Did you know you can mix a can of Sprite with a cake mix and... make a cake? That's precisely what this Sprite cake does! I doctored it up a bit to make it extra yummy, and that includes an easy and delicious lemon-lime curd between the layers and a light frosting - think semi-naked cake - of lemon-lime buttercream. What a treat!
Mixing Soda With Cake Mix
I keep seeing fun infographics around the internet about mixing a can of soda with a cake mix, and I've been dying to try it. I'm always totally into trying fun baking hacks, and so that's how the idea for this Sprite cake was born! Instead of stopping with a plain cake made with soda and cake mix, I decided to doctor it up with a couple of extra (yet simple) ingredients and fill the layers with a delightfully tart lemon-lime curd.
I decided to make this cake "semi-naked" by very lightly frosting it with a homemade lemon-lime buttercream. Essentially, I crumb-coated the cake and just... called it done, lol. I love how rustic it looks with the cake color and crumbles showing through the frosting! Semi-naked cakes are great for those of us who aren't professional cake decorators (hello, it's me) since they have that fun artisanal look that you really can't mess up.
Want to see some other fun soda + cake mix flavor combinations? Click here!
Doctored Cake Mix
So most of the recipes using this hack stick with literally two ingredients - a 12-ounce can of soda and a cake mix. That's it. No eggs, no oil, none of the other ingredients called for on the box. Just soda and cake mix.
Since I was wanting to create a really stunning layer cake using this easy shortcut as a base, I added a couple of extra ingredients to the cake mix. Since limes and lemons were already being juiced and zested to create the other components of the cake, I tossed some zest into the cake mix as well.
And because pure vanilla extract is always a welcome guest in my baking adventures, I added some to the batter since vanilla cake mixes are just not as vanilla-y as I prefer them to be.
So What Ingredients Do I Need?
Glad you asked! I promise the ingredients are simple, inexpensive and easily available at any grocery store.
- Lemons and Limes: You'll need 3 tablespoons each of lemon and lime juice, as well as the zest from 2 lemons and limes. Choose lemons that are nice and yellow (no green) and limes that are nice and green (no yellow)! Confused yet?
- Cake Mix: You need 1 15.25-ounce box of vanilla or French vanilla cake mix. Use your favorite brand.
- Sprite: Use 1 12-ounce can of regular Sprite, or you can measure out 12-ounces from a larger 1L or 2L bottle.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: I don't care if it's already in the cake mix, there's always room for more vanilla. Use the good stuff to really jazz up the cake mix.
- Eggs: Two large eggs are used to make the lemon-lime curd, and you'll use the whole egg - not just the yolks - so there is no waste!
- White Sugar: Use 6 tablespoons of regular ol' white granulated sugar in the curd.
- Butter: A total of 11 tablespoons (1 stick + 3 tablespoons) of unsalted butter is what you need to have on hand. Leave the full stick out to soften - it's for the frosting.
- Pinch of Salt: I always toss in a lil pinch of salt into homemade buttercreams. Don't worry, it doesn't make it salty, it just takes the razor edge off of the sweetness.
- Powdered Sugar: You'll need 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar (don't pack it in the measuring cup) for the buttercream.
Tips For Success
This sprite cake recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are a few tips that will help you out with any possible roadblocks that you run into:
- Don't Overmix: You don't want to kill the carbonation in the soda and remove its lifting power. Keep your mixer or whisk moving slowly and stop as soon as the dry ingredients are combined.
- Zest Lightly: You only want to remove the outer, colorful part of the fruit. If you zest too deeply, you'll wind up removing some of the white pith, which has a bitter taste.
- Use Parchment: When preparing the cake pans, grease and flour the bottoms and the sides. Then cut out a circle of parchment slightly smaller than the bottom of the pan and place it inside. The parchment creates a solid barrier between the cake and the pan and will allow you to release the cake much easier after it is baked.
- Let it Cool: It's very important to let the cake layers fully cool before attempting to remove them from the pan or frost them. Patience will pay off!
- Buttercream Dam: The lemon-lime curd filling is fairly thick, but it's still likely to leak out of the sides of the cake from the weight of the top layer. Put some buttercream in a zip-top bag, snip off the corner, and pipe a border around the outside of the bottom layer. That way, when you add the curd, the buttercream will prevent it from escaping.
Storage & Freezing Instructions
Refrigerate Leftovers: Because of the fresh lemon-lime curd, you will need to keep your finished sprite cake refrigerated so it stays nice and fresh.
What about Freezing?
You can freeze this cake one of two ways: freezing the baked cake layers before they are filled and frosted, or filling the finished cake. Here's how:
Freezing Cake Layers: Let the baked cake layers cool completely, release from pan, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 3 months. You can let them thaw before filling and frosting, or you can leave them mostly frozen (they're actually easier to manipulate when they are solid!)
Freezing The Finished Cake: Fill and frost the cake, but do not add decorations or garnish. Refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours to let the frosting solidify. Wrap the entire cake in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.
Some More Shortcuts
My vision for this recipe was to combine some easy homemade components with the cake mix and soda cake to give it a more 'from scratch' vibe. If you are looking for more shortcuts to create a cake similar to this one, here's what you can do:
- Premade Lemon Curd: Replace the homemade lemon-lime curd with plain lemon curd in a jar. You can add a few squeezes of fresh lime juice to add a little lime flavor, if you want.
- Premade Frosting: You can use a can of vanilla frosting instead of the homemade lemon-lime buttercream in the frosting. You'll miss the extra citrus tang, but it will work just the same.
What If I Want More Frosting?
If you prefer a fully frosted/decorated cake rather than the semi-naked/half-dressed look, go ahead and double the frosting recipe and you'll have plenty to work with!Print
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