Coca-Cola Cake

I’ve had a strange fascination with this cake for a long time, yet I’ve never made it. There’s something about the thought of making a cake with a Coke that intrigues me. Sort of in a how-can-that-possibly-work way.

This particular recipe comes from Classic Southern Desserts by Southern Living. I don’t know if this cake truly has Southern origins, but it certainly seems Southern enough to me. I mean, who else would pour Coca-Cola into a cake?

Coca-Cola Cake is a rich, sweet, nutty chocolate cake flavored with Coca-Cola. Always a crowd-pleaser!

Here’s my first warning about this cake. Timing is everything. Getting the cake finished and the frosting done at the right times can be tricky. The frosting mixes up pretty quickly, so it is possible to make it after the cake is finished. I’d recommend having all of the frosting ingredients ready so you can get started when the cake comes out of the oven.

And, now for the second warning. This cake is sweet. Really sweet. I don’t know that I really taste Coca-Cola in it, but I certainly can taste all the sugar and chocolate. I’m not saying this as a negative. Just know that small slices are your friend.

Coca-Cola Cake is a wonderfully sweet, rich, nutty cake. Great for feeding a crowd!

This is really a simple, beautiful cake. It’s delicious, and it smells heavenly. Even with it covered, I could smell its tempting aroma every time I walked by it in my kitchen. If you’re a bit hesitant (as I was) about the Coke aspect, don’t be. All the Coke and marshmallows and such just serve to accentuate the chocolate. This is essentially a chocolate cake. And what could possibly be wrong with that?

Yield: one 9"x 13" cake

Coca-Cola Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Coca-Cola Cake


For the cake:

  • 1 cup (236ml) Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) buttermilk
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 & 3/4 cups (350g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (64g) miniature marshmallows

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup (78g) Coca-Cola
  • 3 tablespoons (15g) unsweetened cocoa
  • 16 ounces (454g) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (90g) chopped pecans, toasted


To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9″x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Using an electric mixer on low speed, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until blended.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with the Coca-Cola mixture. Begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in the marshmallows.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before frosting.

To make the frosting:

  1. Place the butter, Coca-Cola, and cocoa in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted.
  2. Remove from heat. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla.
  3. Immediately pour the frosting over the warm cake. (Do not make frosting ahead!) Sprinkle with pecans.


Recipe slightly adapted from Classic Southern Desserts.

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