Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake

by Mindy on March 11, 2011

This is the moistest chocolate cake I have ever eaten.  Simply delicious!  The secret ingredient?  Ok, it’s not so secret.  :)  But a bonus secret ingredient is real chocolate melted into the Dr Pepper and then added to the rest of the ingredients.  And buttermilk.  Everything is better with buttermilk…. so maybe there are three secret ingredients.  I’ve tried the recipe as cake and cupcakes and both worked wonderfully.  [I also think it would be AWESOME in the dutch oven with cherry pie filling and a little whipped cream.  I'm dying to try that out on the next camp out.  I'll let you know how it goes :)]  A word to the wise, though: if making a cake and not cupcakes, it would probably be easier to do so in a 9 x 13 pan.  When I made a birthday cake with two 9 inch pans I found that the moistness made it a little tricky to handle the cakes.  Luckily they did not break, but I was very careful.  This recipe came from my husband’s friend, Eric, who made this for his Dr Pepper loving wife’s birthday. What a guy!

Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake
Submitted by Mindy ~ The Sisters Cafe

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup Dr Pepper
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate once and they were great, too)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans (or 9×13 or prepare cupcake liners).  Sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa and baking soda and set aside.  Heat the Dr Pepper in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.  Remove from heat.  With an electric mixer, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla for 2 minutes.  At lowest speed, slowly add the Dr Pepper mixture and beat for 1 additional minute.  Gradually add the dry ingredients and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.  Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then invert onto cooling racks, lift off pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Dr Pepper Frosting:
1 cup + 2 tablespoons butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup Dr Pepper (I added an additional 1-2 Tablespoons once, and I actually liked that better.  However it did make the frosting thinner…)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  At low speed, gradually beat in the powdered sugar and cocoa.  Add the Dr Pepper and vanilla, and turn mixer to high speed until frosting is light and fluffy ~ about one minute.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kim Anderson March 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

Chocolate AND Dr. Pepper = heaven. I must make these now.


2 Angie March 11, 2011 at 9:06 am

About to make this cake….is that self-rising flour?


3 Angie March 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

Oh, and use both butters (the 3/4 cup in place of the shortening AND 6 TBSP that the recipe calls for)?


4 Brittany March 11, 2011 at 11:19 am

This looks really good! Fun and unique! Can't wait to try it!


5 Mindy March 11, 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Angie,

No, it is regular all purpose flour. Not self rising flour. And yes, if you choose to replace the shortening with butter – still add the 6 Tb of butter, as well. I'm excited to see what you think of it!



6 ~~louise~~ March 11, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I am so saving this recipe, Mindy. How cool is that!!!

Thank you so much for sharing. I will absolutely let you know when I bake it…


7 Natalie March 11, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Uh, yes please! I love DP . . . it's my guilty pleasure! And what a bonus to have it in a moist amazing chocolate cake!!


8 brudcrew March 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

So, does the caffeine bake out like alcohol? ;p


9 brudcrew March 11, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Ooh, ooo! Would it work with Mountain Dew? There are so many flavors to choose from.


10 ~Nikki~ March 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

What a great idea!


11 Angie March 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm


I didn't get your message to use all purpose flour in time so we used self-rising. The batter tasted oh so yummy and it baked up ok. We just finished making the icing…it's delicious! My daughter is icing the cake now [we are having her boyfriend over to eat tomorrow so we're saving this until tomorrow - if we can wait :)]. Should we refrigerate this and keep refrigerated?



12 Mindy March 11, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Dear Angie,

Sorry about not replying sooner both times! I've been doing yard work all day today and just checked my messages from time to time. I'm so curious about how the cake will taste with the self rising flour. As for refrigerating it… I am not sure what is best! I kept my leftovers covered on my cupboard in the past, and the cake did get moister the next day… All cakes seem to do this, I've found. But I wonder if storing in the fridge is better. Does anyone else know?



13 Mindy March 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm


You made me laugh about the caffeine! And who knows what other pop combinations would work. I did used to make a 7-up cobbler in the Dutch oven that was fabulous… I'm going to have to dig that one up again. :)



14 Recipes We Love March 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Just wanted to say we enjoy your blog and have linked it to our little recipe blog



15 Kara Miller March 11, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Dr. Pepper & chocolate, my two favorite stress relievers :) I will be making this soon!


16 Angie March 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm

No problem, Mindy!

The cake didn't make it until tomorrow…we HAD to taste test it tonight! Can I say—- DELICIOUS!!!! Self-rising flour and all! We decided to store it in the frig because the icing was so soft and all; but then we really like our cakes cold! It is definitely going to be a family favorite. Thanks a bunch, Mindy, for sharing this recipe with us! We have several more that you've posted that we have either tried or are going to try. Love your blog!!!!


17 The Atwoods March 11, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Oh, my hubby would LOVE these!!!


18 Meghan March 11, 2011 at 9:15 pm

For the love of God! Holy Cannoli, I'm gonna have to make these.


19 Barbara March 12, 2011 at 10:44 am

Oh my word, these look so good, I sure am going to try them, think I will make the cup cakes too, I love the little bits instead of whole cakes, thanks for this wonderful recipe, much like Coke Cola Cake.


20 Traci March 12, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Can this also be made in a 9×13? This might be a silly question, but I am not one to deviate from recipes, including pan sizes! :)


21 Mindy March 12, 2011 at 3:06 pm


I admit I haven't made it in a 9×13 yet, but I usually switch between the two with cake recipes and have never had a problem. Think of how on thena k of cake mixes they give you all the cake pan options for cooking. So I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work, and I think it would be easier!


I'm thrilled the cake worked out for you! It's good to know self rising flour works well, too!



22 Angie March 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm

The one I just made was made in a 9×13 glass dish. It is DELICIOUS!!!


23 The Philpots March 13, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Made this cake today with high hopes. We love Dr. Pepper. Hubby and kids didnt really like it, said it was too wet :) I liked it ok but I think I still prefer a good chocolate cake to this. I love your blog. Thanks for the recipes.


24 Whitney March 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm

this looks yummy, i have made a bunch of stuff from and have loved everything! curious to know, if making cupcakes do you still bake them for 30-35 min.? i would love to make this for my dad, total dp lover!


25 Val March 14, 2011 at 8:52 am

Looks truly incredible!!


26 Mindy March 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Hi Whitney,

No, I decreased the bake time for cupcakes. I can't remember exactly how long they ended up baking, but I usually check the cupcakes after about 18 minutes. I think they ended up baking 20-23 min?

The Philpots,

I'm sorry you didn't love the cake, but I am still SO glad you left feedback anyway. I think it helps other people know if this is recipe they would like. Hope you find other recipes you like better!



27 The Pratt's March 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I only have light brown sugar. Would that really make a difference?


28 Mindy March 17, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Dear Pratts,

I used light brown sugar the last time I made this cake, and I didn't notice a difference. So use whatever you have!



29 Teri July 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

This sounds YUMMY!


30 Anna December 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Do you think I could make this in Bundt pan??? Hmmmm….
And use the thinner version of the icing as a glaze???

What do you think?

Thanks! ~Anna


31 nicole April 6, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Made these tonight the cake part was excellent but the frosting suppurated on me


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