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In the Southern tradition of using ingredients at hand to create something special, the Coca-Cola cake is surely one fine example. This chocolate cake recipe has been around for a number of years, and its popularity waxes and wanes, mostly because the thought of a soft drink in a cake is a strange one. However, the Coca-Cola cake is a treat that doesn’t taste much like cola, but does taste like an exceptionally moist chocolate cake.
The ingredients for Coca-Cola cake are simple: 2 cups unsifted flour; 2 cups sugar; 2 sticks butter; 1 cup Coca-Cola; 3 tablespoons cocoa; 1/2 cup buttermilk; 1 teaspoon baking soda; 2 eggs, beaten; 1 tablespoon vanilla; 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows.
Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl. Heat the cola, butter and cocoa to the boiling point and pour over flour and sugar mixture. Add buttermilk, soda, eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in marshmallows. They will float to the top while cooking. Pour into an oiled and floured, oblong baking pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Frost while cake is still hot.
While cake is baking, mix up the icing. Empty one box of confectioner’s sugar into a heatproof bowl. Heat 3/4 cup butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa and 6 tablespoons Coca-Cola to boiling. Add this mixture to the confectioner’s sugar. Beat well and add 1 cup chopped nuts and stir thoroughly. Spread over warm cake. The warm icing will help melt the marshmallows, creating a gooey topping.
The Coca-Cola cake recipe is nearly foolproof. It turns out well, and makes a moist cake. A cook can add more cocoa to both the icing and batter, for more chocolate flavor. This is a wonderful recipe for beginning or young cooks, since it is nearly always successful. It is perfect for picnics or potluck dinners, and most people love it.
Coca-Cola cakes are so easy and so tasty! I've never had one go flooey on me. Now, I'll be honest: I prefer to skip the marshmallows and all, and just go with a basic uncooked chocolate buttercream frosting. Those marshmallows just make it too sweet for me. Kids love it, though.
I think Southern Living magazine featured this recipe many years ago, and for a while, you couldn't go to a church potluck without seeing at least one, and sometimes, two or three of these cakes. Then, Cracker Barrel started serving their version of it, and it’s still on their menu.