A deliciously simple, classic 7UP Cake tastes like a lemon pound cake with tons of old fashioned charm! This moist, tender cake is made from scratch in a bundt pan and drizzled with a homemade lemon glaze.
There’s bundt cake – and then there’s 7UP bundt cake! This is a classic Southern dessert that’s stood the test of time. I don’t know who’s idea it was to use 7UP soda in a pound cake, but boy am I eternally grateful.
This bundt cake is moist and soft on the inside, and crisp and golden on the outside. The soda gives it a slight hint of lemon flavor that takes the crumb over the top! Finish everything off with a 7UP lemon glaze, and you have yourself a cake you can serve at just about any and all occasions.
What Does 7 Up Do In Baking?
7UP acts as an alternative leavening agent to baking soda or baking powder. The carbonation helps the cake rise, while the 7UP itself serves as the liquid in the batter. I mean, would you just look at that fine crumb and texture?!
This recipe comes together easily with only a few common ingredients, for the cake as well as the icing:
For the Cake
Butter: I use unsalted butter, and take it out of the fridge about half hour before I start, to let it come to room temperature.
Sugar: Regular granulated white sugar.
Eggs: Brought to room temperature.
Lemon: You’ll need freshly squeezed lemon juice, and not bottled, as well as lemon zest.
Vanilla Extract: For best results, I like to use pure vanilla extract (and not the synthetic kind).
Cake Flour: My flour of choice for pound cakes. Cake flour is finer than all-purpose and the resulting cake texture is lighter, fluffier, and more tender.
7UP Soda: Traditional 7UP has a particularly high level of carbonation that some home bakers swear by. You can try another similar lemon-lime flavored soda, such as Sprite, Mountain Dew, or even Ginger Ale! I do recommend your soda is straight out of the refrigerator. Allow it to come to room temperature, so it doesn’t effect the temperature of the batter!
For the Icing
You will notice in the images I iced the “bottom” of the cake instead of the top! Actually it’s the top in the bundt pan, but traditionally you flip the cake out of the pan and leave the smooth side exposed. In the case of this cake I left the rough side up, and poured my icing on so it would really get in all the nooks and crannies! If you prefer a smooth finish, leave the cake as it is when you turn it out of the pan, but I really love the rustic way the icing gets in all the edges. Plus, more icing!!
Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar. The foundation for a sweet and smooth icing.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice, as well as additional lemon zest.
Milk: Alternatively, you can use 7UP instead.
How to Make 7UP Cake
Grease the Pan: Grease a 10-inch bundt pan liberally with baking spray. This cake tends to be stickier than other cakes due to its high sugar content, so I highly recommend using baking spray instead of regular non-stick spray. You can also use butter or shortening followed by a dusting of flour. Either way, make sure your pan is properly greased so that you don’t lose the top half of the cake when inverting later on!
Make the Cake Batter: Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, followed by the lemon juice and zest, vanilla and salt, mixing until everything is combined. Gradually add in the flour, alternating with the 7UP. Mix the batter until just combined.
Bake: Pour the batter into your prepared bundt pan. Bake the cake in a preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Invert: Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes before you invert it. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack (or cake plate) to finish cooling completely. BUT like I did in the pictures, I flipped the cake back over to pour on the icing. I loved the nooks and crannies the baked top of the cake gave, and thought it would be the perfect vessel to hold that sweet glaze!
Ice: Once the cake is cool, whisk together the icing ingredients. Drizzle the icing over the cake and give it a few minutes to set before slicing and serving.
The Secret to a Moist Pound Cake
There are a few things that help make this the most unbelievably moist and tender bundt cake:
Use Real Butter: The fat content in real butter gives this cake an ideal texture, compared to substitutes like margarine.
Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Letting your butter and eggs come to room temperature before you begin not only helps them combine more easily, but also leads to better lift and moisture in the cake.
Store At Room Temperature: For best results, store your finished cake airtight at room temperature, and not in the fridge. The taste and texture will actually improve with time!
Use Lemon Extract: You can use additional extracts for another level of flavor. If you use lemon extract, you can leave out the lemon zest.
Use a Different Pan: This recipe can be made in either loaf pans or 9-inch round pans, or a single 9×13 baking pan. Feel free to try this cake in different pan sizes, but note that the baking time will need to adjust accordingly.
Cake Mix Version
My mom used to make this recipe using a cake mix and instant pudding mix. Talk about nostalgia! But it’s great if you’re in a hurry. Here’s how you can use a cake mix for this recipe if desired:
1 (15.25) ounce box yellow cake mix (make sure there’s no pudding in the mix)
1 (4- ounce) box instant lemon pudding
3/4 cup 7UP soda
4 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix the dry cake mix, instant pudding (just the dry mix), 7UP, oil, and eggs in your stand mixer for 30 seconds to combine, and then beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Bake at 325°F in bundt pan for 35 – 45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
How to Store this Cake
Store this bundt cake airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days. It will keep best on the counter, however if you absolutely want to extend the shelf life you can store it in the fridge for up to one week. I recommend storing individual slices in airtight containers, or wrapping your cake in saran wrap to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
Can I Freeze It?
You can store this cake frozen for up to 3 months. Once the cake is completely cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap as well as an extra layer of aluminum foil (this helps protect it from freezer burn).
A classic 7UP Cake tastes like a lemon pound cake with tons of old fashioned charm! Moist, tender cake drizzled with a homemade lemon glaze.
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 1/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup 7UP soda, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk (or 7UP)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10- inch bundt pan (10 – 15 cups capacity) liberally with nonstick baking spray (see note). Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the butter and sugar together on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, lemon juice, zest, vanilla, and salt mixing for 1 minutes to combine, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
Turn the mixer down to low and add in the flour and 7UP in alternating additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 55 – 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 20 minutes and then invert onto a cake plate or wire rack to cool completely.
Icing: In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, milk and zest. Drizzle the icing onto the cooled cake.
I recommend using baking spray instead of regular non-stick spray in this recipe, or butter (or shortening) and flouring the pan. The high sugar content in this cake will cause it to stick a little more than the average, so to ensure you don’t lose half your half when inverting make sure to prep the pan properly!
Store airtight for up to 3 days at room temperature.
Freeze baked cake airtight for up to 30 days. (note: the icing will get sticky as it thaws)
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