Cheerwine Pound Cake Recipe: North Carolina Soft Drink Flavors This Southern Cake

Cheerwine is a soft drink local to the South and a favorite for drinking and for using in baked goods.

One of the most popular soft drinks in the South is not known widely outside the area. Cheerwine is home based out of a small Southern town – Salisbury, North Carolina. It’s the soda of choice in the area and gets raves in the states where the soft drink is sold, which just includes a few Southern states. People who visit become fans though and will pay to have Cheerwine shipped out.

While the name may be confusing, Cheerwine is not a wine. It’s like Ginger Ale which is not an ale. The old names on sodas were often selected to reflect the appearance of the beverage, and Cheerwine is a beautiful wine red color.

Although, people in the South mostly drink Cheerwine, they also add it to various recipes for an extra special flavor boost. For years, women in the South have been using this secret soda ingredient. It’s not such a secret now, and Cheerwine actually sells a Cheerwine cake through the Apple Ugly Baking Company – another small local company.

There are a number of different types of Cheerwine cakes made around the South. Some are layer cakes with frosting and some are sheet cakes. Then, there are Cheerwine pound cakes. This seemed inevitable, since pound cakes are super popular in the South.

Cheerwine Soft Drink Cake Recipe



  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) – can use margarine but butter is better
  • ½ cup shortening (Crisco etc)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp lemon extract (or lemon flavoring)
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 cup Cheerwine soft drink
  • 8 drops red food coloring (optional) – but gives the cake a prettier color


  1. Put the butter out to soften. This makes it much easier to mix up this cake and gives it a better texture.
  2. Cream softened butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. This gives the Cheerwine cake height and a lighter texture.
  4. Add salt and lemon extract and beat.
  5. Alternate with flour and Cheerwine and beat well until mixture is smooth.
  6. For a pinker color, add food coloring and mix.
  7. Grease a tube cake or bundt cake pan and pour batter in pan. Wipe off any drips on the side for a better appearance.
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to one hour and a half. Check on the earlier time with a toothpick. If the cake is done, the toothpick should come out clean.

Note: This recipe makes a smaller pound cake. It is not one of the pound cakes that goes up and over the top of smaller bundt cake pans for example.

Other Favorite Southern Dessert Recipes:

Southern Red Velvet Cake – This is a Southern fancy cake. The red cake with white frosting really stands out visually. The flavor is fabulous too.

Sweet Potato Pie Recipe – No. This does not taste like a vegetable pie. Think along the lines of pumpkin pie but with a little sweeter taste. If you’ve never tried sweet potato pie, you’re missing out. This is a classic Southern holiday dessert.

Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting – Keep this great sugar recipe in your file. It’s perfect for all kinds of holidays, and it’s fun to make and decorate these cookies. Kids especially like making these tasty sugar cookies.

Grandma’s Homemade Banana Pudding – Banana Pudding made with instant pudding will never cut it after you try the real thing. It does take some time to make the pudding base from scratch, but this is the “real deal” when it comes to banana pudding.