Cheap Recipe: Coca-Cola Fudge Cake (a la Cracker Barrel)

31 Jan

For a text-only version of this recipe and complete ingredients listing, click here.

An American Institution. With powdered sugar on top. 🙂

Coca-Cola has bragged for decades that their soft drink makes this chocolate cake the moistest of its kind. Actually, I’m betting it’s the half pound of butter in the batter, but who cares? It’s still delicious, and a bit of an American institution. And who doesn’t go for a chocolate bundt cake?

Actually, I spent years afraid of making chocolate cakes — particularly the long-baking bundt variety — because I was always afraid of burning them. It’s hard to tell when the edges are scorching against such a dark (rich!) background, but there’s an easy trick to making a perfectly baked chocolate cake. Read on!

Instead of using the toothpick test straight out of the oven, I recommend instead using the “wobble” test. Especially with thick pans like bundts, you can rest assured that your cake will continue to bake for a few minutes after you remove it from the oven. (Provided you’re not sticking it straight in a refrigerator, that is.)

So…pulling the cake the moment it’s no longer wobbly when you shake it (or, as Pioneer Woman says, “when it no longer jiggles like my bottom,”) is really the goal here. Straight out of the oven at that point, there’s probably no way in heck an inserted toothpick will come out clean, but let it sit out on the counter for a good ten minutes (still cooking on the inside, but not burning on the outside), and you’ll get that clean toothpick center you were waiting for without the stress of chiseling off burnt edges later.

The head on this will put a pint of Guinness to shame...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large measuring cup (or small pitcher), combine 1/2 cup buttermilk with 1 cup cola soft drink and set aside for a few minutes. Word to the wise: It has a tendency to foam all over the place when you first combine them, so make sure you’ve got room in your cup for the head until it fizzes back down to normal. Also, make sure to measure both ingredients SEPARATELY rather than just putting 1/2 cup buttermilk in the measuring device and then planning to pour coke over it until it reaches the 1-1/2 cup mark. Otherwise you’ll end up waiting half an hour for the foam to die back so you can measure it. 🙂

Nom, nommity nom...

In a small bowl, combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and set mixture aside.

Beat 2 sticks (1 cup) butter in electric mixer. Add 2 cups granulated sugar and beat until smooth. To the butter mixture, add 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Beat again, until creamy.

Crack two eggs into the batter, and slowly add the liquid (cola/buttermilk) mixture; beat again. Next, add the dry (flour) mixture, beating slowly this time, just until incorporated.

Oh, Yum...

Finally, fold into the batter about 3/4 cup miniature marshmallows and 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Pour batter into a greased/floured bundt (or other) pan. Bake at 350  — for a bundt, allow 30-35 minutes; for a regular sheet cake, begin checking after 20 minutes.

When cake passes the “wobble” test mentioned above, it’s ready to come out of the oven, but allow it to cool at room temperature for at least 20 minutes in the pan before transferring. Meanwhile, you can begin your frosting.

Feel free to lick the bowl like crazy.

For the frosting, combine 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter in a saucepan over medium heat with 1/2 cup Coca-Cola. Add 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, stirring constantly over heat. A cup at a time, add 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, stirring well. Remove from heat when thick and saucy and immediately stir in 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Jamie was caught red-handed by my zoom-lens. Ornery little stinkerpants. 🙂

Pour warm chocolate frosting over the cake. If you have leftover chocolate chips, you can sprinkle them on top with some powdered sugar, if desired.

Definitely the moistest around!

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for your true Cracker Barrel moment. 🙂




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