What happens when you combine Coca Cola with Chocolate in a cake? You get the decadent and indulgent Classic Coca Cola Chocolate Cake decorated with Cola Frosting. This sheet cake is moist and utterly delicious.
If you are a soda lover and a chocoholic as well, then there is not a better tasting cake you will ever have your hands on. The best part is – it is super easy to bake, bakes within minutes and will stay fresh for days. This coca cola chocolate cake recipe is a southern classic and simple yet elegant in appearance, taste and texture. 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. Chocolate and Coca Cola’s combination is a marriage made in heaven.
Origin of the Cake
This sheet cake is a staple of the Southern States of America. According to the historic reference there is no doubt this cake originated from the Southern States back in the 1950’s. There are recipe references when this recipe was first printed during that era. It is thought the Southerns used Coca Cola in the cake because they love their sodas (usually referring to it as Coke) and found a creative way to incorporate it in baking as well.
Coca Cola not only elevates the tastes but helps with the rising of the cake giving it a fluffy and airy texture. Precisely the first ever reference for this recipe was found in a printed recipe gazette in 1952. The recipe surfaced again in the 1990’s and become popular among the masses.
I think some of the best cakes and cookies originated from Southern States. My favorites are Southern Tea Cakes, Southern Pecan Praline Bundt Cake and Butter Pecan Cookies. But this cake has to be my most favorite Southern treat without a doubt. It is that gooood !! Finger-licking good !
Why should you bake this cake?
Because, these are pure slices of heaven, and because this cake is as moist as it can get and because no chocolate lover can stay away from trying this cake.
Why do I like this cake? Because I like to keep things simple yet elegant. I like Coca Cola and chocolate as well - to tell you the truth, until few years back I had no idea I could incorporate both into a cake and get the best ooey gooey chocolate cake. When I got my hands on this recipe, I didn't look back and kept baking this cake again and again on repeat. Once you try this recipe, you will know why.
Coca Cola as a Leavening Agnet
At first, adding soda in the cake can seem a strange idea or choice. But let me explain the role of Coca Cola in this cake. The carbonated soda will act as a leavening agent during baking process, making the cake height and airy, giving it a light and fluffy texture with a hint of soda. Remember, the soda is not strong in this cake and you can barely feel it.
The traditional Southern recipe calls for 1 ½ cup of mini marshmallows, which will melt in the batter and will add a gooey texture to the cake. I personally think this cake is good without marshmallows but it is definitely a personal choice. If you are a marshmallows fan, feel free to add them to the batter before putting the cake in the oven.
Note: Make sure to use small tiny dried marshmallows and not the regular big sized ones.
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 not stop you from getting an airy and fluffy cake with moist crumb.
There are many variations that you can try with this simple cake.
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.
Marshmallows: As I mentioned earlier, marshmallows are used in the traditional version of this recipe. Add the marshmallows in the batter before pouring the mixture into the pan.
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 !
The best part about this cake is that you do not need fancy ingredients for the cake. All the ingredients will be readily available in your pantry.
Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa Powder
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Step 2: Combine flour, castor/granulated sugar and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Whisk and set aside.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: Place the sheet pan 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.
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.
Storing: If you want to store the cake for a longer duration, do not apply the frosting. Apply it fresh when you are serving the cake.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes – absolutely, you may use Diet coke, Dr. Pepper or Cherry Coke for this recipe.
Yes, the mini marshmallows are used in the tradition version of this classic recipe. Add 1 ½ cup of mini marshmallows and add it in the last to the batter before pouring the batter to the cake tin.
The consistency of this cake is thin but will bake properly.
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.
The ganache infuses well into the cake while it is warm. It will penetrate in the cake that will give you a super moist crumb.
How to Store
On the Counter: The cake will keep fresh for up to 2 days in an airtight container on the counter.
In the Fridge: The cake will stay fresh for up to a week in the fridge.
In the Freezer; If you want to freeze the cake, do not apply the frosting. First freeze the whole cake tray and then remove the pieces and wrap it in plastic wraps and add a layer of foil. Now stash it in a Zip-loc bag and place in the freezer. It will stay good for up to 3 months.
Coca Cola Cake
Coca Cola Cake
- 1 cup coca cola (258 grams/ml)
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (240 grams)
- ½ cup buttermilk (120 grams/ml)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (227 grams)
- 2 cup castor sugar (400 grams)
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 grams)
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Coca Cola Frosting
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113 grams)
- ⅓ cup coca cola (43 grams)
- ¼ cup dutch process cocoa powder (25 grams)
- 3 cup icing sugar (390 grams)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract (10 grams/ml)
Coca Cola Cake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- 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.