Dr. Pepper–Oatmeal Spice Cake

Jonathan Fox

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Atlanta

Justin Fox

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Atlanta

This light and fluffy cake is made with fizzy Dr. Pepper, oatmeal, and warming spices like allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. This decadent dessert has a layer of vanilla whipped cream in between the two cakes and is topped with cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut flakes, and a drizzle of Mexican chocolate ganache.



  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 11/2 cups, large flake coconut


  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 block Nestlé Abuelita Mexican chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Whipped Cream Filling:

  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch salt

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 8 ounces room temperature cream cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Place the rolled oats in a bowl and add the Dr. Pepper. Let the oats soak for 10 minutes so that they’re rehydrated and soft.

Make the cake batter: in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter with the brown and granulated sugars. Mix until well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, working one at a time until each egg is mixed in. Add the vanilla extract and beat the batter on high for 5 minutes until the volume has doubled (this step will make for a nice, fluffy cake.) While the batter is mixing, sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. After the 5 minutes of mixing, slowly fold in the flour mixture, then add the Dr. Pepper–oatmeal mixture (the entire contents) and mix until just combined.

Split the batter evenly between two 9-inch round greased (or nonstick-sprayed) cake pans fitted with a piece of parchment paper on the bottom. Smooth out the top of both cakes. Place in the oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes until golden brown and the top springs back slightly when pressed. Check the cakes with a toothpick or with a thermometer. The cake will be done when the toothpick is clean or the center of the cake is 210°F.

While the cake is baking, evenly spread out the coconut on a baking sheet. Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the coconut is golden brown. Remove the coconut to a plate or bowl and set aside.

When the cake is done, transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn out cakes onto a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Make the ganache: place the chocolate chips and Mexican chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan set over medium heat, add the heavy whipping cream. Bring the cream up to a very soft boil. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let sit until all of the chocolate has melted, about 8 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and stir until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated. Set aside.

Make the vanilla whipped cream filling: split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape each side with the back of your knife to remove the vanilla caviar. Place the split vanilla bean and caviar into the heavy whipping cream and let sit for 10 minutes to steep.

Remove the vanilla pods from the heavy whipping cream. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the vanilla-infused cream with the confectioner’s sugar and salt on high, until stiff peaks form, about 2 1/2 minutes. Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost the cake.

Make the cream cheese frosting: using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy whipping cream with 1/8 teaspoon salt until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a different bowl and set aside. Swap the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Add the cream cheese to the stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed until it loosens up, about 3 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, vanilla extract, and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Once the ingredients are combined, use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the reserved whipped cream until you have a smooth frosting. Place in the refrigerator until you’re ready to frost the cake.

To frost and assemble: invert one of the cake layers onto a plate or a cake board. Spread the vanilla whipped cream filling evenly over the top of the cake. Place the second cake layer over the top of the filling and adjust to make sure the edges are lined up with the bottom cake layer.

Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top and around the sides of the cake. Sprinkle the toasted coconut on top and around the sides of the cake.  Serve the ganache as a sauce on the side or drizzle over the top of the cake slices before serving.


one 9-inch cake (about 8 to 10 servings)