Two Teens And Their Mama: NC Memories and Coca Cola Cake

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NC Memories and Coca Cola Cake


When I was in kindergarten, my father was transferred to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Just like that I went from being a California "girl" to a Southern "gal". It was quite a culture shock for a six year old, but kids are easily adaptable, and I quickly grew to love my new home.

Sadly, my mother didn't fare so well.  She had three very small children, my dad traveled Monday through Friday, and she was homesick for her family and the sunny ease of California.  Five years later when my father was offered a new job in Washington state, she couldn't get back to the West Coast fast enough.

My siblings and I had great fun living in the small (at the time) suburb of Hickory.  Our house sat on an acre and bordered a small forest with a creek running through it, which offered hours of entertainment.  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of pictures from this time in my life. I think my mom was just trying to make it through each day.

But I have a few vivid memories ----

We caught fireflies at night and ate honeysuckle nectar right off the bushes.



Our next door neighbors had a large pool in their backyard that was rarely cleaned, and since our neighborhood bordered a forested area with a creek, water moccasins would often climb the low branches and drop down into the water.  We kids thought it was super cool - but it was another reason my poor mom couldn't wait to get out of there.

My parents had a boat, and since we lived only an hour from Lake Norman, we spent many weekends camping and fishing at this beautiful spot.  I caught my very first fish, a striped bass, in Lake Norman. 

And I will never forget Mrs. Williams' Coca Cola Cake.  She was a retired school teacher who lived in a small house at the end of our street.  For every neighborhood party or event, she would whip up her famous cake.  It's not popular here in Washington, and many of my friends have never heard of it, so I called my mom and asked her for the recipe.  It's one of the few things she brought back from her time in the south!




Coca Cola Cake

Blend together:
2 C flour
2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C butter
1 C vegetable oil
1 C coca cola
3 Tbsp. cocoa

Bring to a boil:
1/2 C buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C mini-marshmallows
1/2 tsp. salt

Add buttermilk mixture to blended ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

For the icing, bring 1/2 C butter, 3 Tbsp. cocoa and 6 Tbsp. coca cola to a boil.  Add 1 pound of powdered sugar and 1 C walnuts, and blend well.  Pour icing over warm cake.

20 comments:

  1. I've made Coca Cola Cake before - I'm not sure if it's the same recipe - and I liked it, but I remember it being VERY rich! Loved your story today!

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    1. It is very rich - a small piece goes long way!

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  2. I have never visited the south and I think it's something that's creeping up my most visit places..also- I'm making that cake. Now. For breakfast.

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    1. The cake is so good. And I think you would enjoy the south. I really want to go back for a visit.

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  3. This makes me want to cry! Do you know how close I live to Hickory, NC!!!!! Not even an hour away. I pinned this cake, we love it but I've never had the recipe before. I have to go to Cracker Barrell to get it. I wish you still lived here we would have so much fun!

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    1. I can't believe you live that close to Hickory! One of these days our paths will actually cross, and I can't wait!

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  4. I cannot tell you how many times North Carolina has come up in conversation recently. And I'm in Vancouver, Canada. Wow. Here we go yet again. I am thinking I have to go there. Soon. This cake looks and sounds delicious - yet another reason to visit.
    When I was last in Seattle I met this wonderful woman at the zoo. Where was she from? North Carolina.

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    1. So funny that North Carolina keeps coming up. I really want to go back and visit as an adult.

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  5. oh, this sounds good! I will have to try this, and ditto to Kelly's comment about NC, my friends just told me this weekend they were thinking of moving there, random.

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    1. Definitely try the cake - it's so good!

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  6. I wonder how they evicted the water moccasins from the pool? Quite carefully, I suspect!! It was fun to read about your childhood memories, but I quickly had to click off this post yesterday, because the cake was just too tempting! Now I understand why readers complain that my recipe posts are ruining their willpower. I'm back today and in the mood to bake ... !

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    1. Ha ha - I often read your recipe posts when I'm hungry and I have the same problem! I have no idea how they got the snakes out - but we could see them swimming in the pool from our house.

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  7. Wow, I've never heard of this!
    I've never lived in the south either. There are parts of it that intrigue me, but I would be like your mom - totally homesick for the west coast. I'm from the northeast and I'm still homesick for CA!

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    1. My mom was so happy to get back to the West Coast. It was Washington and not California, but she didn't care!

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  8. Children definitely handle change better then most adults... I need to take a few lessons from them... :) xox

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    1. So many lessons we can learn from our kids :)!

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  9. OK, I am loving this post! And I agree with one of your other commenters that the only time I get this cake is at Cracker Barrel so I was psyched that you shared it. I love NC and really can't imagine living anywhere else and love your memories of fireflies and honeysuckles---that pretty much sums up every day in my childhood.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it - I totally thought of you when I was writing it. I really hope to get back and visit now that I"m grown.

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  10. I lived in North Carolina as a child, and I also fondly remember fireflies and honeysuckles...and (less fondly) the water moccasins! I've had Coca Cola cake plenty of times, but Caramel cake is the thing in my family... layers and layers and layers of caramel icing on white cake; divine. xx

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    1. I hope you share the cake recipe - it sounds wonderful!

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