I am usually skeptical about cakes that use gimmicky ingredients like Coke or Dr. Pepper. However, my daughter Emily's Dr. Pepper cake completely changed my mind. Light, moist, not overly sweet, flavorful and tasty, it turned out to be a huge success. Dr. pepper gives it an exceptional rise and airiness, and a unique subtle flavor. I can't say that the Dr. Pepper flavor was prominent, even easily identifiable, but the cake had an interesting flavor profile, more than just chocolate.
We were a little impatient to try this cake so Emily chilled the layers for only 5 minutes after removing them from cake pans and before frosting them. They were still a little warm inside.
Shortly after, we cut into the cake. The frosting inside was a little runny but that only made the cake look cool, almost like a molten chocolate cake. If this isn't your thing, let the layers cool completely before frosting. But either way, the cake will taste great.
As with any chocolate cake, I highly recommend that you use good quality chocolate and cocoa powder. The better they taste, the better your cake will taste.
For the cake
- 2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup Dr. Pepper
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips semi-sweet
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the frosting
- 1 cup butter softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup Dr. Pepper
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Butter two 8" cake pans and sprinkle with flour, shaking off excess. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, white and brown sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda. Set aside.
- Pour the Dr. Pepper in a small saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and heat over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is just melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until well-combined. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture while constantly mixing at low speed. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well mixed, about a minute or two.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans, dividing it equally.
- Bake the cakes for 40 - 45 minutes or until the toothpick stuck in the middle comes out clean. Don't overbake. Cool the cakes inside the pans for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans, transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- To prepare the frosting, beat the softened butter and the powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Finally, add the Dr. Pepper and the vanilla extract and continue mixing until light and fluffy, about a minute. Set aside.
- Once the cakes are cooled down, set the first cake on a serving platter. Evenly spread 1/3 of the frosting on top. Add the second layer and spread another 1/3 of the frosting. Finally, spread the remaining 1/3 of the frosting on the sides of the cake. You may cut and serve immediately.