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Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake Recipe

A nostalgic chocolatey Southern treat!

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated September 25, 2022

When you’re in the mood for a decadent dessert, this Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake will hit the spot.

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake

Cracker Barrel is a beloved American restaurant chain, founded by Tennessee native Dan Evins. His vision was to serve quality, consistent food that people could count on no matter where they were.

Today, many of Cracker Barrel’s dishes are rooted in Southern cuisine and classic American fare. This Coca Cola cake is a Cracker Barrel staple and harkens back to the days of simple, old-fashioned desserts.

This sweet chocolatey cake uses real Coca Cola from a bottle, not the syrup! The carbonation gives the cake moisture and fluffiness, while the cola gives it a unique flavor.

Some Coca Cola cake recipes use melted marshmallows for the icing, giving it a unique sticky texture. For this recipe, I’m using simple confectioners sugar with a bit of Coca Cola to tie the flavors together.

This dessert is typically made as a sheet cake, so it’s great for parties and picnics. It’s delicious on its own or served with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cracker Barrel’s Coca Cola cake is a great alternative to your typical chocolate cake. Revisit the taste of childhood with this nostalgic, classic chocolate cake recipe!

All About The Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake Ingredients

Coca Cola

Coca Cola is the not-so-secret ingredient of this cake! Also known as coke, this soda was invented in the 19th century in Atlanta, Georgia.

The exact flavors of Coca Cola are top secret, but the drink is characterized by carbonation, sugar, and caramel color. It has a syrupy sweet taste and has become not only a drink but an ingredient in Southern cuisine.


Marshmallows are a popular candy made from gelatin, sugar, and water. To get the soft fluffy texture, this mixture of ingredients is whipped until soft.

Gelatin is key to any marshmallow recipe since it helps create a gooey texture. (1) It also keeps the ingredients from separating even when the marshmallow is melted.

Marshmallows are often eaten on their own, or melted and added to desserts. You can find marshmallows as a topping for cakes, mashed sweet potatoes, and as a filling for S’mores!

Cocoa Powder

Cocoa powder is powdered and unsweetened chocolate. It’s typically used as an ingredient in dessert cuisine or added to beverages to make hot chocolate.

At the grocery store, you can typically find two varieties of cocoa powder: natural or Dutch blend. Dutch blend has a milder chocolate flavor, whereas natural cocoa is much stronger.

If you’re making a cake or other recipe that uses baking powder, opt for Dutch blend cocoa. The acids are neutralized in Dutch blend cocoa, so they won’t react with the baking powder.

All-Purpose Flour

All-purpose flour is the best flour to use for this cake, due to its density and neutral flavor. All-purpose flour (sometimes called AP flour) is made from a blend of hard and soft wheats.

All-purpose flour is used in the majority of baked goods, from cakes to breads due to its mild taste. However, the nutritional value of all-purpose flour is much lower than varieties like almond or whole wheat flour.


Drinking buttermilk straight might make you pucker, but this ingredient is perfect for baking! At its core, buttermilk is just fermented milk, but the acid content is what makes it great for cooking.

The acidity of buttermilk helps add tanginess to baked goods, which helps balance sweetness. The acid also activates baking soda, which helps baked goods rise and become fluffy and light.

In this Coca Cola cake, the buttermilk reacts with the carbonation in the soda to help the cake rise.

If you can’t find buttermilk at the grocery store, it’s simple enough to make at home. Simply mix 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

Let the mixture sit and curdle for about 10 minutes, then it will be ready!

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake recipe

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake Recipe

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time40 min
  • Total Time60 min
  • Servings10
  • Yield10

Level: Easy


Coca Cola Cake:




  1. Preheat Oven

    Set the oven to 350°F.

  2. Sift Flour and Sugar Together

    Sift the flour and the sugar into a bowl to get rid of any clumps.

  3. Add Marshmallows

    Add mini marshmallows to the flour mixture.

  4. Heat Coca Cola, Butter, Oil, and Cocoa

    Heat a saucepan over medium-high. Add butter, cocoa, oil, and Coca Cola and stir to combine.

    Let the mixture come to a boil.

  5. Mix Wet Ingredients with Dry

    Pour the contents of the saucepan into the bowl with the flour, sugar, and marshmallows. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to blend.

  6. Add Buttermilk and Baking Soda

    In a separate bowl, add baking soda and buttermilk and stir until the baking soda dissolves.

    Add the buttermilk mixture to the cake batter and blend.

  7. Beat in Eggs and Vanilla

    Finally, beat the eggs and vanilla extract into the cake batter.

  8. Bake

    Pour batter into a greased cake pan. Then, bake in the oven for 40 minutes, and check for doneness by inserting a skewer into the center.

  9. Simmer Butter, Coca Cola and Cocoa on Stovetop

    Add Coca Cola, butter and cocoa powder to a saucepan. Heat on medium-high until the mixture comes to a boil.

  10. Blend With Powdered Sugar, Nuts, and Vanilla

    Add powdered sugar, pecans, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Pour the boiled Coca Cola mixture overtop and beat until creamy.

  11. Frost the Chocolate Cake

    Spread the frosting over the warm cake, so it absorbs some of the flavors.

    Let the Coca Cola chocolate cake cool for 10-15 minutes, then cut and serve.

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake serve

Storage Instructions

The frosting helps keep the cake from drying out, so this cake can be enjoyed for days afterwards!

All you need to do for storage is lightly wrap the cake in saran wrap to keep out the dust. Since this frosting has butter, it can stay on the counter at room temperature for up to 2 days.

You can keep this cake covered in the refrigerator for up to a month. Keep in mind that cakes dry out faster in the refrigerator.

The best way to preserve leftovers of this Coca Cola cake long-term is to freeze it. Leave the cake in the refrigerator to harden the frosting, then wrap it in plastic wrap and tin foil.

The cake will keep in the freezer for up to 9 months. To defrost, leave the cake on the counter for an hour, or in the refrigerator overnight.

Cracker Barrel Coca Cola Cake - Pinterest

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
  • 553Calories
  • 14.8g Fat
  • 105.3g Carbs
  • 5.1gProtein
Show Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat14.8g 19%
Saturated Fat3g 15%
Sodium162mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate105.3g 38%
Dietary Fiber2g 7%
Total Sugars80.3g
Vitamin C3mcg 15%
Calcium29mg 2%
Iron2mg 11%
Potassium153mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.
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