The excitement and leisure of celebrating Canada’s 144th birthday yesterday has come and gone. We didn’t really have a leisurely day since we spent most of it cleaning up and moving furniture. But we did have a wonderful evening with family and friends, and then there were the fireworks! Our town totally puts on one of the best firework shows I have ever seen. Love it!

For some reason strawberries seem to be associated with Canada Day – my friend thinks it is because a) they’re in season, and b) they’re red!

Good point :D 

But so are cherries! So for Canada Day I strayed away from the usual strawberry shortcakes, and went instead with something I have been DYING to do for a while, ever since I saw this recipe from Cupcake Project. Mine is essentially the same, I changed a couple things and doubled the recipe.

The secret to the intense cola flavouring is cola extract (I found it at a bake/kitchen supply store in Mississauga, they are online as well: Golda’s Kitchen). It is unbelievable, it tastes like you are drinking a soda! (oops, where did that come from?! I am NOT American! :D) I am not a fan of coca cola, but I do however like those little candy coke bottles, and these cupcakes are exactly what they taste like.

Cherry Cola Cupcakes

(makes approximately 24 – 30 cupcakes)


  • 2 cups cola
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons cola extract
  • 2 2/3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • maraschino cherries (2-3 for each cupcake; I used my leftover cherry pie filling)

Combine the “soda” :D and vinegar in a medium bowl and let sit for a few minutes.
Add in the sugar and oil and whisk vigorously until it gets a bit frothy.
Mix in the cola extract, flour, baking powder and soda just until combined.
Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full. 
Here you have 2 options (I did option b):

a) drop 2-3 cherries into the center of the cupcake in the pan
b) bake the cupcakes FIRST, then core the center and fill with cherries

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cupcake bounces back when touched.

Cream Cheese Cola Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2-4 cups icing sugar (depending on how thick/firm you want your icing)
  • 2 teaspoons cola extract

Beat cream cheese and butter.

Slowly add in icing sugar. Mix in cola extract. Ice cooled cupcakes and eat!

I love cream cheese frosting, but I found it a bit on the sweet side and slightly overpowering the cola flavouring. If you prefer to not use a cream cheese frosting, try this one instead!


Cola Frosting / Glaze 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup cola
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter melts. Remove from heat, mix in vanilla and sugar. 

I wanted to dress up the cupcakes a bit, so I made my own cupcake papers using a template, red card stock,  double-sided photo stickies and scrapbooking scizzors.

I printed out the flags and coloured them in with markers (we got rid of our colour printer :o/) and my hubby attached them to straws – perfect for “soda” cupcakes!
Happy Birthday Canada!