This recipe appears in:Planning Your Oscar Party Menu
The Serious Eats' Movie Awards Season Recipe Series is brought to you by
Up is a sweet film of dreams realized: by tying thousands of balloon to his home, main character Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong desire to see the great wide world. But when it comes to a cake inspired by the movie, you're going to want all of the charm but none of that floating away business.
While this 7-Up Cake may be infused with the buoyant lemon-lime soda bubbles, it's far from light-as-air. This is actually a rich, decadent pound cake made with five sticks of butter.
Coloring the cake a gentle sky blue and topping it with a fluffy, cloud-like coating of rich coconut frosting lends an air of drama when it's sliced into, and a garnish of lollipops (the "balloons") add a bit of whimsy. So good, it'll disappear into thin air.
- For the cake:
- 3 sticks of butter, softened
- 3 cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 3/4 cup lemon lime soda
- For the frosting:
- 6-8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- For the garnish (optional):
- 3 cups shredded coconut
- 5-6 Lollipops
In an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on low for 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
Gradually add the flour, bit by bit, until fully incorporated.
Add lemon extract and 7-Up. Finally, if desired, add a couple of drops of blue food coloring and mix well, until the color is completely mixed.
Fill two well-greased 8-inch cake rounds equally (mine were a little more than halfway full). Make your life easier by lining the bottom with a strip of parchment paper so that they will come out of the pan easily when done.
Bake at 325°F for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely. Cut the tops of the cakes to level them.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare your frosting. Mix the butter on low to medium speed in an electric mixer until it is very fluffy. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes, adding the remaining sugar until it has reached your desired consistency.
Frost the top of your bottom layer and then adhere the top layer, allowing the frosting to let the layers stick. Frost the rest of the cake, using a crumb coat if needed (although the coconut garnish is quite forgiving if you have a crumb or two).
Immediately after the cake has been frosted, pat the coconut on to the top and sides so that it will adhere to the frosting until it has completely covered the cake, giving it a fluffy appearance.
Prepare your lollipop "balloons"—using your hands, very gently bend the lollipop sticks so that they have light waves (this is not necessary if you feel like the sticks are too brittle or might snap), to simulate the look of a gently bobbing balloon string.While you are doing this, leave the lollipops in their wrappers; this will keep your hands from getting sticky and the candy from getting smudged or melted.
Gently press the lollipop sticks into the cake, pressing down until each one is firmly in place and does not feel as if it will topple over.