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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Coca-Cola cupcakes

The idea of a coca-cola cupcake seems to send everyone I tell into flabbergasted fits of wonder.

"Coca-Cola? In a cupcake?" It's as though the concept is both horrifying and too-good-to-be-true.

But when you consider the ingredients in cola: sugar, caramel colour and acid, its addition to baking and general cooking starts to make more sense. Nigella Lawson is probably one of its more well-known proponents for the wonders of cola cooking -- coquettish smile and helpless moan of satisfaction entirely optional.

Most cola cake recipes call for either buttermilk or yoghurt, a combination that gives the cake a very soft and moist crumb, much like red velvet cake. I frosted these with a cola-flavoured version of quick and easy buttercream frosting, and dusted them with cola flavoured Wizz Fizz -- found at Aldi a few months ago, and hoarded in my pantry for a perfect baking opportunity just like this one.

Cola-Cola Cupcakes

250g (1 1/3) cups plain flour
185g (3/4 cup) sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
125g (1/2 cup) plain yoghurt (pref. Greek-style otherwise use buttermilk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup Coca-Cola or carbonated cola drink

Coca-Cola icing
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g pure icing sugar
1-2 Tbsp Coca-Cola or carbonated cola

Decorations (optional)
Sour cola bottles or gummy cola bottles
Cola-flavoured Wizz Fizz or sherbet

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In a separate jug, mix together the egg, yoghurt and vanilla.

Gently heat the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola in a heavy saucepan until melted, then add to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix with a woodeen spoon.

Add the yoghurt mixture to the batter and stir well until everything is incorporated.

Portion out the batter into patty-lined muffin tins. Fill to about two-thirds to three-quarters full. The recipe should make about 12-15 standard sized cupcakes.

Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Pipe the Coca-Cola icing onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with cola bottles and a heavy dusting of cola sherbet.

To make the icing, beat the butter using an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and beat until incorporated. Add 1 tablespoon of cola and beat. Add more cola and/or icing according to texture and taste.

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Cupcakes - Vanilla by Nigella
22 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/07/2009 01:10:00 am


  • At 5/07/2009 1:29 am, Anonymous leena! said…

    What a creative recipe! I really love the little gummy Coke bottles.

  • At 5/07/2009 1:48 am, Blogger Karen | Citrus and Candy said…

    yummm they were fab, thanks for bringing them on Sunday! I wish I had a few of them right now!

  • At 5/07/2009 2:20 am, Anonymous Yas said…

    I looooooved it! It was also funny when I went all perky "Oh wow it does actually taste like coke!" but you instantly responded "that must be just Wizz Fizz" LOL

  • At 5/07/2009 4:02 am, Blogger Prue Barrett said…

    I am DEFINITELY trying these! Can you taste the Coke? Oh my goodness, imagine a whole heap of kids on these. Great idea, thanks!

  • At 5/07/2009 6:31 am, Anonymous Simon said…

    These were real nice. Surprisingly filling for their size.

    The wizz fizz addition was a stroke of genius. Gives it back some of the Coke fizziness :)

  • At 5/07/2009 6:53 am, Anonymous Megan {Feasting on Art} said…

    Coca-Cola cupcakes...genius!! I have had cherry flavored coca-cola before and I think it would be interesting to do a cupcake with it.

  • At 5/07/2009 8:54 am, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    sounds so cool!
    s :-)

  • At 5/07/2009 9:03 am, Anonymous Amanda said…

    Coca Cola cakes were quite big in the American South in the 1970's (I guess because it's the birthplace of Coca Cola), but I definitely remember eating them growing up. They had marshmallows and nuts I think. :)

  • At 5/07/2009 9:51 am, Anonymous shez said…

    ahhhhh Helen! these were so delicious - and doubly as intriguing :) loved the extra gummy lolly / wizz fizz hit of cola.

  • At 5/07/2009 10:21 am, Blogger Betty @ The Hungry Girl said…

    the concept is definitely a little horrifying yet intriguing at the same time.. wonder what they'd taste like?! hmm..

