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
Drink Coke. Make Cupcakes. Be Happy.
For more Coca-Cola recipes, head on over to My Coke Rewards for more inspiration.