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Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake

Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake 3


I’m a huge fan of ridiculous cakes.

My Epic Chocolate Stout Cake has three layers of cake and three layers of chocolate fudge. My Lemon Dream Cake is similar. I even spent years making obnoxiously large cakes shaped like hamburgers and sharks, and by the way, who cares if a cake is shaped like a burrito? Now, I just care if it tastes good.

I’m overly concerned with the presentations of my food, which I completely blame on instagram and my current career path which has resulted in an obsession with presenting the world (or maybe just my neighbors) with an impressive plateful of edible art. I’m an asshole, we established this earlier this week with the polenta discussion. Sometimes I want a break from all this self-inflicted baking demand and I just want to make something that’s casual and easy to take to a party. I want the cake equivalent of the perfect pair of jeans, it looks great in a laid back sort of way.

Sheet cakes remind me of childhood, but with three homemade layers it’s fancy enough for something that you probably shouldn’t wear jeans to. Although if this fancy soiree thinks it’s too good for a bottle of beer, then you should just take your casual-yet-elegant cake and move on. Jeans are case by case, but beer should always be invited.

Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake 2

Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake

Servings 9 -12 servings


For The Cake Layer:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup pale ale
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For The Cherries Layer:

  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 lbs cherries pitted
  • ½ cup beer

For The Whipped Cream layer

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar and honey until well combined.
  • While the mixer is running, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl between additions.
  • Add the canola oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, add the beer and lemon juice.
  • Alternating between the dry ingredients and the beer, slowly add both to the mixer, a little at a time, until all the ingredients are just combined.
  • Grease and flour a 9x13 baking pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 325°F until light golden brown, 23–26 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • Stir together the cornstarch and sugar in a saucepan. Stir in ½ cup pale ale until dissolved, stir in the cherries. Simmer over medium high heat until cherries have started to break down and sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Pour the cherries over the cake in an even layer. Chill until set, about 1 hour.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the heavy cream, powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, beat until medium peaks form, about 5 minutes. Spread the whipped cream in an even layer over the cake. Chill until ready to serve.

Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake_

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Tieghan July 18, 2014 um 6:03 am

It’s a party cake!! Yah! Seriously though, I am loving this!


Sophia @ NY Foodgasm July 18, 2014 um 8:22 am

Not everything can be a work of art, but it can be comforting and that is the case with this cake! Another great recipe!

PS- you’re not an asshole! LOL!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar July 18, 2014 um 12:41 pm

Your cakes always rock my world, no matter what they look like. Love this flavour!


Meredith July 18, 2014 um 6:03 pm

Seriously in love with this cake!


dina July 19, 2014 um 12:57 pm

sounds like a great recipe for a crowd!


addie | culicurious July 22, 2014 um 6:53 am

Oh wow, Jackie, this looks amazing. I’m a huge fan of cherry vanilla, and this one looks like it delivers big time on that flavor combo! 🙂 YUM!!!


Amy July 29, 2014 um 6:39 am

Hi, Beeroness!

I stumbled across this post (and your post for Lemon Dream Cake) in search of ideas for using pale ale in baked goods. I’m a doughnut maker at a shop where we only make cake doughnuts, and when I need recipe ideas, I often look to cake recipes for inspiration. I have been asked by a local craft brewery to come up with some doughnut recipes using their beers, and while I usually rise to the occasion, I have a sinking feeling that they WILL ask me to feature their summer pale ale! I’ve never had success with pale ales in baking, but you’ve boldly attempted it! Any tips for dealing with the bitterness of pale ales in baking? Citrus in the frosting, a la Lemon Dream Cake? Simply "baking it out," a la this recipe? I defer to your wisdom!

Thanks for your time! 🙂


Jackie July 29, 2014 um 12:03 pm

I’ve found that sugar can balance the bitterness, and only cook them as little as you have to, they get really bitter when reduced! If you can add the beer to the frosting without cooking it, that seems to work best.


Colleen Delawder August 25, 2014 um 6:53 am

Thank you for being an inspiration!


sue May 4, 2015 um 11:19 am

I made this for a "Celebration of beer" party where all foods and drinks needed to have beer in them. This was a hit! Everyone really liked it and several people went back for seconds. I would definitely make it again.


Glenn February 4, 2016 um 5:55 pm

This looks great. I’m wondering what "350 18-22" means under the "whipped cream" section?


Jackie February 5, 2016 um 10:39 am

Sorry! That was a personal note to myself that wasn’t supposed to make it to the final publishing. I’ve removed it, thanks for the heads up!


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