Classic Southern Dessert Series: Cherry Coke Cake

I’ve been wanting to make this cake forever. Anyone who knows me knows that I am slightly addicted to Cherry Coke. When I was in high school I was on the newspaper staff. We spent a many a night at school late working on our publication and I always had this delicious beverage in hand. If I didn’t, people were concerned. Even my wedding pictures included a Cherry Coke bottle (and it totally wasn’t staged)!

I am not usually a lick the beater kind of girl but this cake batter totally changed me. I licked it clean and I’m not afraid to admit it. I didn’t save any for Joel and I don’t feel bad about it. I don’t even care for chocolate cake but the Cherry Coke gave it such a light, airy, bubbly texture that I just couldn’t resist. Amazing. I couldn’t taste the Cherry Coke in the finished product but it was extremely moist and airy due to the carbonation. I couldn’t get it out of the pan in one piece because of the moistness (is that a word?). And the crunch of the toasted pecans totally makes this cake. It was a huge win in our house and it marked off another item in my Top 100 list.

Cherry Coke Cake
recipe slightly* adapted from Classic Southern Desserts by Southern Living

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup Cherry Coke
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Cherry Coke Frosting

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange chopped nuts in a single layer in a shallow pan. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant.
2. Combine cola and buttermilk.
3. Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; beat at low speed just until blended.
4. Combine flour, cocoa and baking soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13×9-inch pan.
5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes.
6. Pour Cherry Coke Frosting over warm cake; sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Cherry Coke Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup cherry coke
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large saucepn over medium heat, stirring until butter melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Use immediately.

*Original recipe called for regular Coke.



  1. Hi Meg,
    You look so pretty on your wedding day. This is truly a southern classic, Cherry Coke Cake and your recipe looks delicious. I can almost taste and am going to make it very soon. Thank you so much for sharing with our 1st Anniversary Party at Full Plate Thursday. Have a great week end and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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