The BEST Red Wine Chocolate Cake recipe is a chocolate lover’s dream come true! It is delicious, rich, moist, and perfect for special occasions! Paired with dark chocolate cream cheese frosting, this is the only chocolate cake recipe you need!
No, this isn’t a dream. I put red wine in chocolate cake, and it’s seriously the best thing ever!
Red Wine Chocolate cake is fudgy, rich, decadent, and pretty much everything you’ll ever want in a slice of chocolate cake! Three layers of moist chocolate cake layers are stacked between layers of rich dark chocolate cream cheese frosting. Make this cake for special occasions like date night, Valentine’s Day, or on a random weeknight because it is that delicious and so easy!
This red wine chocolate cake recipe is made with dark cocoa for that super chocolate-y look and flavor. The cake layers themselves are delicious, velvety, rich, and bursting with flavor. The star of this cake is definitely the red wine. It is truly the perfect complement to the chocolate. The frosting is made with cream cheese making it not too sweet and extra creamy.
Red Wine Chocolate Cake Recipe Ingredients
Let’s go over the ingredients used in this red wine chocolate cake recipe. Using high-quality ingredients is key to producing a high-quality cake!
- All-purpose flour: I always use unbleached all-purpose flour in my baking. You can also use pastry flour or all-purpose gluten free flour with great results as well!
- Cocoa powder: Use a high quality cocoa powder for the best tasting chocolate cake. I prefer to use dark chocolate cocoa powder for a very chocolate-y taste and look, but regular cocoa powder works just as well!
- Butter: I always bake with salted butter. It doesn’t contain any natural flavorings that unsalted butter has. Just two ingredients; cream and butter. You can use unsalted butter if you prefer, you may just need to increase the sea salt by ½ tsp in the recipe!
- Oil: I use organic canola oil but any vegetable oil, melted coconut oil, or very mild olive oil work in this recipe.
- Dark brown sugar: Brown sugar makes the cake very moist. I like to use dark brown sugar for a deeper taste, but light brown sugar works just as well! Use your favorite brand of brown sugar. This is the one that I use in all of my baking.
- Eggs: Make sure that your eggs are room temperature for the best results.
- Vanilla extract: Always use pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best tasting baked treats!
- Red wine: I have experimented using different varieties of wine in this cake and found that the best tasting cake was made with a red blend.
How to Make the Perfect Red Wine Chocolate Cake
This red wine chocolate cake recipe is sooo easy to make! Let’s go through the steps to make sure you end up with the perfect chocolate cake.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
- Cream fats and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, oil, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Make sure that your butter is at room temperature and beat it on a medium speed for about 10 minutes. This step beats air into the fat resulting in fluffy cake layers.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract. Next, add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat on medium speed for another 2-3 minutes, or until creamy.
- Add dry ingredients alternating with red wine. Add the sifted dry ingredients alternating with the red wine until completely blended and smooth. Use the following order:
- ⅓ dry ingredients → ½ liquids → ½ dry ingredients → remaining liquids → remaining dry ingredients
- Pour batter into cake pans and bake. Evenly divide the batter between three 8-inch cake pans and bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. You will know that the cake layers are done baking when the tops spring back when lightly pressed in and a wooden skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
- Cool the cake layer. Once the cake layers have finished baking, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing them. Transfer the cake layers to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Make frosting and assemble cake. Once the cake layers have cooled completely, make the cream cheese frosting and assemble the cake.
- Serve. This cake is best served right away at room temperature. If you are preparing the cake in advance, keep it in the refrigerator. Before you are ready to serve the cake, remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cutting and serving.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
The chocolate cream cheese frosting used in this chocolate cake recipe is so tasty, you’ll want to eat it by the spoonful! When combined with the fluffy cake layers, you end up with the most delicious chocolate flavor. The secret is using dark chocolate cocoa powder. It adds a delicious chocolate flavor to the frosting and creates an intense chocolate look.
How Do You Make Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting?
Here’s how to make the dark chocolate cream cheese frosting for this Red Wine Chocolate Cake recipe:
- Use room temperature butter and cream cheese. It is very important that the cream cheese and butter are completely at room temperature before trying to combine them. Cold ingredients will not mix together well.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter well before adding the other ingredients. You can make your cream cheese frosting using a stand mixer or a hand mixer.
- Add the dark chocolate cocoa powder and mix until the cocoa powder is well combined.
- Carefully add the confectioners sugar and salt. I recommend adding a little at a time to avoid getting powdered sugar all over your kitchen!
- Finally, add the milk and vanilla extract, and beat the cream cheese frosting until smooth and fluffy.
How to Assemble a Layer Cake
Once the cake layers have cooled and you prepared the frosting, it is time to assemble the cake! Place 1 layer on a cake stand and spread a layer of frosting on top. Use an offset spatula to even out the ganache. Add the second cake layer and spread an even layer of frosting on top. Finally top with the remaining cake layer and top with a final layer of frosting. Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake. Here are a few of my favorite cake decorating tools:
Red Wine Chocolate Cake FAQs
How Do You Know When Cake Layers Are Done Baking?
Insert a wooden skewer into the center of the cakes to make sure that your cakes are done baking. If the skewer comes out clean with just a couple of crumbs, you cakes are done!
What kind of red wine do I use for baking?
A smooth, fruity red wine with notes of cherry, dark-berry fruits, and spices is the perfect compliment to dark chocolate. I recommend using cabernet sauvignon or a red blend in this red wine chocolate cake recipe.
Can You Taste The Red Wine In Red Wine Chocolate Cake?
You won’t be able to taste any alcohol in this chocolate cake recipe. The red wine compliments the flavor of the chocolate resulting in a more intense chocolate tasting cake!
Can You Make Chocolate Cake Ahead Of Time?
Yes, the cake layers can be made ahead of time. Once the chocolate cake layers have cooled completely, wrap them in plastic wrap and place each layer in a freezer bag. Freeze the cake layers for up to 1 month. When you are ready to assemble the cake, remove the cake layers from the freezer and bring them to room temperature. Then, frost the cake.
How Do I Store Cake?
To store this chocolate cake, cover with a cake keeper or plastic wrap. The cake can be kept on the counter for up to 2 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When storing frosted cakes in the refrigerator, I always chill them for about 15 minutes to harden the frosting. Then, I loosely cover the cake in plastic wrap or place it in a cake keeper.
More Recipes You’ll Love!
- Perfect Triple Layer Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cake Balls
- Chocolate Tahini Layer Cake
- Bakery Style Triple Chocolate Muffins
If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. ♡
Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Red Wine Chocolate Cake
- 2 ¼ cups 282 g all-purpose flour
- ½ cup 64 dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 2 ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ½ cup 113 g butter, room temperature
- ½ cup 120 ml oil
- 2 ¼ 495 g cups brown sugar
- 6 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups 360 ml red wine
- 12 oz 340 g cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup 170 g butter, room temperature
- 1 cup 100 g dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 5 cups 625 g powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line with parchment paper 3 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
- Cream butter, oil, and sugar with the paddle attachment in an electric mixer on medium speed for 10 minutes.
- Once fluffy and light in color, add eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well to combine.
- With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with red wine, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared cake pans and bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes in pan before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting, beat cream cheese and butter with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add cocoa powder and beat until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar. Finally add milk, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
- Assemble the cake: Place one cake layer onto your cake stand and evenly spread a layer of frosting. Repeat with second layer. Top with third layer and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of cake.