You can make this simple soda cake—or cupcakes!—with a box of cake mix and a can of soda.
Can you really make a cake using a box of cake mix and a can of soda? I admit I was a bit skeptical when I heard about soda cake. But, I tested this recipe, and it’s true!
The resulting cake is perfectly moist and has a tender crumb; although without the binding power of eggs, the cake does tend to be a bit crumbly. But it’s still a delicious cake, right? (Bonus: You can make cupcakes, too!) If you’re interested in making bread, too, here’s a super-simple sourdough bread recipe you can make.
How to make soda cake
Susan Bronson for Taste of Home
- 1 box cake mix
- 1 can (12 ounces) soda
Editor’s tip: This recipe also works with a can of club soda or sparkling water.
Step 1: Check out the box
Follow the directions on the box mix to preheat your oven to the proper temperature. Then, grease a cake pan with cooking spray or line muffin cups with paper liners.
Step 2: Make the batter
In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix and soda for two minutes, either by hand or with an electric mixer.
Step 3: Bake the cake(s)
Pour the batter into the cake pan(s) or divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups. Follow the directions on the box mix for cooking times.
Step 4: Decorate
Once the cake is cool, decorate with your favorite buttercream icing. (Or, you know, your favorite canned frosting.)
Watch out for these baking mistakes you didn’t know you were making.
What flavors work best?
The options are really endless when it comes to choosing which type of cake mix and soda to use! The flavor of the soda will be most pronounced when you use a vanilla or yellow cake; the soda flavor is more subtle in a stronger-flavored cake such as chocolate. Here are a few suggestions:
- Vanilla cake + root beer = Root Beer Float Cake
- Vanilla cake + orange soda = Orange Creamsicle Cake
- Vanilla cake + grape soda = Purple Cow Cake
- Spice cake + ginger ale or ginger beer = Ginger Spice Cake
- Chocolate cake + root beer = Brown Cow Cake
- Lemon cake + lemon-lime soda = Lemonade Cake
In my kitchen, I tried four combinations: vanilla cake with root beer, spice cake with ginger ale, lemon cake with lemon-lime soda, and chocolate cake with club soda. I loved the vanilla cake with root beer! The root beer flavor complemented the vanilla flavor of the cake quite well. Here’s how to make a copycat Starbucks lemon loaf cake.
What pan should I use?
I tried four different baking pans: a Bundt pan, a 13×9 cake pan, a 9-inch round cake pan, and a cupcake pan. Because this recipe lacks eggs, which are a binder, the resulting cake, though moist, does not hold together very well. This is definitely not the recipe you want to follow if you plan to make an elegant cake.
I had the most success using a cupcake pan, as the cake seemed to hold together best in cupcake form. However, you could also serve the cake straight from a round or rectangle pan. The cake I made in the Bundt pan rose but then collapsed. It still looked OK once flipped out of the pan (and covered with a generous sprinkle of powdered sugar), but the slices were messy.
Looking for more shortcut dessert ideas? Learn how to make ice cream bread!