Red Wine (with a capital W) is one of my favourite things on this earth.
Another one of my favourite things on earth? The girl who is celebrating her birthday this week.
It just makes sense to put them together.
Plus, if I could describe our friendship in 2 words it would be: wine and cake. She's my baking pal... this lovely lady whips up some of the most delicious and beautiful desserts that I've ever tasted/seen... and we've also been known to share a glass or two of wine.
So obviously for her birthday to celebrate her in all ways that I know how, we HAD to have some sort of chocolate - red wine cake. (Chocolate is just always included.)
Chocolate Red Wine Cake - What you need:
This cake is inspired by the Bake and Destroy cookbook's DIY chocolate cake mix.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups golden sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup apple sauce
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Chocolate Red Wine Cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius (350F).
Prepare 3 16 centimeter/6 inch (OR 2 23 cm/9in) cake pans by greasing them with margarine (or coconut oil/butter for non-vegans) and coating it with flour or extra cocoa powder.
In a large bowl stir together all of the dry ingredients. (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt)
Add in the liquid ingredients (wine, apple sauce, oil, vanilla, vinegar) to the dry mixture.
Stir well until no lumps remain.
Bake for 32 - 35 minutes, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Cool the cakes in the pans slightly, then flip out the cakes on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Prepare the frosting.
I thought a "cream cheese" style frosting would work perfectly with these chocolate-wine cakes. I mean: wine + chocolate = awesome and wine + cheese = no-brainer.
I saw this recipe from Gimme Some Oven for a vegan cream cheese frosting and HAD TO TRY IT!
I halved the recipe and it was great.
"Cream Cheese" frosting - What you need:
- 4 cups confectioner's sugar
- 3/4 cup vegan margarine, at room temperature
- 1 - 2 tablespoons almond milk (or your choice of milk)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- tiniest pinch of salt
"Cream Cheese" frosting - What you do:
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Blend everything together until the frosting is creamy and smooth. If you prefer a thinner frosting - add more milk; if you prefer a thicker frosting - add more confectioner's sugar.
Frost the cakes once they are completely cooled.
^^^ wine cake + wine case = perfect sense.
>>> messy first cake layer
Since this is a red wine cake, and I intended for it to taste somewhat like wine, I wanted to use a stronger, more full-bodied wine. My go-to wine guy (ahem, my dad <3) suggested a Rhone Valley wine and I totally agreed. I think it was a good choice!
This cake was moist and light. The red wine flavour very subtly came through. The vinegar added a nice round kick. The frosting wasn't exxxaaactly like cream cheese... but it was really interesting and went perfectly with the cake. It had this tinge of "what is that?!" ( = apple cider vinegar) that was really fun.
Overall the cake also sliced easily! Something that's never a sure bet when you're adapting a cake recipe and then making it into three huge layers. But - mission accomplished. Sadly, since as soon as I slice cake my mind goes into combat mode and all I really think about is how to get it into my mouth ASAP, I didn't get a cake slice picture. I did however sneak an inside-the-cake shot before it was all gone. The colour is crazy cool.
The nickname of the birthday babe, Flo, was added to this cake in bright colours. Because we all need some bright colours in our lives!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Okay so this weekend was kind of locked in a wild and crazy party mode. Breaks out of order. Full speed ahead.
There were some battle wounds. But the good kind only - promise.
In order to go along with the festivities... festive music!
(And of those ideas there were many. Luckily, we had cake.)