Saturday, August 24, 2013

Have a Cake and a Smile (It Makes You Feel Good)

My friend, Lee Ann, recently had a new back patio installed, so she decided to celebrate with an end-of-summer/back-to-school southwestern-themed BBQ. They prepared quite a few dishes on their own--her husband Steve's (pictured left with another cowpoke, Rufus) smoked brisket was my personal favorite--and then the rest was potluck. I brought a big vat of the beloved corn salad/salsa made with seasonal sweet corn. But I wanted to bring a dessert, too. One of my foodie friends (and former caterer), Randi, recently made a Coca-Cola cake by request for a friend's wedding anniversary. I was intrigued, so I thought I might try making one for the party.

The recipe is more southern than southwestern, but I didn't hear anyone at the party complaining! It was certainly easy to make, and it turned out very moist and delicious. I still prefer The Pioneer Woman's Texas sheet cake, which is somewhat similar, but I would certainly make this again. In fact, I did, because I brought a piece home for my roommate, and she insisted that I make another cake for us right away! Tee hee. I did oblige her, but I made half the recipe in a loaf pan, and that was perfect for just the two of us. I also omitted the mini-marshmallows the second time around. I thought the kids would like them for the party, but I don't know how to keep them from all floating to the top and glomming up in the middle. Moreover, the cake is plenty sweet without them.

Coca-Cola Cake
(Source: The Coca-Cola Company)
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 1/2 cups mini-marshmallows, optional
1/2 cups butter
1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cups butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
6  tablespoons Coca-Cola
1 box (16-ounces) confectioners' sugar (3 3/4 cups)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, sift the sugar and flour.
  3. Add marshmallows.
  4. In a saucepan, mix the butter, oil, cocoa and Coca-Cola. Bring to a boil and pour over dry ingredients; blend well.
  5. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk just before adding to batter along with eggs and vanilla extract, mixing well.
  6. Pour into a well-greased 9- by-13-inch pan and bake 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and frost immediately.
  7. To make frosting, combine butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a saucepan.* Bring to a boil and pour over confectioners' sugar, blending well. Add vanilla extract and pecans. Spread over hot cake. When cool, cut into squares and serve.
*I prefer to melt the butter and cook the pecans in it for a few minutes until the mixture starts to smell toasty/nutty. Then add the cocoa and Coke, bring to a boil, and continue with the recipe as written.

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