“I remember when no one was looking
I was puttin’ peanuts in my Coke.”
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
1 cup Coca-Cola
1/2 cup unsweetened
4 tbsp. unsalted
butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose
1/2 tsp. plus
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
- Preheat the oven
to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with baking
- 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
- In a large bowl,
whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Ground salted peanuts
- 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.
- 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.
- Garnish with jimmies, ground peanuts and a sprinkling of sea salt.