You’ll Never Guess What We Put In This Chocolate Cake

There's something in your refrigerator that you've never thought to put in the batter.

CokeCola Chocolate CakeTaste of Home

If you have a popular soft drink in the fridge, you’re ready to make a moist, indulgent cake that will have your friends asking, “What’s your secret?”

This 13×9 cake has all the traditional cake fixin’s—with one secret ingredient: Coca-Cola! Cola is an out-of-this-world complement to chocolate, so it’s perfect that you’ll find soda in both the cake and its decedent cocoa icing. (Related–you have to check out the new Diet Coke flavors.)

Cola Makes It Pop

The Coca-Cola hidden in this cake has all the special powers expected of a secret ingredient. The syrup-y characteristic of cola makes the cake moist and extra-tasty. The carbonation helps with leavening and keeps the cake fluffy, even with all the rich flavor.

The cola-infused icing goes on the cake while it’s still hot, giving the soft drink another chance to work its magic while soaking into the sheet cake. The boiled icing cools into a fudge-like layer that makes this simple dessert taste luxurious! Get the recipe here.

Baking (and Taking!) Made Easy

This CokeCola Cake is perfect for your next potluck or family dinner because it’s delicious and a cinch to make. Transporting this sheet cake is easy, too–it’s served straight from the pan. See how it’s made.

The recipe doesn’t even insist that you pull out a heavy stand mixer. In fact, all you need is two bowls, a saucepan, a whisk and a 9×13″ to make this crowd pleaser. To make things even more streamlined, there is no cooling time required. Just pour the boiled icing over the steaming cake, cover the 13×9 pan, and you’re out the door. (Here are 65 more amazing desserts ready to bake and take to your next potluck!)

Southern Roots

It’s no surprise that this dessert is the belle of the ball in Georgia where Coca-Cola was first invented.

But Georgia isn’t alone, this cake is popular throughout the southern United States where chefs and home cooks incorporate the popular soft drink into everything from baked beans to ham glaze. It’s often found in our Southern dessert round-ups, (like 30 of our favorite Southern cake recipes), right next to the White Texas Sheet Cake. Both have boiled frosting in common, but the CokeCola Cake is more fudgy because of its fizzy secret ingredient.

Learning the secret behind a recipe’s success is always exciting. Look out for mystery ingredients working magic in everything from black bean brownies to apple-less apple pie squares!

Recipes with Secret Ingredients
1 / 15

Mandy Naglich
Mandy is a food and beverage writer with bylines at WNYC, Munchies, Mic and October. She's a Certified Cicerone and award-winning homebrewer living, writing and cooking in New York City.