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Pepsi Cupcakes

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close up shot of frosted chocolate cupcakes topped with sprinkles on a cooling rack
These Pepsi cupcakes are the ultimate in soft, moist party treats featuring a chocolatey cake topped with creamy vanilla frosting.
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Table of Contents
  1. Pepsi Cupcakes Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Pepsi Cupcakes Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

You will discover a little bit of magic when you make these Pepsi cupcakes. Something amazing happens when you mix a can of soda with a box of cake mix giving you a super soft and extra moist cupcake with the Pepsi flavor shining through.

close up shot of a frosted chocolate cupcake topped with sprinkles

Pepsi Cupcakes Ingredients

Pepsi cupcakes raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cupcakes

  • 1 (15.25-ounce) box chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Dark Chocolate boxed cake mix)
  • 1 (12-ounce) can Pepsi cola, room temperature

For the Frosting

  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnish- red/white/blue sprinkles 

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

SODA: You can noticeably taste the flavor of the Pepsi cola in the cupcakes, so if Pepsi is not your favorite brand of dark cola then you can use your cola of choice. Coke or Dr. Pepper would work great in this cola cake recipe.

CAKE: You can change up the flavors of these easy 2-ingredient cupcakes by changing the flavor of the box cake mix and cola to complement. You can use an orange cake mix and Orange Crush cola, vanilla cake mix with Sprite, or 7UP. The combinations are endless and customizable. Remember to use a 15.25-ounce box of cake mix and one 12-ounce can of cola.

CREAM: I like to use heavy cream when making my buttercream frosting as I feel that the texture and consistency are always easy to work with. However, you can substitute half & half or whole milk in place of the heavy cream. You will need to note that your frosting may be thinner with these substitutions. I would stay away from low-fat or skim milk.

How To Make This Pepsi Cupcakes Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin pans with 20 cupcake liners. Set aside.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Using parchment paper cupcake paper liners for these cupcakes is recommended. Due to their delicate nature, the parchment paper liners release from the cupcake so much easier than a standard paper cupcake liner. The paper ones tend to stick to the cupcakes much more when peeling them away to eat the cupcakes.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, add the dry chocolate cake mix and the can of room-temperature Pepsi cola. Allow the bubbles to settle for a minute or so.

a can of Pepsi poured into the bowl of cake mix

STEP THREE: Using an electric mixer, on medium-low speed, beat the cupcake batter for 1 minute or until all the bubbles have been incorporated into the cake mix and your batter is thick and smooth.

cake mix and Pepsi blended together in a bowl

STEP FOUR: Fill each of the 20 cupcake liners ¾ full with the chocolate batter. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow your Pepsi cupcakes to cool on the counter completely before frosting them.

PRO TIP:

When scooping out your Pepsi cupcake batter into the cupcake liners, a 2-inch cookie scoop works great for this. A level scoop is approximately ⅓ cup of batter and will fill your cupcake liner ¾ full. This method ensures that all of your cupcakes are the same size and bake evenly.

cupcake batter poured into cupcake liners then baked

STEP FIVE: To make the vanilla buttercream frosting, you will add the room-temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 cup of the powdered sugar to the creamed butter. Start the mixer on low, then gradually increase the speed to high until all the powdered sugar is incorporated.

powdered sugar added to the butter

STEP SIX: Scrape the sides of the bowl and add another 1 cup of powdered sugar and whip until incorporated as in step 5. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

STEP SEVEN: Add the vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt to the buttercream frosting and whip on high for another 2 to 3 minutes or until your frosting is smooth and fluffy.

PRO TIP:

When making your frosting, you may have to whip the butter a little longer, or not quite as long, to get a smooth and fluffy frosting. If your room is on the colder side during the winter months then your butter will take longer to whip. The same goes if you are in the south during the summer months, it may not take as long.

You may also find that you need to add a little extra (½ to 1 cup) powdered sugar or an additional 1 tablespoon of heavy cream to get your frosting to a pipeable consistency. 

cream, vanilla, and salt combined to the butter butter mixture

STEP EIGHT: Transfer your vanilla buttercream frosting to a piping bag, or zip-top plastic bag with the corner snipped off, and frost your Pepsi cupcakes.

chocolate cupcake topped with frosting

STEP NINE: Garnish with the red/white/blue sprinkles.

frosted chocolate cupcake garnished with sprinkles

How To Serve

These cupcakes make for a delicious dessert and are a great treat that even the little kids can help with making. You can add sprinkles to match any theme party colors or holiday celebration. They are quick and easy enough to even make on a weeknight and add your favorite colorful everyday sprinkles.

