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How to bake 7-up cake

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Vanilla cake is the basis for this soulful recipe
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Learn how to bake 7-up cake with this traditional recipe from the South

One Southern classic dessert is the 7-up cake, but before learning about this traditional cake, let's focus on the basics of cake making. Method, ingredients (and its temperature), as well as equipment, are all things to keep in mind when baking cakes, cupcakes, muffins and other batters.

First of all, focus on the method. There are two main methods for making cakes, blending and creaming.

  • Blending is the method typically used for dense cakes such as pound cakes, quick breads and muffins. A liquid fat, such as melted butter or oil. The dry ingredients are quickly incorporated and blended, but batter will always be denser than that of a creaming method. Make a 7-up Pound Cake using this method.
  • Creaming is the method normally used for cakes and cupcakes, where a softened fat, usually butter, is creamed with the sugar until it becomes a lighter color and a fluffier texture. Air is introduced into this mixture, creating the base of a sponge cake. The creaming method is the method that is used to make this Vanilla 7-Up Cake.

Where does the 7-Up Cake originally come from?  This is one history that experts have had trouble pinpointing. They do know it was a product of the Southern states, where most of the soda companies and factories were located. Most companies would give employees samples of their soda drinks, so these were readily available in homes across the South.

Home cooks and bakers would add sodas to cakes to achieve an airier crumb structure in cakes, and the additional liquid created moist cakes that last for even more days. Also, colas and sodas added sweetness and a lemony flavor to cakes and cupcakes.

Below is a quick and easy cake recipe using the creaming method:

Vanilla 7-up Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs, room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup 7-up

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 10" cake pan. Reserve.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder and reserve.
  3. In a mixer or with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, until all are incorporated.
  5. Add sifted flour and 7-up in two steps; swirl in the vanilla. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour batter into pans and bake until golden brown, about 30-45 minutes depending on your oven.
  7. Cool and enjoy!

To finish this cake, make a decorative and flavorful glaze by combining 1 cup of confectioner's sugar with 3 tablespoons of milk. Drizzle over cake and garnish with lemon zest, sprinkles or even chocolate shavings if you made a Coca Cola cake. Serve warm or room temperature as a treat with your coffee or as a plated dessert with a dollop of freshly whipped cream flavored with vanilla extract.

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