Okay. I haven’t made a cake in a long time, and I did so because two of my beautiful friends celebrated their birthdays and they are both a big fan of red wine!
I’m not the biggest wine fan myself, so I had a little help in choosing the wine to bake with, but if that is deterring anyone who is like me, and not a huge fan of wine, you can still make this cake! I found that the wine did not overpower the cake at all, and it added a nice flavour.
I found the recipe here, and I am quite pleased with it. I made my own vanilla buttercream instead of the icing suggested (because mascarpone is ridiculously expensive), and I’ve included that in the recipe below. It still worked very well together, but if you like mascarpone, go for it!
Enough chatter. On to cake!
Yield: 1 8-inch cake
For the cake:
¾ c. cocoa powder
1¾ c. flour
1 tsp. espresso powder
1 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
½ c. vegetable oil
1¾ c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. red wine – I used Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon
For the frosting:
2 c. butter, at room temperature
3¾c. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
For the red wine reduction:
1 c. sweet red wine
4 tbsp. sugar
For the cake, preheat oven to 350° F. Brush 3 8-inch cake pans with miracle cake release or line with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cocoa, flour, espresso powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine eggs and oil. Add in sugar, beating to combine, until mixture turns pale. Reduce speed to low, then add in vanilla and milk.
Add in dry ingredients, mix until just combined, then add in wine and combine until smooth.
Divide batter into pans evenly, then bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks completely before icing.
For the red wine reduction, in a small saucepan combine the wine and sugar. Bring to a boil, then continue to simmer on medium-low heat until wine reduces to about ¼ c. It may take about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using on cake.
For the vanilla buttercream frosting, in a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and add the sugar 1 cup at a time. Add vanilla and salt, and beat until smooth and combined.
To assemble cake, place cooled cake layer on a cake stand or board. Top with a generous layer of icing (doesn’t have to be too thick, but should still be there). Place second cake layer, repeat layer of icing, and finish with top layer of cake.
Ice the top and sides of the cake, getting the sides as smooth as possible. The original recipe had a “naked cake” look (meaning scant icing around the sides), and I decided not to do that. Drizzle the red wine reduction over the top of the cake. Slice and serve.