Decadent Chocolate Wine Cake
This decadent Red Wine Cake is the perfect cake for any occasion. Its one of my favourite chocolate cake recipes because its so easy to make and so delicious. This red wine chocolate cake is actually a snack cake. Snack cakes are probably the easiest and quickest cakes to make from scratch. They involve super basic ingredients and usually made in own bowl and with a whisk or a wooden spoon. You don’t even need to bring out your electric mixer or standing mixer.
I thought I would amp up a basic dark chocolate snack cake by adding some wine. Truth be told I made this cake for National Wine Day. I was looking for a good dessert wine pairing and came across this little gem of a recipe from Food and Wine. I tweaked it ever so slightly. I used chocolate chips because that’s what I had on hand and I also used pure cane syrup instead of corn syrup for the ganache because I personally like using it instead of corns syrup. I also added some grated chocolate over the ganache and some pink salt as I usually do to most chocolatey things as you may have noticed.
Red Wine Cake Ingredients:
- Unsalted butter - melted for the cake and cold and cubed for the ganache
- All-purpose flour- feel free to use a good quality GF all purpose 1-1 flour for a gluten free version
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- I always use dutch process cocoa powder
- Baking soda - helps give this cake its fluffy texture and lift
- Granulated sugar
- Egg - I used and extra large egg and make sure its room temperature
- Red Wine - I used my favourite Cabernet Sauvignon but a merlot or any red wine millwork here. this cake also tastes phenomenal with coffee(regular or decaf) in place of the red wine for a different flavour profile or for a alcohol free version. Water will work too.
- Vanilla extract - pure vanilla extract is what I always use
- Semi -sweet chocolate - perfect amount of sweetness for the ganache or glaze
- Corn Syrup - this helps keep the ganache nice and glossy
- Powdered sugar - or confectioners sugar for the ganache
How to make Red wine cake:
- Simply start by whisking the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together
- In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, egg and melted butter until well combined and pale, then whisk in the wine and vanilla
- Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined
- Pour batter into prepare pan and then bake
- Allow cake to cool while you make the ganache. Spread ganache over cake slice and serve.
As soon as I saw the recipe I knew I had to try it. I wondered what it would taste like and how strong the wine flavor would be. If you love red wine you will definitly love chocolate wine cake. If you don’t, you may not know that there’s wine in it but you will definitely know it’s more than chocolate in the cake. The wine adds a richness to to the cocoa flavour. It doesn’t taste like alcohol (or alcoholy or too boozy as I say) in it but if you are looking for it you will taste wine. A luxurious kind of flavour in a such a simple cake.
The flavour carries into the ganache or red wine glaze too which is quite silky and decadent and deliciously coats the cake. Its not as fluffy as a chocolate frosting but it more of a thicker chocolate glaze. its rich and delicious and perfect over the fluffy cake. Chocolate wine cake has a nice light and crumbly texture to it. Not overly moist but not dry as well. It’s just the right texture. Me and my husband both loved this cake. We easily ate two pieces right after we shot these pics and then we gave a few slices to a dear friend of ours who also loved it and she is not a wine drinker. its simple and can be easily double if you wanted more cake layers too.
That being said - would I serve and make this for everyone? Probably not, unless you are taking it where there might be another option for dessert as some may not want alcohol in their dessert or may not like wine. I am definitely making it again and again for my family cause we love it. This would be a fabulous cake for a wine and cheese party or gathering where you know everyone will appreciate a little wine in their dessert. Cause what’s a better treat in life than wine and chocolate after all?
If you liked this recipe you will love these:
For the cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter (4 ounces), melted, plus more for greasing
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or red wine of choice, at room temperature *
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the ganache
- 1 (3-ounce) semisweet chocolate baking bar, (or chocolate chips which is what I used) finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
- 1 tablespoon pure cane syrup or light corn syrup
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon, warmed *
- Flaky sea salt
For the cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. And grease a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray or (or a square brownie pan like I used) with butter and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium size bowl whisk together dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and kosher salt and set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together granulated sugar, and the wet ingredients; egg, and melted butter until pale.
- Next whisk in 1 cup wine and vanilla.
- Add flour mixture, and whisk or fold to combine.
- Scrape batter with rubber spatula and pour it into prepared pan, and smooth top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean, 25-35 minutes. Let cake cool completely on cooling rack.
For the ganache
- Place chopped chocolate, butter, and pure cane syrup/corn syrup in a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave at high in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring between intervals. (Alternatively can be done on the stovetop in a small pan in low heat)
- Stir in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons wine. Let stand at room temperature until slightly thickened then spread over top of the cake and serve with a glass of wine if you wish. I added some shaved chocolate over the ganache but chocolate sprinkles would be great too.
- Bake Time varies depending on oven. I like to start checking approx 5 min prior to cake being done. This cake bakes at approx 25-35 min in a 9x9 pan but up to 40-45 min in a 9 inch round cake pan
- If you don’t like red wine - feel free to substitute with coffee