Grandma Fisher’s Coke Cake

Although my mom was not a big cook, and that’s being generous, Grandma Fisher did try to take the time to teach me a few things.

Let me preface this by mentioning that Grandma’s priority was not low fat or sugar free food. Having brought up four children during the Depression, with only the pittance income from being a Hollywood extra and a little bookkeeping for a few people that still had any money, there were times when all she could serve for breakfast was torn up stale bread with milk and sugar on it. I have heard these stories many times. By the time I was born, breakfast was a big meal at Grandma’s, celebrating the ability to have it at all. Everything Grandma made was so good, and now and then she would remind us how fortunate we were simply by making her Coke Cake.

The recipe for her Coke Cake seemed to be just out of reach though, my role helping in the kitchen being limited to melting butter and cocoa. I have over the years attempted to re-create it and I believe I have come tauntingly close. The cola gives it a caramel flavor and makes it extra moist. For it to be an authentic re-creation of earlier days, you should try to use Mexican bottled cola whenever possible since they use real sugar instead of High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). My only improvements are adding the pecans, and that I leave it in the baking pan, poke a couple holes in the top of it and drizzle the icing over it so that some of it seeps into the cake. Very decadent!

The Cake

1 cup butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup cola soft drink (Mexican bottled is best)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
½ cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups pecans, chopped

Combine the first three ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Remove from heat.

Combine the flour, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl; stir in butter mixture. Add eggs, and stir until blended. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla and nuts.

Pour inter a lightly greased 13×9 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, poke a few holes in the top and pour the icing over the cake.

Chocolate Icing

½ cup butter
¼ cup cocoa
1/3 cup cola soft drink (Mexican bottled is best)
3 cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans

Combine the first three ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Remove from heat; stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts. Spoon immediately over warm cake.

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