Chocolate Cola cake

The theme for the Chester Clandestine Cake Club in June was 'mystery ingredient' and after a work colleague mentioned a cola cake she had tried in the past I decided to give that a go, especially as I have a boyfriend with a cola addiction.

It took a while to sniff out a recipe but I eventually found this one, a James Martin one from the BBC website. Well, the test bake was a disaster! To be honest, it was so long ago that I can't remember exactly why it was a disaster, but I'm fairly sure it was something like the cake mix seemed too runny and after giving it double the time in the oven it was burnt around the edges but sludgy in the middle. Yak!

So back to the now slightly panicked drawing board and I found a tweaked Nigella recipe online so thought I'd better do another test bake. And it was delicious! It came out perfectly - lovely and moist and because it is just a single layer cake, not too heavy going either. I'm normally the first person to feel slightly queasy halfway through a piece of chocolate cake but I could have eaten two pieces of this on the trot!

The only slight disappointment was that I didn't think you could taste the coke in it... although this was quite pleasing in some respects as nobody could guess my mystery ingredient at the cake club!

It was a great theme and fun (if not slightly nerve wracking for a fussy madam like me) to try lots of different cakes not knowing what to expect! Other mystery ingredients included wasabi, mayonnaise and even mashed potato!

I will definitely be making this again and would recommend giving this recipe a try - I got this from Maison Cupcake who had tweaked it to make Cherry Cola Kugelhopf which also looked delicious. I've also since seen this recipe by Cakey Boi for Cola cupcakes which sound more promising on the cola taste front, using cola syrup in the frosting instead of cola - I am still feeling a bit cola caked out after having to make 3 in quick succession for this one but will try them soon!

This is the plain cola version that I used:

200g plain flour
250g golden caster sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp cocoa powder
175ml coca cola
1/2 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp salt
125ml buttermilk, or you can use 30g plain yoghurt mixed with 100ml semi skimmed milk (I did the alternative because I can NEVER find buttermilk!)
1tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:
200g icing sugar, sifted
30g butter
45ml coca cola
1tbsp cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180c / gas mark 4, and grease/line a 22-23cm springform cake tin.
2. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarb.
3. Beat the egg, buttermilk (or equivalent) and vanilla extract in a jug.
4. Melt the butter, cola and cocoa powder together in a saucepan - heat gently.
5. Add the buttery, cola-y, chocolatey goodness from the pan to the dry ingredients, and mix.
6. Add the eggy mixture and beat well.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 40 minutes - a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake should come out clean.
8. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
9. For the icing, melt the butter, cola and cocoa powder in a saucepan until liquid.
10. Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar gradually, beating as you go, then beat until smooth.
11. Spoon over the cake, and try to wait long enough for it to set before digging in!

The final cake I made for the CCC... no cola bottles to give it away!


  1. Yum! Two of my all time faves in one slice ;0)

  2. Cool! Your icing in the last photos looks so inviting! Sounds like a fun theme to work with. I think there's a lemonade or cola cupcake recipe in the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book too.

  3. Cake club sounds like such good fun! I don't like cola but I wouldnt mind having a slice of this cake - looks delicious especially the frosting :)

  4. Interesting...I've never heard of cola in cakes, sounds great and the cake looks lovely and moist. The little cola bottles are really cute on the top too! :-)


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