Dr Pepper Cake Recipe – How to Make it in 12 Simple Steps

A double-decker Dr. Pepper Cake with chocolate frosting.

Created on a whim by a pharmacist in the 1880s, Dr Pepper has been a favorite beverage across the world for many decades. Some people love it and some people don't, but even if the soda isn't your favorite, this chocolate-flavored cake is an interesting way to use Dr Pepper.

In the 1880s, at the Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store, a pharmacist spent hours mixing medicines for people in the small city of Waco, Texas. Charles Alderton also, as a part of his work, served patrons at the drug store’s soda fountain. He created soft drinks and ice cream sodas by mixing soda syrups and carbonated water.

The young man was creative and ambitious. He loved the smell of the drug store, with the lingering fragrances of various fruit syrups used for making soft drinks for patrons. He wanted to create a drink that tasted the way that the drug store smelled. After copious trials and by using detailed records, he finally hit on a recipe that seemed exactly right.

A double-decker Dr. Pepper Cake with chocolate frosting.

Dr Pepper Cake Recipe

April Freeman
One of the oldest soft drinks in North America, Dr Pepper was created in 1885. Our recipe for Dr Pepper cake uses this soda as an unusual part of the ingredients list. While many people love this distinctive flavor of beverage, if it is not your favorite drink, have no fear. This cake has its own distinctive flavor, and you probably will still enjoy it, even if you don’t care for the soda.
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Servings


  • 9-Inch Cake Pan
  • Medium-Sized Bowl
  • Small saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Large bowl
  • Electric Mixer
  • Rubber Spatula


Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Cocoa Powder
  • teaspoons Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • ½ cup Chocolate Chips
  • 2 pcs Large Eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk
  • 1 cup Canola Oil
  • teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Frosting Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Butter-Flavored Shortening
  • 6 tbsp Softened Butter
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ cup Cocoa
  • ¼ cup Dr. Pepper
  • teaspoons Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease and flour two nine-inch cake pan, setting them aside until you need them.
  • Into a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, and baking soda. Set this bowl aside.
    The dry ingredients are mixed in a medium-sized bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the Dr. Pepper on the stove over medium heat. When the soda is steaming, add the chocolate chips and stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and it is a smooth, chocolatey syrup. Don’t boil the mixture; just heat it gently to melt the chocolate. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixture, beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla on medium speed for two minutes.
  • Mixing on low with the electric mixer, slowly add the Dr Pepper and chocolate mixture, beating it for an additional minute. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients and beat for an additional two minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula, scoop about half of the cake batter into one of the cake pans, spreading it into an even layer. Repeat with the other pan.
  • Place the pans in the center of your preheated oven and bake the cakes for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool on in the pans for about 15 minutes and then take the cakes from the pans, letting them sit on wire racks until completely cool.
  • Allow the cakes to cool for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until they are completely cool before frosting them.
  • To create the frosting, beat together the butter and the shortening until they are light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time and the cocoa. Add the Dr. Pepper and the vanilla, beating at high speed. The frosting should be light and fluffy at this point.
  • Spread the frosting in an even layer on the top and sides of the cake, creating a double layer cake with icing between the two layers. Slice the cake into slices and serve.
    A Dr. Pepper Cake with chocolate icing and strawberry garnish.


Charles Alderton shared his recipe with the store’s owner, Mr. Morrison, and they soon began offering it to patrons at the soda counter, under the name of Dr Pepper. Other drug stores learned of this unique beverage and began ordering containers of the specially made syrup from the pharmacy. Over time, demand outpaced what the drug store could supply.
Eventually, the manufacturing of the syrup was moved to a factory in Dallas, Texas, and Morrison, with a new business partner, created a new business bottling and selling Dr Pepper. During the 1904 World’s Fair, Dr Pepper was shared with the world, and the fame and popularity of this drink exploded. Currently, Dr Pepper is sold all across the world.
This popular drink has had several different slogans through the years. For a while, it was known as “The King of Beverages.” In the 1950s, it was called “The Friendly Pepper Upper,” and the period was dropped when the font of the trademarked name was changed. The period made the name of the drink hard to read, so the company just dropped it from the label. Later in its history, the slogan became “Be a Pepper.
This cake is a fun, interesting project. Mostly, it tastes like a simple, moist chocolate cake, but adding Dr Pepper gives an unusual twist to the flavors.
Keyword Dessert, Dr. Pepper Cake, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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