I’ve found a lot of great recipes from Southern Living magazine through the years, so I was looking forward to reviewing their new cookbook, Southern Living Home Cooking Basics: A Complete Illustrated Guide to Southern Cooking. It really is complete, with information on how to stock your pantry and helpful, detailed, step-by-step instructions for preparing fruits,vegetables, herbs, meats, and cheeses…pretty much everything you need to know to make great Southern dishes.
There are over 200 recipes and lots of full-color photos in this cookbook. It also has a great section on cooking methods–baking, broiling, braising, frying, grilling, roasting, sauteing, and steaming. The recipes are organized in these categories: Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Breads, Sandwiches and Soups, Meats and Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Side Dishes, Desserts, and Sauces & Condiments.
As I was looking through my review copy, some of the recipes that sounded good to me were: Spicy Ham-and-Eggs Benedict with Chive Biscuits, Red Pepper Jelly-Brie Bites, Cinnamon-Pecan Rolls, Cheddar Cheese Grits Casserole, Praline-Apple Bread, Easy Mini Muffulettas, Loaded Potato Soup, Bev’s Famous Meatloaf, Salt-and-Pepper Oven Fries, Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Puddings (photo from book below left), and Southern-Style Caramel Apples (photo from book below right).
And, of course, the Coca-Cola Cake. I’ve been wanting to make one of these, but hadn’t had the chance to look up a recipe for it. So it was great when I found the recipe here! It’s a very moist, tender cake topped with smooth, silky frosting and a sprinkling of pecans. Very yummy and easy to make! It tastes great served warm, when the frosting is still gooey, and it tastes great cool, when the frosting becomes a little fudgier. It even tastes great if you store it in the fridge and eat it later, still cold…the frosting gets really fudgy then!
I shared my cake with my coworkers, and everyone loved it, so I’m sure you will, too! Here’s how my cake turned out…
…and here’s the recipe so you can make one of your own!
COCA-COLA CAKE from Southern Living Home Cooking Basics
Makes a 9×13 cake
- 1 cup Coca-Cola
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa (unsweetened baking cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
- Coca-Cola Frosting (see recipe below)
- 3/4 cups chopped pecans, toasted, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk; set aside.
Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended.
Combine flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended.
Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13×9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Pour Coca-Cola Frosting over warm cake; garnish with toasted pecans, if desired (I didn’t toast my pecans, and it was good that way, too).
My Notes: If you stick a toothpick in the center of the cake to test for doneness, it will probably come out almost clean; that’s OK for it to be like that–I think it has something to do with the marshmallows being in the batter.
And when my cake came out of the oven, it was very bumpy because of the marshmallows…not to worry though–the frosting covers the bumps!
COCA-COLA FROSTING (Makes 2 1/4 cups)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1/3 cup Coca-Cola
- 3 Tablespoons cocoa (unsweetened baking cocoa)
- 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan oven medium heat, stirring until butter melts. Remove from heat; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla.
When all frosting ingredients are well-blended, pour immediately over cake. If garnishing with chopped pecans, sprinkle those on right after pouring the frosting on the cake, since the frosting sets quickly.
This cake is a new favorite of mine! Have you ever made or tasted a Coca-Cola cake?