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Coca Cola Cake | Cookies and Cups

This moist and fluffy Coca Cola cake is full of sweet chocolatey flavor (and mini marshmallows!). With a soft, fluffy crumb and fudgy Coca Cola frosting, it’s an old-fashioned cake recipe you’ll want to make again and again.

Looking for more easy sheet cake recipes? Try my white Texas sheet cake and fluffy buttermilk sheet cake, next! 

A fork cuts into the corner of a slice of Coca Cola cake on a white plate.

Why This Coca Cola Cake Recipe Works

This Coca Cola cake is a classic Southern dessert, made with real cola! Coca Cola enhances the delicious chocolatey flavor and makes every bite of this cake totally irresistible. Here’s why:

  • Sticky-sweet. Recuding the soda on the stove concentrates all the sweetness and flavor. Added to the cake batter and frosting, it’s a secret ingredient that brings a deliciously sticky-sweet, extra somethin’ somethin’ to your usual chocolate cake.
  • Fudgy frosting. If you love the boiled chocolate frosting on a Texas sheet cake, you’re going to love the pourable Coca Cola icing smothered over this cake. It sets up decadent and fudgy, SO good!
  • Super moist. The combination of buttermilk and soda in the batter makes this cake ultra-light and tender. It’s super soft, with a rich molasses flavor from the Coca Cola.
Coca Cola cake ingredients with text labels overlaying each ingredient.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here are my notes on what goes into this fudgy Coca Cola cake. Scroll down to the recipe card below the post for a printable ingredients list.

  • Dry Ingredients – Sugar, flour, and baking soda.
  • Marshmallows – Optional, but I love adding mini marshmallows to my Coca Cola cake.
  • Cocoa Powder – I like Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder, but you can use any regular unsweetened cocoa powder that you prefer.
  • Butter and Oil – Using half butter (or margarine) and half oil produces an extra-moist, tender chocolate cake.
  • Coca-Cola® – You’ll need it for the cake and the frosting. You can use original, Diet Coke, or sugar-free. You can also make this recipe with store-brand cola, too.
  • Buttermilk – The acidity in the buttermilk reacts with the cocoa powder in this recipe, similar to a red velvet cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make a homemade buttermilk substitute from regular milk and vinegar.
  • Eggs and Vanilla – For the best flavor, choose real vanilla extract.
  • Frosting – The Coca Cola frosting is a variation of chocolate fudge icing infused with cola and filled with chopped pecans.

Can I Make This Cake With Another Type of Soda?

Yes! You can make Coca Cola cake with another soda, such as Pepsi, Dr. Pepper (see my Dr Pepper cake), or even Root Beer. Once the soda is boiled down with the other ingredients, you don’t notice too much difference in the flavor.

How to Make a Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

Here’s an easy step-by-step showing how to make this fun and retro Coke cake recipe. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

  • Combine the dry ingredients. Sift the sugar and flour into a bowl, and add the marshmallows.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Meanwhile, warm the butter, oil, cocoa powder, and Coca Cola in a saucepan. Once the mixture is boiling, stir it into the dry ingredients.
  • Add buttermilk. Dissolve the baking soda in the buttermilk (this helps to kick start the chemical reaction). Pour this into the batter, and mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Bake. Transfer the cake batter to a greased 9×13” baking pan. Bake at 350ºF for 35-45 minutes. There’s no need to wait for this Coca Cola cake to cool before you frost it!
  • Make the frosting. Combine butter, cocoa, and cola in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Add the hot mixture to powdered sugar. Lastly, stir in vanilla and chopped pecans. 
  • Frost the cake. Spread the frosting over the freshly baked cake, and let it cool before slicing.
Frosted Coca Cola cake in a white ceramic baking dish.

Tips and Variations

These are my final tips and tricks, plus some easy variations for this Coke cake recipe:

  • Sift the dry ingredients. I recommend sifting the flour and sugar for the cake, and the powdered sugar for the frosting. This breaks up any lumps and makes the batter smooth and the frosting silky and pourable.
  • Frost the cake right away. The hot icing sets quickly, so pour it over the cake right away. Otherwise, the frosting can be tricky to spread.
  • Nut-free. If you’d prefer a nut-free cake, simply leave out the chopped pecans.
  • Garnishes. Feel free to garnish the cake with additional marshmallows, dried fruit, or nuts. I’ll sometimes add cherries over top of my Coca Cola cake for some Cherry Coke vibes.
  • Different frosting. If you’d prefer to frost this cake with classic frosting instead, wait until the cake is completely cool after baking. Whip up a batch of chocolate frosting to spread over the cake in place of icing.
Overhead view of a spatula lifting a slice of Coca Cola cake from a baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where did Coca Cola cake come from?

Back in the 1950s, folks in the Southern US began baking a version of chocolate cake with Coca Cola soda. It quickly became the dessert of choice for just about every celebration! This original Coca Cola cake recipe is adapted from Texas sheet cake, another Southern favorite.

What does adding soda to a cake do?

Carbonation in soda acts as a leavening agent, helping cakes rise in the oven. The bubbles and sweetness make recipes like this Coca Cola cake and my 7UP cake turn out extra light and moist.

A slice of Coca Cola cake on a white plate, with the rest of the cake in a baking dish next to two Coke bottles in the background.

How to Store Coca Cola Cake

  • To Store. Store this soda cake airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also refrigerate the covered cake for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze. You can freeze this cake before or after adding the fudge frosting. Wrap the cake in a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze it for up to 2 months. Thaw the cake before frosting and/or serving.

More Easy Cake Recipes


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This moist Coca Cola cake is an old-fashioned recipe full of sweet chocolatey flavor (and mini marshmallows). It’s made with real soda in the cake and fudgy Coca Cola frosting!

For the Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups small marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Coca Cola®
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons Coca Cola®
  • 1 box (16 oz) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, sift sugar and flour. Add marshmallows.
  3. In a saucepan, mix butter, oil, cocoa and Coca Cola®. Bring to a boil and pour over dry
    ingredients; blend well.
  4. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well.
  5. Pour into a well-greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 35-45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.

For the Frosting

  1. Combine butter, cocoa and Coca Cola® in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners’ sugar, blending well.
  3. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake.
  4. When cool, cut into squares and serve.

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