Coca-Cola Cake

Cake, Chocolate, Desserts, Southern / Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Mommaw always says there’s nothing that can’t be fixed with cheese or whipped cream, and I found out she was right when I dropped a 28-ounce can (still sealed) onto my freshly glazed Coca-Cola Cake.

Oh, the cussing.

I’d made it, because sometimes you just want a grandma cake. Something that’s homey and good and doesn’t require any piping. Or parchment paper.

Coca-Cola Cake is a lot like Texas sheet cake, but instead of adding a cup of water to the batter, you add a cup of Coke for extra flavor. And a few handfuls of miniature marshmallows for extra richness. And you bake it in a pan instead of on a baking sheet for extra height.

It’s extra good – a moist, sweet chocolate cake glazed with warm cola frosting that makes a thin, fudgy layer where the cake and frosting meet.

Traditionally, you’re supposed to stir chopped pecans into the frosting, but why ruin the satiny finish and turn your pecans into weird, chewy little niblets when you can just toast the nuts and sprinkle them on top? It’s much, much better.

So, here’s how I wound up salvaging that cake abomination: I broke it up with a fork, spooned individual servings into jelly jars, and layered each one with whipped cream.

Thank God for Mommaw and Pinterest.

Coca-Cola Cake

Slightly adapted from the “Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook”

Makes 15 servings

  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans

  • 2 cups (about 10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar (you could dial it back to 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola or other cola drink
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
    Coca-Cola Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup Coca-Cola or other cola drink
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch pan, and set aside.
  2. Bake pecans on a baking sheet for 5 minutes or until you can smell them. Set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  4. In a large saucepan, combine the Coca-Cola, butter, and cocoa over medium-low heat, stirring often, just until the butter melts and starts to bubble. Gradually stir into the flour mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture, stirring until blended.
  6. Stir in marshmallows.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan. (Use a spatula to distribute marshmallows, if necessary.)
  8. Bake for 32 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  9. To Make the Frosting: Bring the 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup Coca-Cola, and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, just until the butter melts and starts to bubble. Remove from heat; whisk in 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Let it stand for 5 minutes.
  10. Pour Coca-Cola Frosting over warm cake, and spread with a spatula, if necessary. Sprinkle with pecans.

Note: Don’t make the frosting ahead! You need to pour it over the cake shortly after baking.

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