Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peanuts in My Coke: Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting


“I remember when no one was looking
I was puttin' peanuts in my Coke.”
             - "I was country when country wasn't cool."

We all have food traditions that are specific to our geographical location.  I am a citizen of the Southeastern United States, and my residence is just outside the Great Smoky Mountains. I could tell you about a number of traditional and odd-sounding foodstuffs that I grew up on; eggs scrambled with crumbled cornbread, cushaw pie, chocolate gravy...  but this post is dedicated to a simple southern snack that I remember fondly: peanuts in Coca-Cola.


When I was a kid I would ride to the gas station with my dad in his old beat-up work truck.  While he filled the tank, I’d go inside the mini mart with a few dollars he’d given me and get a couple of Coca-Colas (in glass bottles) and two bags of salted peanuts. The cashier would remove the bottle caps with the opener mounted on the wall behind the counter.

Once back in the truck, the ritual began. A couple of swigs were taken to make room for the peanuts, then the entire 2 oz. bag emptied into the mouth of the bottle. And finally, the all-important last step - an extra tap-tap-tap on the end of the upright turned peanut bag to make sure all the salt made it into the soda.

I still find this snack oddly delicious, and there's something about the saltiness of the peanuts that makes the cola taste even sweeter.


This cupcake is an homage to that nostalgic treat. I love the nuance of flavor that coca-cola brings to chocolate cake, and the peanut butter frosting delivers a perfect sweet & salty bite!

One more thing, if you ever get the opportunity to try peanuts in your coke, it's best in the 8 oz. glass bottle.


Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Frosting
Yield: 12-14 cupcakes                                                                                    [click for printable version]
Cake portion adapted from Baked! New Frontiers in Baking

Cupcakes:
1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. plus 1/8  tsp. baking soda
1/2  tsp. salt
1 eggs
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a cupcake pan with baking papers.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat Coca-Cola, cocoa powder, and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg until just beaten, then whisk them into the cooled cocoa mixture until combined. Gently stir flour mixture into cocoa mixture. 
  5. Use a 1/4 cup measure to pour batter into the cupcake papers.  Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes or until cake springs back when pressed in the middle.
  6. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. 
Note: Diet cola cannot be used as a substitute for regular cola in this recipe.


Salted peanut butter frosting:
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp. heavy cream
Sea salt for sprinkling
Chocolate jimmies
Ground salted peanuts

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter and salt.  Mix on low speed until just combined, then switch to high speed.  
  2. Add heavy cream one tablespoon and beat until mixture is lightened and smooth.  Transfer to a piping bag or zip-top bag with the corner snipped.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes. 
  3. Garnish with jimmies, ground peanuts and a sprinkling of sea salt.

117 comments:

Adrienne said...

I would have never thought to add peanuts to Cocoa Cola. But then again I grew up in Ohio so we don't come up with zany and delicious food pairings like the South does :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm not of fan of that drink, but I'd love to taste your pretty cupcakes as they look and sound so promising! A great combo. So American. :-)

Cheers,

Rosa

Rachel @ Baked by Rachel said...

I've never heard of any of these food traditions! I want to dive in head first to give this a try though!

Cupcake and Talk said...

Hi Heather,
I love your blog you make everything look pretty and inviting. Thank you for the recipe.

Sasha Martin (Global Table Adventure) said...

I love learning little traditions like this.. I had never, ever heard of this one. BUT the salty/sweet combo sounds insanely addictive.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Well hellooooo lovely! Yum!

Karyn - Pint Sized Baker said...

Beautiful and Delicious as always! Never would have thought to put peanuts in coke, but then again, I used to dip my McDonald's french fries in my ice cream cone... So I know sweet and salty :)

Teri [a foodie stays fit] said...

These are darling! I've made red wine cupcakes but never ones with coke! Great idea!

Cake Fixation said...

Looks so good!!! I'll have to give it a try! Thank you for sharing.

