Cooking with Texas' Own Dr PepperPatricia Mitchell
When the Texas Cooking newsletter included a recipe for Coca-Cola Cake several months ago, I could not help wondering if there was a classic recipe using Dr Pepper. After all, Dr Pepper is an original Texas product, having been invented at a Waco drug store in 1885.
A casual internet search turned up an incredible amount of information and gave me everything I needed to know, and more, about Texas' own soft drink. The people at Dr Pepper publish a little cookbook entitled Cooking with Dr Pepper and 7UP. They'll send it to you free if you call them at 1-800-527-7096 and speak to Consumer Affairs (* See alternative address below). That's what I did and, within just a few days, I received my copy, together with a nice letter thanking me for my interest. (Fans of Dublin Dr Pepper can find a full menu of ever-changing Dublin Dr Pepper collectibles.)
Now, it's only fair to say that the majority of the book's 146 recipes call for 7UP, not Dr Pepper. Even so, there are a goodly number of Dr Pepper recipes in each of the book's sections: Beverages (remember Hot Dr Pepper?), Breads, Desserts, Salads, Vegetables, Meats and Miscellaneous.
Dr Pepper Cake!In my quest for the classic Dr Pepper dish, I noticed that some of the recipes called for a comparatively small amount of Dr Pepper. Cherry Nut Surprises, for instance, a really good-sounding cookie containing maraschino cherries, flake coconut and chopped almonds, contains a mere ¼ cup of Dr Pepper -- not enough, I'm afraid, to make it a classic Dr Pepper recipe. And while Dixie Jelly, which is essentially Dr Pepper-flavored jelly, has plenty of Dr Pepper in it, jelly isn't my idea of what a classic recipe should be.
I finally settled upon Moist Supper Cake as my candidate for the classic Dr Pepper recipe. While it does not taste just like a drink of Dr Pepper, itl;s flavor is quite unique -- something like caramel, but more. It is good, and the cake is indeed moist. The Broiled Frosting is an excellent topper for this unusual cake. Here's the recipe:
Meanwhile, cream shortening, add the sugars gradually and cream well. Add eggs, beating until mixture is fluffy. Sift flour with salt, soda and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture, mixing well. Add oatmeal mixture and mix thoroughly.
Pour into a 9x9x2-inch pan, greased and floured. Bake at 375°F for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from oven. Spread topping over hot cake and place under the broiler. Broil until bubbly and lightly brown. Serve warm.
Since I don't have a 9-x9-inch pan, I baked this cake in a Fiesta 9-inch x 13-inch pan, and it turned out fine. I did, however, decrease the baking time to 25 minutes, at which point it tested done. Even with the increased size of the cake, the Broiled Frosting recipe was large enough to accommodate.
[Editor's Note: Since this article was written, another Dr Pepper recipe has been added to Grandma's Cookbook: Dr Pepper Chocolate Cake.]
In case you were wondering, the Special Tips section of the Dr Pepper cookbook recites:
At this time, diet soft drinks, including Diet Dr Pepper and Diet 7UP, are NOT suitable ingredients when the recipe is cooked. The sweetness of aspartame-sweetened soft drinks is diminished by heat, and therefore, any benefit of flavoring would be lost.
The Editors also point out:
In addition to a multitude of uses in popular recipes, 7UP is an effective home remedy for use in keeping roses blooming for 7 to 10 days. Mix 1/2 cup warm water with half a can of 7UP and pour the mixture into the vase of roses. The sugar provides the food, and the carbonation in the 7UP kills the bacteria. Best suited for same day purchase or same day delivery.
Bet you didn't know that.
And now for the fun and factual stuff: You may rest assured that there is no shortage of information on the Internet about Dr Pepper. There are many sites from which the information in this article was taken, some of which are listed at the end of this article. Here are a number of interesting facts:
And finally, since this is the Internet, treat yourself to a visit to the official Dr Pepper web site at www.drpepper.com. They have gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to give you a show, and it's worth seeing.
If you decide to give the Dr Pepper Moist Supper Cake a whirl, and I recommend that you do, drop me an email describing its taste. I would be interested in hearing other opinions about its unique flavor.
* Apparently, the pent-up demand for "Cooking with Dr Pepper and 7UP" has resulted in some tied up telephone lines in the Dr Pepper Consumer Affairs Department. If you have been unable to get through, you can write for your copy of the cookbook to:
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