Red Wine Cupcakes

A couple of months ago, my friends at Avalon Winery asked me to come up with a recipe to promote their new cooking contest for this year. If you’ll remember, they sent me to the Charleston Food & Wine Festival last year to compete in their America’s Greatest Foods Recipe Challenge. I didn’t win, I came in last actually (hey, some people can’t handle the idea of fish served with red, even when chorizo is involved – what are you going to do?) but after that trip – visiting the city of Charleston for the first time, meeting such influential chefs like The Lee Brothers and the great Art Smith (he asked me where to get a cup of coffee, y’all – and then he went to that coffee shop the whole time he was in town!), getting drunk with Kelly Liken, and making some new friends… I came out a winner in the end anyway!

So when they offered to send me a few bottles of their delicious Cabernet Sauvignon to develop a recipe with, of course I jumped at the offer. Guys, it’s seriously one of the best reds you’ll find for the price point. For under $10 a bottle, it really can’t be beat. Rich and fruity, with all kinds of delicious berry notes going on. Rolls right off the tongue, with very few harsh tannins that tend to come along with red wines. It’s available nationally, I always have luck finding it at Whole Foods (if your Whole Foods carries wine that is!). But, if you can’t find it – definitely ask your local wine distributor to carry it. I promise that you won’t be disappointed!

I ended up making two dishes with the bottle I opened…since I can’t do much drinking of the stuff at the moment due to baby #3. The first of which was more traditional, and I plan to share with you guys soon – then there were these cupcakes. Red wine and chocolate pair so well together anyways, I thought a cupcake wasn’t too far of a fetch. Boy, do I love being right!

The batter was absolutely beautiful…light and fluffy, and baked up gorgeous! For the frosting I went  the traditional route, used my simple vanilla buttercream with a bit of the wine added to it for flavor and a tint of color. It was definitely unlike any cupcake I’d had before, but still absolutely delicious. I loved how the acidity of the wine cut the sweetness of the frosting. And, of course the color was lovely!

These cupcakes would most definitely be perfect for your Valentine, and they’re something different that friends and family probably haven’t seen before – but will most certainly be intrigued by. I hope you guys enjoy, and a big thanks to Avalon for giving me an excuse to make them!

14 Comments

  1. Posted January 24, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    I wish people sent me wine! Since I love reds, I’ll have to look for it at our specialty store. Also, love the cupcakes. They look so elegant!

  2. Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    great idea. it looks delish!

  3. Posted January 25, 2014 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    I never drink wine but I do love eating it…

  4. Posted January 26, 2014 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    Red wine and chocolate…there’s really nothing better! I generally drink while I bake anyway, guess maybe this time the wine will actually go IN the baked goods :) Can’t wait to try these!

  5. Kim in MD
    Posted January 27, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    Chocolate and red wine are a match made in heaven. Great job with these cupcakes! They look beautiful and delicious. I think I have seen that wine at local store. I’m going to look for it!

    • Posted January 27, 2014 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

      Kim, please let me know if you find it up your way! I’d like to know of a stop on this side of the bridge that carries it :)

  6. Posted January 27, 2014 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Red wine in the frosting? Thats beyond crazy! I’m not super into drinking wine but love the flavor it gives as an ingredient. Can’t wait to try this out! Bet it would pair ridiculously well with a red velvet cake too, just in time for valentines day :D

  7. Stevi Gray
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    I found the recipe on Pinterest and just made them last night. I LOVED them. And couldn’t wait to get home from work today to eat more. I appreciated that I had all the ingredients already and it was a simple recipe to follow. I will definitely be making these again. They are so indulgent. Thanks! Now excuse me while I eat another. :)

    • Posted April 1, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

      So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment.

  8. Greg the Baker
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    I made the cupcakes last week and they were AMAZING! Thanks for sharing your recipe. My sister tried one and was floored! I love how the cabernet tempers the sweetness in the frosting and it also makes for an inviting aroma even before biting into the cupcake. Cheers to you!

  9. Jay-Alice
    Posted May 26, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi there, awesome recipe! Can I try other types of wine? Also, do you have tips on making frosting? Always cant seem to get the frosting? they turn out super duper liquidy! :O

    • Posted May 27, 2014 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

      Hi Jay-Alice! I’m sure other types of wine would work well too. Next time just keep adding more confectioner’s sugar to the frosting, until it’s the consistency and thickness you’d like.

      • Jay-Alice
        Posted May 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

        Hi Laura, thanks for replying :) really appreciate it. The thing is if i add icing sugar, itll be too sweet, ive been trying to make earl grey frosting and when i add two tablespoons of earl grey to the mix, it doesnt come through. even when i switch to tea leaves, the taste is still relatively mild.

        • Amanda
          Posted July 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

          If you want a more intense flavor, you can cook off liquid in a saucepan. For the red wine, you can create a syrup with 1/3 c. Red wine and 1 tbsp granulated sugar. Cook it over medium heat while stirring until it’s reduced to three tablespoons. Then add a half teaspoon or so of wine after you’ve added the syrup to the butter and the confectioners sugar to the mix.

One Trackback

  1. […] Cupcake recipe is a variation on this recipe from Rachael Ray. Frosting recipe is a variation on this recipe from Tide and Thyme. […]

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