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

I have seen coco-cola inspired recipes on pinterest and root beer and cakes with a can of orange crush but you take the cake :) These look fabulous!

Sarah said...

That sounds ridiculously delicious! Gotta try it as soon as possible <3

Heather said...

Heather, I LOVE the insight of your memories in this recipe. Makes it so vibrant and "can almost taste it" for me as I read! Bravo on a wonderful post (and delectable recipe!)

Nicole Duffin said...

Once I am finished my finals tomorrow I might just try this baking endeavor lol

reinidays said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I can't wait to try these out!!

legallydelish said...

I want these. Right now. For breakfast. YUM.

Monica said...

I LOVE peanuts in Coca Cola!! I haven't done that since I was a kid, for some reason. Thanks for reminding me with these delicious looking cupcakes!

I grew up in Southeastern KY, but you and I are practically neighbors now! I live just outside the Smokies too :)

Rita D said...

I grew up and still live just outside Athens, GA. This was always something I did growing up too. I once decided it'd be a good idea to put the peanuts in a coke that was in a plastic bottle....well needless to say I didn't drink it all and stuck it in the fridge overnight. I was young...the peanuts sort of fermented...the outcome wasn't good. Thanks for reminding me of this treat. I'll be sure drink it all in one sitting this time :)

Anonymous said...

We would put peanuts in our RC cola :) I may have to try this for a cookout this weekend... Thank you for this post, it brings back wonderful memories with my Mom.
Carol G

Kim said...

Beautiful photos and fun, whimsical recipe. I can't wait to give these a try :)

Abby said...

My father-in-law does this all the time! And you're right - Coke in glass bottles is the BEST. Adorable post.

Shannon said...

Chocolate gravy is definitely something that reminds me of growing up in Tennessee.

Kim @ The Family Practice said...

I love the polk-a-dot baking liner overlaid with the stripes! I actually love everything about this post - so incredibly cute.

Lora said...

Oddly, when my German husband worked as a dive instructor in Egypt he lived on coke and peanuts combo. I HAVE to make these for him. Love!

Jennifurla said...

Ok now I have to try this! These look so delish...I'm starving so It's not good for me to visit your blog right now.

Eileen said...

I have never heard of putting peanuts in Coke! (Although I have certainly had plenty of Dr. Pepper through Red Vines...) Most intriguing.

cookies and cups said...

Is it wrong that I could eat about 50 of these?

~DG said...

OMG!! I grew up putting peanuts in those glass bottle cokes. My mom passed this wonderful treat on to me...she was raised in central Louisiana, then married and moved all over the southern states. I still, on occasion, buy a glass bottle 'baby coke' and pour in a bag of peanuts.

Kelsey said...

Cupcakes and Barbara Mandrell--this might be the most perfect blog post ever.

amanda @ fake ginger said...

LOVE! I grew up in Alabama and always heard people talk about peanuts in Coke but never tried it myself. I'm DYING to try it now!

And I need a cupcake.

Tracy {Pale Yellow} said...

Beautiful cupcakes! Such a unique idea, at least to this Northern girl, I can't wait to try these out for myself!

Tesei said...

I had never heard of this combinations but I find it oddly attractive. I will definitely try these cupcakes, they look soooooo good!!!! Thanks.

Becky said...

Oh, wow - this post brought back so many memories for me! Growing up in NC I have some of those same traditions, riding in the back of my Dad's old Dodge to my Uncle's store to get the glass bottled Cokes (MUST be the glass bottles!) Thanks so much for the lovely recipe and the memories! ;)

The Farmer's Wife said...

