red wine cake

Weekend Project: Red Wine Chocolate Cake & Berry Cream Cheese Frosting

It is so satisfying to spend part of the weekend being productive before getting down to the business of pleasure. And on weekends where there isn’t a long checklist of chores, it’s wonderful to get the creative juices flowing with small projects like a home improvement project or a kitchen project.

Here’s an idea for a delicious weekend project you can look forward to. Bake a cake one day, frost it and dive into it the next.  Whether you have people over to enjoy this with you or you eat slivers of the cake through the next week all by yourself, this is a weekend project that you’ll be pleased with.

In a grown up take on chocolate cake, we made a red wine and chocolate cake that is just barely sweet and tastes of the wine you use. None of the cloying sweetness of shop-bought chocolate cakes. Just a beautiful, moist cake with the dark taste of cocoa and a lovely bite from the wine, layered and frosted with a berry cream cheese frosting that is as beautiful as it is delicious. The frosting takes on a pale purple color that looks delicate and elegant against the dark chocolate cake and the fruity sweetness of the frosting pair perfectly with the barely sweet cake.


For the Cake:
1 ½ cups Flour
1/2 cup Cocoa powder (Unsweetened)
2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 Sugar (add a 1/4 more if you like)
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 cup Red Wine
1/4 cup Berry Jam
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/3 cup Olive Oil

For the Frosting:
225 gr Cream Cheese
100 gr Butter
1/4 cup Berry Jam
1/3 cup Icing sugar

For the Glaze:
1 tbs Jam
1 tsp Water


Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Grease 2 8″ round 8 pans and dust them with cocoa powder. This will make it easier to layer the cake.
For the cake:
Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix the wine and the jam together. Beat the sugar and eggs together and then add the olive oil and the wine and jam mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean.

For the frosting:
Beat the cream cheese for about 30 seconds till soft and then add the butter and beat for another 30 seconds till pale and creamy. Add the jam and beat till it is well mixed into the frosting. Add the icing sugar and beat for another 30 seconds, till the frosting is a smooth and silky. Do not overbeat.

For the glaze:
Prepare just before constructing the cake. Heat the jam and water in the microwave for about 10-20 seconds or in a pan till the jam is softened and runny.

Constructing the cake:
Let the cake cool completely, overnight if you’ve baked the cake late at night the way we tend to do.
If you’ve baked one cake instead of two, take a serrated knife and divide the cake in half horizontally.

Spread the glaze over the top of the bottom layer and then top with a layer of frosting. Use about 1/3 of the frosting for this layer.
Then place the second cake over the top of the frosting. Spread the glaze over this layer as well. And top with the remaining frosting smoothed over the top of the cake as well as over the sides.

You could top the cake with some fresh berries or with a tiny teaspoon of jam right in the center.

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