Saturday, January 24, 2009

Red Wine Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

cupcake in wine glass with bottle in background

I was pretty excited when I heard this month's theme ingredient for Iron Cupcake:Earth — wine! Wine is one of my favorite beverages, and I was interested to see how I could incorporate it into a cupcake.

I decided to keep it simple this time, so I made a wine-flavored cake smothered in cream cheese frosting. I loved the idea of adding wine, which has such complex flavors, to a simple and sweet cupcake.

[skip to recipe]

cupcake in wine glass on dark background

The end result was very tasty! I actually used a Cabernet Sauvignon (the only wine that was open at the time), but I think a sweeter wine would make the cupcake even better. Also, you can't really go wrong with cream cheese frosting ;)

I used some purple liners to go with the wine theme. As you can see, in this pic I was playing around with the aperture on my new 50mm f1.4 lens :)

cupcake liners in pan

The recipe is very simple, and you don't need an electric mixer because there is no butter to cream. Instead, there is vegetable oil, which gives the end cake a very moist texture.

First, mix the sugar, oil and eggs with a whisk, and then add in extract:

sugar, oil and eggssugar, oil and eggs mixed

Then, alternate whisking in the dry and wet ingredients — one third of the dry, then the milk, another addition of dry, then the wine, and then the rest of the dry:

adding creamadding more dry ingredients
adding winelast of the dry ingredients

The batter took on kind of a fugly grey color because of the wine, so I added a little bit of red gel food coloring for camouflage. It really took on the red color more than I expected, but I like the way it turned out!

fugly grey batter...turned into red batter

I used a #16 disher to portion them out. By the way, if I ever had to make cupcakes for a group of Red Hat ladies, these would be the cupcakes ;)

filling the purple liners with red batter

Major puffage on these babies. If you don't want a dome, you will get a lot more than 12 cupcakes.

baked cakes

I finished them with cream cheese frosting, which is so simple and so amazingly good.

frosted cakes

And here is the recipe... enjoy! :)

Red Wine Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from the Pimm's Cupcakes recipe and Cream Cheese Frosting recipe in 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson

Red Wine cupcakes: (makes around 12)

190 g flour (~1.5 cups)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
200g sugar (1 cup)
1/2 c vegetable oil (I used canola)
2 eggs
1/2 t flavor or extract of choice (I used strawberry, but vanilla or chocolate extract would be great)
1/3 c red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon since I had it on hand, but I think a sweeter wine would work even better, like a Shiraz)
1/3 c milk
red food coloring

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place liners in a cupcake tin.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil and eggs until smooth. Add in the extract and whisk to combine.

  • Add in the dry ingredients alternating with the wet, adding 1/3 of the dry, then the milk, 1/3 of the dry, then the wine, and then the rest of the dry. Mix just to combine with each addition. If desired, whisk in food coloring until uniform. The batter will be very liquidy.

  • Portion the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a couple of minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack until room temperature. Top with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting: (makes around 2 cups, so you will probably have some left over)

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
pinch salt
125 g cream cheese (4 oz)
~260 g powdered sugar, sifted (2 1/4 cups)

  • In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and salt until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and beat to combine.

  • Add in the powdered sugar a little at a time until it is all combined, and then beat until it is the consistency you like. If you would like a thicker and sweeter icing, add more sugar.

  • Once frosted, keep the cupcakes stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts from
(per cupcake with 30g of frosting)

Calories: 362
Fat: 19 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Cholesterol: 59 mg
Sodium: 111 mg
Carbohydrates: 45 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 3 g

(Hmm... I shouldn't have had two!!)

cupcakes in a row

This month's winner of Iron Cupcake:Earth gets the following loot...

Etsy Prize Pack:

Corporate prize providers are:

Iron Cupcake:Earth is also sponsored by 1-800-Flowers.

Voting opens on January 29th at No One Puts Cupcake in a Corner, so please head over and vote! :)


VeggieGirl said...

So striking!! Love these cupcakes.

CB said...

I absolutely adore that first picture with the cupcake in the wine glass and the bottle in the background. Gorg!! I won't be able to make it this round but I think I know who I am voting for ;)

Anonymous said...

Very neat.

Pamela said...

Oooh! The purple liners are great. And the cream cheese frosting looks incredible!

Cathy said...

Yum! I love how you experiment with such interesting flavors! These are so fun, and they look great!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! Perfect for Valentine's Day :)

Sara said...

How interesting. I never thought about wine in a cake. Great job, the frosting looks really good as well.

Sara said...

Yum, these look scrumptious!

Leonor de Sousa Bastos said...

Absolutely beautiful pictures!!!!

The Cherry Blog said...

Absolutely stunning photos! Esp love the wine bottle and cake glass combo! xx

Suzy said...

Great post! I do demos for Beringer, using that very same flavor with a London Broil. Check out mine, I used Marsala, and it tasted devine....

George Erdosh said...

Fabulous photos. I have serious sweet tooth myself; I cannot have a meal, lunch or dinner, that I don't end with something good and sweet--not too much, just enough to keep the sweet tooth happy.

Check out my latest (Nov/08). It’s already getting great reviews:

Tried and True Recipes from a Caterer’s Kitchen—Secrets of Making Great Foods

On Amazon, etc.

Anonymous said...

How do you get them out of the glass with out getting icing all over your hand?

kim said...

Thanks, everyone! :)
@Anon, lol. You just have to resign yourself to eating the icing off your hand;)

Anonymous said...

Sorry if it sounds stupid but in the ingredients section what do ''c'' and ''t'' mean? cup and teaspoon? Tablespoon? Cannot wait to try this recipe but do not want to mess it up! Thanks

kimberly salem said...

Hey Anon, c = cup and t = teaspoon :) tablespoon is an upper case T.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out!

sprinkles said...

Your photos are so good, I love your artistic flair. I have included these and your site in our 5 alcohol cupcakes

Anonymous said...

all purpose flour?

kimberly salem said...

Yes, all purpose flour

Ngan said...

Hi Kimberly,

This looks really great (your pictures are amazing) and I'll try it out today for a party I'm going to. I recently made a red wine cupcake, but with chocolate in the batter. Not sure what went wrong, but people definitely did not enjoy it as much :( and wine flavor did not shine through. What do these taste like? Can you taste the wine in the cupcake?

kimberly salem said...

Hi Ngan! The taste was more cupcake-y than wine-y. You might want to try using something like a port or make a concentrate of wine to get more of the flavor to come through. You could also try using the thicker port or concentrate in the frosting. Hope that helps!

Divya said...

made these last night and they were a great success! they were really heave though, in future i will probably make cupcakes half the size... but taste-wise, great! moist, and just imply delish!

Jamie Lynn said...

Do these remain alcoholic after cooking, or is the wine just for flavor?

kimberly salem said...

Jamie Lynn - the alcohol bakes off, so just for flavor. If you want something alcoholic, you can soak the baked cake or try putting some in your frosting.

Cai said...

Do you think a blackberry extract would be good?? And how much would u suggest putting in the frosting if you wanted it to be alcoholic?

kimberly salem said...

Cai - blackberry extract sounds great! Should go really well with the red wine. As for the frosting, I think it would take some experimenting, because the more liquid you add, the more sugar you would have to add to keep it from being too runny. Cream cheese frosting is naturally kind of soft to begin with, so you might want to hit up google for a different frosting recipe altogether. Good luck and let me know how they turn out!

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