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Coca-Cola Cake (+Video)

Coca Cola Cake is a classic dessert recipe that is made easy by starting with a boxed cake mix and topping it with a rich, homemade chocolate frosting!


If you like the Coca Cola Cake at Cracker Barrel then you’ll love this cake! Most people can’t taste the Coke as a separate ingredient in this. It just adds that extra little something special that you can’t quite put your finger on. Folks in the south are familiar with this beloved cake. This is a dessert that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth. Whether you’re a fan of Coke or just looking for a delicious chocolate cake recipe, Coca Cola Cake is a must-try dessert that is sure to become a family favorite!

a spatula holding a slice of Coca Cola Cake over the cake pan.


What is Coca Cola Cake?

It is a chocolate cake made with Coca Cola soda in the batter. It is typically topped with a chocolate frosting and chopped nuts.

Where did Coca Cola Cake originate?

The origins are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the Southern United States, where Coca Cola was first invented.

Can I use other soda flavors?

You can substitute with other dark sodas. Dr Pepper, Cherry Coke or Pepsi can all be used as substitutes. Even root beer!

Can I make this into cupcakes?

Want to make them into cupcakes with a Coca Cola Frosting? Try my recipe for Coca Cola Cupcakes!

What if I don’t want to use a cake mix?

Want to make a homemade cake? Try my One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe and instead of the hot water in the recipe, use hot Coca Cola! Or, if you like dark chocolate, try making it with my Homemade Dark Chocolate Cake Recipe and substituting the coffee with Coca Cola.

What does Coca Cola Cake taste like?

You don’t actually taste a strong cola flavor. I think the Coca Cola just adds a depth of flavor and richness to the chocolate cake.

The frosting seems thin, can I double it?

The frosting is rich so you don’t need as much as you think. It is just the right amount for this cake; however, if you really want a thick frosting, you can certainly double the recipe.

How do I store this cake?

This cake will typically last for 2 days if stored at room temperature in an airtight container. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.

a slice of Coca Cola cake on a small white plate with a bite removed and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  • chocolate fudge cake mix – you can use your favorite chocolate cake here, most chocolate cake flavors work just fine
  • instant chocolate pudding – make sure to grab instant and not the cook and serve, sometimes the packaging is not obvious but if you don’t get the instant, it won’t turn out.
  • Coca-Cola – everyone always asks me about Diet Coke – yes, technically you can use it but I think it can sometimes add a strange flavor (just my personal taste on that)
  • unsweetened cocoa – you’ll find this in the baking aisle, Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder is generally the most popular brand and the one you find in most grocery stores
  • heavy cream – I love what heavy cream adds to the frosting, it really makes it so perfectly rich but you can use milk (see my notes below)
  • powdered sugar – you’ll sometimes see it called confectioners sugar
  • chopped nuts – I love chopped walnuts or pecans on it but my family does not so this is a personal preference (sometimes I do half and half)
chocolate fudge cake mix, instant chocolate pudding, Coca Cola, butter, vanilla, eggs, oil, water, powdered sugar, cocoa powder.


Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. See photo below: we won’t be adding water. Instead we will replace it with Coca Cola.

Duncan Hines Chocolate Cake mix directions shown.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, stir together cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, oil and Coke for about 2 minutes on medium speed.

cake mix, dry pudding mix, eggs, oil and Coke in a white mixing bowl.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake according to package directions (usually 35-40 minutes).

chocolate cake batter shown in a glass rectangle baking dish.

Note: The cake may have a slight dip in the center. This is normal if it happens. When it is done, a toothpick will come out clean.

fully cooked chocolate cake in a clear baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, gently melt butter. Whisk in cocoa powder and heavy cream (or milk, if using) and stir.

cocoa powder and melted butter in a saucepan.

Then whisk in confectioners sugar. Whisk briskly to get all the lumps out. 

powdered sugar added to butter and cocoa powder in a saucepan.

Take mixture off heat and stir in vanilla extract.

Pour frosting over warm cake and gently spread it evenly over cake. Sprinkle with chopped nuts (if using). Now, if you want, you can pop it in the fridge to get the icing to harden up a bit. Totally optional.

pouring chocolate frosting on top of cake.

Slice and serve (this is delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!)

closeup photo of a slice of Coca Cola cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


Originally published: June 2011
Updated & republished: May 2023

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake recipe from The Country Cook.

Coca Cola Cake (+Video)

Coca Cola Cake is a classic dessert recipe that is made easy by starting with a boxed cake mix and topping it with a rich, homemade chocolate frosting! 
4.97 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Coca Cola Cake, Coca Cola Chocolate Cake, Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 418kcal


For the cake:

  • 15.25 ounce box chocolate fudge cake mix
  • 4 ounce instant chocolate pudding (small box)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 4 Tablespoons heavy cream (you may need one or two more Tablespoons depending on how thin or thick you like your frosting) *see notes below
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, stir together 15.25 ounce box chocolate fudge cake mix, 4 ounce instant chocolate pudding, 3 large eggs, 1/3 cup oil and 1 cup Coca-Cola for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake according to package directions (usually 35-40 minutes). Note: The cake will have a slight dip in the center. This is normal. When it is done, a toothpick will come out clean.

