Everton delivered a dazzling attacking exhibition to destroy Sunderland.
Steven Pienaar is congratulated after scoring Everton's third
Yakubu's early strike and Tim Cahill's shot on the turn put Everton in charge. Steven Pienaar fired home a brilliant third before Sunderland's Dwight Yorke scored on the stroke of half-time.
Cahill slid home another composed finish after the break before Yakubu pounced from a corner to make it five.
Substitute Andrew Johnson raced through to make it six before Leon Osman's late solo effort rounded off the scoring.
Everton's only change was the return of Arteta for Tony Hibbert - and the Spaniard produced a virtuoso display.
Yakubu put Everton ahead after 12 minutes, taking advantage of Paul McShane's slip to send a looping finish over Craig Gordon via Danny Higginbotham's unfortunate deflection.
Arteta delivered a moment of magic for Everton's second five minutes later, twisting and tormenting Ian Harte before finding Phil Neville, whose cross was met with a fine turn and finish from the master poacher Cahill.
Kenwyne Jones was giving an excellent display in adversity and he fired inches wide from 20 yards with Everton keeper Tim Howard beaten.
Everton's forward play had been a real delight, and it was in evidence again as Pienaar added a third two minutes before half-time.
The South African linked well on the left flank with Nuno Valente, who slid in a perfect return pass for Pienaar to fire high past Gordon.
But Sunderland were showing plenty of spirit despite their obvious deficiencies, and pulled a goal back on the stroke of the interval when Yorke score from 12 yards after Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards had shots saved by Howard.
Sunderland boss Roy Keane made two changes at half-time, sending on Ross Wallace and Danny Collins for Yorke and Dickson Etuhu.
It gave Sunderland fresh impetus for a while, but they were undone by more awful defending as Cahill got his second and Everton's fourth after 62 minutes.
Joseph Yobo's long ball again left McShane found wanting, allowing Cahill to control and slide a composed finish past Gordon.
Sunderland then wasted a glorious opportunity to at least grab at a very slender lifeline when Michael Chopra somehow missed an open goal from six yards with Howard out of position.
Everton were producing some flamboyant football, but it was a goalmouth scramble that gave them their fifth with 17 minutes left.
Gordon had just saved well with his feet from Osman, and when Sunderland lost Arteta from the corner, Yakubu pounced from close range to score.
Yakubu and Cahill were then immediately replaced by Johnson, back after ankle surgery, and Victor Anichebe.
Johnson scored with virtually his first touch as Everton hit six, but once again it was another example of wretched Sunderland defending.
Neville's long ball caught Sunderland horribly square, and Johnson showed his pace to race clear and chip neatly over Gordon.
Sunderland were in pieces as Everton rolled forward in wave after wave of attacks, and it was no surprise when Osman added a seventh with five minutes left.
Everton had been magnificent going forward, but some of Sunderland's defending had been inexcusably bad, with Osman running almost unchallenged from the half-way line to score.
Everton manager David Moyes:
"That was probably the best performance in my time here. Some of our football was fantastic and our passing and movement was just outstanding.
"It is how I have been hoping to get an Everton team playing and I hope we see Everton playing that was more often - hopefully it's the first of many.
"Mikel Arteta's first 45 minutes was nothing short of magical. The things he did on the ball and the opportunities he created for us were just something else."
Sunderland manager Roy Keane:
"You have to learn quickly in the Premier League and Everton took great advantage of our shortcomings.
"Everton have got three or four really outstanding players. It is a major setback to get a real beating like that but I trust the players to learn from it and I have to learn from it myself.
"It's hard to take, but we lose as a team and I picked the team and sorted the tactics so I have no problem taking responsibility for what happened."
Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo (Jagielka 81), Lescott, Nuno Valente, Arteta, Carsley, Osman, Pienaar, Cahill (Anichebe 74), Yakubu (Johnson 74).
Subs Not Used: Wessels, Gravesen.
Goals: Yakubu 12, Cahill 17, Pienaar 43, Cahill 62, Yakubu 73, Johnson 80, Osman 85.
Sunderland: Gordon, Whitehead, McShane, Higginbotham, Harte, Edwards, Etuhu (Wallace 46), Yorke (Collins 46), Leadbitter, Chopra (Cole 67), Jones.
Subs Not Used: Ward, O'Donovan.
Goals: Yorke 45.
Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).