It's so important to remember the little things that were often the thread running through the patchwork quilt of our childhood. I too grew up in the south, and although I live in Georgia now, it was North Carolina when I was a kid. In my neck of NC, it wasn't Coke and Peanuts, it was Pepsi and Peanuts, but the results was the same, a delicious, salty refreshment that is practically addictive! Great post! Thank you for jogging my own memories!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I am watching my weight but I have figured out a way to have these cupcakes for breakfast. I don't drink coffee and very little tea but I do drink a can of coke for breakfast to take away the headache I wake up with. I also have rolled oats and a kiwi fruit. I guess I could just have my coke in these cup cakes, the carbs can be the flour and the sugar instead of the sucrose in the kiwi fruit. I won't analyze this too much and just do it. A cup cake for breakfast each morning and I will check my weight at the end of the week.

Mary said...

This is such a beautiful post - partly nostalgic, partly intriguing. I will definitely be trying peanuts in a coke. And as far as suggesting that it should be an 8 oz bottle - is there any other kind? I think not! Yum!

Tamara Jones said...

I hail from the great white North and hadn't heard of this practice of putting peanuts in Coke, except I have a very vague memory of some movie or something mentioning it.

But now that I see these cupcakes... I may be a convert! I'll have to try these for sure, my mouth is watering just thinking of the flavor combo! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

YYYUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just gave me a new craving! :) Thank you for another awesome recipe. :D

Stéphanie said...

Delicious cupcake! The coke adds a little extra that is hard to describe but good without being overwhelming. I didn't try the frosting but will do when I have a special occasion. Thank you, it's a keeper!

Kristin said...

What a great idea and I loved the story!

Deb said...

Although I've never heard of peanuts and Coke I am sure these cupcakes are divine!

Bria said...

gorgeous pictures, as always! such an inspiration :-)

Eileen said...

Never heard of this Southern ritual that you practiced as a kid but I did put poprocks in my soda pop when I was a kid - lol... Your cupcakes sound and look delicious!

Anonymous said...

My absolutely favorite thing is peanuts in a coke. My daughter, who is 7, saw me drinking/eating it the other day and wanted to try it. I must admit, that as a Southern Mama, I was mortified that my child had made it to the age of 7 and I had not introduced this to her yet! She loved it!

Julia @The Roasted Root said...

I love the antique-y crate of soda bottles. One of my friends from the south introduced me to peanuts in coke and I haven't had it in quite some time, so I'm pleased to see the idea re-emerge. Your cupcakes look fabulous. All wonderful flavors and decorated in such a cute way!

Rituparna said...

Peanuts in Coke.That is an absolutely new concept for me.I have to give a try soon.N those cupcakes look delicious!

Photobud said...

I remember reading about peanuts and Coke in the Secret Life of Bees and told myself to try it one day. When I mentioned this recipe to my dad he said when he was a kid he would do the same, but with cashews. Go figure!
Anyway, is the coke you used from the bottle, or the regular kind you can normally get at the supermarket? Can't wait to try!!

thelittleloaf said...

The first time I encountered peanuts and coke was in The Secret Life of Bees. I've never tried it but can imagine the sweet fizziness and crunchy saltiness is perfect! I've made cola cupcakes before and love peanut butter frosting so these cupcakes are heaven in one mouthful!

Bev said...

I love putting peanuts in my coke~ My grandfather did it and passed it on. Yes I am from the south :)

ALIMENTA said...

Hola!
¿Como es que no conocía tu blog?
Que recetas tan buenas tienes! aquí me quedo como seguidora fiel

Besos

Helen said...

Cola generally tastes better from glass bottles anyway :) This is a really bizarre tradition but I feel the need to run out and try it immediately!

LynnieBee said...

OMG These sound so incredibly delicious!!!!!! Salty and Sweet......*swoon!*

Lauren at Keep It Sweet said...

I love peanut butter with pretty much everything so i can't imagine these cupcakes would be any different!

Thyme (Sarah) said...

I have never heard of putting peanuts into coke but I could adapt to without too much fretting I am sure!

SweetheartDesigns said...

