red wine chocolate cake


Red wine chocolate cake juuuust might be my new favorite kind of cake. Yes, you can taste the wine, and yes, it is every bit as magical as it sounds. Also, the batter comes together in one bowl, which means this seemingly fancy recipe is actually way easier than it sounds. You just plop everything together, mix it up, throw it in the oven, and that’s that. No double-boiler. No offset spatulas. No…whatever else fancy people use to make their fancy cakes.

So that’s pretty fantastic.

But truthfully, besides just wanting an excuse to open a bottle of red and blast “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” on a quiet Sunday evening, I actually baked this boozy beauty to celebrate the fact that I’m now a reporter over at Food & Wine Magazine! Because it’s food…and wine…it’s cake…but there’s also wine…GET IT?!

It was the best thing I could think of.

Speaking of thinking of things, I actually didn’t think up this genius idea. I wish! That credit goes to the one and only Deb Perelman (everyone’s favorite food blogger), the voice behind Smitten Kitchen (everyone’s favorite food blog). I tweaked a few things here and there, but it’s nearly identical to her original recipe, which you can find here. I suggest you do go find it, if only for the beautifully personal and reflective post that accompanies it.

Anyway, I’m loving life at Food & Wine and will occasionally share articles and other work-related fun here / on Instagram / all over the place, so look out for that. And while you’re looking out, go ahead and make this cake. You won’t regret it. I, personally, will be bringing it to dinner parties until the end of time.

Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s DEB PERELMAN


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus a little more for your pan
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup un-fancy red wine
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting


  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper, and butter both the parchment and the sides of the pan. Then, sprinkle all surfaces lightly with flour.
  3. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, cream the butter in a large bowl until it’s smooth. Add the brown and white sugar and beat on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the egg and yolk; beat well. Finally, add the vanilla and red wine.
  4. Using a sifter (or, if you’re like me, a pasta colander), sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together on top of your wet ingredients. Incorporate for just 10 seconds or so using your mixer just until you can no longer see any dry ingredients; then fold the rest together using a rubber spatula.
  5. Spread your batter in the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. You can continue to cook for a few more minutes if a toothpick inserted into the cake doesn’t come out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, *then* flip it out of the pan very carefully, peel off the parchment, and let it cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. You might see some white dots on the bottom of the cake — those are just leftover flour bits!
  7. Dust with powdered sugar, serve, and enjoy! My leftover cake slices held up nicely for a day or so.

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