Monday, October 17, 2011

Good with Food!

Or so Coca-Cola advertisements once told us.  Tonight's food posting features another classically southern recipe: Coca-Cola cake.  If you live/ were raised in the South and have somehow missed out the sheer, blissful deliciousness that is Coca-Cola Cake, then you have been jipped, cheated, deprived even (I'm looking at you Mom and Dad).  But not to worry, because you can rectify that problem now!  I got this recipe, with some minor adjustments and expansions of my own, from the discussion guide for Mark Childress's Georgia Bottoms (which suspiciously resembles one on several recipe sites. I wonder who copied whom).  Although, I had to figure out the frosting for myself since the recipe simply tells you to use Coca-Cola frosting (Gee, thanks).

What You'll Need
Electric mixer                                                               1 knife for chopping
2 small mixing bowls                                                   Cutting board
1 medium mixing bowl                                                 13 x 9 casserole dish
Mixing spoon                                                                Whisk
Small Saucepan                                                            Small cooking spoon
Ingredients for Cake
1 cup Coca-Cola                                                            1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk                                                        2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour                                                2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa                                                                1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 tsp baking soda                                                          1 cup pecans, chopped
2 sticks butter, softened (1 cup)
Ingredients for Frosting
1 stick butter  16 oz powdered sugar                            16 oz confectioner's sugar
1/3 cup Coca-Cola                                                         1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp cocoa

Now Let's Make Coca-Cola Cake
Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let me make a quick note (veiled threat) about ingredients.  First, use real vanilla extract not the fake stuff (blegh!). Second, and most importantly, don't you dare use Diet Coke; it is not the same, so suck it up and deal with the calories (notice, I'm not even considering the possibility that someone might use Pepsi; you wouldn't do that, right? Right.)

Now whisk! Whisk, I said!
Start by preheating the oven to 350F.  In one of your small bowls, mix together 1 cup Coca-Cola and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  Set this aside.  In the other small bowl combine 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup cocoa, and 1 tsp baking soda.  Whisk these together until there are no lumpy bits (doesn't that sound tasty!). If you don't have a whisk handy, you can always use a fork; it'll take a little longer, but don't sweat the small stuff.

Creamy butter
Add 2 sticks of butter to your large mixing bowl. If the butter hasn't gotten soft yet, microwave it for about 20-30 seconds.  The trick is to get the butter soft but not melted.  Beat the butter at a low speed with your electric mixer until creamy (or if you are lacking a mixer, go to your Da's house to use his, like me. *hint, hint*).  Since I think that all soft butter is kind of creamy, I have thoughtfully provided you with a photo of this step.  Sweet? I know.

Still mixing at a low speed, begin gradually adding the 1 1/2 cups sugar.  Beat until well-blended and kind of fluffy.  Crack your two eggs into the bowl. If you get some egg shell in there, just wet your finger and pull it out; that way you don't have to chase the shell around the bowl for 5 minutes (ask me how I know, heh heh).  Add 2 tsp of vanilla, letting it run over a little as you measure it out for extra tastiness.  Beat eggs and vanilla into butter mixture at a low speed until thoroughly blended.

Begin adding the flour mixture and the Coca-Cola mixture to the batter, blending at a low speed.  Alternate between the two as you add, but make sure you begin and end with the flour mixture.  This is particularly important since the Coke, which makes the cake tender and fluffy, will also make your batter somewhat mealy until the next addition of dry ingredients (which looks a little funky, I know).  Make sure that each addition is well-blended before adding more.

Remove the large mixing bowl from the mixer.  Measure out 1 1/2 cups of marshmallows, packing them down nice and tight as you do so (what can I say, I like marshmallows).  Add them to the batter, and stir them in with your mixing spoon.  Do NOT try to blend the marshmallows in with the mixer.  As you stir, make sure the marshmallows get mixed evenly throughout your batter; you don't want a concentration of marshmallows anywhere.

Pour the batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch casserole dish or pan.  Scrape the bowl thoroughly to get as much battery goodness into the cake as possible (let's not be wasteful, y'all), and spread the batter into the pan until all parts are even.  It's a thick batter, so you'll probably have to do a lot of scraping and spooning.  Bake the cake at 350F for 30-40 minutes.  When the cake is done a knife inserted into the middle will come out clean.

Sticky goodness
While the cake is cooling a bit, start preparing your Coca-Cola Frosting.   Cut one stick of butter into chunks into your small saucepan. Add the 1/3 cup Coca-Cola and 3 Tbsp cocoa. Heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the frosting comes to a light boil.  Remove from heat and whisk in the confectioner's sugar and 1 Tbsp vanilla.  Again, if you don't have a whisk, and fork will do fine.

No cake picture for you!
Chop up some pecans into coarse pieces until you have 1 cup. Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the cake. Then, pour the frosting over your cake, spreading it evenly over the top of the cake so that it reaches all the edges and there are no bare bits.  This way your pecans get frosted, too.  However, if you prefer, you can frost the cake and then add the pecans. Both are equally tasty options. The longer the frosted cake sits, the more you'll notice the top of the frosting hardening a bit.  This is normal.

This cake is not a lie.
Let the cake cool for about 10-15 more minutes. Cut the cakes into squares and serve! My picture isn't as pretty as usual, because I got excited and cut the cake a little to soon.  Thus, my square didn't stay geometric, and went plop instead.  Still nommy! Now, where are my leftovers?



  1. But...but the cake IS a lie...

    Egad, that sounds and looks delicious. I'm certain, however, that one slice could potentially count as your meal of the day. Good work!

  2. Mwahahahaaaa! And no, not really for the day, but it's not exactly healthy.

  3. Oh man, I'm gonna have to make sure Emma sees this one. Maybe she'll make one.

    Barrons rocks. And that's all I'm gonna say on that matter.

  4. I agree, Aunt Caiti, he does. Also, if Emma makes one, tell her to use a deep casserole. Mine was a little shallow and that created.... problems.


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