This Dr Pepper cake is a chocolate cake turned into a decadent dessert with the help of a little Dr Pepper and an incredible chocolate frosting! It’s a chocolate lovers dream with the added bonus of a little Dr Pepper flavor!
When I started my blog and wrote my little about me section on my home page, I knew I wanted to include just a few of my favorite things in the description.
Chocolate covered cinnamon bears (used to love them, not as much now), my Sanuk shoes (the best travel shoes ever!), and Dr Pepper.
I’ve seen other cakes that use soda in them so thought, why not try it with Dr Pepper??
And you guys, the result was amazing. The cake doesn’t necessarily taste like Dr Pepper when you drink it, but it makes the cake super rich, moist, and just delicious.
But don’t take my word for it, try it for yourself. If you’re a chocolate cake lover, you’ll love this. If you’re a Dr Pepper lover, you’ll love this.
Me? I’m both so it’s no wonder this is a personal favorite!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Rich chocolate flavor – while the Dr Pepper adds a bit of flavor to the cake, you still get a rich chocolate flavor from both the cake itself and the frosting on top. And unlike something like this Snickers poke cake, it’s not overly sweet.
- Super easy – this recipe starts with a chocolate cake mix then gets amped up with a few ingredients to turn that cake mix into something totally different, but the cake mix base makes these simple!
- Dr Pepper – while it may not have a ton of Dr Pepper flavor, it does have a hint of that smooth, sweet flavor. Plus, the carbonation in the soda gives it a really light texture.
- Chocolate cake mix – I used Betty Crocker but really any chocolate cake mix works fine!
- Chocolate pudding mix – make sure you’re using instant chocolate pudding, not just regular chocolate pudding mix.
- Dr Pepper – I typically just use regular Dr Pepper and recommend it at least the first time you make this, but you can try it with Cherry Dr Pepper as well for a more fruity flavor, almost like this glazed cherry cake.
How to make Dr Pepper Cake
Since this cake starts with a chocolate cake mix, it’s a super easy one from start to finish! Just bake the cake, make your frosting, and frost the cake!
1 – Make the cake
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and spraying a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick baking spray so the cake doesn’t stick.
Mix all of your cake ingredients – cake mix, eggs, oil, pudding, and 8 ounces of Dr Pepper – in a large bowl until smooth.
Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan, making sure to pour or smooth it out evenly and place it in the preheated oven.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until you can put a toothpick in the center of the cake and pull it out without seeing ooey gooey cake mixture on the toothpick.
2 – Make the Frosting
While the cake bakes, make your frosting since it’ll need to cool before adding it to the cake.
Melt your butter in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat until melted.
Once the butter is melted, add in the powdered sugar, 1/3 cup Dr Pepper, vanilla, and cocoa. Whisk the ingredients together constantly on medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce heat so it doesn’t overflow and allow the mixture to boil for one minute. Don’t boil too long or you can end up with clumpy frosting.
Remove the frosting from the heat and let it cool for 20-25 minutes. Set a timer because you really don’t want to let it cool for longer than that or it’ll be too cool to pour over your cake.
3 – Frost the Chocolate Dr Pepper Cake
Once cake comes out of the oven, pour the cooled frosting over the warm baked cake. The frosting should pour nicely and go all over the top of the cake but if not, use a silicone spatula to help smooth it over the entire cake.
Top with nuts, sprinkles, or anything else if desired. I personally like to do chocolate sprinkles but this could also be really good with rainbow sprinkles if you want a more colorful look.
Let the cake sit for at least 30 minutes, if not longer, before slicing and serving. This will allow the frosting to set on top so it doesn’t just run off when cut.
This cake is great just by itself, but I personally think it’s even better paired with some vanilla ice cream!
Make sure to pour the frosting in the center of the cake and then smooth it out so that it doesn’t all just end up in the corners. If it does end up all just running to the corners, know that those will be the sweetest pieces in the cake.
Change it up by switching out the flavor of the frosting. This would be really good with a fruity frosting, buttercream frosting, or even just a regular whipped frosting.
Add any toppings right after adding the frosting so that they can set with the frosting. If you try to add toppings after you the frosting sets, the toppings may just end up falling off.
Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or a lid for up to three days.
Yes! It may seem crazy but combining soda like Dr Pepper with cake mix creates a deliciously moist cake!
I do not recommend freezing Dr Pepper cake because you’ll lose the moistness of the cake, which is one of the best parts about this recipe. It just doesn’t thaw the same way as a regular cake.
Add soda to a cake mix and you’ll naturally get a really yummy moist cake! This chocolate Dr Pepper cake is nice and moist because of the liquid and carbonation in the soda.
More Easy Cakes
If you like this Dr Pepper cake, you’re going to absolutely love these other yummy cake recipe!
- Pumpkin crunch cake – another fun fall cake that starts with a cake mix and ends with a crunchy topping!
- Swiss roll cake – this vintage lush cake combines Swiss Roll cakes, pudding, and whipped cream topping for one yummy cake!
- Old fashioned jello cake – a poke cake made with jello then topped with the most amazing whipped frosting!
- Easy carrot cake – this two layered carrot cake is full of sweet carrot flavor and topped with a cinnamon frosting!
- Best chocolate lava cake – if you want homemade lava cake, you want this molten chocolate cake recipe. Even better when it’s topped with ice cream!
Chocolate Dr Pepper Cake
- 1 chocolate cake box mix
- 3.4 ounces box chocolate instant pudding
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 8 ounces Dr Pepper
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup Dr Pepper
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick baking spray.
- Mix together all the cake ingredients until fully combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish.1 chocolate cake box mix, 3.4 ounces box chocolate instant pudding, 3 large eggs, 3/4 cup vegetable oil, 8 ounces Dr Pepper
- Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
- Melt butter in medium-sized pan over medium heat.1/2 cup salted butter
- Whisk in sugar, Dr Pepper, cocoa powder, and vanilla keeping the heat on medium.2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup Dr Pepper, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 1 tsp vanilla
- Stir constantly until brought to a boil. Reduce heat and boil for 1 minute. Then remove from the heat and allow the frosting to cool for 25 minutes. Set a timer and make sure you don't let it cool much longer so it's still pourable.
- Pour the warm frosting over the baked cake and add chocolate sprinkles or nuts as garnish (if desired) then allow the frosting to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.