My grandmother's 7 Up cake is a mellower cousin to the lemon pound cake, and comes from a long tradition of Southern cakes made with soda/pop as a leavening agent. The cake doesn't taste like 7 Up, but makes something new and familiar all at once. It's adapted from her recipe.
I recently found that the cake made a cameo in the 2008 film The Secret Life of Bees: according to the legend, the boy who ate the cake would be compelled to kiss the girl who baked it. I can't personally vouch for that magical effect—but maybe you can?
Notes: Make sure you use a big loaf pan (9x5x3) for this recipe, and or make sure you use very well-greased parchment paper with long overhangs on each side. —Dara Mathis
1 9-inch loaf
sticks butter, at room temperature
7 Up (room temperature is best)
Juice and zest of one lemon, minus 2 tablespoons (optional)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a loaf pan really well, and line with parchment paper so there is an overhang on both long sides of the pan. If your loaf pan is smaller, line the shorter sides with parchment as well, to prevent the batter from spilling over. (Place on top of a sheet pan, for extra assurance.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix well. Add flour, 7 Up, lemon extract, and juice and zest of one lemon (minus two tablespoons), if using. Mix well, but do not overbeat. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes (but start checking at 1 hour and 30 minutes to see if a cake tester comes out clean).
While the cake is baking, make the glaze. Mix confectionary sugar and lemon or orange juice together, put low heat and keep mixing until fully incorporated. Take off the heat. Once cake has completely cooled, drizzle glaze over the top.