  • At 5/07/2009 2:08 pm, Anonymous Arwen from Hoglet K said…

    Whizz fizz topping is a great idea. It really goes with the sweet and tangy theme.

  • At 5/07/2009 5:10 pm, Blogger Forager said…

    Intriguing! Though you're right coca cola sweet things come in other forms so I guess this is a fairly lateral leap.

    Have you had coca cola lemon chicken? I remember my parents making that for me when I was a kid - apparently good for treating colds.

  • At 5/07/2009 10:22 pm, Blogger Miss Honey said…

    Ooo I love that cola wizz fizz! Have yet to try cola flavoured baking but will definitely have a go when I get more time:)

  • At 5/08/2009 2:45 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Leena! - The Coke cupcake/cake recipe is quite a common one so I can't take all the credit, although the use of cola sherbet was my own little touch, and the gummy Coke bottles are always a treat!

    Hi Karen - Me too. I gave them all away and now I wish a had another one too!

    Hi Yas - lol. I ate a few of them without icing so I was pretty sure it wasn't the cake itself. The Wizz Fizz was such a lifter - must keep an eye out for more of them (and in other flavours too!).

    Hi Prue Barrett - You can't really taste the Coke in the cupcake but if you manage to find cola sherbet it helps tremendously.

    Hi Simon - I found these were very similar to red velvet so quite moist and dense. I liked the Wizz Fizz too, and you're right, the sherbet does create the illusion of Coke carbonation :)

    Hi Megan - Ooh cherry flavoured Coke would be amazing. Would love to hear how it turned out!

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - Thanks. Who doesn't love a cupcake!

    Hi Amanda - I did find a lot of recipes for that version that contained marshmallows and nuts, however I had to rule it out as I didn't have marshmallows in the pantry. I'm keen to try it though and funny, I didn't really make the connection between Coke's birthplace and the proliferation of corresponding recipes!

    Hi Shez - Thanks, not quite as healthy as lentils perhaps, but huh, always good to relive the childhood memories of Wizz Fizz!

    Hi Betty - The cake itself tasted of moist chocolate, and the icing was only mildly cola-flavoured. The hit was definitely the cola sherbet and the gummy cola bottle. You should try it yourself :)

    Hi Arwen - Ahhh the cola Wizz Fizz must be one of the best purchases I've made from Aldi ever!

    Hi Forager - Coca Cola lemon chicken sounds fascinating. I still haven't tried the Coke lemon tea in Chinatown but hmmm chicken? I must google a recipe!

    Hi Miss Honey - It's quite fun adding the Coke as the batter fizzes up like crazy. Hope you get a chance to make them - always good for the fun factor!

  • At 5/08/2009 4:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee they were fizzingly awesome ^^! Hmm mayb if you replaced the flour with cola sherbet... XD

  • At 5/11/2009 12:26 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi FFichiban - Good idea except I'm not sure about the gluten-inefficiencies of sherbet. lol. I wonder if one could incorporate the sherbet into the batter though?

  • At 5/11/2009 11:53 pm, Blogger K said…

    LOL! this is such a whacky, ingenius idea! LOVE IT esp the gummy on the top!

  • At 5/12/2009 2:04 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi K - Def. recommend you give the recipe a go, and go to Aldi - cola Wizz Fizz available from this Thursday until stocks sell out :)

  • At 6/27/2009 6:08 am, Blogger lyndsey said…

    Cool, I made some too, I just don't have them up on my blog yet! I used coke pez on top, have you seen them? Thanks for more creative ideas for coke cupcakes!

  • At 6/28/2009 11:37 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Lyndsey - Glad you had so much success with the cola cupcakes. I don't think I have seen Cola Pez but what a great idea :)

  • At 3/16/2010 5:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am going to give these a try. I've seen some of the other versions of this cupcake and they have SO much sugar in them. Yours makes much more sense hahah

  • At 3/18/2010 6:02 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Anon - Oh I do understand your mortification over excessive amounts of sugar. I prefer to get mine in icing form. lol. Hope you enjoy them - am sure they'll be a huge hit with whoever is lucky to sample them!


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