Seven-Layer Soda Pop Rocks Cake

Note: We tested the cake in the Test Kitchen using Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix and 9-inch cake pans.


  • 4 (16.25-ounce) boxes white cake mix (enough for 8 cake layers)
  • 5 cups 7-Up or similar soda, divided, to substitute for the water in the cake mix
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil, divided, or as needed to prepare boxed cake mix
  • 12 egg whites, divided, or as needed to prepare boxed cake mix
  • Assorted food coloring
  • About 20 cups (10 pounds) prepared white frosting
  • 24 packets assorted Pop Rocks
  • Candy wax soda bottles, for decorating
  • Skewers, for decorating
  • Soda straws, for decorating


1. Prepare the boxed cake mix according to the manufacturer's instructions, substituting soda for the amount of water given and incorporating the vegetable oil and egg whites as instructed (cake mix ingredients may vary slightly by brand). Divide the cake mix among prepared 8- or 9-inch cake pans (you will end up with one extra layer of cake not needed for this recipe). Add food coloring to enhance each of the seven layers separately with bright color: turquoise, pink, yellow, orange, purple, aqua, lime. Bake according to the manufacturer's instructions.

2. When the cake layers are cool, begin assembling the final cake. Place the first layer on the cake stand or platter and top with a layer of frosting. Sprinkle over a packet of Pop Rocks. Top with a second layer of cake, and repeat until the cake is seven layers. As the layers are built, the cake will become top-heavy and may start to slide and/or fall; to help stabilize the cake, run skewers or cake dowels (available at cake and cooking supply stores) through the layers.

3. Frost the outside of the layers and sprinkle over the remaining Pop Rocks to decorate. (Note: The Pop Rocks will become sticky shortly after the package is opened and if handled. To decorate the sides, it might be easiest to empty each package onto a sheet of paper, then curl the paper and blow the Pop Rocks onto the side of the cake.)

4. To assemble the decorations, place the wax soda bottles on skewers and cover each skewer with a soda straw. Arrange the bottle-topped skewers on top of the cake to decorate.

Each of 30 Servings
Calories: 910
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrates: 166 grams
Fiber: 1 gram
Fat: 25 grams
Saturated fat: 6 grams
Cholesterol: 0
Sugar: 128 grams
Sodium: 747 mg

Adapted from Charles Phoenix. Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

Total time: 
Serves 20 to 30
  • Moving to Harlem with Marcus Samuelsson

    What motivated Marcus Samuelsson to move to Harlem and open Red Rooster, his acclaimed restaurant? He tells The Splendid Table's Melissa Clark that 9/11, his mother, and the Great Migration all played a part. He also discusses the challenge of making fried chicken in the same neighborhood as legendary spots like Sylvia's and Charles' Country Pan Fried Chicken.

Top Recipes

What's the next Honeycrisp? Apple breeder David Bedford might have the answer.

If there is such a thing as a superstar apple breeder, David Bedford is one of them. He and his team at the University of Minnesota are responsible for game-changing apples like Honeycrisp, SweeTango, and Zestar. He joined Lynne Rossetto Kasper in The Splendid Table studios for an apple tasting, including the Rave/First Kiss, which will be released in 2017