Last Thanksgiving I had a good friend tell me that he was planning a Southern Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings. He wanted to know my recommendations for a good Southern dessert. I couldn’t believe that I didn’t have a single blog post to refer him to. Shocking! I quickly listed out some of my recommendations such as pound cake (see this sparkling cider version), caramel cake (as see at my 30th birthday celebration), pecan pie (on the agenda for this year’s Thanksgiving!), and one of my personal favorites…Classic Coca Cola Chocolate cake from Cracker Barrel, and immediately made a note to start making more desserts! Side note about this dessert: I don’t know if Cracker Barrel created this cake & everyone started making it or if they put it on menu because its a classic Southern dessert. Either way, whether you make it yourself or somehow manage to save room after a Cracker Barrel dinner, this is a long time favorite dessert!
The closest Cracker Barrel to me is in Las Vegas (though I’ve yet to visit that one) & while I will take any excuse to hop on a plane to Vegas, its really not something I get very often (my waistline thanks me for that!). If you’ve never been to a Cracker Barrel, you’re missing out. Its the place to stop on a family road trip or vacation. Cracker Barrels always have a long front porch filled with rocking chairs for you to enjoy while you wait for your table or for after your meal to recover from how much food you ate! One whole side of their restaurants are dedicated to an old fashioned country store. I love going in around the holidays to see their decor items. They have inexpensive toys for kids, barrels full of candy, and lovely scented candles. Yes, it’s a little cheesy, but so much fun that I’m never ready when they call us for our table! Here are some old snapshots of us hanging out on Cracker Barrel porches:
Here’s the thing about Cracker Barrel food. It’s home style, comfort food. The kind that is designed to taste incredible, make you feel good, and stuff you to the gills. It’s not the most photogenic food. This isn’t the kind of thing where I’m reaching for my phone to get that perfect Instagram or a showy Martha Stewart inspired centerpiece for your party sideboard. This is the kind of dessert that you heap unceremoniously into large bowls and dump ice cream on top. This is the kind of dessert that makes your friends secretly wish you’d invite them over for dinner instead of dressing up & heading to a restaurant. This is the kind of dessert that makes people remember your home cooking.
I’m not sure that the photos can truly convey how decadent, moist, and delicious this cake is. The added coca cola makes the cake is incredibly moist and spongy. Then here’s the trick to it…pour the liquid icing on top of that spongy cake while its hot. It will be runny, it’s okay, it’s supposed to do that. As it sets, your icing will start to crust up just a tiny bit giving it the tiniest little crunch as you bite into it. Heaven! I like to serve it a little warm, but its really good straight out of the pan in the fridge at 3am as well! 😉
This cake deserves to be served with vanilla ice cream on top. Drizzle some extra icing on it to spread the love!
- 1 cup Coca-Cola
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- For the Frosting:
- 1/4 lb butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- 6 tablespoons cream or milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 pound of powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease & flour a 9x13 inch baking pan & set aside.
- Add coca-cola, oil, butter, and cocoa to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (I use my KitchenAid bowl here): sugar, flour and salt.
- Pour the hot mixture over the dry ingredients & beat or mix well.
- Add in eggs, buttermilk, baking soda, and vanilla.
- Beat until well mixed.
- Pour batter into your baking pan & bake for 20-25 minutes.
- For Frosting:
- Using your same small saucepan, heat up butter, cocoa, and milk.
- Warm until the butter melts.
- Mix in the vanilla and powdered sugar.
- Icing will be very liquidy. Pour over the hot cake when it comes out of the oven.
- Allow to cool until warm to the touch, then cut & serve with vanilla ice cream!