Three Cubed: Swinging ’70s 7Up Cake

Three Cubed Project

The Book: Cooking with Love and Butter (Home Interiors and Gifts, Inc.)


Remember Tupperware parties? And the food that accompanied them? Cooking with Love and Butter conjured up memories. Published by Home Interiors and Gifts sometimes during that period (there’s no copyright date), it’s a compilation of recipes from company hostesses who helped sell candles, home accessories and gifts at in-home parties. Page 227 lands on 7Up Cake, a pound cake that incorporates the era’s  Uncola. The cake was instantly remembered by my landlord, as we chatted outside during her stoop sale  (Brooklyn equivalent of a garage sale), where coincidentally, a lovely 1970s “blown glass” vase made from a “Wet & Wild” 7Up bottle failed to find a new home. The 7Up, she said, helps makes the cake light.

I’d been a bit skeptical that the addition of 7Up was anything more than a marketing ploy, just another of those brand-name product recipes. But she was right. The traditional pound cake ingredients—flour, butter, sugar— are lifted and lightened up by the fizzy Uncola stirred in at the end. The cake bakes up with a lovely moist texture and easy-to-slice crumb, and the soda creates a nice sugary crust, so it needs no particular topping.

It reminded me of another soda-enhanced dessert of the time, the Coca-Cola Cake requested every year by my childhood best friend for her birthday, a chocolate confection with a sweetness level that now reminds me of rich Southern desserts

And while we’re at it, the good people at King Arthur Flour have come up with a scratch cake of another 1970s fav that seems to crop up these days in cocktail conversations, the Harvey Wallbanger Cake.  Because while it’s hip to love the 70s, we’ve moved on from its cake mix- and instant pudding-based recipes.

Update:  More than a week in, and this cake is stiff fresh and tasty on the cake stand. Seems the 7Up adds more than just flavor and texture, it probably adds hefty preservatives to take this into the realm of Twinkie shelf life.  Drop-by visitors are none the wiser. 


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