Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake on plate
Susan Thompson Photography/Getty Images
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
899 Calories
47g Fat
117g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 899
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 47g 60%
Saturated Fat 14g 68%
Cholesterol 97mg 32%
Sodium 454mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 117g 42%
Dietary Fiber 8g 27%
Protein 9g
Calcium 174mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you like Dr Pepper, you'll probably love this cake that's loaded with cocoa and chocolate. The soda amplifies the rich flavor of the chocolate. Yes, it sounds like an unusual mix, but it's good. Add your favorite nuts as a variation. Think about it as a twist on a soda fountain favorite, a "chocolate Coke." (You can even turn this into a Coke chocolate cake by substituting Coca-Cola for Dr Pepper.)

This recipe is from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse by John Stage and Nancy Radke, reprinted with permission.


  • For the Cake:
  • 2 cups flour (sifted)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar (dark)
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 cup Dr Pepper
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • For the Frosting:
  • 3/4 cup shortening (butter-flavored vegetable shortening)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup Dr Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Steps to Make It

Make the Cake

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, tapping out any extra flour.

  3. Sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, and baking soda into a bowl, and set aside.

  4. Pour the Dr Pepper into a saucepan, and add the chocolate chips. Heat on low, stirring often, until the chips are just melted. Pull off the heat, and set aside.

  5. Combine the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla in a mixer bowl, and mix on medium speed until combined, about 2 minutes.

  6. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the Dr Pepper-chocolate mixture and continue beating until combined, about 1 minute.

  7. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium, and beat 2 minutes more.

  8. Divide the batter between the two round cake pans.

  9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

  10. Cool the layers in the pan for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edges and flip the pans over onto a cooling rack. Gently lift off the pans, and let the cake layers cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Beat the shortening and butter in a mixer bowl until soft and fluffy.

  3. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa, and continue mixing until combined.

  4. Stir together the Dr Pepper and vanilla, and very slowly pour it into the frosting, beating with the mixer on high speed to thin it a bit. Continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1 minute.

  5. Set the first layer, top down, on a flat plate. Spread 1 cup of the frosting on top. Top with the second cake layer, and spread the rest of the frosting on the top and sides of the cake, making attractive swirls.

Storing the Cake

A frosted cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. For a larger cake, store it on a plate with a big bowl overturned on the cake plate, so as not to disturb the icing. Another option is to harden the cake (and icing) in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and then wrap it in plastic wrap. A frosted cake can also be frozen. The best way to freeze the leftover cake is to put the cake plate in the freezer without any wrapping and let the cake and frosting freeze and harden. Wrap the frozen cake in plastic wrap and then foil. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.