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The Cake, As it is Known in My Home

The Cake, as It’s Known in My Home

Renée Robinson

My Favorite Bundt Cake – And it Contains 7 Up. Old School Goodness.

In my home, this is known as The Cake. It’s that recipe that’s been with me so long I no longer remember where I first got it. Everyone probably has at least one of these recipes. It’s so good it has become the standard for every other bundt type cake I make and nothing has usurped its spot at the top of the list yet. Sam Sifton wrote about this cake in the New York Times awhile ago. He said someone had sent the recipe to him and he’d tweaked it a little.

I’d done the same thing since the beginning when making the cake – subbing in butter for margarine, etc. But one thing he does which I disagree with is to bake the cake for 15 minutes longer than recommended in order to achieve a thick crust. I did this one time and while it does give you a thicker crust, it also dried out the cake. I don’t recommend baking it that long.

I have the recipe written on an old card and it’s simply titled – 7 Up Cake. Yep, it has 7 Up in it and I always have a couple cans on hand just for making this cake. It is old school and is loaded with sugar, butter, oil and eggs. Using both butter and oil gives it the best of both worlds, the flavor of butter and the moist texture and crumb from the oil.

While it doesn’t need a glaze, this time I used one I found on David Lebowitz’s blog, which originally came from Gina DePalma, and I’ve grown to love it. It consists of granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and fresh lemon juice. Simply whisk together the glaze ingredients. The granulated sugar does not completely dissolve. That’s the way it is supposed to be. The glaze dries to a crackle finish and crunches when you bite into it. It was so good I think I’ll be making it this way from here on out. Just when I thought this cake couldn’t get any better, along comes a glaze which actually improved it. I couldn’t have been happier or more surprised.

The Cake, as It's Known in My Home

Recipe by Renée Robinson

10 - 12


A moist, but fluffy, old fashioned bundt cake. There's 7UP in it, along with vanilla, lemon, and almond extracts. But the crackly lemon glaze puts it over the top.

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  • 2 sticks salted butter, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oil

  • 3 cups granulated sugar

  • 5 large eggs, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 cup 7 Up

  • 3 cups all purpose unbleached flour

  • Baker's Joy for spraying the pan

  • almond flour for dusting the pan

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven.
  • Spray a 10 or 12 cup bundt cake pan with plenty of Baker's Joy. Don't be shy about really spraying the heck out of the pan, making sure you get into every nook and cranny. Dust the pan with spoonfuls of almond flour until it's fully covered. This is how I prepare all my bundt pans and I never have the cake stick. It releases easily when prepared in this manner. If I'm baking a chocolate cake, I dust the pan with cocoa.
  • Using either a stand mixer or a hand beater, cream together the butter, oil and sugar at medium speed. Add eggs one at a time and blend well. Add the extracts and continue to beat. Add half the 7 Up, and blend, half the flour and blend, continuing with the rest of the 7 Up and the remaining flour. Beat until fully mixed.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake until a wooden skewer, stuck in the center, comes out clean, about 1 hour. The cake will rise all the way to the top of a 10 cup pan, but I've never had it overflow. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Invert the cake onto a metal cooling rack with a piece of parchment paper placed underneath the rack This will catch any glaze that should drip off. Immediately apply the glaze.
  • Whisk together all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. The granulated sugar will not dissolve. Using a silicon brush, apply the glaze to the entire warm cake. I take my time when I do this, letting the glaze settle in before brushing on the remainder. Place the cake on a cake stand or plate and let it cool completely. The glaze will dry to a crackle finish and will crunch in your mouth when you bite into it. It's simply wonderful.

2 Responses

  1. Renee dear I’ve been tasked with making a lemon cake for a friend’s family Thanksgiving–I thought of you immediately. To increase the lemon in The Cake, would it be reasonable to sub out lemon extract for the almond and vanilla? What are your thoughts? Should I perhaps look at using the Orange Sheet cake and use lemon instead? I’m open to your sage advice! Thank you!

    1. Hi, Julia! Here’s what I would do. I’d make The Cake with a couple of changes. Eliminate the almond extract, but keep the vanilla and lemon extracts as written in the recipe. But, before beating together the butter, oil, and sugar, place the sugar in the bowl first. Add the finely grated zest of one or two lemons, depending on the size of your lemons. Rub the zest into the sugar with your fingers. This will release all the fragrant lemon oil. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe, as written. That bright lemon crackly glaze will seal the deal. You should end up with a lovely lemon cake. And you can make this cake the day or evening before Thanksgiving because it holds very well. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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