Today, I’m sharing a special bundt cake recipe: my Aunt Cindie’s 7 UP Bundt Cake. This cake is made with lots of butter, which makes it dense and moist. Plus, if you undercook it just slightly, you can preserve a little bit of that wonderfully thick and gooey batter towards the very center of the cake. Yum! Not only is this cake delicious, but it also looks like a work of art with powdered sugar dusted across the pretty sloping ridges of the cake. And, yes, it is actually made with a can of 7 UP!
Before I share this family bundt cake recipe, it may be helpful to define “bundt.” Bundt cakes are not a specific kind of cake, but rather any cake baked in a bundt pan, giving it that trademark donut shape with a hole at the center. Usually, bundt cakes are made with recipes for pound, sponge or butter cakes.
So, how was the bundt born? In 1950, Rose Joshua and Fannie Schanfeld, two women from the local women’s Zionist group, Hadassah, had recently been lamenting the light and fluffy quality of American cakes. They missed the heavy, dense cakes that their mothers had made for them when they were children growing up in Europe. However, in order to make those cakes, you need a kugelhopf pan, a fluted pan made of ceramic or heavy cast iron, with a hole in the center that allows the heat to penetrate the middle of the cake and cook the dough evenly. Though these pans were popular in Europe, they were not readily available in the United States. Moreover, because the pans were heavy and didn’t travel well, many had to be left behind when the women immigrated to America.
Through the connections of Joshua’s husband, who worked in the local food industry, the women set up a meeting with bakeware company owner H. David Dalquist and asked him to create a pan for them that was similar to the kugelhopf. They promised that this pan would be very popular among Hadassah women who were eager to taste cakes that reminded them of home.
Dalquist decided to give it a shot. Using Joshua’s mother’s kugelhopf as a model, Dalquist designed an aluminum version with ridges at the base. And thus, the bundt pan was born.
At first, the bundt cake pan struggled to gain popularity and over the next 16 years the company barely sold any. Bundt then … in the 1966 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, Ella Helfrich created her famous Tunnel of Fudge Cake, a chocolate-nut bundt cake baked with a deliciously gooey ring of fudge in the center. Though her bundt cake came in second place to Mari Petrelli’s Golden Gate Snack Bread, the public went crazy over the Tunnel of Fudge Cake. After the contest, over 200,000 requests were made for bundt pans and Dalquist began working around the clock to fulfill all the orders.
As the success of the bundt continued to rise, Dalquist eventually licensed the “bundt” name to Pillsbury company. Pillsbury began making ready-made cake mixes to sell as a combo with the bundt pans. Over the next 20 years, bundt cakes became a staple dessert for Americans and Helfrich’s Tunnel of Fudge still stands as the most popular recipe ever made in Pillsbury Bake-Off competition history.
So, are you ready to celebrate the beloved bundt and make this cake for yourself? Keep reading for my family’s 7 Up Bundt Cake recipe below. However, before you start cooking, it is important to remember one pro-tip. In order to keep your cake from sticking to the pan, make sure to grease and flour the bundt pan before adding your batter.
I hope this recipe brings you nothing bundt joy!
7 UP Bundt Cake Recipe
- 3 sticks of butter, softened
- 3 cups of sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ cup 7 UP
- Powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 325 ˚F.
- Blend butter and sugar.
- Add eggs, one at a time, blending well.
- Add 3 cups flour, mixing well.
- Add the vanilla extract.
- Fold in the 7 UP.
- Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan.
- Bake at 325 ˚F for approximately 60 – 75 minutes.
- Cool completely and then loosen edges with a butter knife.
- Invert onto a plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Serve and enjoy!