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

Yield: 9-12 servings


    For The Cake Layer:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter/ softened.
  • 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pale ale beer
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 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
  • 350 18-22


  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and both sugars until well combined, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • One at a time add in the vanilla and eggs, scraping the bottom of the bowl to insure all ingredients are well combined. At this point the butter should resemble frosting, light and fluffy. If it doesn't keep beating.
  • Add in the 1 cup beer and vegetable oil, mix until combined (batter will be lumpy).
  • Stop mixer, sprinkle with flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, stir until just combined.
  • Pour into an 9x13 baking pan that has been greased and floured.
  • Bake at 325 until golden brown, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven, 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_

9 thoughts on “Cherry Vanilla Pale Ale Party Cake

  1. 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! :-)

    1. 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.

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