|Meredith MacRae appears in a print ad for RC Cola, 1969.|
I did a bit of research on this cake, but I couldn't find any information on it, sadly. However, this recipe is extremely similar to another chocolate cake, often called Texas Sheet/Sheath Cake. These types of cakes have been around since the early 20th century, which, coincidentally, was around the time chocolate really became affordable for the masses. Cakes using soda/pop started appearing around the mid-20th century as well, although other recipes using soda/pop have been around for much longer. You can find recipes using ginger ale as far back as 1912 (often with gelatin). The exact origins of soda/pop cakes is shrouded in mystery, and likely we'll never know the first "creator" of the idea. This particular recipe dates to 1971, and uses Royal Crown cola, which was developed in 1905.
Original Recipe:"While nothing quenches thirst like an ice-cold cola--nothing pleases the palate like a warm cola cake. Here's how to use this delightful and unique "baking soda":
Royal Crown Cake
2 cups unsifted flour
2 cups sugar
2 tbsps. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup Royal Crown Cola
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Bring the butter and cola to a boil and add to dry mixture. Add the butermilk, eggs, and marshmallows. This will be a very thin batter with the marshmallows floating on top. Bake in a large oblong pan at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
1/2 cup margarine or butter
2 tbsps. cocoa
6 tbsps. Royal Crown Cola
1 box confectioners sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine butter, cocoa and cola and bring to a boil. Pour over confectioners sugar and mix well. Add nuts and vanilla. Spread over cake while hot.
The Verdict:To be honest...I didn't really like this cake. I've had better cakes. The cake itself does faintly taste of cola, which I found a little odd with the chocolate. It made it taste off, rather than cola-y. The texture was nice, though, very fluffy and light. Oddly, it didn't taste very sweet, despite the sugar, cola, and marshmallows. If anything, it was actually a bit bland.
The frosting, on the other hand, was super sweet - too much for me. I also don't really like nuts in my frosting, because I prefer a silky smooth topping. Aside from being ridiculous sweet, the frosting was okay.
I couldn't even finish one piece of this cake because it was so sweet. Overall, I'll give this 3 stars, I guess. I would call it the lower end of average. Mr.Man, on the other hand, liked the cake, but oddly thought it was savoury, "almost like Chinese food." I have no idea how he came to that conclusion...
Other things to note: I used store brand cola (couldn't find RC), I used butter, I baked my cake for 45 minutes, and I used 3 cups of powdered sugar in the frosting.
Modernized Recipe:(Adapted from "Crown cake with Crown cola," Chicago Daily Defender, October 21, 1971, found at The Food Timeline)
The original recipe is easy to follow. See notes above regarding baking time and amount of powdered sugar in the frosting.