Best Coca Cola Cake Cracker Barrel Recipe + Video

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This Coca Cola cake is so fudgy and rich, your whole family will be begging for seconds. Serve each slice with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! This moist chocolate cake recipe is a must! 

coca cola cake with a scoop of ice cream on plate


If you’re a fan of the Cracker Barrel Coca Cola™ Cake, you’ll love this homemade copycat recipe!

It’s like a Texas sheet cake, only better.

There are lots of recipes out there for this favorite cake, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that my easy Coca-Cola cake recipe is one of the best. 

If you’re in the mood for a decadent cake, this is the one. 

whisking cocoa powder and flour together in bowl

Coca Cola Cake

The secret to this Coke cake dessert is double the amount of cocoa powder! 

It was originally a mistake, but everyone loved the darker, richer version so much that the restaurant had to put it on their menu.

Melted butter adds another layer of rich flavor, as well as extra moisture, when combined with the oil. 

A thick topping of fudgy frosting is the finishing touch to this chocolate lover’s dream!

For more homemade versions of famous desserts, try my copycat churro bites or Butterfinger cupcakes just like the ones from Disney.

Or, expand your love of soda cakes with this Outrageous Cherry Dr Pepper dessert!

adding coca cola to saucepan with butter

Tip for the Best Chocolate Coca Cola Cake

  • Measure properly. Cakes can be finicky, especially with denser ingredients. 

    Always spoon flour and cocoa powder into your measuring cups and level them off instead of scooping directly from the container.
  • Use salted butter. Or, use unsalted sticks and add 1 teaspoon of salt to the recipe.
  • Know your cocoa! This Coca Cola cake recipe uses Dutch-process cocoa, which creates a darker color and richer flavor than what you typically find in stores. 

    Find more information in the FAQ below, along with how to substitute unsweetened cocoa powder if needed.
  • Test for doneness. Baking time depends on your oven, so start checking the Coke cake about 5 minutes before the time is up. 

    A toothpick or tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
  • Want to serve it warm? Microwave individual slices for a few seconds.
pouring chocolate batter into pan

Flavor Variations to Try

  • Go nuts! Consider adding some chopped walnuts or pecans to the frosting. They add a fantastic crunch. 
  • Out of Coke? No problem! Swap it for Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, or your favorite dark cola. Even using Cherry Coke would add a fun twist of flavor. 
  • Add some spice. Give the Cracker Barrel Coca Cola cake a fun spicy twist by sprinkling some ground cinnamon into the batter. 
  • Go fruity. Add a cherry as a garnish to each slice for a pop of flavor and color. 
spreading chocolate frosting on a snack cake

Coca Cola Cake FAQ

Can I use regular unsweetened cocoa instead of Dutch-processed? 

Yes, but with a few adjustments. Dutch-process cocoa gives the Cracker Barrel Coca Cola cake an amazingly rich dark chocolate flavor because it’s treated with an alkaline wash to lower the acidity.

That difference also impacts the leavening agents (baking soda and baking powder), which is why this chocolate Coca Cola cake recipe may look a bit different than others you are used to.

You can replace the Dutch-process variety with an equal amount of unsweetened cocoa powder, but reduce the amount of baking powder to ½ teaspoon. You will also need to add 1 teaspoon baking soda to the flour mixture.

How do I store Coca Cola cake?

Once cooled and frosted, this dessert can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Keep tightly covered so it doesn’t dry out, and bring it to room temperature before serving.

Can I use Diet Coke?

No, I am sorry, but you need to be sure to use full-sugar Coke. Diet soda will change the texture as well as the flavor. 

Why does my cake crumble when I slice into it?

I get it. It can be hard to resist being patient when cutting into this fluffy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting…but trust me when I say that patience is key to getting the perfect slice. 

Trying to cut a hot cake is problematic, as it will cause the texture to crumble, making a mess. (a delicious mess – but still a mess)

This easy recipe can be sliced without issues by letting the cake cool to room temperature. If your cake is crumbling as you are cutting it, you need to let it cool a bit more.  

What makes copycat recipes so popular? 

There’s just something about being able to get that unique flavor right at home! Take this Southern classic cake, for example. 

It’s served everywhere at Cracker Barrel restaurants, but who really wants to wait until the next time that they’re heading out to grab a slice?  

When you’re craving this best chocolate cake recipe, having the steps and ingredients needed to make this moist chocolate Coca-Cola cake at home is a powerful feeling! I always keep the pantry staples on hand so that I can whip up this chocolatey cake once the craving hits. 

And I assure you that the end result tastes just like the Cracker Barrel Coca-Cola cake! It’s one of my favorite things to save money on and make myself at home. 
The best part is that you can change the original recipe to suit your cravings and add any type of toppings to the top of the cake! 

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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slice of coca cola cake on plate with scoop of vanilla ice cream

plated snack cake with vanilla ice cream

Best Coca Cola Cake Cracker Barrel Recipe + Video

Donna Elick
Coca Cola Cake is so fudgy and rich, your family will be begging for seconds! This snack cake recipe makes a fantastic potluck dessert!
5 stars from 4 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 12


  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons dutch-processed cocoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup coca cola
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour a 9×13-inch pan.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a large bowl and a hand mixer, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, and baking powder. Whisk until no clumps remain and set aside.
  • In a small saucepan combine butter, coca cola, and oil. Bring to a boil.
  • Pour mixture into the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute until combined.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract. Beat until combined, about 1 minute.
  • Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Make the frosting immediately after removing the cake from the oven.
  • Combine butter, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan and heat up until just boiling.
  • Remove from heat and add powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth then spread over warm cake quickly. Let cake cool to room temperature.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 600cal | Carbohydrates: 90g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 74mg | Sodium: 143mg | Sugar: 71g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage for coca cola cake recipe

Originally published October 2018, updated and republished January 2024

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  1. Where can I find dutch-processed cocoa? Amazon feedback and questions are iffy about it? Anybody know? I would love to make this.

  2. It was really popular awhile ago, and now I can't find it in stores. The author says, "Instead of Dutch-process cocoa powder, you can also use the same amount of unsweetened cocoa powder. If using unsweetened cocoa powder reduce the amount of baking powder to 1/2 tsp and add 1 tsp baking soda to the flour mixture. Using Dutch-process cocoa results in a darker cake." I am also going to try King Arthur Flour…

  3. I must be missing something. I have read this post twice through and cannot find the video. Sorry can someone help me?

  4. 5 stars
    I had never heard of this, even from cracker barrel, but it is SO good. I was a little wary of Coke in a cake, but it was such a pleasant surprise when we tried it. So rich and delicious!

  5. I just made this and used the unsweetened cocoa and made the adjustment accordingly. I added the cinnamon , and I also have celiac disease so I used Gf flour. And it was delicious.

  6. 5 stars
    This Coca Cola Cake recipe is an absolute gem! So easy to make and unbelievably delicious. Donna and Chad, you’ve outdone yourselves again. 5 stars!

  7. 5 stars
    donna’s coca cola cake recipe is a game-changer! So easy to follow, and I added a pinch of cinnamon for a subtle twist. Turned out amazing. 5 stars!

  8. 5 stars
    As a novice cook, I was pleasantly surprised by how foolproof this recipe was. The Coca Cola Cake turned out incredibly moist and rich. It’s like a slice of heaven!

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