Eat & DrinkFeaturesWhat a Dish


By guruscottySeptember 29, 2020October 28th, 2020No Comments

Coca-Cola Cake

By June Naylor
Photo by Meda Kessler

The long line streaming out the door at Smoke-A-Holics BBQ in Fort Worth’s Morningside Heights, rain or shine, tells you that the food inside is special. Credit goes to scratch cooking from pitmaster Derrick Walker, who owns the joint with wife Kesha Walker (they’re featured in the October-November issue of Garden & Gun, by the way). Queuing up is essential if you want to get ribs, brisket and sausage before they sell out, and you don’t want to miss Kesha’s popular Coca-Cola Cake, either. Though she doesn’t share her recipes per se, she says this version of the dessert found in every Southern community cookbook from Beaumont to Savannah is great. We ate a slice of her proprietary take on the cake, which she makes as a sheet, and baked our take (using less sugar) as a Bundt cake. We were not able to tell the difference — a tasty classic.

Coca-Cola Cake

Serves 8

  • 1 cup Coca-Cola (do not use a generic cola)
  • 1 cup butter
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Warm butter or olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion with jalapeno, garlic and salt, cooking until onion is transparent.


  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Coca-Cola
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pecan pieces for garnish, optional

Cake Bring Coca-Cola, butter and cocoa to boil in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Immediately reduce mixture to a very low simmer and stir in marshmallows till they dissolve. Remove from heat; cool for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, buttermilk and baking soda, stirring to combine. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring just until combined. Add slightly cooled Coca-Cola mixture from saucepan and mix just until ingredients are blended.

Pour into buttered and floured Bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted at thickest part comes away clean.
Cool cake for at least 30 minutes; invert onto cake plate or serving platter. Meanwhile, make frosting.

Frosting Bring butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa to boil in saucepan, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sifted powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Cool mixture for about 10 minutes.

When it begins to set, pour over the cooled cake, sprinkle with pecan pieces (optional) and allow to set completely before serving.

SMOKE-A-HOLICS Get barbecue, sides and dessert at the shop that’s open from 11 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday and closes when the meats run out (often between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.) Only five people are allowed inside at once, and all meals are served to go.
1417 Evans Ave., Fort Worth, 817-386-5658, or