I can remember when my Grandmama Goldie made her 7-Up Cake. I remember what it tasted like, what it smelled like. Pretty sure I tricked my little brother out of his piece a couple of times. (Yeah, I was a mean big sister.)
I always thought it was the craziest thing ever when my grandmother would pour a little glass bottle of 7-Up into her cake. But we are talking about a woman who could throw together a meal like you’ve never seen for a brood of roughneck cowboys. You know, AFTER she had cooked all day working at the local school cafeteria.
When I ran across her recipe in an old community cookbook, I knew immediately I had to give it a shot.
It is almost as good as I remember. Almost….
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This 7-Up Cake reminds me of my childhood.
Grandmama Goldie’s recipe for this cake is pretty straightforward.
I don’t remember if my grandmother did this or not, but instead of preparing my cake pans with shortening and flour, I always use butter and sugar. You know sometimes if you get a bite of cake and the edge tastes dry and like flour? This doesn’t happen using butter and sugar. The edges get sugary and slightly salty from the butter. So good! We love Wilton pans.
We were unable to find the pineapple instant pudding mix in our local stores. (I checked three!) So we did have to improvise. I actually bought a box of lemon pudding and a box of vanilla…and decided to go with the vanilla.
To make up for the loss of the pineapple pudding, I changed the 10 ounces of 7-Up soda to 7 ounces, and added 3 ounces of pineapple juice. (Oh and I dumped about 1/2 cup of crushed pineapple into the cake batter.) You know me, I’ve gotta tweak just about every recipe I come across. (Pretty sure sweet Goldie would approve.)
So what is the big deal with the 7-Up? It gives the cake a bright and sweet lemon-lime flavor without being overpowering.
You can either measure the batter evenly in three pans, or eyeball it. The cake layers came out thinner than I remember…it seems like my grandmother’s 7-Up cake was bigger. But that may be my memory…you know how everything seemed larger when you were a kid. Or maybe she doubled the recipe?
While the cake is cooling, time to cook up the icing. I beat the eggs before putting them in the pan, and stirred constantly while the butter and sugar melted. (My grandmother’s recipe calls for margarine, but I don’t use margarine…so I went for butter.)
You don’t want to cook it too fast or on too high of a temperature or the eggs will set up.
The recipe called for 1 small can of crushed pineapple. I didn’t drain mine…and regarding the size of the can…I do not remember what a small can was back in the 1970’s and 80’s…so I used 1 cup of crushed pineapple.
Just keep cooking and keep stirring until the mixture is smooth and thick.
Stir in the coconut after the icing looks like this.
While the icing is still warm, spread it on each yummy cake layer and the rest on top! Be sure to keep it loosely covered or in a cake saver. We love this cake stand and saver from Perlli.
My grandmother would spread it all along the sides of her 7-Up Cake, but I thought it looked pretty with it all the pineapple and coconut icing piled on top. What do you think?
Yummy!! The cake is moist and crumbly, with a fresh lemony-pineapple flavor. And the icing…so gooey and sweet.
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- 1 box lemon cake mix
- 1 small box vanilla or pineapple instant pudding mix
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- If using vanilla pudding, use 7 ounces 7-Up plus 3 ounces of pineapple juice OR
- If using pineapple pudding mix, use 10 ounces of 7-Up
- 4 eggs
- Butter and sugar to prepare the cake pans
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup crushed pineapple undrained
- 1 bag sweetened coconut flakes
- 2 whole eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three 8 or 9 inch round cake pans with butter and sugar.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, pudding mix, oil, 7-Up (and juice) and 4 eggs. Beat on medium speed until well blended, about 2-3 minutes. Divide evenly into the three pans.
Bake for 30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, invert and let cool completely.
In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, butter, pineapple and the beaten eggs. Cook over low to medium low heat, stirring constantly. Increase heat to medium and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the bag of coconut.
Spread the warm icing over the cake layers and enjoy!