Red wine chocolate cake

I assume we’re on the same page when I say that there are three things I’m in the mood for after work on a Monday, and all three can be found in the title of this post.

Back story: a few weeks ago I made my favorite recipe of all time to celebrate moving into a new apartment with a REAL kitchen with more than one countertop and enough drawers and cabinets to put ALL our appliances in and then some and…drumroll please…a dishwasher.


I was dishwasher-less for 3 months which really isn’t a big deal but it was summertime and now it’s almost wintertime there isn’t enough lotion in the world to keep my hands from cracking if I have to be a dishwasher all winter long.

Thankfully, it won’t come to that.

Anyway, I broke in my new kitchen with dijon beef stew (do I talk about this recipe enough? Have I enticed you to make it yet?) which calls for a cup or so of red wine and since we ran into some unforeseen moving costs (Hello tiny doorway! Goodbye too-wide couch!) I decided to economize and use two buck Chuck.


So, what to do with the remaining three quarters of a bottle of cheap red wine?

Option A was to drink it and suffer the consequences the next day. Option B was to make cake.


Clearly, I chose cake.

I was a tiny bit skeptical about what wine would taste like in cake – I mean good, obviously, but how wine-y would it be?

And while a clear wine taste comes through, we found that it actually got less noticeable and, in our opinions, better, as time passed.

In other words, this is the perfect cake to make tonight and snack on all week.


Red wine chocolate cake
(From Smitten Kitchen)

Note: Deb suggests a mascarpone topping that, while looking divine, would have been a bit too much dairy for me. If you’re interested, you can find it here.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup red wine, whatever you have on hand will do
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the paper and sides of the pan or use nonstick spray.

Add butter to a large bowl and mix on the medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth. Add brown and white sugar and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the whole egg and egg yolk and beat until combined, then add the red wine and vanilla. Batter will look a little liquidy or even separated at this point.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, over the mixing bowl if you like. Mix with mixer until mostly combined, then mix the rest of the way by folding it together with a rubber spatula.

Spread batter in the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool the rest of the way.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for ages – thanks for the reminder. It seems so unusual to add wine to a cake so I’m glad to know that it’s not overpowering. It sounds good!


    1. calliededdens says:

      Thanks! Let me know what you think if you end up making it 🙂


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