Preparation time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 60-65 minutes, plus 2-3 hours for cooling
Serves: 10-12 people
Invented in St. Louis back in the late 1920s, the original formulation for 7 Up was named Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda. This awkwardly named beverage was marketed as a medicinal drink for the purpose of improving one’s mood. The name of the drink was shortened in the 1930s to 7 Up Lithiated Soda and once again in the 1940s to just 7 Up. At this point, the lithium citrate, the main “mood improving” ingredient, was removed from the ingredient list. After that, the drink became marketed more as a fun soda fountain beverage rather than something more medicinal.
The company, to this day, acknowledges the mystery about the origin of the name 7 Up. Many theories abound as to the reason for the name, including some that refer to the soda’s pH or the number of flavoring ingredients. The truth is that since it has been over 90 years since 7 Up was created, it is quite likely that nobody knows for sure why it was named 7 Up.
In the 1950s, 7 Up was marketed mainly to adults who used it in punch and cocktail recipes. However, during this decade, the company began marketing to kids and teens by pairing with the Walt Disney Company. A cartoon rooster named Fresh-Up Freddy became the brand’s mascot, representing the soda in commercials during the 7 Up sponsored kid’s television program Zorro.
In 1953, the 7 Up company published a recipe booklet with recipes that included the popular drink as an ingredient. This recipe for a 7 Up Pound Cake was one of the recipes included. While the recipe for this cake has been altered and customized over the years by home cooks, the main commonality is that 7 Up is used as an ingredient that replaces the traditional cake ingredient of baking soda, as well as lending its characteristic lemon lime flavor and sweetness to the cake.
7 Up Pound Cake Instructions
- 2 sticks of butter, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- The grated zest of one lemon
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup 7 Up soda
Cake Glaze Ingredients
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon 7 Up
- ½ teaspoon salt
Step 1: Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray. Lightly dust the pan with flour to help the cake release more easily.
Step 2: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, mix together the butter and the sugar, beating them together until they are light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, using the mixer to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the lemon zest, mixing well.
Step 3: Using a separate medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk these dry ingredients together to combine them.
Step 4: Add one third of the dry ingredients mixture to the butter and sugar mixture, using the electric mixer on medium speed to thoroughly combine them.
Add one third of the 7 Up and mix again. Take half of the remaining dry mixture and blend it into the larger bowl, mixing well. Add half of the remaining 7 Up, blending well after adding it. Finally, add the last of the dry ingredients to the larger bowl, mixing well, and then add the remaining 7 Up, mixing again. The mixture should be light, fluffy and creamy.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
Step 6: Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake the cake for 60-65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for about ten minutes on the counter. Gently remove the cake from the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Step 7: While you are waiting for the cake to cool, you can create the glaze.
In a small bowl with a wire whisk, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Whisk in the 7 Up a teaspoon at a time, until the glaze has the texture of yogurt, slightly thickened but still rather runny.
Step 8: When the cake is completely cooled, after about an hour and a half, drizzle the glaze over the top so that it runs down the sides of the cake.
Cut into slices and serve.