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!
If you’re a fan of the Cracker Barrel Coca Cola™ Cake, you’ll love this homemade copycat recipe!
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!
Or, expand your love of soda cakes with this Outrageous Cherry Dr Pepper dessert!
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.
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.
- 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.
Coca Cola Cake FAQ
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.
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.
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.
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Other Easy Potluck Desserts
Coca Cola Cake + Video
- 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.
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.
Originally published October 2018, updated and republished January 2023
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