Lemon Surprise Cake

filed under: Cakes on August 13, 2017

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!)Super easy, super delicious!

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.

Super easy, super delicious!


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:

  • 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.

Super easy, super delicious!

Easy 7-Up Cake

  • butter
  • sugar
  • eggs
  • flour
  • lemon extract
  • soda
There are only 6 ingredients in this easy lemon pound cake, no baking soda or baking powder needed! The rise comes from the carbonation in the soda added. You can use any lemon-lime flavored soda.
4 from 2 votes
Super easy, super delicious!
Lemon Surprise Cake
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

Just six ingredients are all you need to bake the most flavorful and delicious Lemon Surprise Cake!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Surprise Cake
Servings: 6 SERVINGS
Author: Amanda Rettke
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
Lemon Cake
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour (or spray with non-stick spray) a bundt pan.
  2. Cream sugar and butter in the bowl of stand mixer on medium speed until fluffy and light.
  3. With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time and mix well.
  4. Add in lemon extract and soda and then slowly add in flour and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Bake at 350°F for one hour and fifteen minutes or until inserted toothpick is removed with very few crumbs.

Lemon Glaze
  1. Place butter in bowl and mix (with hand-held mixer or stand mixer) until light. Add in confectioners sugar and extract. (If frosting is too think it can be thinned with a little milk.)

Recipe Video

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

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  • Pat says:

    Can I use cake flour instead of flour?

    • Amanda says:

      It will change the recipe.

  • Barbara Culler says:

    It look good i,m going to bake me one

  • Linda Desjardins says:

    I have a lemon tree and love all things lemon. Can I substitute lemon juice and zest?

  • Victoria Gill says:

    Great recipes!

  • Joyce says:

    I just made the cake and served it with vanilla ice cream. Kids request

  • Victoria says:

    Hi Amanda, There are different sized Bundt pans, What size do you recommend for your Bundt cake recipes…Thank you!!

  • Jessyca Ware says:

    Lemon Surprise Cake looks awesome. Planning to bake it. Watched the video, not sure how much lemon zest to use. Lemon zest is not listed in the written recipe. Thanks

  • Jk says:

    This looks like the 7up cake I have been making for years.

  • Malena says:

    I just pulled this cake out of the oven and in order for the inside to be done, the outside was overcooked. I only put it in for the amount of time that the recipe called for. Even though I sprayed the bundt pan with cooking spray the cake would not come out of the pan cleanly and broke in half. I would not make this cake again.

    • Amanda says:

      Every oven is different and every recipe needs to be adjusted to fit your specific oven. This is a great recipe that has been made hundreds of times successfully, so it might be worth your time to calibrate your oven, determine and hot spots, and adjust accordingly.

  • Monica says:

    Does this cake require refrigeration after being made and not eaten at one sitting?

  • Judith Miller says:

    Why do you print out a recipe and then not let it be printed?

  • shirley says:

    600gram sugar sounds a lot is this correct

  • Valettia Carman-Banks says:

    I baked this cake according to the written instructions, but in the video they have that you put the soda in after all of your other ingredients are in the bowl, in the written instructions it lists the soda going in and then the flour a little at a time. My cake turned out like a Lemon Pound Cake and it got RAVE REVIEWS!!!!
    Thank You!

  • RRuth Anne smith says:

    All set to make these lemon treats.

  • Roslina says:

    Just started to follow your colum, it’s fantastic, simple n suits my taste.
    I’ll definitely out your recipe. Tq dear.

  • Barb Sehnke says:

    Made this today, will taste tomorrow, it’s for s birthday at work! Looks amazing

  • Mahnaz says:

    Hi,iwounder with your amazing cakes good luk

  • Margaret says:

    I am going to make this cake for the first time, but I am out in the mountains in Colorado and was wondering if I should adjust the recipe at all? I am so excited about this cake. Thank you for your recipe.

  • Doreen Mendola says:

    Not at all impressed — no lemon flavor except for the icing.

  • Genny says:

    I made this the other day. Amazingly delicious! Terrible time to discover my “non-stick” pan is no longer working! LOL

  • Pris Hamilton says:

    Awesome recipes!

  • Paula says:

    On the video it show a lemon zest… there is no lemon zest shown in the video. Is it supposed to be added or is that optional?

  • anushya says:

    Wow..your recioes and posts are juzz amazing..
    Pls share some eggless cake recipes too

  • Fidel Diaz says:

    I love looking at what you do, I stay home dad I am retried and some of your cooking recipes are hard for me but I try they do not look like your but I try.

  • Pansy Grembowski says:

    The place the recipe will not print just the recipe, it prints all of the other stuff. Can not separate recipe from other advertising 23 pages.

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