Saturday, April 28, 2012

Coca-Cola Memories

I've been drinking Coca-Cola ever since I was a wee one. Except I never called it Coca-Cola, it was just "Coke". In fact, I referred to all soft drinks as Coke. What do you call them? Soda, soft drinks, pop? It was as if Coca-Cola was the king of all soft drinks, to me. Maybe it was the red and white striking can, or the fact that we could drink the fizzy beverage out of bottles when I was a kid, and that was just kind of cool. Coca-Cola is still my go-to soft drink when I'm craving something carbonated and refreshing.

Here is a picture of my older brother, Joe, and I bonding over a Coke when we were kidlets. In case you're wondering, that is a pink Miami Vice shirt I'm wearing. And if I remember correctly, he is wearing a He-Man tank. Ahhh, the '80's! Don't be jealous :-)

I've had that picture of my brother and I on my fridge for some time now and I've been wanting to make something sweet and delicious using Coke, when the people at Coca-Cola contacted me and asked if I'd like to make a recipe using the beverage. It just seemed like perfect timing and I couldn't wait to get started. I had so much fun with these cupcakes and photographing all the shiny red accompaniments- from the can to the cherries that topped the mounds of whipped cream on top of the cupcakes. Fun, I tell you!

I perused the My Coke Rewards website for a recipe that I wanted to make and  I couldn't decide if I wanted sweet or savory. But you know me, sweet always wins! I ended up adapting a recipe from Nigella Lawson for Coca-Cola cake and turning it into Coke Float Cupcakes. A Coke float is one of my favorite indulgences. When we were kids and we wanted soda my grandma would pour us a glass half full of Coke, then fill the rest up with milk. Sounds strange, I know, but it was like a less sweet version of a Coke float and it got us to drink our milk. Sneaky Grandma.

These cupcakes were kind of like that too. I started off with a cocoa cupcake infused with Coca-Cola, then added a Coca-Cola glaze and topped it off with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream and/or lightly whipped cream. I was a happy camper! The Coca-Cola taste was subtle against the chocolate, but it was distinguishable. I liked the glaze under the cream because it kept the cupcake from getting soggy as the ice cream melted and remained nice and light and fluffy. The glaze also added a bit of sweetness and added another texture to the dessert.

I ended up making two different versions because I'm indecisive and I like having options. I liked the ones with ice cream but I have to say the cupcake version with whipped cream and a cherry were my favorite. It was just the perfect package all wrapped up in a red foil liner. It was creamy, sweet, fluffy and fun and I felt like a kid again sitting in my grandma's kitchen. After all my hard work in the kitchen I rewarded myself with a coke float. I was on a sugar high the rest of the afternoon, but it was well worth it. I hope you'll treat yourself to one too.

Coke Float Cupcakes adapted from Nigella Lawson

For The Cakes: 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 3/4 cup Coca-Cola
For The Glaze: 
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp. Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • vanilla ice cream
  • whipped cream
  • maraschino cherries
  • sprinkles
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper liners and set aside. 
For The Cupcakes: In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring cup and set aside. 
In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola, heating it gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the measuring cup, beating until it is well blended.
Pour into prepared muffin tin and bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
For The Glaze: Sift the powdered sugar and set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sifted sugar, beating as you do, until you’ve got a good, spreadable, but still runny, icing.
Carefully dip the top of the cupcakes into the glaze allowing the excess to drip off or simply spoon the glaze over the cupcakes while they are still warm, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Serving: Once the cakes have cooled and the glaze has set, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or lightly sweetened whipped cream, cherries and sprinkles.

Makes about 15 cupcakes
DrinkCompensation was provided by Coca-Cola, but Coca-Cola is not a sponsor, administrator, or involved in any other way with this post. All opinions expressed are my own and not those of Coca-Cola.

Drink Coke. Make Cupcakes. Be Happy. 

For more Coca-Cola recipes, head on over to My Coke Rewards for more inspiration. 


Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I remember going to Woolworths with my family when I was a kid and have a coke float. These bring back such memories, but we are talking the 70's.

Keeley said...

I love Coke! I'm not a frequent soda drinker, but when I want a soda I go for a full-calorie Coca-Cola. I've been to the Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta and it was awesome. I always drank Coke because when I was little my dad and grandmother told me it's the only soda worth drinking. My dad used to put the 2 liter bottle in the freezer for about 40 minutes and then pull it out so we'd have slushy coke.

I'm originally from NJ and we call carbonated drinks "soda". Coke is a specific type of soda to us. :)

Unknown said...

I love the picture of you and your brother. It's just too cute. And the coke float cupcake with the ice cream definitely looks the best in my opinion, but that's probably because ice cream makes everything better anyways. :)

Paloma said...

