Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake

April 22, 2019
Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

Hey, y’all!

We are in the home stretch of Derby season — and if you’re like me, that means one thing: it’s time to finalize your Derby Party menus!

Growing up in Southern Kentucky, one part of the menu was always a highlight: dessert. Several of the ones on my table growing up on the farm were recipes from my Mama (my great-grandmother), her family, and my grandparents. To continue to pay homage to the Commonwealth and to my Kentucky heritage — which is why I do what I do — I wanted to make a recipe incorporating Ale-8-One, a favorite of mine.

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

The Ale-8-One soft drink has been bottled since 1926 and is the only soft drink invented in Kentucky still in existence; that, to me, is something to celebrate.

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

In examining the flavor profile, ginger is the note that is the most prominent. Thus, I decided to infuse it into a delicious lemon cake with buttercream icing. Ginger and lemon are a natural pairing; that said, the addition of the Ale-8-One greatly increased the moistness and texture of the cake.

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

I don’t think I’ll be making my lemon cake without it anymore!

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

From my kitchen to your’s, enjoy this recipe, y’all — it is, quite literally, a slice of Kentucky. In my book, that means that it is a slice of heaven. Cheers to Ale-8-One, cheers to dessert, and cheers to Derby season! It’s a beautiful time to be a Kentuckian.

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake



2 c. all-purpose flour

1.5 c. sugar

1/2 bottle Ale-8-One (6 oz.)

3 eggs

1 c. fresh lemon juice

3/4 c. sour cream

2/3 c. vegetable oil

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract


1 c. butter

7 c. powdered sugar

1 c. shortening

3 tsp. lemon zest

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 1/4 tbsp. vanilla extract


1 package of blueberries

1 package of raspberries



  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Combine dry ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. In the same bowl, add lemon juice, eggs, and oil.
  4. Add Ale-8-One and vanilla extract, mix until well-combined.
  5. Add sour cream until incorporated.
  6. Separate batter into two cake pans.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes; check cake with a toothpick until done. When done, the toothpick will come out clean.
  8. Allow cake to fully cool before icing.


  1. Beat butter and shortening together until smooth.
  2. Add 4 c. of the powdered sugar (in batches).
  3. Combine lemon juice, vanilla, and the lemon zest until well-mixed.
  4. Add the remaining 3 c. of powder sugar (in batches).


  1. After fully cooled, take one of the cakes and lay it flat on a cake stand.
  2. Put desired amount of icing on top of the cake.
  3. Layer the second cake on top of the icing, adding more icing to the top of the second layer.
  4. I prefer to leave the sides without any icing; that said, you can cover the cake in icing, if wanted.
  5. Spread raspberries and blueberries on top of the cake; cut and enjoy!

I promise y’all — this will be the hit of your Derby Party! When your guests ask you about it, you’ll be able to say – with pride – that it is using Ale-8-One, a Kentucky legacy.

Lemon Ale-8-One Kentucky Derby Cake by JC Phelps (JCP Eats)

I always pick up my Ale-8-One at Kroger; be sure to look out for the limited-edition Derby packaging!


As always: Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,


FTC: This is a commissioned post; however, as always, all opinions are my own.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 2:59 am

    This recipe sounds yummy! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 2, 2019 at 3:10 pm

      Thanks for reading, Denise! Happy Derby Week!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    What size pans to bake the 2 layers in

    • Reply
      May 2, 2019 at 3:09 pm

      Hi, Lisa! Thank you for the great question. I used two 8×8 pans!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    This was delicious!!

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