Showing posts with label 7 Up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 7 Up. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Best Ever 7 Up Biscuits - Tasty Tips on Making this Classic Recipe from Cleo Coyle

Because the word UP in Chinese sounds like the word for HAPPINESS, 7 Up is considered to be a lucky drink for weddings and other celebrationsa little piece of trivia Marc and I discovered while researching our 11th Coffeehouse Mystery, A Brew to a Kill, which features some fun (and tasty) sleuthing in New York's Chinatown.

With the Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year) coming up in a few weeks, I thought it would be fun to share my version of the classic 7 Up Biscuits recipe. 
I don’t know how much luck these biscuits will bring you, but they will likely bring happiness to your taste buds. May you…

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.

Why "7 Up" Biscuits?

I know what some of you may be thinking:

Why use 7 Up (or any lemon-lime soda)
in a baking-powder biscuit recipe?

In my view, there are two reasons... 

1 - Carbonation: The soda boosts the lightness and fluffiness of your biscuits' interiors, and...

2 - Flavor: No, the flavor of lemon-lime is not something you will taste in the final product. (I promise, I mean, who wants a lemon-lime baking powder biscuit?) What the 7 Up does is boost the overall flavor by subtly underlining the slight tang of the sour cream. Together these flavors provide complexity, helping your quickly-made boxed-mix biscuits taste more like granny's old-fashioned buttermilk biscuits.

My version of this recipe tweaks the classic ingredients, but my biggest change to the common approach is saving you time and mess. I don't turn the dough out onto a board and knead it with my hands, for example, and I don't pre-cut every biscuit and lay each out in the pan. If you're also looking for the best results from the fastest method, you might like this version, too... 

What I do is bake the biscuits as a single, square slab, which allows the interiors to bake up all the more higher and fluffier. Then I cut the big slab with a pizza cutter, making heavenly squares. My husband loves these biscuits. I hope you do to, too.

Now let's get cookin'...

Click here for
the recipe PDF.
To download this recipe in a free PDF document that you can print, save, or share, click here.

Cleo's 7 Up Biscuits
My version of the classic recipe

Makes 9 square biscuits using an 8 x 8 baking pan 


5 Tablespoons unsalted butter (unsalted butter is fresher than salted, but you can certainly use salted butter for this recipe, simply reduce the salt by half)

2 cups Bisquick** baking mix (lightly pack it into the cup and level it off)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (again, if using salted butter, reduce by half)

1/2 cup full fat sour cream

1/2 cup 7 Up freshly opened, not diet*


*Although Sprite or another lemon-lime soda will work for this recipe, the Chinese consider 7 Up good luck!

**Bisquick also makes a "Heart Smart" version of their regular product with zero trans fat. I have not tested this version of their product with this recipe, so I cannot tell you if it gives the same results, but I plan to try it in the near future.


STEP 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Be sure it's well preheated for the best results. While the oven is preheating, drop the cold butter into a nonstick 8 x 8 baking pan and pop it into the oven for about 2 minutes. When the butter is close to melted, pull out the hot pan and let it finish melting outside of the oven (to ensure the butter does not burn). Now measure out 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into a small bowl and set it aside to cool. Meanwhile… 

STEP 2: Into a medium size mixing bowl, measure out the Bisquick as described in the ingredients (by lightly packing it into the cup and leveling it off). Get out a butter knife and stir in the salt (use half the amount if using salted butter).

Now add the sour cream and the 2 tablespoons of melted butter that you reserved from step 1. Using your trusty butter knife, "cut" these ingredients into the dry Bisquick. See my photos. The dough should appear crumbly.  

STEP 3: Open a new 7 Up for the best carbonation. Pour the 1/2 cup of soda into the bowl and stir it, as shown, using the butter knife until everything is combined.

Now switch to a big spoon or spatula and very vigorously stir this mixture for 20 to 30 seconds. No kidding, count as you stir and you'll notice the dough will begin to stiffen up, forming the gluten that will give your biscuits structure. 

When is it ready? When you pull your spoon or rubber spatula away the dough should come with it, feeling elastic like bread or pizza dough (see my photo below). If your dough does not do this, keep vigorously stirring until it does.

STEP 4: For best results, pop your 8 x 8 pan with melted butter back in the oven for one minute (no more) to really warm it up. This will give you the very best rise for your biscuits. Be careful now, the pan will be hot. Pour the stiff dough into the melted butter of your hot pan. Be sure to use all the dough, scraping the bowl well with a rubber spatula.

(Use an oven mitt to hold the pan and...) Quickly flatten out the dough with your spoon or spatula, stretching it to evenly cover the bottom of the pan. The dough does not have to touch the four sides of the pan, but it should be fairly close to them, as shown in my photos.

STEP 5: Immediately place the pan in your well preheated oven. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes. The edges will be golden brown and crusty, and the top should show touches of light golden browning. The top will also show some cracking.

Cool for 5 minutes in the pan and 

5 minutes out of the pan
before cutting...

Can you see the *heart* in my biscuits?
Yes, folks, I really do cook with love!

