Thursday, February 13, 2014

Chocolate Cherry Cola Poke Cake-Dessert Challenge

Coca-Cola and Cherries are the ingredients for February's Dessert Challenge.  For Dessert Challenge, Sheryl from Lady Behind the Curtain, selects two ingredients to include in our recipe that month.  You can see the ingredients for the rest of the year and learn more about the challenge on Sheryl’s information page.

I don’t drink pop or soda or whatever it is called in your neck of the woods, and hubby’s cola of choice is Pepsi.  When I think about cola, however, I always think about cherry cola so I bought me a bottle of that.  The thought that kept creeping into my mind when I thought about what to make was cake.  I had seen recipes that used cake mix and cola, but I wanted to make my cake from scratch.
After much searching, I found a recipe for a chocolate cake using Coca-Cola in the files on my computer.  Unfortunately, I do know where the recipe originally came from.  I used this to make the base cake for my dessert

I wanted to make a poke cake with a cola sauce poured over the cake and maraschino cherries in the cake.  I thought, if I put chopped cherries in the cake batter that the cherries might get in the way when poking the holes.  After thinking about it for awhile, I decided that I would put pieces of cherries in the holes that I poked in the cake.  I thought that would solve the problem of getting cherries into the cake.  I poured the cola sauce over the cake, let it cool and then poked the cherry quarters into the holes.

I frosted the cake with a simple, cherry-flavored buttercream frosting.  One note of caution, be sure that the powdered sugar is measured after it has been sifted.  If not, there will be too much sugar.

Chocolate Cherry Cola Poke Cake
1 c. Cherry Coca Cola
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/2 c. butter (or 1 stick)
3 T. cocoa
2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs
2 c. Cherry Coca Cola
1/4 c. powdered sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1 t. cherry extracts (optional)
about 18 maraschino cherries (from a 16 oz jar)
3 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/2 c. very soft butter
2-3 T. maraschino cherry juice

In a saucepan, bring Coca-Cola, vegetable oil, butter, and cocoa to a boil.  In a bowl mix together sugar, flour, salt and baking soda.  Mix to blend.  Pour the boiling liquid into the sugar/flour mixture and beat well.  Stir in buttermilk and vanilla to cool mixture slightly.  Break eggs on top of the batter and beat with a fork, then mix into the batter until well blended.  Pour into foil-lined 9x13-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.  While cake is baking bring the 2 c. cherry cola and the 1/4 c. powdered sugar to a boil in a saucepan.  Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 c. water.  Add to boiling cola and cook, stirring, until thickened.  Set aside to cool.  Remove cake from oven and let cool 10 to 15 minutes.  With the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes about 1-inch apart all over the cake.  (I made 48 holes)  Pour cola sauce over the top of the cake and spread out making sure that it gets in all the holes.  Let cake cook completely.  Cut maraschino cherries into fourths and poke them into the holes in the cake.  In a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and butter until very well blended.  Add cherry juice and beat until smooth.  If frosting is not correct spreading consistency, either add a bit more powdered sugar or cherry juice as necessary.  Spread frosting evenly over the top of the cake.  Chop remaining cherries and scatter over the top of the cake.  Place in refrigerator and chill 2 or 3 hours.  Cut into 12 to 15 servings.  Store, covered, in refrigerator.


  1. Clever idea with the cherries! Your cake sounds delicious!

  2. Sounds wonderful, and it looks incredibly moist! Great idea!

  3. Love the little pieces of cherries in there!

  4. I have *never* had poke cake of any kind... I think I'm missing out!

  5. Poke cakes are so fun! They are moist and full of flavor :) This one looks amazing!

  6. Looks moist and yummy! It is fun to see what everyone came up with!


I love to read your comments and suggestions. Hope that you enjoyed your visit to Grandma Loy"s Kitchen.

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