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. Putting soda and cake it’s not that unusual I have a friend that has a recipe for a mayonnaise cake that is absolutely delicious and by the way it is chocolate and it has cream cheese frosting this combo makes the whole thing scrumptious.

  2. I made this recipe yesterday and it was a huge hit! I will definitely be making this again! Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes!

  3. Baked it.. an easy delicious summertime option. Be advised not to rush getting it out of the pan… I thought I oiled it snd floured it enough but it did stick… next time I will let it cool longer. I managed well having to taste test the broken part😜

  4. Could use fresh lemon juice and lemon zest instead of lemon extract? Cuz the extract taste kinda nasty to me!

  5. Horrible recipe. The icing directions are awful. I followed them as directed and I’m left with confection sugar mixed (still in powdered form)with butter not a glaze.

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