I'm from S. Louisiana and I remember this fondly....peanuts in the bottom of a "small" coke! LOL! "Thanks for the memories!!"

momto8 said...

oh yum!! I love the recipe and the story!!!
I am your newest follower...pls follow back if you can.
I wish my cupcakes would look like that!

Jennifer (Delicieux) said...

I've never heard of peanuts in cocoa cola, but it makes sense because my fiance swears he has to have cocoa cola with his salted and buttered popcorn, so I guess there's something to it. Your cupcakes look amazing, as always!

Justin said...

I grew up in North Carolina, and I totally remember doing this! I haven't put peanuts in my Coca Cola in ages, but I remember doing it. Somehow I don't imagine it would taste quite as good drinking it from a plastic bottle. Miss those glass bottles!

Jen @ Jens Favorite Cookies said...

It's hard to describe what a fantastic idea this is! I love that coke flavor. YUM! The photos are gorgeous too!

ButterYum said...

Okay, I can honestly say I've never heard of doing such a thing, but when I was a kid growing up in NYC we would often mix coke and milk. It too was "oddly delicious". Now I'm curious about your combo - will definitely have to give it a try. Thanks!!

coffeerocketfairytale said...

I have always hesitated to make coca cola cupcakes for some reason... I don't know why, though, because I always wanted to try them but then always ended up making other cupcakes because I was "afraid" of the cola flavour in cupcakes (that is although I like the taste of cola when it's a beverage)... What does it taste like?
However, your cupcakes look delicious and now that I think about it, the cola-peanut combination would be perfect for a movie night, don't you think?!

1591e618-8bbe-11e1-9c21-000bcdcb2996 said...

I first heard about the peanuts in coke from reading the Yaya books. I tried it one day; it was interesting! I will definitely try these cupcakes too!

Amy Jo said...

I just got my pre-ordered copy of your cookbook in the mail! I'm in love. :)

Kelsey said...

These look DIVINE!! What a wonderful combo of flavors!

pequenascorujas said...

These cupcakes look delicious!

Mamie said...

Peanuts in coke is one of the best snacks ever! I used to eat/drink that in the car on our way to the beach every summer. I haven't had it in years. These cupcakes look amazing. I can't wait to try them.

Sue said...

I've never even HEARD of peanuts in Coca-Cola, but sounds like you were ahead of the game even as a kid! :) Sounds yummy!

amy c said...

holy cow. my dad did this all the time. i'm going to have to try this recipe. the combination sounds divine. :)

Anonymous said...

How do you frost the cupcakes so perfectly? Mine turn out flat-topped!

Nikki said...

Heather! My Ma'am (mother-in-law) just gave me your book and then I checked out your blog to find this post...it was just one of those moments when you know it is going to be a good relationship! I'm from Texas(hence I call my mother-in-law "Ma'am") and also put peanuts in my coke. Can't wait to try this recipe out, along with every other one in your book!

abakersadventures said...

Hi Heather! I've been following your blog for a few months now, and I pre ordered your book back in March. I received it in the mail today and I love it! I want to make everything and there's so many ideas in there : )

belladonna said...

So creative! I spent my early childhood in Georgia, where my North Dakota-born-and-raised parents loved trying out Southern food specialties...and they *loved* peanuts in Coke! I thought it was a totally normal thing! I wasn't allowed a lot of Coke as a little kid, but those were the late 60s after all...parenting norms were a little different...I definitely got to try it. Thanks for bringing back a lovely childhood memory, and I really want to bake these cupcakes. I've followed your blog for months but never posted...this entry moved me to step out of the shadows!

TidyMom said...

I love that Tim McGraw song! My husband is a HUGE Coke lover, as in, he bleeds Coke! and he swears it's best in the glass bottles!

I'm SOOOO going to make these as a surprise for his birthday this summer!

Michelle said...

I have to tell you that I made these AMAZING cupcakes for my family a few days ago, and they are so so delish!!!!! I am going to also make them for my daughters high school graduation party in June, as she is such a coke, chocolate and peanut butter fan!!!!!! Thanks for sharing this recipe, as it is my new favorite!

