This decadent and indulgent Old-Fashioned Coca Cola Chocolate Cake is a Southern Classic with a tender, soft and light crumb. Furthermore, it is decorated with a silky Coca Cola frosting. This easy recipe uses regular coke, and if you are a coca cola and a chocolate love you gotta try this decadent chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Love chocolate? Try my Chocolate Sour Cream Pound Cake, Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake, Condensed Milk Brownies and Chocolate Covered Pecans.
This Texas sheet cake is a moist chocolate cake made with coke. The chocolate coca cola gooey glaze seeps through the pores of the crust of the cake and gives you a super-moist and delicious crumb that just melts in the mouth with subtle hint of soda.
It is one of my most favorite chocolate cakes and great cake recipes that I keep handy. It is a perfect dessert to lighten up any day or event.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- This delicious coca cola cake is super easy to bake.
- The key ingredient of this old-fashioned coca-cola cake is coca cola or coke.
- You need a few ingredients to bake this cake.
- It is a Southern Classic and traditional recipe that was created around mid-20th century.
- This old-fashioned southern favorite is a simple yet elegant cake.
- Texture-wise this cake has a smooth, light, airy
and fluffy crumb.
- This classic chocolate cake has a delicious and fudgy icing that is poured over the top of the warm cake.
- Not only the carbonated chocolate coca-cola cake is amazingly delicious, but the coca cola frosting also seeps through the cake taking the cake one step further.
Origin Of The Coca Cola Cake
This Texas sheet cake made in a 9 x 13 inch cake pan with real coca-cola is a staple of the Southern States of America. According to the historic reference this chocolate coke cake first originated in the Southern States back in the 1950’s.
The earliest reference of this recipe is found in newspaper articles printed during that era. Precisely the first ever reference for soda cakes was found in a printed recipe gazette in 1952. The recipe surfaced again in the 1990’s and become popular among the masses and people baked this cake for social gatherings.
The Southerns started using the Coca Cola cake because they love their soda. Incorporating the cola or coke (as they say) was a creative way to incorporate soda in baking as well.
Do you love Southern baking recipes like me? Try my personal favorites: Southern Tea Cakes, Southern Pecan Praline Bundt Cake and Butter Pecan Cookies.
Soda or Carbonated Drink As Leavening Agent
Adding soda or coca cola to cake might sound a strange idea at first but let me try to dissect it for you. The carbonated soda acts as a leavening agent during baking. How? It gives the cake height and lifts it up giving the cake a tender, light, airy and fluffy crumb.
The carbon dioxide bubbles in coca cola act as a leavening agent just like baking powder or baking soda in cakes and cookies.
This old fashioned coca cola cake recipe uses coca cola precisely for this purpose. Not only the soda helps to lift the cake, makes a delicious cake but it is also responsible for the light and airy texture. Exactly the role of carbonated cola in a bake.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
Coca Cola Cake:
- All-purpose flour: gives the structure to this coca cola cake.
- Coca-Cola: we are using two cans. First for the cake and the second can of coca cola is used for the silky, fudgy icing to spread on the top of the cake.
- Buttermilk: used as a tenderizer and gives the tangy flavor.
Butter (unsalted): use high-quality butter for this cake.
- Granulated white sugar: for sweetness of the cake.
- Eggs: helps with binding and emulsification and structure of the cake.
- Vanilla extract: enhances the overall flavor.
- Dutch Cocoa Powder (unsweetened): use high-quality dutch cocoa powder for enhanced color and flavor.
- Baking soda: leavening agent to lift up the cake.
- Salt: balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
Coca Cola Frosting:
- Butter: use high-quality unsalted butter.
- Coca cola: hero of this frosting.
- Icing sugar: the sweetness of the frosting.
- Dutch process cocoa powder: use high quality dutch cocoa powder.
- Vanilla extract: enhances the flavor of the frosting.
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and spray it with a baking or cooking spray.
- In a large bowl add combine flour, granulated sugar and baking soda. Whisk and set aside.
- Take a medium sized saucepan and put it on the stove at medium heat. Melt butter then add cocoa powder and coca cola. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.
- Pour this coca cola mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix until combined.
- Pour the cake in the Texas sheet pan and place in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes. Check with a toothpick and if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs when inserted in the center of the cake, remove the cake out of the oven.
