delicious because of it!
What are the Origins of Coca Cola Cake?
The origins of Coca Cola cake are a little fuzzy. However, the Charleston Gazette gained credit for publishing the first recipe in 1952.
In the 1960s, the cakes started catching on.
Soda was a game-changer for cake leavening. And thanks to strategic marketing strategies, the genius idea spread.
The cake became so popular that Cracker Barrel added it to their menu in 1997.
Can I Use Other Sodas to Make a Cake?
You definitely can. Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and root beer are some ideas.
Just keep in mind that the cake will vary in flavor depending on the soda you add.
More Soda Cake Recipes to Try
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