Vanessa said...

What an interesting combonation. They look delicious though I'd love to try them just based on your photos! They look so good.

Laurie {Simply Scratch} said...

Ohhhh WOW! Amazing!!

Clara Turbay said...

looooove them!

Asmita said...

This is just gorgeous! That' s the word that came to my mind when I saw this post! Love it!

foreverfaithandfood said...

I love Coke anything. Awesome idea.

Anonymous said...

Salt and sweet seems to be a current trend. Just think, I remember when peanuts and Coke was just plain country!

Janel@hatingmartha said...

Made these the other day...yummy!!! I also shoved them with cherry cream. I am making them again today and trying vanilla bean cream inside. Tasty tasty!!

Linda Hart said...

Wow, what a blast from the past! I had totally forgotten that my late father drank Coke with added salty peanuts when I was a girl. I grew up in California; he grew up in Arkansas. Thank you for reminding me of something I had completely and utterly forgotten. On the grocery list now: Coca Cola in the bottle (aka Mexicoke made with real sugar) and a bag of salted peanuts.

Anonymous said...

Never heard of peanuts in coke. I'm intrigued. Must try. Thanks.

Joni said...

Peanuts in a cold Co-Cola, there's nothing better. I hope once in a while your trip to the store with your daddy included you getting to ride on the tailgate with your bare feet hanging off like mine did. So lucky to have grown up a southern country girl.

Joni said...

Peanuts in a cold Co-Cola, there's nothing better. I hope once in a while your trip to the store with your daddy included you getting to ride on the tailgate with your bare feet hanging off like mine did. So lucky to have grown up a southern country girl.

Anonymous said...

I'm making these for my grandma for her birthday! She taught me to eat peanuts in my coke as a kid. Thanks for the great recipe!

Kim (BarefootNBaking) said...

Wow! My mom first introduced me to Coke & Peanuts YEARS ago when I was a teenager. I remember looking at her like she'd lost her mind...but boy was it good! I can't wait to try this recipe!

iheartcakes said...

Oh, this takes me back...I´d almost forgotten about this combo! I´m a sucker for nostalgia, and what a decadent way to take a trip down memory lane: Coke&Peanut cupcakes -Yummy!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sooo making these for my husband's 58th birthday! We are from Nebraska, and we also love this same combination of sweet and salty nostalgia, still! What a great idea for the cupcakes! Thank you so much for the recipe!

lmoemugs said...

:) im intrigued by this idea...
me and my dad always get a kit-kat and split it two pieces each. i am physically unable to eat a whole one by my self :)

Lynda said...

I made these tonight! They turned out wonderful. The peanut butter frosting is to die for. The hubster is addicted to Coca Cola so he loved this idea. Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this recipe and picture! I remember my favorie soda/peanut combo was orange Nehi w/peanuts...memories:)

Carrie-Anne Gallo said...

I made these the other day and oh my god that peanut butter frosting is ridiculously good! Thank you so much!

Do you think this recipe would work with Dr Pepper?

Anonymous said...

I used to LOOOOOVE doing this. I don't know why I ever stopped. Going to have to try this cupcake. Glad I finally found someone who also appreciates this combination of salty, sweet, deliciousness.

Lili said...

Wow, I can't believe you are old enough to remember Coke in glass bottles Heather! You painted a beautifully nostalgic picture and your creation is just incredible! xo ~Lili

Big Little Bee said...

I made these without the frosting. They were absolute heaven! It's super moist and it melts in your mouth! So good <3

AmyRuth said...

I saw your photo on an IG account called @cutie_cupcakes where its stated that they re not "their" photos. I guess that is a compliment? Either way... I love the photo and found it among google images. Thinking anything on the net is "free" game, right? You have a following for sure.

AmyRuth said...

Also, I loved that you shared a fond memory of a ritual shared with you by your Dad. Makes us out here love you even more!

