Christina Tosi’s Cherry Cola Cake

By Mieke

I was a huge fan of Lucky Peach, the literary food mag founded by Dave Chang and Peter Meehan, and am still upset it’s gone. Any time I’m in a bookstore I’ll literally stare at the food magazines and hope it’s there.

When they folded I back-ordered all the issues and books I could find, and a friend donated some of the early issues she had. I’ve received another issue via Instagram, and then one more via eBay. So now I am only missing issue 1.

The cover of the suburbs issue from Lucky Peach

Like Playboy for food lovers

Mind you, for all those years reading and loving LP I barely cooked any recipes from it. Not unlike Playboy I mainly read LP for the articles. The recipes just seemed too… hard? But now that it’s gone and I can’t procrastinate by reading more, I’m slowly getting into the swing of things.

Not as hard as you think

First up: Christina Tosi’s cherry cola Bundt cake, from the suburbs issue (#23). A recipe that I think it also a part of her new book, All About Cake. This cake is a lot easier than the long list of ingredients would have you believe. I kind of fucked up the glaze but since I’m not much of a baker to begin with, so having this cake turn out a moist treat was an achievement enough on its own.

Unnaturally delicious

Note that people who consider themselves fancy might find this cake a bit off putting as there is nothing natural about cherry cola. Strangely the glaze tasted faintly of stroop susu. An Indonesian rose flavored syrup I adore. So for me it’s definite keeper.

Christina Tosi's cherry cola cake

Dorothy Porker
Delicious moist zingy Bundt cake, based on a recipe by Christina Tosi for Lucky Peach. Now also available in her All About Cake book.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Dessert, Party snack, Treat
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • Microwave
  • Microwavable bowl x 2
  • Blender
  • Oven
  • Mixing bowl x 3
  • Whisk
  • Bundt cake shape (Ø 10"/ 26 cm)
  • Wire rack
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment or other lining


For the cherry puree, you can also use store bought if you can find it

  • 1/4 c+ 2 T - 115 gr sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 c - 60 ml water
  • 15 oz - 450 gr cherries pitted, fresh or frozen both work
  • 1 T - 15ml lemon juice

To prepare your cake pan

  • melted butter for coating the cake pan
  • flour for dusting the cake pan

Wet cake ingredients

  • 16 T - 230 gr unsalted butter melted
  • 2/3 c+1 T - 150 gr cherry cola
  • 2/3 c - 150 gr cherry puree store bought is also fine
  • 1/2 c - 100 gr neutral oil
  • 2 T - 30 gr molasses I use Dutch stroop as molasses is hard to find here
  • 2 1/2 t - 10 gr vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 t - 10 gr cola extract
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Dry cake ingredients

  • 2 1/4 c - 450 gr sugar
  • 1/3 c+2 T - 100 gr light brown sugar
  • 3 1/2 c - 450 gr cake flour see instructions below if you can't find this
  • 2 t - 8 gr baking powder
  • 2 t - 8 gr salt

For the glaze

  • 2.1 oz - 60 gr cream cheese
  • 2 T - 30 gr butter
  • 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar
  • 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola
  • 1/2 t - 2 g cola extract
  • 1/4 t - 1 g vanilla extract
  • 1/8 t - 0.5 gr salt
  • red food coloring optional


Make the cherry puree, if not using store-bought

  • You can make this up to a week ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Combine 1/4 c + 2 tbsp - 115 gr of sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 c - 60 ml of water in a microwave proof bowl and microwave at full power for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the microwave stir until all the sugar and salt has dissolved.
  • Pour the mixture into a blender, adding 15 oz - 450 grams of cherries and 1 T - 15 ml of lemon juice before blending until smooth. Leave to cool.

Make the cake

  • If you cannot find American cake flour, you can make your own by blending together 1 c - 125 grams of plain flour with 1 T - 15 grams of corn flour. For this recipe you will need to make 4 batches of cake flour and you’ll be left with a little extra for another project.
  • To make the cake preheat your oven at 180° C/ 360° F. Lightly coat the inside of your Bundt pan with melted butter and a light dusting of flour.
  • In a bowl combine 16 T - 230 gr of melted butter, 2/3 c + 1 T- 150 gr of cherry cola, 2/3 c - 150 gr of cherry puree, 1/2 c - 100 gr of neutral oil, 2 T - 30 gr of molasses, 2 1/2 t - 10 gr of cola and vanilla extracts each, 5 large eggs and 2 yolks and whisk until smooth.
  • In another bowl rub together 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of sugar with 1/3 c + 2 tbsp - 100 gr of light brown sugar until there are no more lumps. Add 3 1/2 c - 450 gr of cake flour, 2 t - 8 gr of baking powder and salt each and stir to combine.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. This should take about 1 hour. Place the cake on a wire rack and leave to cool for 5 minutes before turning the cake over, removing the Bundt pan and allowing to cool completely.

Make the glaze

  • Do NOT start this process until your cake is fully cooled.
  • Combine 2.1 oz - 60 gr of cream cheese with 2 T - 30 gr of butter in a microwave proof bowl and heat together in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  • Once removed from the microwave stir together until smooth.
  • Move the cream cheese/ butter mixture to a larger bowl and whisk in 1 1/2 c - 180 gr powdered sugar, 2 T - 30 gr cherry cola, 1/2 T - 2 gr cola extract, 1/4 t - 1 gr vanilla extract, 1/4 t - 0.5 gr salt and 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring (if using).

Combine powers

  • Place your completely cooled cake on a lined baking sheet with the rack and drizzle over the glaze.
  • There are different theories on how to properly glaze a Bundt cake. Some people think you should only let it drizzle along the crevices, others like a full coat. I’m a glutton of course but you do you.


This cake should keep in a closed container in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Keyword american cakes, cherry cola, christina tosi, fish cakes, lucky peach, milk bar, milkbar

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