Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes

“Red, red wine, goes to my head

Makes me forget that I

Still need you so…”


This time I’m baking with red wine, I chose Barbera from my favorite winery Castello Di Amorosa. Barbera has aromas of dark fruits so I thought it would be perfect with blackberries.

The chocolate cake is super moist because of the wine and the olive oil (you can use other kind of oil if you want), but the olive oil pairs really good with this wine. The frosting is a silky blackberry buttercream, really good combination.

If you ever visit Napa Valley, don’t forget to visit Castello Di Amorosa Winery :

If you would like to watch the video of how I made these, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @Pastry_Tales . If you make this recipe, let me know!

Let’s start with the recipe.

Yield  about 26-30 cupcakes (You can cut the ingredients in half if you want a smaller batch)


For the cupcakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups buttermilk

1 cup olive oil or any other oil you prefer

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup red wine

For the frosting:

2 cups fresh blackberries

3 teaspoons granulated sugar

juice of 1 lemon

2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 1/2 – 4  cups powdered sugar,sifted

2-3 tablespoons of cream

For decorating:

Fresh blackberries or sprinkles


For the cupcakes:

1.- Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners, set aside.

2.- In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, granulated sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

3.- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix eggs, buttermilk, olive oil and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for about a minute until combined.

4.- Add flour mixture to the bowl and combine on low speed, gradually increasing speed to medium, until completely combined. Add wine and beat to combine again for about 1 minute.
Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with a a moist crumb.
Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Be careful with how you handle the cupcakes, if they are still warm they can be soft and they can break.

For the frosting:

1.- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add blackberries, sugar and lemon juice, frequently stirring and squishing blackberries. Stir until blackberries are soft, about 10 minutes.
Push the mixture through a fine mesh strainer over a small bowl to remove all the seeds. Put the bowl in the fridge so it cools completely.

2.-In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth for a couple of minutes. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, salt and half of the blackberry juice. Mix well until is fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream (for me 2 tablespoons was enough). Add more powdered sugar, mix well. Taste the buttercream and see if you need more of the blackberry juice, check the texture and flavor. I used almost all the juice. Beat well until completely combined and fluffy.

3.- Frost the cupcakes. I used 1 M Wilton tip.

Enjoy!! Don’t forget to grab a glass of wine too. Cheers!


  1. Sonia says:

    Will be trying these for my husbands birthday. Could you freeze the cakes and do the frosting on the day?

    • SandraWidick says:

      I don’t recommend doing that. The cake texture will be very different. You could do the cakes the day before, store them in a container until next day (not fridge).

  2. Alisha says:

    Cannot wait to try this! We are members of this winery and have this wine on hand!! So excited to try and will let you know how it goes!
    Cheers! And Thank you

  3. Laura C. says:

    What kind of red wine woukd you recommend? First time baking with wine! Like a cabernet, or a sweet moscato? Etc.

  4. Ver says:

    Can this recipe be made the day before? If so, Can they be left outside or do they need to be refrigerated?
    Are they moist?

    • SandraWidick says:

      Yes, you can make it the day before. You can leave them outside the fridge, no problem. If you live in a humid and warm place I would recommend that you place them in the fridge with in a covered container and take them out of the fridge one hour before serving so it comes to room temperature.

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