Coca-Cola Cake from Southern Living Home Cooking Basics

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.

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! (The photo of my cake, above, was cut while the cake was still warm).

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

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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.

Recipe from NancyC |

This cake is a new favorite of mine! Have you ever made or tasted a Coca-Cola cake?

Sharing at Inspire Me Monday, Hearth & Soul, Happiness is Homemade, Silver Pennies Sundays, Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Thursday Favorite Things, Full Plate Thursday, Tasty Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesday.


26 thoughts on “Coca-Cola Cake from Southern Living Home Cooking Basics

    1. nancyc Post author

      It must have been fun working for Southern Living! All of the Southern Living recipes I’ve made have been great, so I totally trust them, too!


  1. Terri

    I love Southern Living Magazine and their cookbooks. I have several cookbooks from them and enjoy reading them so much. This cake is a blast from past, so to speak, for me. I remember it from when I was a kid. I can even remember my grandmother giggling when when she talked about it, thinking that it was such a fun cake. Thanks for the memory!


  2. Susan

    A recipe I remember from the past! I’ve thought about how I could do them in cupcakes…I think I’ve figures it out, but in the meantime, this looks yummy!


  3. Bea

    So glad that you have discovered this was the first cake I ever made over 55 years ago. (Very popular in the late 1950s in Ohio). My recipe called for it to be made in a sheet pan.
    Saved the recipe all these years and made it recently. Still a favorite! I guarantee you will not have it for long.


    1. nancyc Post author

      I’m not sure, Lisa–I haven’t seen a cola cake recipe where it mentions substituting a diet drink. You could try a google search for a low-sugar Coca Cola Cake and see if that brings up anything!


  4. petra08

    A coca cola cake sounds so incredibly indulgent I will have to try it! I like Southern Living recipes as well! 🙂
    Thank you for sharing this with us here at Fiesta Friday! 🙂


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