New Orleans 7-Up Soul Cake

It sounds utterly revolting.

But believe me, it is a truly gorgeous creation!

If you're totally not convinced, I urge you to read on.

You're probably thinking: 'who on earth thought of putting 7Up and cake together?!" In fact, this recipe has been practised for almost a century!

Back in the day, 7Up used to be a medicated soft drink to ease anxiety. The active ingredient was removed from 7Up in the 1950's, but people's love of the lemon-lime zing meant it lingered on and on thereafter.

7Up cake seems to be pretty popular in American soul culture. In the mid-1900's, African-American women who were housemaids in the South would make this cake - soda was often used then to give cakes a wonderful voluptuous lift. When it fell out of fashion, housemaids ended up handing down their recipes to their children and grand-children, keeping the 7Up cake alive in southern soul.

And here it is today - an incredibly refreshing, eccentric citrus cake. Not to mention a sour 7Up sugar glaze that rounds it off rather nicely. It tastes so fresh and tangy that you'll forget you're eating cake - well, almost!

Anyways, you gotta try it, so I've put together a straightforward, easy recipe for you!


What Y'All Need:

450g Plain Flour
600g Caster Sugar
300g Butter
5 Eggs
1 can (300ml) 7-Up
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Power
3 tablespoons of Lemon Curd
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

7-Up Icing:
7-Up (a splash or two)
Icing Sugar (6 heaped tablespoons)
Lemon/Lime zest (totally optional)

1. Preheat an oven to 170°C (330F).

Butter a cake tin 'til it's nice and slippy. These cakes are usually baked in a Bundt cake tin, which as a hole in the centre and a fancy pattern on the bottom. They were very fashionable with ladies in the Deep South. I didn't have one of these retro-style tins in my arsenal, so I just used an empty tin can.

I placed it in the centre of a round cake tin, and filled it with water to weigh it down while the cake cooked.

I like this 'ring' style of cake. It's a bit more interesting, and it feels like you get more cake for your buck.

2. Cream your butter into a smooth, angelic paste.

3. Add your sugar into the butter, little by little, until you have a fluffy, lemon-coloured snow.

 It is a shit-load of sugar indeed - but hey, it's cake! Go hard or go home.

4. Mix in your 5 eggs, one by one.

Don't be alarmed if your mixture looks a bit slimy and congealed. Keep working it. Magic is about to happen.

5. Add your teaspoon of vanilla extract and your 3 tablespoons of lemon curd. Mix it really well, the lemon curd can be a lumpy motherf*cker.

Treat yourself to some lemon curd if you can handle the tang.

I'm all about that tang life.

6. Measure out your flour, and mix your 1/2 teaspoon of baking power into it. Now, it's not a lot of baking powder for such a hefty cake! For this cake, the 7Up is gonna do most of the lifting!

Gradually add it to your mixture in stages. Sift it from real high up, so it traps extra air into your mixture as it falls.

Fold the flour in very gently each time, by mixing in a figure-of-8 motion. This technique traps more air and ensures a gorgeous velvety crumb in your cake!

7. Now's the fun part!

Crack open your 7Up.

Have a sip. Baker's treat.

Now pour about two-thirds of the can into the cake batter. Do this gradually so your cake batter doesn't freak out and seize up!

It will look like a disaster. Just keep mixing, and I promise you will end up with your creamy, smooth cake batter again!

Keep ahold of your leftover 7-Up, you'll need it for the frosting!

8. Empty your batter into your cake tin and gently smooth it over on the top.

That's it!

Get it in the oven, where it needs to cook for 60-70 minutes. It's bloody ages, but it cooks very slowly, owing to a cake with a truly special, divine texture! You won't regret it!


Zingy 7Up Frosting

If you make this 7-Up cake, you just gotta to make this frosting to accompany it. It is, well, the icing on the cake!

Cream together your icing sugar and your 7Up until you have a smooth, creamy liquid. It should be a slightly runny, that's alright, it's going to be more of a glaze. If you prefer, you could make a thicker, whiter icing by adding more icing sugar and mixing it into a thick, white paste.

Drizzle your icing over your cake when it's completely cooled and removed from the tin.

And you can eat it immediately!


I hope I've intrigued you with this recipe! Being totally honest, I was horrified when I first heard of this idea, but I just could not knock it till I tried it.

It's a very quirky, eccentric creation and it's guaranteed to turn heads at the mention. Give it a go!

Thanks for reading!

Anthony :)



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