Just six ingredients are all you need to bake the most flavorful and delicious Lemon Surprise Cake! If you happen to love Lemon Pound Cake as much as I do, try my from-scratch version! (Better yet, try this Cream Cheese Pound Cake. It’s award-winning!)

Lemon Bundt Cake on Cake Stand with Icing Drizzling

Lemon Surprise Cake

Why did I call this a lemon “surprise” cake? Because it has lemon-lime soda as an ingredient! I was a bit shocked that one little can of soda can make such a wonderful difference in a cake, but it did. I can’t wait to try this with other flavors!

Traditionally speaking, this is a lemon pound cake and has been around for many generations. Our grandmothers were masters of finding ways to save money and use what they had to create beautiful and delicious desserts.

Lemon Bundt Cake Slice on Plate with Fork

What is a Lemon Surprise Cake? 

This is actually considered a pound cake. The definition of pound cake is this: a rich cake containing a pound, or equal weights, of each chief ingredient, typically flour, butter, and sugar.  One of the original lemon pound cake recipes was: (OH MY GOSH A DOZEN EGGS?!?!) 

  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 pound butter
  • 1 pound flour
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

With changes in the sourcing of flours, accessibility of ingredients, quality of butter, and the addition of extracts in baking, some modifications have been made to that original recipe.

So if you want to get technical, this lemon pound cake recipe does not have equal parts of flour, butter, and sugar. However, it still maintains the rich flavor and beautiful, dense crumb that is commonly associated with a pound cake.

Close up of a Slice of Lemon Bundt Cake

Easy 7-Up Cake

As you can tell, this cake recipe is much easier! A few simple ingredients!

There are only 6 ingredients in this easy lemon pound cake, no baking soda or baking powder is needed! The rise comes from the carbonation in the soda added.
You can use any lemon-lime flavored soda.
Super easy, super delicious!
4.67 from 6 votes

Lemon Surprise Cake

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Just six ingredients are all you need to bake the most flavorful and delicious Lemon Surprise Cake!


Lemon Cake

  • 1 1/2 cup (339g or 3 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups (384g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. McCormick Lemon Extract
  • 3/4 cup lemon-lime soda, like 7-up or Sprite

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 cups (375g) confectioners sugar
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Lemon Extract
  • 0-4 tablespoons milk (optional)


Lemon Cake

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or spray with non-stick spray) a bundt pan.
  • Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy and light.
  • With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time and mix well.
  • Add in lemon extract and soda and then slowly add in flour and mix until fully incorporated.
  • Bake at 350°F for one hour and fifteen minutes or until inserted toothpick is removed with very few crumbs.

Lemon Glaze

  • Place butter in bowl and mix (with hand-held mixer or stand mixer) until light. Add in confectioners sugar and extract. Mix until fully combined. (If frosting is too thick it can be thinned with a little milk.)


Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

Let me know if you try this super easy and delicious cake! Photography by Ashlee Marie.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. Love the recipe but just a heads up. Your directions written are not the same as the video. In you directions you put to add extract and soda then flour. The video shows to add flour then extract and soda. Video is more accurate. Please fix so that people are not confused. Thank you

  2. This is one of my family favorites now! My son asks me to bake it weekly! Thank you for the great recipes and baking tips!

  3. Is it possible to use the real lemon juice like we always have? I haven’t made this yet but am interested in knowing for future reference.

  4. Would have liked your printed recipe to be updated or correct in accordance to the video. No mention of zest in the cake recipe or in the icing. There are no directions for cooling the cake- in pan for how long? I’ve use lots of your recipes with great results so wasn’t expecting this one to be lacking like this that’s for sure.

    1. Always follow the written recipe. Videos can be outsourced and mistakes can be made… but the written recipe is correct.

  5. I made this and followed the recipe. I thought it tasted chemically, probably from the lemon extract. Next time, IF I make again, I will use real lemon.

  6. I love this cake..but when I pull out of oven after baking for recommended time..the center is still very gooey/wet..i plavmced back in oven for lil bit lionger but was wondering..does the cake set more as it cools..I’m afraid to over bake it

  7. I love your recipes. They are so yummy and easy to follow. I have been printing a set out for my 15 year old niece Jasmyn who loves to bake and cook also. Just printed out the Lemon Surprise Cake and I am going to back it this weekend for my husband. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful recipes

  8. My sister and I are extremely disappointed in this recipe. We found it to have an extremely artificial lemon taste, which I imagine comes from the extract. We did like that the edges are crusty because how long it bakes, but unfortunately they were destroyed by the artificial flavout in the cake and magnified in the glaze. We waited to see if the flavour improved the next day, and it did not, so the garbage got it … what a waste.

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