This easy Coca-Cola cake recipe is an old-fashioned Southern favorite, with a rich, deliciously moist, and fluffy chocolate cake topped with fudgy chocolate frosting.
Now, I first posted this Coca-Cola cake recipe back in 2008. If you’d like to see the original post (and some awfully cute pictures of my kids when they were little), click here.
Good afternoon, Southern Plate friends! Today I’m bringing you an updated version of my easy Coca-Cola cake recipe, which is loved by everyone who tries it. Seriously. This is a Southern classic dessert that you might know because it’s a favorite at Cracker Barrel. Every bite of coke cake is ultra moist, rich, and fudgy. It’s also pretty easy to make (don’t let the length of the recipe fool ya). As always, the complete recipe is in printable format at the end of this post.
This chocolate Texas sheet cake is the perfect birthday cake, weeknight supper cake, Sabbath dinner cake, or any other occasion that you can come up with which calls for celebration (New haircut? Fill up your gas tank? Manage to open that stubborn jar of pickles all by yourself? Congratulations! YOU NEED THIS CAKE).
So, what ingredients do you need to make Southern Coca-Cola cake? We start with a white cake mix, then add cocoa powder for that rich chocolate flavor, buttermilk for uber-moistness, coke to make it light and fluffy, butter, eggs, vanilla (baking essentials), and mini marshmallows. The instructions are as simple as mixing the cake batter, baking it in the oven, and then cooking the warm chocolate coke frosting.
Surely I’ve convinced you to give this coke cake recipe a go now?
- Boxed white cake mix
- Cocoa powder
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
- Mini marshmallows
- Powdered sugar
- Chopped pecans (if you like)
How to Make Coca-Cola Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly mist a 13×9-inch baking dish with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.
Place the cake mix, cocoa powder, melted butter, Coca-Cola, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. The batter should be well blended.
Fold in the marshmallows, then pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (approximately 40 minutes).
Remove the cake from the oven and prepare the chocolate frosting while the cake is still hot.
Place the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. As the butter melts, stir in the cocoa powder and Coca-Cola.
Let the mixture come to just a boil, stirring constantly, and then remove it from the heat.
Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick and smooth. Fold in the pecans, if using.
Pour the frosting over the top of the warm cake, spreading it out with a rubber spatula so that it reaches the edges of the cake.
Cool the cake for 20 minutes before serving.
Oh. My. Goodness. I’m about to lick my computer screen just thinking about this cake again.
Please consider this your permission slip:
To whom it may concern,
(Insert your name here) has been assigned the task of making a Coca-Cola Cake. This assignment is due within ___ days and will be graded. Please support him/her by volunteering to taste said cake and offering your affirmation of appreciation immediately forthwith.
- Store leftover cake in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Now, you can freeze the cake for up to 3 months. However, please note that the fudge icing can sometimes become mushy when thawed. Your best bet is to freeze the unfrosted cake, thaw it at room temperature, and then top it with icing.
- You can use any type of boxed cake mix, like angel food cake mix or yellow cake mix. You can even use a chocolate cake mix and reduce or omit the cocoa powder (up to you and how much chocolate flavor you desire).
- For extra flavor, add 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the cake batter.
- Now, I have used Dr. Pepper instead of coke before but not Diet Coke. However, someone in the comments mentioned it didn’t taste great with Diet Coke, so you can follow their advice or give it a go yourself. Let me know if it works out! Other options are Pepsi and root beer; basically any coke-flavored beverage.
- You can use chopped pecans in the icing or chopped walnuts or omit them altogether.
- Another ingredient you can omit is the mini marshmallows. This was an addition to the classic recipe but feel free to leave them out if they’re not your thing.
What is Coca-Cola cake made of?
Whether the Coca-Cola cake is made from a boxed cake mix or homemade from scratch, it’s typically always made with coke, buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa powder, and mini marshmallows. The chocolate cake is topped with warm chocolate icing that hardens to become a thin fudge coating on top.
What does adding soda to a cake do?
The soda bubbles act as a leavening agent (like baking soda or baking powder) to make the cake rise and become perfectly light and fluffy.
Where did Coca-Cola cake come from?
Coca-Cola cake is a Southern dessert. The first reference seems to be in cookbooks from the 1950s, but it made a bit of a comeback in the 1990s thanks to Cracker Barrel.
How do you serve Coca-Cola cake?
I love to serve a slice of chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream. You get bonus points if you add a cherry on top! I like to serve slices warm by zapping them in the microwave for a couple of seconds, but you can also serve them at room temperature or cold.
You may also like these recipes:
Chocolate Depression Cake (Egg and Dairy-Free)
7-Up Pound Cake With Lemon Glaze
Chocolate Pound Cake with Fudge Glaze
- 1 box white cake mix
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 stick melted butter
- 1 cup Coca-Cola
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup Coca-Cola
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a 13x9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan aside.
- Place the cake mix, cocoa powder, melted butter, cola, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides with a spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. The batter should be well blended.1 box white cake mix, 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 stick melted butter, 1 cup Coca-Cola, ½ cup buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Fold in the mini marshmallows and pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.1.5 cups miniature marshmallows
- Bake the cake until it springs back when lightly pressed with your finger and just starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (approximately 40 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and prepare the frosting while the cake is still hot.
To make the chocolate icing
- Place the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. As the butter melts, stir in the cocoa powder and cola.1/2 cup butter, 4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, ⅓ cup Coca-Cola
- Let the mixture come to just a boil, stirring constantly, and then remove it from the heat. Stir in the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is thick and smooth. Fold in the pecans.4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- Pour the frosting over the top of the cake, spreading it out with a rubber spatula so that it reaches the edges of the cake. Cool the cake for 20 minutes before serving.
I need to feed 15 hungry cowboys during harvest. How do I increase this to feed them…just double it?
I’m excited to bake this for them.
I have an old recipe for Dr Pepper/or coke one 12 oz can mixed into a chocolate box cake mix and not any other ingredients. ..not even the directions on the box cake…just the can of Dr Pepper or coke and bake….
The recipe calls for 8 TB one stick of butter? So, is 1 cup of butter?
Love Coca-Cola cake! I’ve never seen this recipe using a cake mix. Game changer! I’ve always used the original recipe from Coca-Cola. It is such an awesome cake – so rich and moist! Enjoy your Branson trip!
Can i use diet coke for this recipe?
That should work just fine. Diet Dr Pepper is good, too 🙂
Yum! Made this today. Easy and really good. I used a devils food mix but still added the cocoa. Other than that, made exactly as written. Taste test was excellent. Hope guests tonite enjoy as I did. I think next time I will fold in mini choco chips too, cuz what not?
I meant why not, not what not :
Why not indeed!!!
Can this cake be made in 2-8″ round pans? Also, should the leftovers be refrigerated?
you can make it in round pans but as a layer cake it’s going to be tricky to ice with this icing (because it is a pour icing) but it is possible. Generally I find that grandmothers are best at this. Leftovers of this cake are really hard to come by but they don’t have to be refrigerated