I have a new Bundt pan I wanted to use and was having some friends over for dinner, so I decided to try making a 7-Up Cake.
I first saw 7-Up Cake on an episode of Sam the Cooking Guy called "Grandmas." I later read about it at Cooks Country. Recently I've been reading Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher (a really wonderful book). Shirley goes on a bit about the perfect tender and moist pound cake and I had a light bulb go off that I could apply Shirley O. Corriher's ideas about pound cake to 7-Up Cake.
I read several recipes for 7-Up Cake online and found a lot of consensus. The recipes I worked from are Squidoo, Allrecipes, Undercover Caterer, Epicurious, and Texascooking.com.
In Bakewise, Shirley O. Corriher describes the Ultimate Pound Cake as a generic formula:
3 cups flour
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups fat
5 or 6 eggs
1 tsp leavening
2 to 3 teaspoons flavoring
1 cup liquid
This formula pound cake lines up pretty well with the 7-Up cake recipes I found. The biggest difference I see is the leavening. I reasoned that a teaspoon of baking powder would compensate me not creaming the butter and sugar the Full 20 Minutes as instructed in several recipes.
Almost every recipe called for lemon and lime extracts or zest or both. Several comments on Epicurious called for quite a bit of zest to balance the sweetness of the cake. First, I had juice, not zest or extract, and they are NOT interchangeable. Second, this is a Southern cake, so Go Sweet or Go Home! And third, I don't feel that a 7-Up Cake NEEDS to necessarily be a lemon-lime cake. Did I mention that I didn't have any flavorings? So I made the cake without zest or extracts., which I don't regret at all.
I noted that soda is a very sugary liquid, but decided not to compensate for the extra sugar, as none of the other recipes did.
Some of the recipes I found used all butter, others used a mixture of butter and shortening. In "Shirley's Even Greater American Pound Cake" in Bakewise, Shirley O. Corriher uses a combination of butter, shortening, and canola oil. I'm a fan of liquid oils in baking as it seems to make the baked goods more moist, so I decided to follow Shirley's example.
Everyone loved the cake, especially me :-) I really liked the subtle 7-Up flavor, which is funny because I haven't drank it since I was a kid.
Serves 8 to 12
6 ounces or 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, soft
3 3/8 ounces or 1/2 cup shortening
21 ounces or 3 cups white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
5 eggs at room temperature
13 1/4 oz or 3 cups bleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (I used White Lily)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup 7-Up (I use W-Up from Wegman's, because I'm cheap)
5 ounces or 1 cup confectioners sugar, approximately
1/4 cup 7-Up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan (don't spray, it doesn't work).
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt very well.
Beat the butter on medium speed until soft, about 30 seconds depending on the temperature of your butter. Add the shortening and beat to combine. Add the sugar and beat on medium for 3 minutes, or until it looks like crunchy, fluffy frosting. Slowly beat in the vegetable oil; don't add it all at once or it might curdle.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing on medium after each one until it is incorporated.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 of the 7-Up, 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the 7-Up, and 1/3 of the flour, mixing on medium-low after each addition until just incorporated.
Give the batter a final stir with a silicone spatula, scraping the sides and bottom and making sure everything is OK. I usually taste for flavor here.
Scrape the batter into the Bundt pan and gently level with the silicone spatula. Tap the pan on the counter twice to dislodge any air bubble.
Bake 60 minutes or until a tester or sharp knife poked in comes out clean.
Cool to room temperature in the pan.
For the glaze, pour the 7-Up into the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Correct thickness with more soda or sugar. Attempt to drizzle to glaze over the cake artistically, while making sure to cover any patches where the crust is dislodged.