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Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

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A recent visit to the ATL led me to these beauties built around one of America’s most iconic brands.

Column of chocolate Coca Cola cupcakes
These cupcakes are Ri-dic-u-lous.

No trip to Atlanta is complete without a visit to the World of Coca-Cola®. In 1886, Dr. John Stith Pemberton produced the first batch of the cola syrup that would later become a household name. Once you make these Coca-Cola® infused cupcakes, you’ll want to thank the good doctor.

The combination of chocolate, sweetness from the Coca-Cola®, peanut buttery goodness, and textured toppings make these cupcakes as complex as a Week 16 NFL playbook. I’m almost jealous of Buccaneers, Panthers, and Saints fans who are guaranteed to see these babies appear on a Matchup Menu each regular season.

Almost.

The recipe itself is super straightforward. You’ll make a lot of dishes for yourself, but the end result is well worth the trouble. For me, the hardest part is getting the frosting consistency just right. Not enough milk, and your frosting will be a bit shaggy. Too much milk, and it won’t hold its form. If you need some help here, check out this video [1:16] from Pampered Chef.

Your guests will be amazed at how moist these cupcakes are. Be sure to freeze any extra buttercream frosting. You’ll be glad you did!

Chocolate Coca-Cola Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Cupcake
The textured topping makes this cupcake the bomb.
Chocolate Coca-Cola Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Cupcakes
Bring on the ooohs and aaahs.
Chocolate Coca-Cola Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Cupcake and Friend
Give in to the dark side … of chocolate!
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Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup Coca-Cola®
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg

For the peanut butter buttercream frosting:

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate jimmies or sprinkles, for garnish
  • Ground salted peanuts, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

To prepare the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the Coca-Cola®, cocoa and butter until the butter is melted. Add the granulated and brown sugars, and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until foamy. Whisk in the cocoa mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
  6. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners until each is 3/4 full.
  7. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when pressed, about 18-20 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cupcake pan to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

To prepare the buttercream frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the confectioners sugar, butter, peanut butter and salt on low speed. Beat until combined then increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the cream by the tablespoon, and beat until the mixture is a medium consistency.
  2. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch piping tip. Pipe the cooled cupcakes.
  3. Garnish the frosted cupcakes with jimmies, ground peanuts and a sprinkle of salt.

Surf Rider

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Surf Rider

Surf Rider Cocktail
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce grenadine

Instructions

  1. Add vodka, sweet vermouth, orange juice, lemon juice and grenadine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Strain into a sour glass.

Cape Codder

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Cape Codder

Cape Codder
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Total Time: 5 min
  • Yield: 1 cocktail 1x
  • Category: Cocktail
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • Cranberry juice
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • Lime wedge, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice.
  2. Pour the vodka over the ice, and top with cranberry juice.
  3. Squeeze a lime wedge into the drink, and drop it in.
  4. Stir gently using a cocktail stirrer.

Bierocks

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Bierocks

Bierocks
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 50 min
  • Cook Time: 25 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15 min + overnight refrigeration
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Snack/Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 cups flour, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 6 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

To prepare the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water and yeast. Stir to combine, and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Mix in the sugar, butter, egg, salt and 3 1/2 cups of the flour. Beat on low until smooth. Working in 1/2 cup portions, add the remaining flour until the dough pulls together.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours up to overnight.

To prepare the filling:

  1. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, brown the meat. Add the onion, cabbage, salt and pepper, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool until the mixture is lukewarm.
  2. Coat a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Transfer the dough to a flat working surface. Punch down the dough, then divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. Flatten each portion of dough, and fill with 2 tablespoons of the filling. Fold the dough over, and seal the edges. Transfer each filled bierock to the prepared cookie sheet. Allow to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Bake the bierocks until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Brush with the melted butter, and serve immediately.

Central BBQ-Style Barbecue Nachos

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Central BBQ-Style Barbecue Nachos

Central BBQ-Style Barbecue Nachos
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 7 hr
  • Total Time: 7 hours 30 min + overnight marinating time
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Snack/Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (3-pound) pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce
  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 teaspoon dry rub
  • 1 (15-ounce) can nacho cheese sauce
  • 2 cups Cheddar jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

To prepare the pulled pork:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the dry rub. Rub the remaining on the pork shoulder. Wrap the pork shoulder in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours up to overnight.
  2. Place the pork in a large crockpot and cook until the roast is fork-tender, about 7 hours.
  3. Transfer the pork to a cutting board, and use two forks to shred the pork. Return the shredded pork to the crock pot.
  4. Add the barbecue sauce to the crock pot. Stir to coat well.

To assemble the nachos:

  1. Preheat an oven broiler.
  2. On a large stone or baking sheet, create a nest of tortilla chips. Top with the pulled pork.
  3. Slather the pork with the nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the nachos.
  4. Sprinkle the reserved 1 tablespoon of dry rub over the cheese sauce.
  5. Position the nachos under the broiler. Broil until the shredded cheese melts, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Notes

You can save time by preparing 1 (16-ounce) package of store-bought pulled pork. You’ll still want to make 1/4 of the dry rub recipe to sprinkle on top of the nachos.

Garrett-Style Popcorn Mix

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Garrett-Style Popcorn Mix

Garrett-Style Popcorn
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Snack/Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

For the caramel corn:

  • 6 quarts popped popcorn (from about 1/2 cup kernels), divided
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

 

For the cheese corn:

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 large paper grocery bags

Instructions

  1. Pop 6 quarts of popcorn according to the instructions on the package. Discard any unpopped kernels. Divide the remaining popcorn evenly among 2 clean paper grocery bags.
  2. Cover two baking sheets with wax paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Cook, stirring constantly until boiling, about 8 minutes. Stir in the baking soda and allow the mixture to foam. Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the first bag, fold over the top, and shake well to coat. Pour the popcorn onto one of the prepared baking sheets, and break up any clumps as needed. Allow to cool completely.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the cheese powder and ground mustard. Set aside.
  5. Open the second bag of popcorn, and shake while carefully drizzling the melted butter over the popcorn. Shake the buttered popcorn while sprinkling the cheese-mustard mixture over the popcorn. Pour the cheese popcorn onto the second prepared baking sheet, and allow to cool completely.
  6. Mix the two batches of popcorn by hand. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Notes

Save time by ordering online at Garrett Popcorn.

Cobb Salad

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Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Snack/Appetizer
Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 3 eggs, boiled, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken meat
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) bottle ranch salad dressing

Instructions

  1. Evenly divide the shredded lettuce among individual serving plates.
  2. Evenly divide the chicken, eggs, tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, bacon crumbles, avocado and green onions in a single row on top of the lettuce.
  3. Drizzle with the ranch dressing, and serve.

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

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Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Coca-Cola Cupcakes with Salted Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
Scale

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup Coca-Cola®
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into four pieces
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg

For the peanut butter buttercream frosting:

  • 4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate jimmies or sprinkles, for garnish
  • Ground salted peanuts, for garnish
  • Coarse sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

To prepare the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the Coca-Cola®, cocoa and butter until the butter is melted. Add the granulated and brown sugars, and whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow to cool, about 10 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg until foamy. Whisk in the cocoa mixture. Stir the flour mixture into the cocoa mixture.
  6. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners until each is 3/4 full.
  7. Bake the cupcakes until they spring back when pressed, about 18-20 minutes.
  8. Transfer the cupcake pan to a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

To prepare the buttercream frosting:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the confectioners sugar, butter, peanut butter and salt on low speed. Beat until combined then increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the cream by the tablespoon, and beat until the mixture is a medium consistency.
  2. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a 1/2-inch piping tip. Pipe the cooled cupcakes.
  3. Garnish the frosted cupcakes with jimmies, ground peanuts and a sprinkle of salt.

North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich

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North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich

North Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 5 hr
  • Total Time: 20 min + 5 hours smoking time
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
Scale

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 1 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cups white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the pulled pork:

  • 4 cups hickory chips, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 1 (5-pound) Boston butt (bone-in pork shoulder roast)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups Pig pickin’ sauce
  • 1/2 head cabbage, shredded
  • 8 hamburger buns, split

Instructions

To prepare the sauce:

  1. In a large sealable container, mix the cider vinegar, white vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Mix in the ketchup, crushed red pepper, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator.

To prepare the pulled pork:

  1. Prepare an outdoor grill to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper and paprika. Season the pork shoulder on all sides.
  3. Place hickory chips on the coals or in a smoker box. When the chips begin to smoke, position  the pork shoulder for indirect heat on the grill, skin side up. Cover.
  4. Smoke the pork until it becomes fall-off-the-bone tender at a minimum internal temperature of 195 degrees F, about 4-5 hours.
  5. Transfer the cooked pork to a cutting board. Tent the pork with foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Discard skin, and pull the pork, discarding bones and fat.
  7. Transfer the pulled pork to a foil pan. Stir in enough of the sauce to keep the pork moist. Cover the pan with foil. Place on the grill to keep warm until ready to serve.

To assemble the sandwiches:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and 1/2 cup of the sauce, tossing to mix well.
  2. Pile a generous portion of the pork and cabbage on a hamburger bun. Spoon on additional sauce, and serve.

Pork and Grits

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Pork and Grits

Pork and Grits
  • Author: The Commish
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Total Time: 30 min + 1 hour marinating time
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Main
Scale

Ingredients

For the grits:

  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces Velveeta cheese
  • Fresh ground pepper and Tabasco, to taste

For the pork chops:

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 (1/2-inch) bone-in pork chops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

To prepare the grits:

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring broth to a boil. Stir in grits.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cook grits, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. When grits reach desired consistency, add butter and cheese. Stir until the butter and cheese have melted.
  3. Add pepper and Tabasco, to taste.

To prepare the pork chops:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, oil, vinegar, cumin and pepper flakes.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the pork chops with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade. Place the bag in a rimmed cookie sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator, and allow to marinade 1 hour.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill over medium heat. Cook the chops until the first side is cooked, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook the second side, about 3 minutes.
  4. Check to ensure that the pork chops have reached a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees F.