COOL IN THE PAN for at least 5 full minutes. Why? The insides are still baking in the hot pan so this is an important step.

DE-PANNING: Because of the melted butter base, the biscuit square will slip right out. Remove it like you would a layer of cake by placing a plate over the top of the pan and flipping it. Yes, the bottom of the baked biscuit square will appear golden brown and crusty. But trust me, the inside will be amazingly light and fluffy. 

COOL OUT OF THE PAN: Allow the big square to cool for another 5 minutes before cutting. Trust me, those fluffy insides are retaining a lot of heat and will still be hot when you eat them, even after 10 total minutes of cooling.

CUTTING TIPS: For best results, flip the big biscuit right side up again, and you will have an easier time cutting your individual biscuits. Use a pizza cutter for the cleanest, best-looking slices. Then slather on butter, honey, or jam; dip into hot gravy; or split and fill for an amazing biscuit sandwich.

Presentation Note

If you're serving these to guests or your family, you can keep the biscuit slab whole and slice it up right at the table (as shown above). This makes a fun, somewhat more theatrical presentation of your beautiful biscuits. This method also has the advantage of staying hot much longer than individual biscuits so you have time to get the rest of the meal on the table. 

Golden and crusty on the outside.
Fluffy and light on the inside.

Click here to download
this recipe as a PDF.

Eat with joy 

Stay cozy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery

* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
King's River Life

* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection

Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...

See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop

Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, 

by clicking here.
Or learn more about the
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by clicking here. 

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Make a Glazed 7 Up Mason Jar Cake - A Wedding Anniversary Post by Cleo Coyle

Because the word UP in Chinese sounds like HAPPINESS, the 7 UP drink is considered to be lucky, and it is the beverage of choice at many Chinese weddings. My husband and I discovered that little piece of trivia while researching our 11th culinary mystery, A Brew to a Kill, which features some adventurous (and tasty) sleuthing in New York’s Chinatown.

Marc and I write
The Coffeehouse
Mysteries to learn more

click here.
As it so happens, today is the anniversary of my wedding to my partner in crime-writing, my husband, Marc. 

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart!

What better day to share a little "happiness" cake with him—and all of you. Weddings aside, Spring is finally in the air (at least for some of the country), and a kicky little cake with bright, lemon-lime flavor feels like a happy idea, too. So let’s get baking…but first...

You're Invited to a Free Event...

Marc and I are very happy to be giving a talk, signing books, and enjoying a free coffee tasting at the event below. We hope you'll come by to meet us and sample a taste of a "Billionaire Blend" coffee, thanks to the One Good Woman coffee shop and Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop.

Click here or on the photo below for more info...

* * * * 

Cleo Coyle's
Little Glazed
7 Up 
Mason Jar Cake

7 Up Cake has been popular since the 1950s when home bakers began replacing water in their cake mixes with the lemon-lime soft drink to help make the cake light and airy. By the early 1980s, light and airy went out the kitchen window, and home bakers began making 7 Up pound cakes, usually in a Bundt pan.

This is my fun, little version of the half-century old 7 Up cake. I kept the ingredient list simple and included Greek yogurt, something I always have in my fridge these days. 
I also enjoy blueberries, and that's an option for you, too. So toss a few into the jar before cooking it, if you like. They taste great with the light citrus flavor of the little cake. Enjoy...

~ Cleo


3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons 7 Up soft drink (carbonated, not flat)
1 tablespoon lime (or lemon) Greek yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable, canola, or cold-pressed (liquefied) coconut oil
(optional) 5 or so blueberries, fresh or frozen

*To learn more about cold-pressed coconut oil (a healthier oil option) and what kinds to buy, click here. (The notes are in my recipe post for Chocolate Ricotta Muffins.)


In a Mason jar with an 8 to 12 ounce capacity (my photos show a jar of 8 ounce capacity), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in these dry ingredients and measure in the (carbonated) 7 Up, Greek yogurt, and oil. Mix until well blended into a smooth batter. Be sure all of the flour, especially at the bottom of the jar, is fully incorporated. If you're not sure, mix up the batter in another bowl and then pour it into the jar.

If using blueberries, toss them on top of the batter now.

Microwave about 1 minute or just a little over. This can be tricky. I have a 1,000 Watt microwave and I use high (full) power for 1 full minute plus about 10 to 15 seconds. You’re watching for the batter to rise to the top of the (8 ounce) jar and the top surface should become solid/springy when touched.

For the glaze, place 1 to 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add a small splash of 7 Up soda. Whisk well. If the glaze seems too loose, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thick, add a tiny bit more 7 UP. Adjust and spread on top of the cooled Mason Jar Cake.

Eat (and read) with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Yes, this is me, Cleo (aka Alice). 
Friend me on facebook here.
Follow me on twitter here
Visit my online coffeehouse here.

To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.

Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

*Starred Review* -Kirkus

"Top Pick"  -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

See the book's
Recipe Guide
by clicking here.

* * * 

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(with mini plot summaries)

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
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