Anonymous said...

Made these for my daughters graduation party as well as many others on pinterest. I was disappointed. The frosting was ok but the cupcake itself was bland. No chocolate taste, no coke taste, not something that I will make again. Sorry

Anonymous said...

just finished baking these cupcakes - yummmmy! i couldn't be bothered making the frosting - love the cake just as it is (mine done in 20 minutes)

Anonymous said...

I love the POP SHOP crate, we would go once a week and trade out our empties, they had all sorts of awesome flavors!

Jade said...

I also made these for my friend's baby shower. Being in England I had never heard of this combination but the cupcakes were so good that people had 2 each!

Anonymous said...

I'm so impressed. You're amazing! Can't wait to do this by myself.
Sometimes i'm wondering why i have to watch all this full-talented peaple when by myself i can do nothing special, but great to see your work.
Greetings from Poland.

Anonymous said...

This recipe is phenomenal! I made a batch this afternoon. They turned out great!!! I am a Coca-Cola fan through and through, and everything about this post appealed to me. Thank you, Heather for the awesome recipe, and memory!

marla said...

I have never heard of this tradition, but you make it look amazing! Such cute styling on these cupcakes :)

Anonymous said...

I Love these, i am makeing them now, but the olny thing i am confused about, is were doest he brown suger come in play???

SprinkleBakes said...

In cupcake instructions under #2:

"Add sugars and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool."

..."sugars" as in both granulated and dark brown sugar.

+ said...

Those look absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try!

yummiki24 said...

I LOVE THESE, IT WAS YUMMY ! FROSTING IS DAMN AMAZING AND DONT EVEN GET ME STARTED WITH THE CAKE ITSELF ! DELICIOUS BABY !

But, i didnt really taste cola xD, not bothered though :D

Anonymous said...

While the cake was fudgy (dense and moist), it was bland on its own and certainly needed some frosting, but my frosting turned out to be too thick for piping (dont know what i did wrongly) and I had to spread it on the cupcake. The coke flavour was too subtle and easily masked by the peanut butter. This reminded me of Reese's peanut butter cup.

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Texas putting peanuts in my Dr. Pepper...My brother still puts peanuts in his coke sometimes and he's 62 years old...lol

GagaWeaver said...

Where did you get the Coke food pick? I've been looking all over for them!

Ruth Wearne said...

Greetings from that place down-under. I wonder whether you could do a Dr. Pepper version with almond butter frosting, or an A&W version with maybe just a cream cheese frosting? I'm going to try this!

PS can't get A&W root beer anywhere over here! You struggle to get root beer, but it is my FAVOURITE bev ever.

Anonymous said...

I used to put peanuts in my bottled coke all the time when I was growing up. I actually would use RC Cola. It was always awesome. This cupecake takes me back!

AthenaDawn said...

These have become our favorite cupcake, only ours is a gluten free version substituting gluten free all purpose flour blend for the regular flour!

JPrior said...

My frosting was more peanut butter colored than white.....did I do something wrong? It also has more of the PB flavor than I would like so could I next time cut that to 1/2 a cup? This is my first time making these so any suggestions would be awesome!

Heather Baird said...

@JPrior

Hi! The frosting will lighten the longer you beat it. So, maybe increase the time you mix it. You shouldn't have any problems with reducing the peanut butter content. Just add more powdered sugar if the frosting seems lax.

Lauren Mays said...

Hi! I baked these cupcakes, but not the frosting (which I will definitely try another time). I'm from Alabama and I know what you mean about the salty & sweet combination of peanuts & coke. I really love coca-cola cake so this recipe for coke cupcakes, with salted pb frosted immediately caught my eye. I only did the cupcakes as I needed a dark colored frosting to decorate them in a Halloween theme. The cupcakes were moist and rich, just like coca cola cake! And the recipe was well written and easy to follow. I'm eager to try more of your recipes :)

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