Southern Coca Cola Cake

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Get ready for a slice of Southern comfort straight from the heartland. Coca Cola Cake is one of those unique recipes that feels like a warm hug. Originating from the Southern States where Coca Cola could be considered the sixth food group, this cake is a testament to the creativity of home cooks who often included the popular soda into their baked goods. This indulgent chocolate cake is wonderfully moist, thanks to the bubbly soda, and it gives a little nod to the long-standing relationship between Southern cooking and Coca Cola. It’s definitely a conversation starter and perfect for when you want to bring a little Southern charm to your table.
This show-stopping dessert is rich and sweet, so it pairs nicely with a simple side of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream to balance the flavors. If you’re serving this as part of a larger spread, keep the sides light and not too sweet — think of a fruit salad or a citrusy arugula salad to cut through the decadence.

Southern Coca Cola Cake


2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup Coca Cola

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows

For the Coca Cola frosting:

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup Coca Cola

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, Coca Cola, and bring the mixture just to a boil.

Pour the cola mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add this to the batter and stir until combined.

Fold in the marshmallows and pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, make the frosting by melting the butter in a saucepan, and stirring in the cocoa powder and Coca Cola. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.

Gradually whisk in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until the frosting is smooth. Stir in pecans if desired.

Pour the frosting over the hot cake as soon as it comes out of the oven, smoothing it over the top.

Allow the cake to cool before serving. The frosting will set as it cools.

Variations & Tips

For those with a less sweet tooth, consider reducing the sugar in the cake by 1/4 cup.

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, a good substitution is regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar added to it.

Don’t have marshmallows? Leave them out; the cake will still be delicious.

To add more texture, fold in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips along with the marshmallows into the batter.

A pinch of cinnamon added to the dry ingredients can bring a touch of warmth to the cake’s flavor.

Don’t rush the frosting! If the cake hasn’t completely finished baking, it’s okay to wait. The frosting is best poured over the cake while it’s still warm, not necessarily piping hot.

Remember to cut into squares while still in the pan for that classic, down-home presentation.

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