Decadently sweet and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this moist chocolate Coca-Cola cake is made with the iconic soda, mini marshmallows, and unsweetened cocoa powder for extra rich chocolate flavor. It’s so chocolatey, you wouldn’t even know that there’s soda in it! This has been a longtime Southern classic—and I’m sure it’ll become a family favorite in your house too. 

A piece of coca-coaklacake partially eaten next to ice cream.

Super Easy Coca-Cola Cake Recipe

Who knew that the famous soft drink would make a perfect chocolate cake? Not only do all those bubbles act as a leavening agent to make a super fluffy cake, but the sugars caramelize and bring out the different notes from the chocolate. Not to mention it adds enough moisture to keep it soft and fluffy. It’s an amazing combo! 

This cake is pretty sweet thanks to the mini marshmallows—which dissolve completely into the cake—and the fudgy icing, so I like to pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to mellow out and balance all that sweetness. Unlike a Mississippi mud cake, the marhsmallows sink right into the cake instead of staying on top.

It’s incredible as a birthday cake or at any other celebratory event!  You’ll also find it at cook-outs and potlucks.

A piece of chocolate cake next to scoops of ice cream.

This cake has been around for generations, but came to national popularity thanks to Cracker Barrel restaurant! That’s right, in the 90s the famous Southern chain introduced their Double Fudge Coca-Cola Cake to their menu and showed the rest of the country what they were missing. This is my own take on the classic and I think you’ll fall in love with it. 

If you’re craving more chocolate in your life, try my favorite Fudgy Chocolate Brownie Pie and Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies or go with a can’t miss basic fudgy brownie. They’re just what every chocolate lover is looking for. 

A single piece of coca-cola cake

Why This Is A Classic Southern Dessert

  • Super Moist – The Coca-Cola and buttermilk make for a light and fluffy cake that keeps all its moisture during the baking process. 
  • Easy Recipe – This simple Coke cake recipe can easily be made from scratch.
  • Rich Flavor – The extra sugars from the soda draw out the different notes and flavor profiles of chocolate without overpowering the cake. 

Ingredients For Coca-Cola Sheet Cake

Ingredients for the cake batter.
Gather the ingredients for the cake.
Ingredients for the chocolate icing.
A few more ingredients for the icing.

You’ll need a lot of the same ingredients for the cake and the frosting.

Coca-Cola – I recommend using original Coca-Cola since you want all the sugars to help boost the cake., no diet drinks in this cake.

Cocoa Powder – Use your favorite brand here, as long as it’s unsweetend.

Buttermilk – Buttermilk helps add moisture and tang to the rich flavors of the cake. 

Mini Marshmallows – An absolute must! 

Pecans – all desserts are better with nuts, but you can easily leave them off.

Pantry Staples – flour, sugar – regular and powdered, butter, eggs and vanilla.

How To Make Coca-Cola Cake

Step One: Whisk 

Dry ingredients whisked in a bowl.
Whisk dry ingredients.

Whisk flour and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. 

Step Two: Make Cola Mixture

Butter cocoa and coca-cola added to a saucepan.
Combine butter, cocoa, soda, and buttermilk.
Chocolate mixture being poured over the dry ingredients.
Add to flour mixture.

Combine butter, soda, cocoa, and buttermilk in a saucepan and bring to a boil then add to the flour and sugar.

Step Three: Complete the Batter

Mix baking soda, eggs, and vanilla extract to the batter until well combined then add marshmallows, continue mixing until fully combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and make sure the marshmallows are evenly distributed throughout the batter. 

Eggs added to cake batter.
Mix eggs, baking soda, and vanilla.
A bowl of chocolate cake batter.
Incorporate marshmallows.
Chocolate batter in a baking dish with marshmallows.
Pour batter.

Step Four: Bake

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful to not hit a marshmallow as it will be sticky and not give you an accurate reading. 

Step Five: Make Icing

A saucepan with butter and cocoa.
Boil butter, soda, and cocoa.
Powdered sugar being added to the frosting.
Add vanilla and powdered sugar.
Frosting being whisked in a saucepan.
Whisk until smooth.

