I’d always wanted to try a copy cat recipe for Cracker Barrel’s famous “Coke Cake”. I finally got around to it because I had to test out this Viva Labs organic cacao powder.
I’m happy with the powder and happy with both the cake and frosting turn out.

cacao powder

This recipe isn’t really for beginners with a bit of technique being required but with my easy to follow instructions here, anyone should be able to pull it off.
Warning: this was NOT an arthritis friendly recipe. My hands, wrists, arms and shoulders are feeling the effort mixing this recipe took and my back is feeling the time spent standing for the prep work.
That said, the finished product is pretty delicious so I’d call it: worth it!

Here’s a pic of what I’m enjoying, as I am writing this up for you:

Here’s what you’ll need, ingredients-wise to start:


1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Coca-Cola
2 cup Sugar
2 cup Flour
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Buttermilk (or 1/2 cup Milk and 1 tsp Lemon Juice)
2 tsp Vanilla


3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Chocolate Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla

*This is absolutely not my own recipe – it is posted on various copycat sites.

Here’s what I did…

I started out by getting all the ingredients measured out and ready:

Make the cake:

Bring the butter, oil and coke to a boil in a large sauce pan.
When dumped in together (once the butter melted) they looked like this:

It only took a few minutes over medium heat to boil.

As you can see, it wasn’t pretty. It gets better, trust me.
Now – I’d previously blended my 2 cups of sifted flour and 2 cups of granulated sugar together. I slowly whisked the concoction in – over the medium heat.


This will be a sticky mess- DO NOT stop moving it! Once it’s all blended together, it’ll look like this:

Remove from heat.
Add the buttermilk.

Slowly add in the cacao powder. Be careful, as it’s a very fine dust. I added in small amounts at a time, blending it well each time before adding more. I also added in the vanilla extract & baking soda at this time.
added choc off heat

In a separate container I had lightly beaten the 2 eggs.
The cake batter is likely still hot – mine was – and you don’t want to cook the eggs. I found it was too sticky to temper the eggs. So I transferred it to a bowl out of the hot pan and let it sit for a little bit while I preheated the oven (350 degrees) and prepared the frosting. (Frosting instructions below.)

Once the cake batter is cooler, I added the eggs.

Once it was well-blended, I simply scraped it into a 13 x 9 inch cake dish and baked for 30 minutes.

Cream the butter & cacao powder.
(I left the butter on the stove top while pre-heating the oven. The heat softened it quickly.)

Add in the chocolate syrup, Coke and vanilla extract.
It will be a lumpy / grainy mess – that’s okay. This will smooth out as you blend in the powdered sugar.


I beat in the sugar about a cup at a time until I achieved the sweetness and consistency I desired.


This was a little under 3 cups of the confectioner’s sugar for me.

Cracker Barrel serves it warm with vanilla ice cream.
I actually like it cold so after the cake cooled, I frosted it and I store it in the fridge. You CAN frost this cake while it’s warm.

Finished product: