Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

Nothing says fun quite like turning one of your favorite drinks into cupcakes. So far I’ve introduced you to Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, Limoncello Cupcakes, and Margarita Cupcakes. This time I decided to leave the alcohol behind (for a couple of days anyway, stay tuned for a fun treat later this week!) and create a cupcake tribute to one of my favorite sodas as a kid. I mentioned yesterday when talking about the Fig Bars that my parents didn’t routinely keep sweets or pop in the house while we were growing up, so we really only got them when it was a special occasion (birthday party/sleepover) or we were eating away from home. I always remember getting a Cherry Coke when we’d find ourselves at Eat n’ Park grabbing dinner. I don’t know why I associate my Cherry Coke consumption with that particular restaurant, but I don’t remember having it anywhere else. Needless to say, when I saw this rendition of a childhood favorite in cupcake form I knew they would be gracing my kitchen before long.

This recipe begins with a chocolate-cola cake, is filled with cherry pie filling, topped with a sugar-cola glaze, then finally topped off with fresh sweetened whipped cream and a cherry, of course. What’s a float without some whipped cream and a cherry?! Although there are multiple components, I was surprised at how relatively quickly these came together.

The combination of chocolate, the faint Coke flavor, the cherry filling, and then the light whipped cream on top is a sensational combination of flavors and textures. It’s a fun treat, it makes you feel like a kid again, and it’s something that I guarantee all adults will enjoy.

These would be a fun cupcake option for someone who is a fan of black forest cake. Although it’s not traditional, it’s definitely a modern twist on the chocolate/cherry combination. I also think that these cupcakes would be great for summer picnics, much like the Root Beer Float Cake that I made last year. Whether you cozy up to these now during the winter or save them, you are definitely going to want to make these cupcakes – so much fun to eat, and absolutely delicious!

Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 18 to 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
¾ cup Coke (don't use diet)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling

For the Glaze:
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Coke

For the Icing:
1 cup heavy whipped cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
Maraschino Cherries, for garnish


1. Make the Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin pan with paper liners; set aside.

2. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat on medium-high until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and beating for an additional minute. In a large mixing cup or small bowl, combine the buttermilk, Coke and vanilla extract. (Make sure you wait for the foam to go down when measuring the Coke and don't worry if your mixture looks curdled when you add the buttermilk.)

4. Beginning with the flour mixture, add in 4 parts to the butter mixture, alternating with the Coke mixture. Beat each addition just until incorporated. Give the final mixture a good mix with a rubber spatula to make sure it is thoroughly combined.

5. Divide the batter evenly between the muffins tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Fill the Cupcakes: Once cooled, use a paring knife to cut out a cone shape in the middle of each cupcake. Add a spoonful of cherry mixture (2 to 3 cherries) to the well.

7. Glaze the Cupcakes: In a small bowl whisk together the powdered sugar and coke. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes to thicken. It should drip off of a soon very slowly. Using a small offset spatula, drizzle a little of the glaze onto the middle of each cupcake and then gently spread it over the top.

8. Frost the Cupcakes: Beat the heavy whipping cream in a chilled bowl with whisk attachment (or hand mixer), beginning on low speed. Once the cream gets frothy begin adding the powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, increasing speed as the cream comes together until you reach medium-high speed. Whip the cream until it holds stiff peaks (if you dip a spoon in it, the whipped cream should stay on the spoon when you turn it upside down). Pipe the whipped cream onto cupcakes as desired and top with maraschino cherries for garnish.

(Recipe adapted from The Novice Chef)


138 Responses to “Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Jessica on January 25, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Now I REALLY need to remake these cupcakes. It’s been way too long! Your photos are so beautiful & cheery! :)


    • Amy on May 1st, 2013 at 12:43 am

      They are fantastic! I made them for the people at work, and they were a big hit. It was also the first time that I made fancy cupcakes, they were easy and totally adorable.


  2. Grace on January 25, 2012 at 1:17 am

    Hi! I’m very excited to make these! I love cherry come and I remember when McDonald’s came out with coke floats (I still have the coke glass it came in).

    Question: is the flour, etc. sifted before or after measuring?!?

    By the way: I made your Tres Leches cake last night! It was a hit!



    • Michelle on January 25th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Grace, Measure the flour and other ingredients, and then sift together. And glad you loved the Tres Leches Cake!


      • Taylor on March 21st, 2013 at 9:10 pm

        Hi! Do these taste good or just look good?


  3. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on January 25, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Spectacular! The flavors, the photography (love the pops of bright RED), and I love maraschino cherries. I love everything about this recipe and post!


  4. Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes on January 25, 2012 at 1:56 am

    I’ve seen a recipe similar to this one, but using Dr. Pepper. This sounds so much better! Your pics are beautiful and those things look scrumptious!


  5. CouponClippingCook on January 25, 2012 at 3:21 am

    These are so fun and so colorful. Not to mention that they look super delicious. LOVE your pictures of these too!


  6. Choc Chip Uru on January 25, 2012 at 3:53 am

    These look absolutely sinful – a delicious cute cupcake filled with the addictive drink 😀


  7. Kathryn on January 25, 2012 at 5:15 am

    These are so adorable, especially with the cherry on top!


  8. Blog is the New Black on January 25, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Ahhhh! Love, love, love!


  9. Kiri W. on January 25, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Wow, that molten center looks amazing! :) I’ve never had a float (yes, yes! I’m not American, sue me!) but am curious to try one/a float cupcake. Looks delicious!


  10. Elly @ Nutmegs, seven on January 25, 2012 at 6:27 am

    I love how cool and retro these look, especially that gorgeously shiny cherry!


  11. Sandra on January 25, 2012 at 7:15 am

    If a cupcake could be uplifting, this would be it!


  12. Jeri Barry on January 25, 2012 at 7:27 am

    These look delicious as well as beautiful. I am so thrilled to have found your blog. I enjoy every one of your posts, stories, beautiful photography and of course recipes. I plan to make these for my mother for Valentine’s Day…thanks for the inspiration!


  13. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on January 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

    such a cute idea!


  14. Cookbook Queen on January 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I neeeeeeeeeed these!!


  15. Paula on January 25, 2012 at 9:41 am

    These are just gorgeous!


  16. Lori @ RecipeGirl on January 25, 2012 at 9:54 am

    So cute. I ate my share of cherry coke (homemade) at a little place I worked in High School. Love the stuff.


  17. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

    These are so pretty! I think I’ll make these for my daughters birthday next month! I


  18. Cookin' Cowgirl on January 25, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Beautiful!! What a cute idea! I love that there is a cherry inside too :)


  19. Betsy on January 25, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Love these photos! Just gorgeous!


  20. Amber, RD on January 25, 2012 at 10:03 am

    These are too cute! I have been wanting to make Cherry Coke cake for a long time, but I love the idea of turning it into cupcakes with a cherry in the middle. Great idea! These would be a great Valentine’s Day treat. Something about chocolate and cherries is so romantic! :)


  21. Katrina on January 25, 2012 at 10:20 am

    These are freaking beautiful!


  22. Jess Wakasugi {Life's Simple Measures} on January 25, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Cherry Coke was/is my absolute favorite! I loved going to restaurants and getting the homemade cherry coke with the maraschino cherries at the bottom. Yum :) These look outrageously delicious, I pinned the recipe and can’t wait to try these out!


  23. Life of a Modern Housewife on January 25, 2012 at 11:05 am

    My husband will love these!! He loves cherries and cherry coke


  24. Lacy on January 25, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Oh wow. I don’t drink soda anymore but I used to down cherry cokes in seconds. These cupcakes look and sound amazing, I love the glaze & the cherry filling addition…oh yum. Delicious!


  25. Geraldine Saucier on January 25, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I love these cupcakes:-) They look delicious. Can’t wait to try them.


  26. Amy @ Gastronome Tart on January 25, 2012 at 11:49 am

    I absolutely LOVED Cherry Coke when I was a kid! I will have to hold onto this recipe for sure.


  27. Kristina on January 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    omygosh I need to make these cupcakes! I love this idea! When I was a kid I was obsessed with Cherry Coke slushies… and still sneak one in every once in a while :)


  28. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel on January 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I know it’s simple and light but I want the frosting so bad.


  29. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on January 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    These cupcakes are adorable! I love the drizzle going down the side, just like a real float!


  30. Shelly on January 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    These look great! They would be perfect for a tween’s birthday party/sleepover. We’re like your parents and don’t always allow Coke and other treats in the house. These would help to make the day special!


  31. Jen on January 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    These would make me happy. That is all!

    Thanks for the post!


  32. Maria on January 25, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    What a fun cupcake!


  33. claire @ the realistic nutritionist on January 25, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    What beautiful cupcakes!!


  34. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes on January 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    These are so fun!!!


  35. Tamara @jemofthesouth on January 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    These look heavenly! I’m a Southern girl so Coke floats were a regular drink in our home as a sweet treat. Love the spin you’ve put on this classif drink by turning it into a cupcake.


  36. Kare on January 25, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    These are genius … and gorgeous. Love, love, love them for Valentine’s Day.


  37. Joanne (Inspired Taste) on January 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    These are so fun! I love the cherry in the middle. Thanks so much for the inspiration!


  38. Michelle on January 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Well these gems of yumminess will definitely be making a debut at my house for Valentine’s Day & I can’t wait!! I do have one question: would you recommend “frosting” them with the whipped cream right before serving? How does the whipped cream hold up otherwise? I’m assuming these cupcakes also need to be stored in the frig due to the whipped cream . . .

    Thanks, Michelle, for all your delicious inspirations. Oh! And our Pens are getting back on track :) GO PENS!


    • Michelle on January 25th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Hi Michelle, I would just recommend frosting them with the whipped cream the same day. If you do really whip it to stiff peaks, it will hold its shape, and you can leave them at room temperature if serving the same day. Otherwise, you could make them a day or two ahead, keep them in airtight container at room temperature, and then frost the day you plan to serve them.

      And yes, definitely, GO PENS!


  39. Jules on January 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Lovely cakes!!!

    Nice to finally comment here instead of just stalk you. hehe


  40. christina @ ovenadventures on January 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    these look fabulous. i’ve been wanted to make something with blackberry soda and these would be perfect!

    thanks for the inspiration!


  41. Ally on January 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    Cherry Coke is my FAVORITE! Thanks for the recipe!! Yum!


  42. Marina on January 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Those cherries are bagging to be eaten right this moment! Great blog, my friend recommended to stop by for baked recipe. She tried many of your recipes and it all came out perfect. I need to start practicing for Valentines… :)


  43. Living The Sweet Life on January 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    ohhh maaann — I could sure do with a cupcake now 😉 these don’t just sound delicious but they look delicious!


  44. Lianne on January 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Could you use any other type of soft drink like root beer?


    • Michelle on January 27th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Absolutely, I don’t see why not!


  45. Kim Bee on January 26, 2012 at 1:33 am

    I love these cupcakes. I must make them immediately. And eat ten in one sitting.


  46. Ann on January 26, 2012 at 1:38 am

    Absolutely brilliant! I know a half dozen family members who would LOVE this!


  47. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite on January 26, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Gorgeous! Just looking at these photos makes me feel like a kid again :) i can’t wait to try these out for an upcoming party or get together!


  48. samcyn on January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    I’ve GOT to make these! :)


  49. Lynnette Kelley on January 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I made these yesterday. The cake is really, really good, and I love the cherries and the frosting. But I had trouble with the glaze. My glaze didn’t thicken as you described. I even added more powdered sugar, but it was still pretty runny, and that was after letting it sit for at least 10 minutes. They still tasted amazing; they were just a little messy. I might try decreasing the Coke to 1 Tbsp. instead of 2 next time I make them.


    • Hilarie on March 4th, 2012 at 2:01 am

      I had the same trouble with the glaze! I added more powdered sugar, too, but then the coke flavor didn’t come through as much. Other than that, the cupcakes turned out amazing!


    • Raj on November 9th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      I had the same problem. I thought next time I make them, instead of using soft icing sugar I will try pure icing sugar and see if that makes a difference.


    • Jen on December 15th, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      I had problems with the glaze, too. I doubled the sugar and it was still runny.


  50. Sarah on January 27, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    I made these and we loved them:)) My husband is a huge jack and coke fan, and I was wondering if you knew how I could incorporate jack into these? Thanks and have a wonderful day:)


    • Michelle on January 27th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Oooh I love this idea! I would say you could substitute some jack for the coke in the batter, maybe use jack instead of the coke for the glaze (or 50/50). Mmm now I want a jack and coke cupcake :)


      • Stephanie on March 7th, 2014 at 9:22 am

        I have NO IDEA how I missed this post and now I see this comment! Has anyone tried this? (Also,…do you think mini’s would hold up well with the cherries and glaze?)


        • Michelle on March 8th, 2014 at 11:54 am

          Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tried it, but I think mini’s would be just fine.


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