I am not a coke drinker. Okay, well, very rarely, say with Mexican food, I MIGHT crave a diet coke (sorry!), but it’s been ages. However, I love Coca Cola Cake. Are you familiar with this southern staple? The non-vegan versions are moist sheet cakes – make that ultra moist sheet cakes – topped with marshmallows and a fudgy frosting (the kind that gets ever-so-slightly crusty) and a layer of pecans, toasted for extra flavor. And my vegan version of coca cola cake is too!
Looking back, I had my first taste of Coca Cola Cake at an Academy Awards party years ago when I lived in Nashville. It was one of those “love at first bite” moments. A guilty pleasure for sure. Recent NPR clips about the most recent Academy Awards must have triggered that culinary memory because I started craving Coca Cola Cake.
I made the cake for a “Critique Treat” last week in my AP Studio Art class. My students LOVED it and some even asked for the recipe. I have one adorable gal who is allergic to all nuts – think Epi-Pen allergic – so I left off the pecans and passed them separately.
Veganizing this Coca Cola Cake was simple: I just substituted dairy-free margarine and “faux” buttermilk for their dairy cousins, substituted baking powder for eggs, and omitted the marshmallows. I know vegan marshmallows are available, but they are expensive and I haven’t seen them locally, so I was content just to leave them out. We didn’t miss them and neither will you!
I know that some of you are adamantly opposed to Coca Cola, but there is less than 1-1/2 cups in the whole cake plus frosting. Plus, the fizzy carbonation and deep caramely notes of the Coca-Cola does magical things to the texture and taste of this cake. And keep in mind, you can use another brand of cola, such as Blue Sky or China Cola, for a natural alternative.
For more details and to enter the recipe contest, see this post: http://www.godairyfree.org/news/so-delicious-dairy-free-3-course-recipe-contest
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For a soy-free and vegan coca cola cake, use a dairy-free soy-free margarine (Earth Balance has a couple options) and opt for grapeseed, rice bran, or canola oil in place of the vegetable oil (which often contains soybean oil).