Now, don't think I am advocating the drinking of high fructose corn syrup fizzy drinks by this post! This cake recipe is near and dear to my heart. My first baking experiment ever was in high school with a Coke-a-Cola cake. I probably made various versions of it at least ten times for my family. And while I would never be caught making a cake like that now, I was inspired and thought an interpretation of it would be nice for Iris' birthday.
Sidebar: If you have not checked out the talentedly thorough Iris who co-wrote The Essential Gluten Free Baking Guide (Part 1 and Part 2) and blogs at The Daily Dietribe, please give her work a look see right now!
It was also my neighbor's birthday, so me and my daughter made this cake together. It was neat to teach her some basic baking lessons, let her hold the hand mixer all by herself and smile at her accomplishment, make messes :), all while creating a healthier version of a nostalgic recipe.
And yes, this cake does have coke (or soda/pop/cola) in it; however, there are healthier versions like this, this, and this one. I like using sugar-free, artificial sweetener-free Zevia.**
Cherry Cola Cake
This recipe makes a 2 layer 9" x 13" cake or a four layered 8" torte-style cake
For the Cake
- 3 cups gluten free all purpose flour mix (I make my own with 2 parts sorghum, 1 part chickpea flour, and 1 part starch in weight)* 375 grams flour mix
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (20 grams)
- 1 cup palm shortening (155 grams)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (I use sifted coconut sugar- 100 grams after sifting)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup cola**see above (200 grams )
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup "buttermilk" (coconut or almond milk with 1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar) 125 grams + 10 grams ACV- 135 grams total
- Vanilla Crème Stevia to taste- I use 20 drops
*Note: make sure your AP flour mix is not one with salt added as the cola you choose will most likely contain sodium
For the Marshmallow Icing
- 2 egg whites (70 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- 2 Tbsp cola (45 grams)
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 1 ¼ cup mini marshmallows (135 grams)***
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 1 cup dried cherries, chopped fine (120 grams)
***Note: for a certified gluten-free marshmallow brand try this one , which I buy from Whole Foods. And yes, this is a bit indulgent, but you can also make your own healthier versions from The Norishing Gourmet or this one @ Ginger Lemon Girl.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- First, sift all dry ingredients for the cake together in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the room temp palm shortening and the granulated sugar together until light and fluffy with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
- Then slowly add the eggs (important that they are room temp) one at a time, beating until fully emulsified and scraping down the bowl between eggs.
- Add the vanilla to the cola and have the vanilla cola mixture ready as well as the buttermilk and flour mixture nearby to add alternately to the egg/sugar/shortening mixture.
- Start by adding about 1/4 of the flour, then add 1/2 the coke, 1/4 flour, the rest of the cola, 1/4 flour, the buttermilk, then the remaining flour, mixing in between each addition. You do this so that each addition does not deflate the batter too much and the structure of the cake will not be compromised. It seems fussy, but if you follow this exactly you will have a lighter fluffier (and sturdier) cake :)
- Taste the batter and fold in some Vanilla Creme Stevia to taste.
- Then pour into prepared cake pans- two 9x13 for a sheet cake or four 8" rounds for a torte cake. Tip: if you spin the pan around on the counter a couple of times, they will turn out flatter with less of a rounded middle and will be easier to ice.
- Bake at 350 for 22-30 minutes, depending on the size pan you use.
- Over a double boiler (or a small pan with 1" simmering water and a larger heat safe bowl over it), heat the whites, sugar, tartar, and cola while whisking constantly.
- Whisk them over the heat until soft peaks form.
- Then add the marshmallows and vanilla.
- Remove from heat and let sit for a couple minutes, then whisk until all the lumps are gone.
- Divide out about 1/3 of the marshmallow icing and mix in a bowl with the chopped cherries. This will be used to fill the cake. The rest of the 2/3 marshmallow icing will be used to top the cake.
- Not necessary, but a nice touch is to make a simple syrup out of the cola by boiling it until it reduces half in size (if using a sugar-free cola, you can add granulated sugar if desired). Then brush this on the layers of your cake before assembly.
- Once the layers have cooled completely you can assemble as desired.
- I prefer to alternate the cherry filling with the plain and top it with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Check out the following links for other yummy ideas:
Allergy Free Wednesdays
The Daily Dietribe 2nd Annual Birthday Cake Challenge
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday