Dr. Pepper Cake

filed under: Cakes on October 30, 2013

Today is a fabulous day.  I get to share a fantastic recipe with you! It is an Old Fashioned Dr. Pepper Cake and is one of the most FLAVORFUL cakes you will ever try! Don’t let the ingredients scare you. 😉 Don’t miss all my other cake recipes!

Dr. Pepper Cake

Dr. Pepper Cake

The Pioneer Woman has a new book out called A Year of Holidays.  I have to tell you, it’s my favorite book yet.  I was moved to tears when I read page 87.  Please, if you don’t win a copy, go and buy it and tell me that you aren’t moved by it.  (those that know me best will understand why it’s so special to me!)  Not only does she get me with some tear jerkin’ emotion throughout the book, but she makes me laugh too!

This whole book just makes me happy.  It’s a perfect package.

But first, this Dr. Pepper Cake!

Dr. Pepper Cake Recipe

How to Make a Dr. Pepper Cake

Ree shares a Dr. Pepper cupcake in the book and I adapted it into a cake version.  I have to tell you, this cake is seriously like nothing I have ever made before.  The ingredients and technique were new to me, which is not something I often say about cakes!

Things like prunes and dried cranberries add depth of flavor and charm to this recipe. If you happen to have an old church cookbook laying around, chances are you have seen this recipe in it!

Now don’t get scared by this list of ingredients. Each one adds something special to this ALWAYS MOIST cake. Once you get all your ingredients out and measured, it comes together beautifully.

Old Fashioned Dr. Pepper Cake

Dr. Pepper Frosting

This frosting is a dream to work with. It swirled so beautifully and tasted even better. Reduced Dr. Pepper, spice, butter, and sugar are all you need to create this light-as-air frosting! The ingredients are simple but when mixed together create this magical frosting that you will want to make with every cake!

  • Dr. Pepper soda
  • butter 
  • ground ginger
  • confectioners sugar
  • vanilla


How to Make Dr. Pepper Cake

I love the idea of these as a cupcake (as Ree originally did) but also love the look of a layer cake. It’s kinda my thing!

5 from 4 votes
Dr. Pepper Cake
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
34 mins
Total Time
59 mins

It is an Old Fashioned Dr. Pepper Cake and is one of the most FLAVORFUL cakes you will ever try! Don’t let the ingredients scare you. 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: birthday cake, chocolate cake, dr pepper cake
Servings: 8
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1/2 cup prunes roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 226g) unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (30g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (118g) boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (120g) buttermilk
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (256g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup (267g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. all spice
  • 4 cups Dr. Pepper soda
  • 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks or 339g) butter
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 1/2 cups (312g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8-inch round cake pans with pan release or butter & flour.

  2. Add prunes and dried cherries to medium saucepan. Pour in 1 cup of Dr. Pepper, then bring it to a slow boil over medium heat.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool, about 20 minutes.
  4. Boil 1/2 cup water. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Add cocoa to melted butter then add in boiling water. Whisk together until smooth, set aside.
  5. In small bowl add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  6. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment add flour, sugar, nutmeg, ginger, and all spice.
  7. With mixer on low, add in cocoa mixture.
  8. Pour in buttermilk mixture.
  9. Slowly pour in Dr. Pepper mixture and blend until fully combined.
  10. This batter was about 5 cups, so I evenly divided it into two 8-inch pans. (2 1/2 cups per pan)
  11. Bake for 30-34 minutes or until cake has pulled away from the edges and slightly cracked on top.
  1. Boil 4 cups of Dr. Pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat until it has reduced to about 1/2 cup. 20 to 25 minutes. (I actually had my temp on medium high and reduced the soda for about 1 hour) Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Add butter to mixer and then add in ginger, powdered sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Mix on medium high speed for 3-5 minutes, scraping bowl as needed.
  4. With the mixer on low, add in Dr. Pepper reduction and blend completely with. Spread over cooled cake.

Recipe Video

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  • Imogene Filkin says:

    Wish your font was lsrget

  • Linda Robinson says:

    don’t have a comment but I would like to try the recipe

  • Laura says:

    Have to try this!!

  • Joyce says:

    Food blogs really get some dumb questions and comments but I have to ask. Can this Dr Pepper cake be made without the cocoa? Unfortunately, I can’t have any cocoa.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You could try it! Not sure what the results would be though. But I imagine there is enough flavor in the other ingredients to produce a good cake. 🙂

  • David says:

    3 sticks of butter is no way near 170g !!!

  • Marla Peters says:

    This looks so good; as ALL of your recipes look!! I now know you are my spirit/ kindred baker as I frost my cakes in the same flower manner, always have. Keep sending us happy recipes & we all will keep saving them

  • Phyllis Broussard says:

    As for the icing…I reduced the 4 cups of Dr Pepper to a half cup….took a whole hour, it has cooled, but as a taffy consistency instead of syrup as in the video Any suggestions?

  • Kelly says:

    I tried this and the frosting was horrific. The consistency was awful, it tasted like nothing but butter, and there was no way I was putting it on the cake! What’s the secret?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Horrific is a strong word! Maybe the soda did not reduce enough? It is simple ingredients so I’m struggling with how, when combined, it could be horrific. Sorry you have that experience.

  • Randy says:

    Can you help with high altitude instructions? I’m at 7000 feet. Dry climate. Thanks!