- 9'' x 13'' cake pan.
- Electric mixer or hand mixer.
- Large mixing bowl.
- Nonstick cooking spray or baking spray.
- Rubber spatula.
- Digital scale.
- Medium sized saucepan.
Use Of Marshmallows
- Marshmallows: The traditional Southern recipe of this coca-cola cake recipe calls for 1 ½ cup of mini or miniature marshmallows. They will melt in the batter and add a gooey texture to the cake. If you are a marshmallows fan, add it to the batter after adding the coca cola mixture. Mix and pour the batter in the cake pan.
Note: Use small tiny dried marshmallows and not the regular big sized ones.
- Diet Coke: If you are counting your calories and mindful of the sugar intake, replace the regular Coca Cola with Diet Coke in the same amount.
- Dr. Pepper: You can substitute Coca Cola with Dr. Pepper too. This depends on your personal choice.
- Cherry Coke: Cherry Coke is another option that works well with this cake.
- Pecans/Walnuts: Feel free to add the pecans or walnuts in the frosting if you like it that way. Add 1 cup of pecans or walnuts to the frosting.
- Vanilla Ice-Cream: Serve this cake with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream to further enhance the fudgy chocolatey cake flavor. Yummy !
- Nuts: Add ½ cup of nuts of your choice in the batter. You can use pecans or walnuts in this cake.
Frosting: Pour the frosting over the cake while the cake is still warm. It will help the frosting to set properly and the ganache will seep into the cake as well, making it more flavorful and moist.
Dutch Process Cocoa Powder: Use Dutch Process Cocoa Powder to give the darker hue to the cake. Also the Dutch Process Cocoa has a smoother and more mellow flavor than the regular cocoa powder. But if you do not have the Dutch Cocoa Powder available, substitute it with the regular cocoa powder in same amount.
Thin Batter: The consistency of the batter of the cake is thin just like my Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake and Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake. But nothing to worry about. The thin batter will give you a light and fluffy crumb.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes – absolutely, you may use Diet coke, Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke for this recipe.
Yes, you may. The consistency of the frosting is relatively thin yet it gives you a good coating on the cake. If you would like more thick consistency, just boil the coke mixture a little more and wait for the Cola to evaporate a bit reducing to half the amount. Now add this reduced Cola mixture to the icing sugar and you will get a thick frosting.
The ganache infuses well into the cake while it is warm. It will penetrate and seep through the cake giving you a super moist and tender crumb.
How to Store
Note: Do not apply frosting if you plan to save the cake. Add the frosting while serving.
- The cake will keep fresh for up to 2 days in an airtight container on the counter.
- The cake will stay fresh for up to a week in the fridge (without frosting).
- Place the cake pieces in a cake tray and let them harden up in the freezer for an hour or so. Once they are hard, remove the cake pieces and wrap them in plastic wrap and add a layer of foil. Place the cake pieces in a Zip-loc bag and freeze for three months.
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Old-Fashioned Classic Coca Cola Cake
- 1 9 x 13 inch sheet pan.
- Large mixing bowls.
- Rubber Spatula
- Electric mixer or hand mixer.
- Digital Scale
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Coca Cola Cake
- 1 cup coca cola (258 ml)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (240 g)
- ½ cup buttermilk (120 ml)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 g)
- 2 cup castor sugar (400 g)
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa (30 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Coca Cola Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113 g)
- ⅓ cup coca cola (43 g)
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa powder (30 g)
- 3 cup icing sugar (360 g)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (10 ml)
Coca Cola Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 13-inch sheet pan.
- Sift together flour, castor sugar, salt and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk and set aside.
- Take a medium sized saucepan. Melt butter at medium heat and add cocoa powder and coca cola. Bring to a boil and pour this mixture over the dry ingredients.
- Take another bowl and whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Pour it on the cola mixture.
- Place the tin in the pre-heated oven for 25 – 30 minutes in the middle rack of the oven. Check with a toothpick and remove if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs when inserted in the center of the cake.
Coca Cola Frosting
- Take a big bowl and sift the icing sugar.
- In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter. Add cocoa powder and coca cola. Bring it to a boil.
- Add the cocoa mixture to the icing sugar. Add the vanilla extract and mix until it turns into a medium consistency frosting.
- Apply the frosting on the warm cake and let it sit for 20 minutes.
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