Cola Cake with Broiled Peanut Butter Frosting

Cola Cake with Broiled Peanut Butter Frosting

Ever since I was 13 years old I have not drank soda. I just sort of decided one day that I was perfectly happy drinking water with food and to quench my thirst so why waste the calories? I’ve always had this terrible pet peeve with drinking my calories (same reason why I turned to vodka shots in college rather than mixed drinks, etc). Gotta say though, it’s kind of terrible for a non-obese 13 year old to be thinking that way. Oh, the society we live in…

Anyways, later in life I campaigned against soda simply because I consider it to be like poison for your body. My Husband was vastly disappointed that I would never let it into the house. The rule is and always will be- you can buy it for yourself as you’d like, but I will not allow it to become a staple in my house. It’s just not fair for me to say “you can’t have it”. I am simply not that controlling haha So he indulges on occasion when he grabs lunch at a fast food place usually. Well, while he was deployed last November I bought a rack of coke to provide for the guys helping me move. They only drank two! That left me with 10 cans of cola that I didn’t really want lying around the house for my Husband. I had to think of ways to use up the cola.

Enter: Cola Cake! I had only ever skimmed by this recipe in one of my cookbooks. It was right next to a recipe for Milky Way Cake, neither of which I was ever particularly interested in making. However, I decided to turn to this recipe in my time of need. I knew it would be the perfect cake to take to my church luncheon. Almost the whole thing- gone!

I was surprised by the flavors of this cake, not too chocolatey, and definitely without a strong cola taste. The frosting- ubber delicious! Big fan of the frosting, probably more so than the cake. The cake left me wanting more chocolate flavor. It was moist enough with a nice fluffy texture, but I think the whole thing would have been better with my favorite Chocolate Cake and the broiled peanut butter frosting. But what’s the fun in that? A cola cake is just so fun and different!


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tb Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup cola
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows

For the Frosting:

  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • ⅔ cup smooth peanut butter
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup chopped salted peanuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour one 9×13-inch cake pan.

For the cake, in a large bowl, combine the flour and the sugar, whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, cocoa, and cola and pour this into the dry mix. Stir until well blended. In another separate medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Whisk into the batter. Fold in marshmallows.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. While the cake begins to cool, make the frosting, which you should apply while the cake is warm.

Preheat the oven to broil and place the top rack 4 to 5 inches from the heat source.

For the Frosting: In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter. Stir in the milk and fold in the nuts. Spread the frosting evenly over the surface of the cake. Place the cake in the oven and broil 20 to 30 seconds, or until the frosting starts to bubble, rotating the cake for even cooking. Watch carefully: you want the frosting to bubble and to caramelize slightly; do not let it scorch.

Ricarda Rutter

*Ricarda Rutter is a Ten News reporter. She’s an award-winning and Walkley nominated journalist. She has worked at the SBS, ABC, and Triple R.Rutter is a mother and a wife.