Wherever there is fun, there's always... Coca-Cola-Cake?
February 13, 2009 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Coca-Cola Chocolate Cake recipes, please!

Valentine's day approaches, and my boyfriend sure likes him some Coca-Cola. I'd like to make him a chocolate-cola cake. I've also heard these called "Texas Sheet Cakes". I've googled this, of course, and found some recipes, but I was hoping someone here would have actually made one themselves and have tips.

The key requirements for me are a recipe that's (a) easy to bake (b) tastes strongly of Coke, and (c) has a Coke-flavoured frosting.

Also, I was thinking that after the cake came out of the oven, and before frosting it, I might stab the cake with a fork and drizzle on some reduced Coke (simmered to a more syrupy consistency) to give the cake more moisture & flavour- anyone know if that'll work?

Thanks! (so excited to try this!)
posted by pseudostrabismus to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Just FYI, as far as searching online for recipes, "Texas Sheet Cake" is not always the same thing as Coca Cola Cake. At least in my family, Texas Sheet Cake is a dense, chocolate cake baked in a cookie sheet (rather than a cake pan). It has a chocolate frosting that is essentially cocoa, powdered sugar, butter, and pecans, and you just pour it over the top of the cake. It does not have Coke in it. Obviously, this name could also refer to a cake with Coke in it, but it's not necessarily the case.
posted by unknowncommand at 2:28 PM on February 13, 2009

The recipes I've seen for Coca Cola Cake are very similar to recipes for Texas Sheet Cake, but they aren't the same. They use Coke instead of water, and a little less sugar. However, while very easy to bake, they don't taste of Coke at all -- the cake is richer tasting, yes, but doesn't taste of Coke.

I've never seen a recipe for a Coca Cola cake that actually tastes like Coke.
posted by jlkr at 3:02 PM on February 13, 2009

All the recipes I've seen for Coca Cola cake have been very simple: Stir a can of Coke into a boxed chocolate cake mix, and bake it according to the box directions. Unfortunately the result does not taste anything like Coca Cola, but it is lower in fat than the usually-prepared cake.
posted by vytae at 3:29 PM on February 13, 2009

Best answer: Full disclosure: the following is just speculation - seems logical, but I haven't done it myself. But I do like experimenting...

I like the simmered coke reduction idea. That should have a very strong coke taste. Just go low heat so it doesn't scorch. There's a lot of HF corn syrup in there, and it seems like a good reduction could be used to replace the corn syrup in a corn syrup sweetened frosting recipe like this, which doesn't appear to have other dominant flavors in it. So much for the frosting.

Assuming that you can get a good coke reduction down to a consistency close to corn syrup, the question arises: can you replace the sugar in the cake recipe with syrup? Here's a research paper (PDF) that suggests it can be done. They tried different recipes experimentally. They concluded:
At the levels of 0 and 50% HFCS replacement for sucrose, fewer differences were observed between cakes made with CF and with APF. However, when the level of HFCS replacement was increased to 75 and 100%, the use of CF produced a cake that was more tender than that prepared with APF. Increased browning and lowered volumes were evident in all cakes containing HFCS, but both effects were less when using CF. These results do not support the work of Beery (1982) who reported that cakes prepared with HFCS require a high-protein flour. The use of CF, a lower protein flour, increased the tenderness and volume of cakes when a higher replacement level of HFCS was used. Thus, this study suggests that CF can be used with HFCS in baked products while minimizing the loss of tenderness and volume. A satisfactory cake was made with HFCS replacement for sucrose and CF as indicated by sensory evaluation.
HCFS: high fructose corn syrup
APF: all purpose flour
CF: cake flour

Finally, leaving the experimenting out of it, there's this recipe for coca cola cake and frosting; never tried it myself, and it seems to have a predominant cocoa base - don't know if that masks or enhances the coke flavor.

Good lick -- hope you let us know how it turns out!
posted by buzzv at 5:58 PM on February 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The outcome: I followed this recipe.

I reduced about 1.5 cups of Coke to a syrup about as thick as cough syrup (20 minutes in an uncovered saucepan on very low heat), then added a little more Coke to the Coke-syrup so it would be more runny. Stabbed the warm cake all over with a chopstick; poured on the syrup mixture, then another half-cup of plain Coke for good measure.

I used the frosting recipe at that link but let the frosting sit for a bit so it would thicken before I put it on the cake (it's way too much frosting, BTW- if you're following that recipe you can pretty much halve the frosting ingredients and they'll still frost a 9x13 inch cake).

Result: the cake turned out fine, the frosting was fine, but it didn't taste like Coke. I even poured more Coke on the cake in my bowl and it didn't taste like Coke. It needs more acidity- If you try this, I'd use orange juice or more Coke in place of the milk, and add maybe add a tablespoon of lemon juice and some lemon zest, too.

Still a nice Valentine's day- thanks for the advice, MeFi!
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:15 PM on February 14, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, and by the way- the Coke syrup was delicious. I'm definitely gonna make that again. It would be great on ice cream. I could see a dinner party going apeshit over it.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:17 PM on February 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I just thought of something -- you actually don't have to simmer it down -- all you have to do is put it in the freezer. When it freezes, the water leaves the coke solution to become ice. While this is going on, the remaining coke just gets more and more concentrated. (This is the same thing that happens in sea water - the ice floating on the ocean is fresh water, with tiny little concentrated pockets of super-strong brine in it, which most of the time melt their way out.) I forgot that I've done this before to make stronger coke/icecream floats. Might work for you.
posted by buzzv at 12:12 AM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

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