When there are about 10 minutes left on the bake time, make your frosting. For best results, the icing should be warm when added to the cake. 

Heat butter, Coca-Cola, and cocoa until it boils. Remove from the heat and whisk powdered sugar and vanilla until it’s smooth.

Step Six: Frost Cake

Frosting being poured over a hot chocolate cake.
Pour warm icing over warm cake.
Frosting spread over a coke cake.
Use spatula to smooth icing.

This frosting will thicken as it cools, so if it’s too thick by the time the cake is out of the oven, you can add a tablespoon of Coca-Cola and gently heat it until it’s spreadable. Sprinkle the top with pecans while the frosting is still warm and gently press them in. Let the cake cool completely before cutting. 

A chocolate cake covered with pecans.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Tips For Super Fluffy Chocolate Cake

  • Try using Cherry Coke, Dr. Pepper, or root beer instead! Just avoid sugar-free or Diet Coke. 
  • Use high-quality ingredients! Especially when it comes to the cocoa powder. With such a simple flavor profile, you really want the flavors to shine. 
  • Make sure the frosting is warm and that you add it as soon as the cake comes out of the oven.

Storing Chocolate Cake

This cake will stay fresh covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container on the counter for three days. After that store it in the fridge. 

You can freeze the leftovers or the entire cake if you are making it ahead of time.  

Is it Coke, Soda or Pop

Have you ever noticed that carbonated beverages are called different things depending on where you’re from. In the South, we call all carbonated beverages coke, whether it’s Sprite, Pepsi, Coke or Dr. Pepper. If someone asks you if you want a coke, they mean “do you want a carbonated beverage and if so what type”. And as long as we’re talking drinks, if you ask for Ice Tea in the South, it will always be sweet.

If you want it unsweetened, you have to ask for it. (They always look at me funny when I go to NY and ask for unsweetened ice tea – like is there any other kind).

What to Serve with a Coca-Cola Cake

This is the cake to serve for a family cookout with ribs or smash burgers. Add some creamy mac and cheese for a full Southern spread. It also works great for potlucks, it feeds a crowd but can also be left out in the heat without the frosting melting.

A bite of chocolate cake on a fork.

Sweetly Southern Coca-Cola Cake With Marshmallows

Decadently sweet and perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this moist chocolate Coca-Cola cake is made with the iconic soda, mini marshmallows, and unsweetened cocoa powder for extra rich chocolate flavor. It's so chocolatey, you wouldn't even know that there's soda in it! This has been a longtime Southern classic—and I'm sure it'll become a family favorite in your house too. 
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 674kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
  • ICING
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1/3 cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar 1 pound
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350º. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk the flour and sugar together. 
  • In a medium saucepan, add butter, Coca-Cola, cocoa, and buttermilk and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Pour it over the flour mixture.
  • Add baking soda, eggs, vanilla,  and mix on low speed until well combined. Add marshmallows and mix until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
    Make sure the marshmallows are evenly disbursed and not all in the center. 
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.
    (If you go through a marshmallow it will be sticky, so try to find a spot without a marshmallow. The center should be set)
  • With 10 minutes left of the cooking time, make the frosting. It should be warm when added to the cake.
  • In a saucepan, heat the butter, Coca Cola, and cocoa over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Then add the chopped pecans.
  • Once the cake is done, pour the warm frosting over the warm cake. If the frosting has cooled and is too thick, add a tablespoon of Coca Cola and gently heat it so that it can be spread over the top. It will thicken as it cools. 
  • Let it cool completely before cutting. 

Notes

  • Try using Cherry Coke, Dr. Pepper, or root beer instead! Just avoid sugar-free or Diet Coke. 
  • Use high-quality ingredients! Especially when it comes to the cocoa powder. With such a simple flavor profile, you really want the flavors to shine. 
  • Make sure the frosting is warm and that you add it as soon as the cake comes out of the oven.

Nutrition

Calories: 674kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 303mg | Potassium: 128mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 79g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @easy.southern.desserts or tag #easysoutherndesserts!

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