Monday, August 26, 2013

Retro Range Baking - 7 Up Cake

This recipe has been around as long as I can remember, but it always brings to mind those last hot days of summer when my Mom would make this when we'd have a cookout with the neighbors.  The kids would all line up for a big slice while the adults had a small piece along with a slice of whole  "grown ups only" watermelon that someone had injected with vodka.  The kids had a great time, the adults, especially after cake and a couple slices of watermelon, had a stupendous time.
We usually had 7-Up in the house in the summers.   I don't think I saw a Coke my entire childhood except for the one my kindergarten teacher dissolved someones tooth in by way of example.   Water or milk were the usual beverages, with KoolAid a summer treat for us.  But sometimes for family gatherings there would be these chilled green glass bottles of 7-Up there in the big cooler of ice along with the Hamms.

I hadn't had it since I was a kid when I ran across the recipe again, adding a bit of lemon zest and mellowing out the  "pucker up" tart glaze a bit with milk and lemon extract instead of straight sugar and lemon juice.  It was a nice change, yet still a very familiar taste, just as good as I remembered.

It's an incredibly moist, tender crumb, and the outside gets this nice little crunchy bite around the edges from long slow baking at a lower temperature. 

3 sticks salted butter
3 cups sugar
5  extra large eggs (at room temperature)
2 Tablespoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups of all purpose flower
3/4 cup 7-Up

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp milk
2 tsp lemon extract
a splash of 7-Up  (until you get the consistency you want, start with 1/2 tsp. and go from there)

Preheat oven to 325 F.  In a large bowl, cream butter for about 3 minutes with a hand or stand mixer on medium high to high. Add in the sugar (about 1/4 of the total at a time) and beat for additional 17 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as it mixes. (Yes, you heard me, 20 minutes total). Add eggs, one at a time, beating a minute after each one (the mixture will look VERY fluffy). Add lemon extract, lemon zest and the flour, one cup at a time, mixing on low or by hand just enough to combine (don't over beat once the flour is added).

Gently fold in the 7-Up and pour into a greased 12 cup Bundt cake pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes  to 1 hour and 15 minutes (or until a thin knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (check at 50-60 minutes, this cake is easy to over bake).

Cool and glaze.


  1. Wow, my great aunt used to make those but I never knew what was in it, that has to be how she did it.

  2. I sincerely wish I had your gift. I can't bake worth a flip. Beautiful.

  3. Mmmmmmmmm....I remember these from covered-dish fellowships at our Baptist church. Gonna pass the recipe along to a much better chef (Serenity) than myself. LOL

  4. Sounds very tasty, if only I had a mixer. 20 minutes by hand is more buff than I want to be...

  5. Sunnybrook Farm - this was the first "non mom made" one I've had. It takes some time, but the steps themselves are easy, the number of ingredients pretty basic for such a good cake. Mom's was more tangy lemony due to the glaze but I liked how the tweak to the glaze recipe came out.

    Stephen - I'll tackle a complicated pastry before I'll make a standing rib roast, but it just takes some practice. Glad you enjoyed.

    Rev Paul -if Sam whips this one up you will enjoy.

    RabidAlien - The Lutheran church supper cakes usually had a table all of their own :-)

    Brighid - I made this at the crash pad to take into work to share with the guys. I used this super cheapy hand mixer from WalMart which is all I have there and it worked fine. Use a BIG bowl though, it will fill up every bit of space in that bundt pan.

  6. Ohhhh, FOND memories! :-) Grandma used to do one a week.

  7. "...along with the Hamm's." I get so homesick whenever you include that in your stories. Does it still exist? I've never seen it in Virginia.

  8. Mathew - it wasn't in Indiana locally for a long while, I had to have a friend bring it in from far out of state when it was Race week so there'd be some for Dad (we referred to my friend, not as the Hamm's Bear, but the Hamm's Mule).

    Now I can buy it at the corner liquor store.

  9. I always get hungry reading your blog.


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