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.
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Adrienne
Adrienne
8 years ago

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 😀

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
8 years ago

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
Rachel @ Baked by Rachel
8 years ago

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
Cupcake and Talk
8 years ago

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

Sasha Martin (Global Table Adventure)
Sasha Martin (Global Table Adventure)
8 years ago

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
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
8 years ago

Well hellooooo lovely! Yum!

Karyn
Karyn
8 years ago

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]
Teri [a foodie stays fit]
8 years ago

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

Cake Fixation
Cake Fixation
8 years ago

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

Averie @ Averie Cooks
Averie @ Averie Cooks
8 years ago

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!

prouddaydreamer
prouddaydreamer
8 years ago

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

Heather
Heather
8 years ago

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
Nicole Duffin
8 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

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

Anonymous
Anonymous
8 years ago

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
Rita D
8 years ago

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
Anonymous
8 years ago

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
Kim
8 years ago

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

Abby
Abby
8 years ago

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

Shannon
Shannon
8 years ago

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

Kim @ The Family Practice
Kim @ The Family Practice
8 years ago

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

Lora
Lora
8 years ago

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!

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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
Eileen
8 years ago

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
cookies and cups
8 years ago

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

Unknown
Unknown
8 years ago

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
Kelsey
8 years ago

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

amanda @ fake ginger
amanda @ fake ginger
8 years ago

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}
Tracy {Pale Yellow}
8 years ago

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

Tesei
Tesei
8 years ago

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
Becky
8 years ago

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
The Farmer's Wife
8 years ago

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
Suzanne Perazzini
8 years ago

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… Read more »

Mary
Mary
8 years ago

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
Tamara Jones
8 years ago

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
Anonymous
8 years ago

YYYUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You just gave me a new craving! 🙂 Thank you for another awesome recipe. 😀

Stéphanie
Stéphanie
8 years ago

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
Kristin
8 years ago

What a great idea and I loved the story!

Deb
Deb
8 years ago

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

Bria
Bria
8 years ago

gorgeous pictures, as always! such an inspiration 🙂

Eileen
Eileen
8 years ago

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
Anonymous
8 years ago

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
Julia @The Roasted Root
8 years ago

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
Rituparna
8 years ago

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

Photobud
Photobud
8 years ago

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
thelittleloaf
8 years ago

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!

Bird Stalker Photography
Bird Stalker Photography
8 years ago

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

Cristina Alimenta
Cristina Alimenta
8 years ago

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

Besos

Helen
Helen
8 years ago

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!