If you’d like a fairly traditional buttery go-to cake, that stays soft and moist the next day, is springy but also dense and rich, and is pretty adaptable…this is the cake.
I opted for a lime-kissed cake, but the recipe can be taken in whatever fizzy fruity direction your current hoardings may inspire. That said, the touch of lime was really wonderful, but it’d be just as lovely kissed by some other fruit. Also I use the word “kissed” intentionally, because the fruit flavour is very subtle but I think it balances out the richness of the cake, adds a bit of interest and also helps the cake rise (acid in the juice + baking soda = magic).
Coincidentally, I discovered there were very few cake recipes out there that use actual fizzy drinks (most lemonade cake recipes don’t actually use lemonade, bah!). I almost snarkily called this “Lemonade cake with ACTUAL LEMONADE IN” (including the shouty caps) but since I used sparkling elderflower, that wasn’t particularly appropriate. I finally gave up and googled “coca cola cake” and made a few tweaks to this recipe - this ended up being like a hipster version of that cake :P No mainstream fizzy drinks in this cake, thank you. Not that I’ll yell at you if you use sprite. No one will ever know.
makes one 8″ cake and one thin 9×4″ loaf, or you can bake it in whatever vessels you like – even into cupcakes.
- 225g butter (salted), softened*
- 1 3/4 c caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 c plain white flour (fluff up the flour a bit before measuring)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 40ml fresh squeezed juice (I used lime), zest if using citrus (rub zest into sugar)
- 1c fizzy stuff – can be juice or hideously bad for you. I used sparkling elderflower**
- 1/2 c buttermilk or runny plain yogurt*
*You could easily use non-dairy milk and margarine in this if you’re lactose free.
**The fizzy thing doesn’t necessarily impart much of its flavour on the cake, so that’s where the juice comes in. You can play up the flavour of the sparkling thing by using the same juice, or just flag.
Preheat oven to 175C (350F), with a rack in the centre or top third. Grease heavily or line your baking pans (avoid filling more than 2″ thick or they’ll take ages to cook through).
Using an electric beater, beat butter just to loosen. Beat in sugar a third of the time until paler and fluffy. Beat in an egg until it’s all whizzed through, then beat in the other egg until it’s all beaten through, scraping down the sides to ensure you don’t miss beating any bits.
Sift over about a third of the flour and all the baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix the juice, fizzy and buttermilk/yogurt, then dump half over the flour. Fold through until it’s about halfway there in terms of being uniform, then sift over another third of the flour, and the other half of the curdled liquids (ignore the grossness, it will be delicious cake). Fold through until about halfway there in terms of being uniform, then sift over the last third of the flour, and fold through until everything is uniform. The mixture will be kinda lumpy and curdled looking – that’s fine. Don’t let it sit too long before scraping into your prepared pan(s), and popping in the oven for 30 minutes before checking. A skewer inserted should come out clean before you cool the cake.
Once cool, dust with icing sugar for extra prettiness, and/or serve with whipped cream or yogurt, and chopped fruit. I had some with strawberries, torn basil and yogurt -preeeetty amazing.