When my dad’s feeling nostalgic, he talks a lot about the foods he ate growing up below the Mason-Dixon line. One of his best-remembered desserts is Coca-Cola cake, a Southern favorite that uses the soda to make a moist, chocolatey treat. House of Yum taps into that tradition with a twist and brings us these Cherry Coke Float cupcakes, a dessert that’s as sweet as your favorite memories!

You’ll Need

Cupcakes
– White cake mix or your favorite white cake batter, enough for about 18 cupcakes
– 1 1/2 cups Cherry Coca-Cola, room temperature
– 2 teaspoons cherry extract
Filling
– 1 cup powdered sugar
– 1 cup of Cherry Coca-Cola (to reduce to 2 tablespoons; see below)
Frosting
– 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
– 5 cups powdered sugar
– 2/3 cup heavy cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 teaspoon cherry extract

How To:

Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake baking tray and set aside.
  2. In medium size mixing bowl, add the white cake mix (or mix your homemade batter) and the Cherry Coca-Cola. Stir until combined.
  3. Add the cherry extract and mix.
  4. Scoop a 1/4 cup of the batter into each cupcake liner.
  5. Bake for about 16 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool in the baking pan for 5 minutes, then remove and continue cooling on a wire rack.

Filling

  1. Reduce the Cherry Coca-Cola by putting 1 cup of it into a small pot and bringing it to a simmer. Allow to simmer for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. The soda will be reduced to about 1/3 of a cup. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool. You can also pour it into a heat resistant container and place it in the refrigerator to cool more quickly.
  2. Once the reduced soda is cooled, you can make the filling! In a small mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and about 2 tablespoons of the reduced Cherry Coca-Cola. Stir until combined into a thick glaze.
  3. Cut out the center of the cooled cupcakes with an apple corer or a paring knife and set aside. Drizzle the glaze into the opened center of the cupcake and then replace with the piece of cake that was removed.

Frosting

  1. In large mixing bowl, beat the butter, on medium speed, until creamy.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and heavy cream and mix on low speed until the frosting becomes thick.
  3. Increase the mixing speed to medium and beat until peaks form.
  4. Divide the frosting into two bowls. In one bowl, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine. In the other bowl, add the cherry extract and, if desired, red food coloring. Stir to combine.
  5. To create the frosting swirl, put each frosting into its own piping bag. Combine the bags into a third with a frosting tip. (House of Yum recommends the Wilton 2D tip.)

Frost your cupcakes, top with cherries, and serve! To me, these look like they should be served in an old-fashioned soda shop alongside a milkshake with two straws. Do you think you’ll give these cupcakes a try? Have you ever baked with soda before? What are some of your favorite nostalgic desserts?