Those look really good! it's interesting that you mention you just call all soft drinks "Coke" in Mexico we call it "Coca" and EVERY DRINK is a COCA... even beggars in the street ask you money for a "coca" or when you tip someone for helping you with something you even say "here's for the Cocas" LOL! When you go into a restaurant and the waitress gets your order you say "I'll have a Coca" and she'll even ask "what flavor?" (making sure if you are not asking just for a soda) ... Yes... Mexico is a "Coke" drinking country (a little embarrassing though, LOL!) and I've heard it's the country that drinks the most "Coca-Cola" in the world, we actually have 3 liter version of Coke and it's not uncommon for a family to drink the whole thing in a meal... I do like "Coca-Cola" at least Mexican Coca-Cola, oh! it's soooo good!!!... I don't like the American version though, tastes very different! (which is good... because now I only drink water) unless I get imported "Coke" from Mexico in a store (still in glass bottles) ... But yes... "Coke" is definitely the go-to "drink" in Mexico. Thanks for the recipe.... I might try to make it soon!

Kerstin said...

Those are just the cutest cupcakes! And I love that picture of you and your brother :)

Heather at Kitchen Concoctions said...

Beautiful pictures Monica! I love all the red! Also what beautiful memories and stories you shared. We were never big coke/soda/pop drinkers when I was a kid but there was little farmer's market about 25 minutes from my house growing up. We would go there a few times a year and it was always a special treat. They sold old fashioned root beer in bottles and we were always allowed to get one. We thought that was the coolest thing ever!

Nora said...

Lovely post, Monica! I love reading your stories because I have a "little" brother, Joe, too. And this post hit the spot because he is a delivery guy for Coca-Cola, so you really made my day...
And a big hug for Hayden - he is beautiful. Don't you dare blink, because he will be towering over you before you know it ;)

vanillasugarblog said...

my hubby would love this
he is one of those people, that sadly drinks a lot of Coke--daily!

Coleens Recipes said...

This entire post just screams HAPPY!! Well done.

Kathaleeny said...

This recipe hits the spot. I always liked "The Pause That Refreshes." Ahhhhhh.

the wild magnolia said...

Oh yes, I remember too.

thank you, thank coke...for the recipe.

Steph said...

I grew up in FL and called all soft drinks coke! We'd ask our friends "do you want a coke?" and when they said "yes" the next question was "OK, do you want coke, pepsi, sprite, 7-Up, etc.". My hubby grew up in the Phily suburbs and they call it soda.

LaRue said...

I enjoy Coca Cola from time to time--usually when we go out. I ask for it by the name 'Coca Cola' as many times I have been served 'Pepsi' instead. I do have a problem with that and yes I can smell and taste the difference. I generally call soft drinks 'sodas'.
I just might have to try you Coca Cola cupcakes. They sound delicious!

Victoria said...

We call all soda drinks cokes too. But the original is still my favorite. I just visited the Coke Museum in Atlanta and drank my weight in the stuff.

Off to pin this - thanks for sharing!

Julie said...

Calling all soft drinks 'coke' is a southern thing. I'm from Texas and we refer to everything as coke too!

The cupcakes look delicious, but I'm partial to the ones with ice cream! :)

suzieQ said...

When I was young, in the 50's, there were small soda makers, just as there were local beer manufacturers. The list of flavors were awesome, though my mom only let us have soda as a rare treat. To this day, I am not much of a soda drinker. I do choose Coke when I am out and have a choice of a soft drink. But, I have to say, all those new sodas that are coming out with different flavors are the ones I will choose.
You make and photo the most DELICIOUS looking baked goods.

The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Monica you won the giveaway on my blog! You are now the owner of Dories cookbook! Please use the contact me button on my site to send me your info! Congrats!

Avril said...

Yum. I just love me an ice cold Coke. I. Must. Have. One. Soon!!!

D'lish looking cakes my dear! :-)

chrissiwithab said...

Your photos are wonderful. They so remind me of a great diner experience. I will have to try the cupcakes for the Coke lover in my family. I am sure they will be a smash.

Hennifer said...

I'm with Keeley! I never, ever drink diet soda. If I want a soda it will be Coke, preferably in a can lol

I was always a Pepsi drinker as that was my grandmother's drink of choice when I was a kid. I like it warm, straight out of the bottle. Then in high school, my best friend was a Coke drinker as was her whole family and now I am too and I can't go back.

I think it is common in the southern US for people to refer to everything as Coke. I've even heard people in Georgia say white Coke for Sprite, etc lol

I am in the NW US and always said pop until I met my husband and he converted me to soda.

Gosh, I guess I'm just a pushover lol

Paloma said...

Hi Monica! I just thought I would let you know I just made your "Strawberry Chantilly" dessert ... I can't wait for it to come out of the freezer! LOL! I even chocolate-coated some strawberries too! ;) I'll blog about it tomorrow... Thanks for sharing such great recipes! :)

vianney said...

Such a sweet post and even sweeter way to relive those favorite family memories, thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Cute!! I call it soda...but I don't like any kind of carbonated beverage. Yuck! But these cupcakes and the story that went along with them are just darling! Thanks for sharing!

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

How on Earth did I miss this post??? OMG! I LOVE me some Coca-Cola!!! It's my one and only addiction. I am going to have to make these SOON! So gorgeous with all that red. :)

Felia said...

Wow, these cupcakes look adorable I love coke and I love cupcakes - so this recipe is heaven!!!

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