Chocolate and Red Wine Cupcakes

Chocolate and Red Wine Cupcakes

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 mins
Yield: 18 servings

If cupcakes give you flashbacks of the spongy confections served up at kids’ parties, or sky-high swirls of sickly-sweet frosting…here’s a great way to cleanse your palate. The richness of dark chocolate and sweet, fruity red wine pair perfectly, making this an elegant treat so delicious, frosting would be overkill. Top with a little confectioners' sugar or – my favorite – berries macerated in red wine.


  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tsp. vanilla
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. white vinegar
  • ¾ cup sweet, red wine: Zinfandel, Shiraz, or Merlot
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of dark cocoa powder
  • 1½ Tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ Tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ Tsp. salt
  • Confectioners' Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake baking pan by lining with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each one. Gradually add in the vinegar, red wine and buttermilk until combined.
  4. In separate mixing bowl, whisk together remaining dry ingredients. Pour dry mixture into wet mixture and mix until just incorporated. Do not overmix. If the batter is too wet add a bit of extra flour.
  5. Scoop evenly into prepared baking cups and bake at 350 degrees for 16-19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely on wire baking rack, then dust with confectioners’ sugar.

About the Chef

Tim Vandergrift

For the past two decades, my life has centered around making, drinking, cellaring, collecting, experimenting with and, above all, sharing my love for homemade wine! That often entails traveling around the world teaching others about winemaking. And along the way, I’ve collected my fair share of go-to recipes…usually including the wine I happen to be sampling at the time. All that to say, wine tastes as good in dishes as paired with them! Bon appetit!