I don't know why Chocolate Coke-a-cola Cake isn't more popular. This cake is fudgy, has the most unique sweet flavor (think coke-a-cola) and is unbelievably decadent. And that beautiful, glossy coke-a-cola glaze that it's smothered in, delicious! I wanted this recipe to feed a crowd because it's the perfect addition to picnics and bbq's.
The unique flavor of Chocolate coke-a-cola cake
Coke-a-cola is essentially a chocolate cake, but it's so much more than that. You definitely get chocolate in this cake but there's also this incredible unique sweet flavor, it comes straight from using actually soda in the recipe! Of course you can't make a coke-a-cola without coke-a-cola but I think it would also be fun to experiment with vanilla or cherry coke too. The original recipe calls for granulated sugar but I swapped it out and used dark brown sugar instead. I thought brown sugar would be really good here and it is! It creates a sticky, almost candied texture at the top of the cake while it baking that is unbelievably good. This cake is rich in flavor and super soft in texture.
possibly the best part: the frosting
While this cake is delicious on it's own, what's a cake without frosting? Now this isn't your typical cake frosting. You won't be creaming butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Instead, this frosting is made on the stove top. Cool, right? I think of it more as a glaze but for this recipe it's the frosting, and oh, is it good! If you ask me it's the best part.
Making Coke-a-cola frosting:
- Put a medium saucepan on low heat. Combine 1 stick of unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder & 6 tablespoons of coke-a-cola in the saucepan, heat just until boiling, stirring frequently to avoid burning
- As soon as the mixture is boiling, remove the saucepan from the heat and add in 4 cups of powdered sugar. Whisk everything together until smooth and pour directly over the top of the cake.
The frosting will be hot and very thin but it'll firm up as it cools over the cake.
extra things to consider with this recipe
This is a completely optional step but once you remove the cake out of the oven, take a fork a pierce all over the top of the cake, just like you would with tres leches. I had the idea to do this because the frosting is so thin in texture and delicious, I thought it would be awesome to let it subtly seep through the cake. There's plenty of glaze so it'll still cover the top of the cake. And this is just a suggestion, you do not have to do this.
Once the frosting is on the cake you'll want it to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing into it. It also holds up really well in the refrigerator and tastes delicious cold.
Coke-a-cola cake is traditionally topped with chopped walnuts or pecans. I didn't put them directly in the cake batter but I sprinkled chopped walnuts right over the frosting for a little extra flavor and crunch. Cherries make a nice garnish too. And of course, I added some sprinks 🙂
Chocolate Coke-a-cola Cake
- 9 x 13 inch baking sheet or baking pan
For the Cake:
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups dark brown sugar light brown sugar will work too
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup cola flavored soft drink
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 standard package mini marshmallows
For the Frosting:
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp espresso powder
- ½ cup cola flavored soft drink
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts optional
- cherries optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour and sugar, give the ingredients a quick whisk to combine. Set bowl aside. Place a medium sized sauce pan on the stove over low heat. Add butter, espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa powder, and soda into the sauce pan, bring the heat up to medium-low just until the mixture comes starts to boil. Pour the mixture over the flour and sugar and mix to combine.
- Add in the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda & vanilla extract and mix to combine. Fold mini marshmallows into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes. Cake is down when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Optional step: after the cake is down baking, take a fork and pierce holes all over the surface of the cake.
- While the cake is still hot, make the frosting.
For the Frosting:
- Combine butter, espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa powder and soda in a sauce pan over low medium heat bring it to a soft boil. Mix the ingredients to gether to combine. Once the ingredients are combined and have started to boil, remove the saucepan from the heat. Add powdered sugar directly into the sauce pan and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined. Frosting will be warm and have a thin consistency. Pour frosting over the surface of the cake and smooth it out so it covers the entire cake. Optional: sprinkle with chopped walnuts or garnish with cherries. You can cut into slices and serve the cake warm or you can stick in the fridge to cool for a few minutes and the frosting will firm up.