Baking with soda is a fun trick that produces amazing sweet treats. Check out our soda cake and Dr. Pepper brownies too.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Your soda cupcakes can be stored in a covered container, or cupcake carrier, on the counter for up to 2 days.

IN THE FRIDGE: Any longer than two days this, or if your room temperature is very warm or humid, you will want to store the cupcakes in the refrigerator. You will need to let them sit at room temperature before eating them to allow the frosting to soften a bit if they have been in the refrigerator.

IN THE FREEZER: Freeze these yummy cupcakes for up to three months in an airtight container.

close up shot of frosted chocolate cupcakes topped with sprinkles on a cooling rack

These delicious cupcakes are a winning choice for a party or everyday treat. The soda takes a regular box of cake mix to the next level, creating the ultimate moist and soft cake. Change up your choice of soda and cake mix and you can have plenty of fun creating new confections.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use diet soda in this recipe?

You could use diet soda in this recipe but we would recommend sticking to regular soda to avoid any artificial sweeteners.

Can I use a different flavor of the soda?

You can make these cupcakes with virtually any soda flavor. If you are using a dark soda, try to pair it with a chocolate cake mix so that your white cake isn’t too discolored. There are so many different flavor combinations for the cake flavor in this recipe, you can have plenty of fun with it.

Can I freeze this cake?

The unfrosted cake can be frozen for up to two months. Wrap it well in plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil before storing it in the freezer.

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close up shot of frosted chocolate cupcakes topped with sprinkles on a cooling rack

Pepsi Cupcakes

5 from 3 votes
These Pepsi cupcakes are the ultimate in soft, moist party treats featuring a chocolatey cake topped with creamy vanilla frosting.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 23 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Servings 20

Ingredients
  

Cupcakes

  • 15.25 ounces chocolate cake mix (I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Dark Chocolate boxed cake mix)
  • 12 ounces Pepsi cola, room temperature

Frosting

  • cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • red, white, and blue sprinkles, optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 standard muffin pans with 20 cupcake liners. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add the dry chocolate cake mix and the can of room-temperature Pepsi cola. Allow the bubbles to settle for a minute or so.
  • Using an electric mixer, on medium-low speed, beat the cupcake batter for 1 minute or until all the bubbles have been incorporated into the cake mix and your batter is thick and smooth.
  • Fill each of the 20 cupcake liners ¾ full with the chocolate batter. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow your Pepsi cupcakes to cool on the counter completely before frosting them
  • To make the vanilla buttercream frosting, you will add the room-temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high for 2 minutes.
    Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add 1 cup of the powdered sugar to the creamed butter. Start the mixer on low, then gradually increase the speed to high until all the powdered sugar is incorporated.
  • Scrape the sides of the bowl and add another 1 cup of powdered sugar and whip until incorporated as in step 5. Repeat until all the powdered sugar has been incorporated. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract, heavy cream, and salt to the buttercream frosting and whip on high for another 2 to 3 minutes or until your frosting is smooth and fluffy.
  • Transfer your vanilla buttercream frosting to a piping bag, or zip-top plastic bag with the corner snipped off, and frost your Pepsi cupcakes. Garnish with the red/white/blue sprinkles.

Notes

  • Using parchment paper cupcake paper liners for these cupcakes is recommended. Due to their delicate nature, the parchment paper liners release from the cupcake so much easier than a standard paper cupcake liner. The paper ones tend to stick to the cupcakes much more when peeling them away to eat the cupcakes. 
  • When scooping out your Pepsi cupcake batter into the cupcake liners, a 2-inch cookie scoop works great for this. A level scoop is approximately ⅓ cup of batter and will fill your cupcake liner ¾ full. This method ensures that all of your cupcakes are the same size and bake evenly.
  • When making your frosting, you may have to whip the butter a little longer, or not quite as long, to get a smooth and fluffy frosting. If your room is on the colder side during the winter months then your butter will take longer to whip. The same goes if you are in the south during the summer months, it may not take as long. 
  • You may also find that you need to add a little extra (½-1 cup) powdered sugar or an additional 1 tablespoon of heavy cream to get your frosting to a pipeable consistency. 

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 62mg | Potassium: 9mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 469IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
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