Nana Recipe Wednesday–7-Up Cake

by Sarah on January 26, 2011

So it’s the 50’s. Or 60’s, whatever.  Hanging out at the lake with your pals and some 7-Ups sounds way better than slaving away in a hot kitchen.  But people need cake.  And they like 7-Up.  What will they ever do?  How will they be able to have their 7-Up and eat their cake, too?

Well let me tell you.  Not only is Nana cool,  she can bake you a cake, and it will include that popular beverage 7-Up!  This lady, she can do it all.  Then she’ll put on her wacky sunglasses and meet you down at the pool.

So, back in the infantile days of convenience foods, time-saving tips and thinking that pop and sugar were GOOD FOR YOU (“it’s wholesome!”), people incorporated these products into just about everything.  Ya know, like that ubiquitous red-and-white can of mushroom soup?  I’m sure that many of the recipes were printed on the backs of the labels or on advertisements.

This photo, incidentally, was taken in Minnesota in the summer of 1968 at a family reunion–much like the one I attended just last summer.  Mere months before I was born and turned plain ol’ Patsy into a Nana.

Where was I?


I found out that the Seven-Up Co. published a little cookbook!

And not only was there a recipe for a 7-Up cake that you made by replacing the water in the cake mix with 7-Up, there are tips on how to make 7-Up pancakes and instructions on how to baste your meats with pop!  Yes, that’s right, baste your…lamb…with 7-Up!

I’m not too sure about that one.  I tend to associate 7-Up with having the flu, so I guess I don’t really want it mixed with wild game.

After doing some extensive research, I learned that there are 3 different recipes for 7-Up cake floating around out there.  One is a pound cake, made from scratch (like we are making), one is a sheet cake-made with a mix that has pineapple frosting, and a 3-layer torte that is also made with a mix.

The cookbook suggests that replacing the water with pop makes your cake especially “light and airy”.

The version we made is totally from scratch, and even with the 7-Up, it wasn’t exactly “light and airy”–it was a pound cake.  A beautiful, golden hunk of a pound cake.

Other than making sure that you butter and flour the Bundt pan really well, this cake is a breeze to make.  You just cream the butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, then the rest of the ingredients.  That’s it.

Nana doesn’t have any tips for frosting it, and to be honest, I don’t think it needs a frosting or glaze.  I think if I was serving this at a dinner party or something, I first would’ve cleaned all those damn crumbs off of the serving plate (duh) then would’ve sifted a little powdered sugar over the top of it–just for a pretty little finishing touch.

I don’t like to put sugar on cakes when they aren’t being eaten immediately because it eventually sinks into the cake, making it sweeter.  If you are just making it for your family, just leave it plain and then you can add a little sugar if you want on your serving.

This would also be a great base for some strawberries and whipped cream.  Now there’s an idea….

Nana Recipe Wednesday–7-Up Cake


  • 3 cups cake flour (yes, really, get the cake flour)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks)
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 cup 7-Up
  • 1 tsp lemon extract (I used 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and just a few drops of lemon extract--just add enough for your taste)


  • Preheat oven to 325*. Liberally butter and flour the Bundt pan. Set aside.
  • Cream sugar and butter in a mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add cake flour and 7-Up and mix through. Add the lemon flavorings as desired, to taste.
  • Bake for an hour and 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced. The cake will be a deep golden color.
  • Cool completely on a rack, then invert over a serving plate. Serve with a little powdered sugar sifted on top.

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