7 Recipes Using Soda as an Ingredient

Sick of sipping soda? Then you’re in luck, because you can take some of that cola and use it as an ingredient when baking and cooking. You aren’t pigeon-holed into sweets when it comes to bringing cola to your kitchen as an ingredient. Your sodas can become a component of meat dishes or desserts, and you can even use flat soda in the recipes, meaning you won’t have to dump your money and the carbonated beverage down the drain. Add a bit of pop to your dishes with any of these seven recipes.

Source: iStock

1. Honey-Glazed Ham

File Taste of Home’s recipe away to be retrieved the next time you’re looking for a new, simple way to prepare a honey-glazed ham. It will make about 14 servings and only takes around 10 minutes of hands-on work.


  • 1 boneless, fully cooked ham (4 pounds)
  • 1½ cups ginger ale
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions: Cut ham in half; place in a 5-quart slow cooker. Pour ginger ale over ham. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until heated through. Combine the honey, mustard, cloves, and cinnamon; stir until smooth. Spread over ham; cook 30 minutes longer. Yield: 14 servings.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

2. Barbecue Chicken

After you’ve been converted to using your crockpot to make ham with ginger ale, use the slow cooking method to get a batch of barbecued chicken with cola. Six Sisters’ Stuff shows just how simple this method is, even leaving the chicken breasts frozen when they go into the crockpot. If you’d prefer, you can use a whole chicken instead of chicken breasts.


  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 (20-ounce) bottle of BBQ sauce
  • 1 can of Coca-Cola

Directions: Peel onion and cut into quarters. Cut lemon into quarters. Place chicken breasts in crock pot. Place onion and lemon quarters on top. Pour in entire bottle of BBQ sauce and entire can of Coke. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours.

Source: iStock

3. Chicken Wings

Martha Stewart demonstrates that there are even more glaze options when it comes to cola. Chicken wings are given a spicy, thick glaze in this recipe from chef Virginia Willis. The sauce can be made three days ahead of time and stored covered in the fridge. The recipe yields about 6 servings of wings.


  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3 jalapeño chiles, finely chopped, plus 2 jalapeño chiles, sliced, for garnish
  • 3 pounds chicken wings (12 to 14 whole wings)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Position an oven rack 4 inches below the broiler element. Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place an ovenproof rack on the lined baking sheet. To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, bring the soda, lime juice, brown sugar, and chopped jalapeño chiles to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium low and simmer until syrupy, about 30 minutes; keep warm over low heat.

To prepare the chicken wings, cut off the wing tips (reserve the tips to make stock) and halve the wings at the joint. Place the wing pieces in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pour about half the glaze over the wings and toss to coat. Keep the remaining sauce warm over low heat.

To broil the wings, place the glazed wings on the rack set on the baking sheet. Broil for 10 minutes per side, brushing twice on each side with the reserved glaze. Transfer to a warm platter, garnish with sliced jalapeños, and serve immediately.

Source: iStock

4. Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

The solution to your flat cherry cola troubles is to make Bon Appétit’s spareribs. The glaze can be made a week before using, and the first step for the ribs (baking) can be done one day before you grill and serve them. It makes 5 servings.


  • 4 12-ounce cans cherry cola (flat)
  • 2 cups cherry jam or preserves
  • ⅔ cup Dijon mustard with horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
  • 7¼ to 7½ pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs

Directions: Boil cherry cola in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1½ cups, about 45 minutes. Stir in next five ingredients. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is reduced to 2½ cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Transfer glaze to large bowl. You can make the glaze 1 week in advance. Cover; chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Position racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and preheat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap each rib rack tightly in foil, enclosing completely. Divide foil packets between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Bake until ribs are very tender, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through baking, about 2 hours total. Cool ribs slightly in foil. Pour off any fat from foil packets. This can be prepared one day ahead. Keep covered in foil packets and refrigerate. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.

Prepare barbecue (medium-low heat). Cut each rib rack between bones into individual ribs. Set aside 1 cup glaze. Add ribs to bowl with remaining glaze and toss to coat. Grill ribs until brown and glazed, turning to prevent burning, about 5 minutes total. Serve, passing reserved glaze separately.

Source: iStock

5. Coca-Cola Cake

To enhance the texture of this cake, Southern Living relied on a can of Coca-Cola. Subtly flavored with cocoa powder, pair the cake with the Coca-Cola frosting found here, or a rich chocolate fudge frosting.


  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1½ cups miniature marshmallows
  • Coca-Cola frosting
  • Garnish: ¾ cup chopped pecans, toasted

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine Coca-Cola and buttermilk; set aside. Beat butter at low speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar; beat until blended. Add egg and vanilla; beat at low speed until blended. Combine flour, cocoa, and soda. Add to butter mixture alternately with cola mixture; begin and end with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended. Stir in marshmallows. Pour batter into a greased and floured 13-by-9-inch pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Pour Coca-Cola frosting over warm cake, or ice with other frosting; garnish, if desired.

Source: iStock

6. Pound Cake

The Pioneer Woman has an old-fashioned recipe you need to try the next time you are making dessert. Baked in a bundt pan, this pound cake uses a lemon-lime soda but is most commonly associated with 7-Up.


  • 3 sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 2 teaspoons lemon flavoring
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sprite, 7-Up, or Sierra Mist

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Cream butter. Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add butter and lemon extracts and mix well. Add flour, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add soft drink, then mix together until combined. Scrape sides of bowl, then mix briefly. Pour into a greased Bundt pan and bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is no longer jiggly. Remove cake from oven and invert pan until cake drops out. Slice and enjoy!

Source: Thinkstock

7. Soda Can Cake

Even easier than pound cake are soda can cupcakes, or a soda can cake. If you have one can of soda and a boxed cake mix, you can bake a cake anytime you want. Th soda takes the place of ingredients listed on the back of the cake box and can be your dessert-saving recipe when you realize you’re ready to bake a boxed cake but are running short on eggs. Business Insider reports it is best to pair your dark colas with chocolate while keeping your lighter cakes for light-colored sodas.


  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 (12-ounce) can soda

Directions: Pour cake mix and soda into a medium- to large-size bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat the batter for about 2 minutes on medium speed. Fill cupcake tins about two-thirds of the way to the top. Follow the baking time guidelines on the cake mix box; your cupcakes should be in the oven for about 20 minutes. If done, a toothpick will come out clean when inserted into the center of a cupcake. Cool before frosting.

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