Our Coca Cola Cake has been a Southern tradition for generations. A sweet, fudgy, crazy moist cake with a thick fudgy icing. Quick and easy to put together!
This is one of those easy, always made from scratch cakes my family grew up eating. It’s an old fashioned Coca Cola cake recipe and tried and true classic.
WHAT IS COCA COLA CAKE?
Coca Cola cake is, according to historians, Southern in origin. Whether or not it stems from home kitchens, or simply a Coca Cola marketing team, there’s no doubt that it’s a staple favorite at many, many family and social gatherings.
Other versions of this cake can be found all over the internet, from the easy Coca Cola cake with cake mix recipes, to the Coca Cola cake recipe Southern Living recommends. This is the recipe that has been passed down to me from my Grandma and been made more times than any of us dare count! Now that leads me to my next point, marshmallows!
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COCA COLA CAKE WITHOUT MARSHMALLOW?
Okay, the burning question? Did the original recipe call for mini marshmallows to be added to the batter? Honestly, I don’t know! My recipe doesn’t. Since my grandmother never used them while making this cake, I stick to her way. But not just to follow tradition, I do it because her recipe is amazing!
I love marshmallows, but adding marshmallows to this type of cake make it taste more like Mississippi Mud Cake than the Coca-Cola cake we’re aiming for. To back me up in the “no marshmallow camp” I must point, out that Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake omits them and the Coca Cola cake recipe Paula Deen makes does as well. Just Sayin guys!
**WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT THIS RECIPE**
- The Frosting to Cake Ratio.
- The Off-The-Charts Moistness of the Cake.
- The Incredible Fudge Frosting.
- The Way it Freezes So Beautifully!
CAN COCA COLA CAKE BE FROZEN?
Calling all planners! Coca Cola cake can definitely be frozen. When freezing, be sure that you’ve already frosted the cake while hot. Let it cool, then cover and freeze! A side benefit as to why this cake is so amazing is how well the leftovers freeze. The fudgy and oh, so delicious taste remains! Oh darn, I made too much …not!
Tip: Cut the cake into pieces before you pop it in the freezer. This way, you already have individual slices to let thaw or warm for a few seconds in the microwave.
WHAT DOES COCA COLA CAKE TASTE LIKE?
Heaven. Next question. Just kidding! Most people assume that Coca Cola cake would just taste like Coca Cola. Spoiler alert! It really doesn’t. The carbonated beverage we’ve all come to know and love has been invited to this party to make the cake moist, airy and fudgy all at the same time.
Honestly, its the uniquely moist texture that sets this cake apart from other chocolate sheet cakes. Texas Sheet Cake would be a good example of a similar chocolate sheet cake. Both have the perfect cake to icing ratio in my opinion! Texas sheet cake is a denser, deeper chocolate flavor, while Coco Cola Cake has a medium chocolate intensity, is less dense and more cakey, and even more moist.
Recipe Notes For Coca Cola Cake:
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: No. 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.
Coca Cola Cake
- 2 Cups Sugar
- 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Can (12 Ounces) Coca Cola Regular-Not Diet
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter Cut Into Cubes
- 2 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
- 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
- 1 Can (12 Ounces) Coca Cola Regular-Not Diet
- 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter Cut Into Cubes
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
- 3 3/4 Cups Confectioners' Sugar Sifted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray with nonstick cooking spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan.
- Whisk the first 4 ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the Coca Cola, cocoa, and butter and bring just to a boil, over medium-high, stirring occasionally. Pour into flour mixture and stir until blended.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla together then whisk into flour mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Start making the glaze the last 15 minutes before the cake is done baking. In a saucepan, bring the Coca Cola to a boil, over medium-high; continue to cook 12-15 minutes or until soda has been reduced to 1/2 a cup.
- Stir in the butter, and cocoa until the butter has melted. Remove from heat, add vanilla and Confectioners' Sugar and mix until smooth. Pour immediately over hot cake.
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Want to Try More of Our Favorite Sheet Cakes……
Pineapple Sheet Cake – Our pineapple-studded cake drenched in a sweet, creamy coconut icing, with crispy toasted pecans on top. You’ll be dreaming of beach vacations and tropical cocktails after just one bite!
Caramel Apple Sheet Cake – This cake is Super Moist, Deliciously Spiced, Cake loaded with chunks of fresh Apple all topped off with a Luscious Caramel Icing!
Coconut Sheet Cake – This cake is incredibly delicious, super moist, Coconut Sheet Cake topped with a perfect Coconut frosting.
More Chocolate Cake…
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake is Rich, Uber Chocolatey, and Super Moist! We Start With a Cake Mix So Not Ony Is this Delicious, It’s Easy To Make Too!
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Originally Published on Centsless Meals