Recipe: Coca-Cola Cake


Have a Coca-Cola Cake and a smile.

CBS News

In her book "Approval Junkie," "Sunday Morning" contributor Faith Salie writes: "Coke Cake was just something we had every once in a while – a normal part of the homemade dessert rotation my mom always provided. I didn't even realize it was unusual to feature America's finest soft drink in a baked good until I left for college and mentioned it, and people who gasp, 'Coke cake? What is that?!!' Followed by either, 'Does it really have Coke in it?' Or the rarer but hopeful, 'Does it have cocaine in it?'

Three Rivers Press

"It would be irresponsible of me not to warn you about the Curse of the Coke Cake. Simply put: do not let Coca-Cola Cake anywhere near your wedding. My brother David created the most stunning four-story Coke Cake for his sister-in-law Nicole's wedding with raspberry preserve filling and a fondant icing that would make Martha Stewart's meringues weep. For my first marriage, he baked three elegant tiers of it for my engagement party, which he decorated with fresh flowers. I was married in Scotland for my practice wedding and even had an extremely perplexed local bakery make Coca-Cola "fairy cakes" for the rehearsal dinner party.

"Nicole got divorced. So did I. Let this be a lesson to you. Coke Cake knows. It know The Real Thing when it comes to love and will tank s****y marriages.

"I believe this cake wants to live as a bundt. My brother loves offering it as a sheet cake, but we all know about the devastation he's wrought through his baking. There's something both sturdy and elegant about the bundt, and you can't beat the way the warm and thick Coke frosting cascades over the sides.

"So here's my mom's recipe. If the word 'moist' makes you uncomfortable, then don't try this at home. As you know, I always triple the vanilla extract and probably add too many miniature marshmallows, because life can only be made better by pillows of corn syrup. Please enjoy and think of Gail."

Gail's Coca-Cola Cake

2 sticks butter (salted – what are you crazy, using unsalted??)
1 ½ cups mini marshmallows
3 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup Coke
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour, plus extra for dusting
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat over to 350°F.

In a saucepan, on medium-high heat, melt the butter with the marshmallows, cocoa powder, and Coke, stirring it until it boils. Then remove it from the heat. In a mixing bowl, pour the cocoa mixture over the sugar and flour and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs and mix until combined.

On a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, baking soda and vanilla extract (I use 3 teaspoons). Pour the buttermilk mixture into the batter and beat for about 1 minute.

Pour the cake batter into a greased and floured bundt pan. (I use Baker's Joy. If you use two 6 cups bundt pans ((like I do)), then bake for 30 to 35 minutes.) If you use the normal large 12 cups bundt pan, then bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes, then flip it onto a cooling rack.

For the frosting:

1 stick butter
5 to 6 tablespoons Coke
2 heaping Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 box confectioner's sugar


In a saucepan over low to medium heat, combine the butter, Coke, and cocoa powder and melt until just boiling, stirring often so the cocoa powder doesn't burn. Pour the mixture over the confectioner's sugar and beat with mixer until smooth.

Pour the frosting over the bundt cake. 


Recipe from "Approval Junkie: My Heartfelt (and Occasionally Inappropriate) Quest to Please Just About Everyone, and Ultimately Myself" by Faith Salie (Three Rivers Press), in Trade Paperback, eBook and Audio formats, available via Amazon

For more info:

For more recipes from "Sunday Morning" visit the 2018 "Food Issue" Recipe Index