I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday filled with family, friends, and – of course – an endless supply of delicious food! Our Christmas was pretty unusual for us both this year. Our new budget being as tight as it is, we made the tough decision to stay in Nova Scotia for the Holidays and save up for a trip in the Spring instead. I can’t say that either our Ontario family or Vermont side was very happy with our plan, haha, but they understood where we were coming from.
Brad put his culinary skills to work and made us a wonderful dinner of lemon roast chicken with rosemary, garlic mashed-potatoes, and butter-dill carrots. It might not have been the jaw-dropping feast our families are known for having, but it filled our little table-top just fine and was still more than we could both eat in one sitting. We lounged on a pile of quilts and pillows, stuffing ourselves shamelessly, while breaking in the new Scrabble game Brad bought me. After the game (I won ;)) we managed a slice of cake each while watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was a great Christmas.
While this recipe is a no-brainer I did manage to nearly fail at making it. Neglecting to set a timer, I got distracted while chatting with family during a call from home and only remembered the cake about fifteen minutes past the maximum recommended bake time. Luckily the cake hadn’t burned, but it was a close thing. Set your timers!
7UP Pound Cake (from The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2010)
For the Cake…
2½ C granulated sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
½ C fresh (not flat) 7UP, at room temp
1 T grated lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T grated lime zest
2 T fresh lime juice
½ t salt
2½ sticks unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (1 1/4 Cup)
3 1/4 C cake flour*
* Note: You can use AP flour instead of cake flour (I have before) although your cake will not turn out as tender. The common conversion is to substitute 2 Tablespoons per Cup of flour called for with corn starch (or leave them out altogether). You can read more about flour conversions here.
For the Icing…
1 C confectioner’s sugar (4 oz.)
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh lime juice
1) Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 300°F. Grease and flour a 12-Cup non-stick tube or Bundt pan. Process the granulated sugar, eggs, 7UP, lemon zest and juice, lime zest and juice, and salt in a food processor until smooth – about 10 seconds. Alternatively, you can use a blender although it may not mince the zest quite as fine (when my upright blender failed to do the job I used my immersion and it worked perfectly).
2) With the machine still running, slowly add the melted butter and process/blend until incorporated. Transfer to a large bowl and add the flour in three batches, whisking gently until combined.
3) Spread the batter into the prepared pan and gently tap the pan on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – 75 to 90 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing – about 2 hours (hint: those of us in cooler climates can take advantage of the winter air, just don’t drop your cake in the snow!).
4) When the cake has come to room temperature prepare the glaze: whisk the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour the icing over the cake and let it set for about 10 minutes before serving. The cake can be covered in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The author of this recipe, Cali Rich, definitely accomplished what she’d set out to achieve: “a forceful lemon-lime flavor that warranted the 7UP name”. The cake alone had a nice citrus flavor that went well with the soft, buttery crumb. I especially liked the zesty, mouth-puckering icing and had a hard time leaving it for the cake, haha. Speaking of which, I think I might double the amount of icing next time. This recipe gave me enough to cover my cake, but just barely. If you’re like me and enjoy generous amounts of icing/frosting you may want to double the above recipe as well. I can see this glaze being perfect for shortbread and sugar cookies, too.
Overall Enjoyment: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