For the frosting:

  • In a medium saucepan, over medium-low heat, start melting 1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter.
  • Add in 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa and 4 Tablespoons heavy cream and stir.
  • Then whisk in 2 cups powdered sugar. Stir briskly with a whisk to get all the lumps out.
  • Take mixture off heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • Pour frosting over cake and evenly spread it out over cake.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts on top, if using. I think this cake is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 



  • If you are using milk instead of heavy cream, you will probably only need about 3-4 Tablespoons of it because milk is thinner than heavy cream. Just use your judgement on it. Start with less and add a little at a time to get the right consistency. Or, you can always add a bit more powdered sugar to the frosting to make it thicker if you like. 
  • Other chocolate cake mix flavors can be used. 


Calories: 418kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 544mg | Potassium: 211mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 485IU | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I'm wondering if it matters if the coke is flat or not…..? Does the fiz in the coke make the cake more fluffy or moist? Guess I'll find out, cuz I had a coke left over from last weekend that I saved just 4 this cake, but I meant 2 make it B4 now, but NE way, I'll try 2 Remember 2 post back & let y'all know! NE 1 else tried this?

  2. I've always made the old fashioned home made coca cola cake which my mother in law had shared with me when I first married her only son, whose favorite cake was Coca Cola Cake, but this is a must try. My grandkids are always asking for me to make them one and this is simple enough to whip up anytime for them.
    Thanks for sharing..

  3. This is a quick and easy chocolate sheet cake. This is a good stand in for Cracker barrel 's Coca Cola cake; which is heaven on a plate! My two favorite things in the world are together, Coca Cola and Chocolate! This Cake turned out just perfect. (I was concerned at first since the batter was a little thick). The icing for this cake is so yummy too! thanks Brandie, I follow your recipes often!

  4. I was thinking, why can't I just use a cake mix and substitute the water for Coca-Cola? Here, you've read my mind, before I even thought it, ha ha. I think I'm gonna use 1 cup Coke and 1/2 cup buttermilk, as some of the scratch recipes use buttermilk. But some of them use up to (not kidding) 2 cups of butter. OMG, why would a cake need that much butter? I'm gonna try your recipe and I bet it turns out fab! Thanks for the post

  5. Gonna try this with Dr. Pepper, since that's what I have on hand, but won't do it right away, since we're both diabetics and I usually make these things only for church events or family get-togethers. I'm thinking this would be great for my sister's house on Thanksgiving, as a change from all the pumpkin and apple desserts that will be there! If I can think to respond, I'll let you know how it worked out with Dr.. Pepper 10! 🙂

  6. I've never had a Coke cake, but I'm totally up for it!!! I mean, who the heck doesn't like chocolate, anyway (except all the poor saps who are allergic to it)? When making 7-Up cake, my grandmothers & aunts usually add a little of the soda to the icing/glaze recipe to help give it a little lemon-lime "kick". I think I might try adding a little cola to this frosting just to see how it turns out…

  7. Thank you for posting this recipe. Cracker Barrel is one my favorite places to eat and this cake is often hard to resist! I am glad I can make it at home now for a fraction of the cost per serving. Thank you for posting!

  8. I have never been a cake eater, but one of my friends on facebook posted it, and I could just hear it calling my name. After doing an extensive search on the web for the recipe, I found yours to look and sound the best. I am right now in the process of making it, and will let you know how well it turned out, and since my grandkids live across the street, I will be able to include their opinion as well. I even have a feeling my diabetic hubby might sneak a bite too, even though it is a no-no. Thank you for sharing your recipe with me!

  9. Just made this cake & put the icing on it, now I'm wondering what a couple others are wondering, refrigerate or not??

  10. My boys loved this cake as did I. My oldest is not really a cake eater and I think he ate the most…Awesome recipe, defintley will use again!

  11. Made this yesterday and it was the best cake ever! Making it again for a friend next week, it is going to be my favorite cake to make. Thank you! So easy with the cake mix! barb

  12. Thank you for sharing this wonderful, delicious, yummy recipe. I found your recipe on Pinterest. The cake was easy to make and has great favor. The cake came out perfect and moist. I made the cake twice and every time it's been a big hit.

  13. I've made this cake twice now and everyone loves it. it taste great! I did add milk chocolate morsals to cake mix, to make it a little richer and added pecans to icing before pouring onto cake. Thanks for a delicious cake!!

  14. Does the pudding play a big factor in how the cake turns out? Halfway through the cake baking, I found the pudding box pushed behind the toaster oven! And I was also curious about the refrigeration aspect.


  15. Does this need refrigerated? I wasn't sure since it had the heavy cream in the icing? Can you please tell me what you usually do? I made it today and turned it into cake balls with marashino cherries stuffed in each ball!! I can't wait to try them!! Thanks for the recipe, from what I tasted while making the cake balls, it's delicious!!!

  16. Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix is the best in the world!!!

    Wow, I'm so glad I found your site. Lots of good recipes!

    Thank you.

  17. Thi cake just like the 7up lemon cake was incredible…this was one of the moistest cakes i've ever had..another great recipe thanks.. Made this for family & they loved it… Will be making again

  18. 5 stars
    I love this blog <3
    I don't actually cook, but I like to bake. I made this cake for my family and it is so moist and delicious. A big hit with everyone and I will definitely make it again. Thank you for all of the fantastic recipes!

  19. macawsj – thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I really appreciate it. I am so happy y'all liked this one!! 🙂

  20. Wendy – coca cola cake is traditionally a chocolate cake and that's the only way I've made it. Not sure I would want to do it with a marble cake to be honest. The coke really adds to the chocolate flavor (although you don't really taste it as a separate ingredient). But lots of great recipes come from experimenting with different flavors. :o)