Have your cake and eat 7-Up, too.

Everytime I look through my mom’s old recipe file, I get a surprise. It’s not often that I take time to flip through the very organized file of cards.  Some recipes she typed onto the cards, others are clippings from newspapers and magazines that she taped onto white recipe cards. I usually go to the large file when I’m looking for a recipe that I remember her making. The other day I was looking for a rhubarb cake in my mom’s recipe file, and I came across 7-Up Cake. It sounded like a pound cake, with lots of butter, way more sugar than what you’d put into a traditional cake and several eggs. The only liquid was 7-Up. I always like a good pound cake, so I made the 7-Up Cake.

I brought the butter and eggs to room temperature. I measured the 7-Up and lemon flavoring into a cup and set it beside the butter and eggs. When I was ready to mix up the cake. I pulled out my heavy-duty stand mixer. I beat the butter and sugar together for close to 10 minutes. I think superfine sugar works best. It dissolves much faster than regular granulated sugar. The eggs went in, one at a time, with each egg incorporated completely into the butter mixture before the next egg went into the bowl. I added the flour in 1/2 cup increments, alternating with some of the 7-Up/lemon flavoring. Just as my mom taught me, I started and ended with the dry ingredients. Lots of fluffy batter.

Although the recipe directs to bake the cake for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours, I baked it to doneness in about 55 minutes. I’d suggest testing the cake for doneness with a long wooden pick after about 50 minutes of baking. Too much time in the oven will make the cake dry. When the tester comes out clean, the cake is done. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

The cake is quite good sprinkled with powdered sugar and eaten as is. Just for the fun of it, I decided to cut the cake through the middle and sandwich some white frosting and blueberries between the two layers. I’m not very good at making straight cuts. I use toothpicks as my guide as I move the serrated knife around the cake.

The frosting/filling concoction I mixed up is acutally a traditional frosting for Waldorf Astoria Cake, sometimes called Red Velvet Cake. I made the Waldorf Cake as cupcakes for this week’s column, topping the bright red cupcakes with whipped cream cheese frosting and fresh blueberries, creating a patriotic red, white and blue dessert for the 4th of July. Traditionlly, though, the red cake is topped with a frosting made of a base of cooked milk and flour.

The cooked frosting is another job for the stand mixer. The cooled mixture of milk and flour is blended with butter and sugar that has been beaten for 20 minutes.  The sugar needs to melt into the butter, becoming light and very smooth. The recipe I offer here is the one I got from my 4-H leader years ago, along with the Waldorf Cake.

The cake is lemony fresh, a bit crunchy on the outside and moist and tender on the inside. If I ever make this dessert again, I would spread the frosting between the two layers of 7-Up Cake and serve fresh berries along side rather than layering them with the filling. I felt I needed to refrigerate the cake with the fresh berries in the middle.

Slices of just plain, unfilled 7-Up Cake would be delicious topped with fresh berry sauce and a dollop of whipped cream.

Blueberry and Cream-Filled 7-Up Cake

  • 3 sticks butter
  • 3 cups sugar (I recommend superfine sugar)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons lemon flavoring
  • 3/4 cup 7-Up

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Add flour, lemon flavoring and 7-Up. Pour into well-greased 12-cup Bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto cooling rack. When cake is completely cool, slice in half. Spread filling over bottom layer, saving some to spread on cut side of top layer. Arrange blueberries over filling. Position top of cake over the filling.

Cream Filling:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries, rinsed

Cook flour and milk together until thick. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cream sugar, butter and vanilla together with electric mixer for 20 minutes until very fluffy and sugar is dissolved. On low speed, blend cooked mixture into butter mixture in bowl. Frosting should be consistency of cold oatmeal.

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