Decadent Chocolate Red Wine Cake Recipe

Greetings food lovers,

Are you in the mood for an indulgent dessert that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy? Look no further than this incredible chocolate red wine cake recipe!

You read that right – red wine in a cake? Trust me, it’s delicious. The subtle undertones of red wine in this cake make it absolutely decadent and perfectly suitable for a special occasion.

I was first introduced to this recipe by the legendary Robert Redford and let me tell you, it’s one of my absolute favorites. But don’t just take my word for it – this cake has been raved about by the likes of Smitten Kitchen and has won over the hearts (and stomachs) of countless foodies around the world.

Intrigued yet? Let’s dive into the ingredients and get started on creating a dessert masterpiece that is sure to impress anyone lucky enough to give it a try.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chocolate Red Wine Cake
Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Get ready to indulge in the most decadent and luxurious cake recipe you’ve ever tasted! This chocolate red wine cake is a dessert that will leave a lasting impression on you, your friends, and your family. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but it’s also easy to make and requires only simple ingredients that you probably have on hand.

This recipe is perfect for any occasion, whether it’s a birthday celebration or a romantic dinner with your partner. The combination of rich chocolate cake and full-bodied red wine creates a sophisticated and indulgent treat that is impossible to resist. The wine not only adds depth of flavor to the cake but also keeps it moist and tender, making each bite more luscious than the last.

But what makes this cake even more special is its versatility. You can eat it as it is or pair it with different toppings such as whipped cream, fresh berries, or poached pears for an extra burst of flavor. You can also drizzle it with a wine glaze made from the leftover red wine – how luxurious!

Furthermore, this recipe is perfect for both novice bakers and experienced ones who are looking for something new and exciting to try. With clear instructions and simple steps, you can easily make this classic dessert without any hassle.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an unforgettable dessert that will leave a lasting impression, this chocolate red wine cake recipe is what you need. Its rich taste, moist texture, and versatility offer an extraordinary experience that is better than any other chocolate cake you’ve ever tried.

Ingredient List

 A slice of heaven; chocolate red wine cake
A slice of heaven; chocolate red wine cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (190 grams) of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) of caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) of full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract

Wine Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) of full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ounces (55 grams) of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Optional Garnish:

  • Fresh raspberries or strawberries

Substitutions and Variations

You can use brown sugar instead caster sugar or a full-bodied red wine like Merlot instead of Cabernet Sauvignon. For the glaze, you could use dark chocolate chips instead of bittersweet chocolate. The optional garnish can be any seasonal fruit or nuts based on the preferences.

The Recipe How-To

 This cake is the perfect excuse for a glass of red wine (or two)
This cake is the perfect excuse for a glass of red wine (or two)

Now that we know the ingredients in our chocolate red wine cake, let’s move on to the recipe how-to. This recipe is relatively easy and won’t take too much of your time. For this one, we’ll need a bundt cake pan or any cake pan of your preference.

Preheat oven

First things first, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Prepare pan

Using baking spray or butter, grease and lightly flour the pan to prevent the cake from sticking.

Mix dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt until evenly combined.

Mix wet ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, beat together 1 and 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) of unsalted butter, softened slightly to room temperature with 1 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar until it becomes light and fluffy. Add in 3 large eggs, one at a time until well combined. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and beat for another minute.

Add dry ingredients and red wine

Next, reduce speed to low and slowly add in the previously mixed dry ingredients. Gradually pour in 1 cup of red wine while stirring continuously until the batter is fully combined.

Fold in chocolate chips

Mix in 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips.

Bake it!

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50-60 minutes. When ready, remove from oven and allow it to cool for approximately 10 minutes in the pan before transferring it to a wire rack.

That’s pretty much it for our chocolate red wine cake recipe how-to. You can add your desired frosting or a light dusting of cocoa powder on top for added flavor. This cake can be eaten as is, but if you want to kick it up a notch, make sure to check out the serving and pairing section for some fun pairing ideas.

Substitutions and Variations

 An indulgent dessert made even better with the addition of red wine
An indulgent dessert made even better with the addition of red wine

Now, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations you can make for this decadent Chocolate Red Wine Cake Recipe.

Firstly, let’s talk about the red wine used in the recipe. Cabernet Sauvignon is recommended for this recipe as it is a dry wine with dark fruit notes that pair well with chocolate. However, if you prefer a sweeter wine, you can use a Merlot or a Pinot Noir instead.

For those who prefer vegan baking, you can substitute the eggs with unsweetened applesauce in a 1:1 ratio. Moreover, replace the butter with coconut oil or vegan margarine and use dairy-free chocolate chips.

If you want to add some interesting variations to the cake, you can try adding some chopped nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts to the batter for added texture. Additionally, instead of red wine, you can add poached pears or raspberry filling to the cake mix for an interesting twist.

Moreover, if you want to take your cake game to another level, why not try making it into a bundt cake? It will look stunning on any dessert table.

Lastly, for those who are celebrating a special occasion and want to make this cake even more special, why not turn it into a birthday cake by adding some frosting and decorations?

These simple substitutions and variations can make your Chocolate Red Wine Cake stand out from any other cake recipe. Don’t be afraid to get creative and experiment with different flavors!

Serving and Pairing

 The ultimate chocolate lover's cake with a hint of red wine
The ultimate chocolate lover’s cake with a hint of red wine

Now that you’ve made this delicious chocolate red wine cake, it’s time to enjoy it! This cake is incredibly rich and decadent, making it the perfect dessert to share on a special occasion.

When it comes to pairing this cake with a wine, there’s no better choice than a hearty red. The same wine you used in the recipe will work perfectly, but if you want to mix things up a bit, try pairing it with a cabernet sauvignon or another full-bodied red wine.

If wine isn’t your thing, a strong cup of coffee or espresso will also complement this cake nicely. If you want to get creative, why not try serving it alongside a poached pear or some dark chocolate raspberry cake for an extra special dessert spread?

Regardless of how you choose to serve it, be sure to savor every bite of this moist chocolate cake with its rich wine-infused flavor – it’s truly Better Than Robert Redford!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You can't go wrong with a cake that has wine as an ingredient
You can’t go wrong with a cake that has wine as an ingredient

This Chocolate Red Wine Cake recipe is definitely one that can be made ahead of time, especially if you’re planning to serve it for a special occasion. You can bake the cake, let it cool and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap before freezing it for up to 2 months.

When you’re ready to serve the cake, just thaw it at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. If you want to make the red wine glaze ahead of time, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to bring it back to room temperature before using, and stir well to make sure it’s smooth.

If you have leftover cake, store it in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The chocolate chips and red wine give this cake amazing flavor, so it will just get better with time.

To reheat the Chocolate Red Wine Cake, simply pop a slice into the microwave for 15-20 seconds until warm. You can also place individual slices onto a baking sheet and reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5 minutes.

This decadent and rich Chocolate Red Wine Cake is perfect for any occasion and will surely impress your guests. With its make-ahead option, storing and reheating tips, there’s no excuse not to try this Better Than Robert Redford dessert recipe!

Tips for Perfect Results

 This cake is begging to be paired with a bold red wine
This cake is begging to be paired with a bold red wine

When it comes to cake baking, every little detail counts towards achieving perfection. To get the most out of this Chocolate Red Wine Cake recipe, I have some tips to ensure that your cake turns out better than you ever imagined.

1. Use high-quality ingredients

The quality of your ingredients can significantly impact the taste and texture of your cake. Make sure you use high-quality cocoa powder, chocolate chips, red wine, and all-purpose flour for the best results.

2. Measure accurately

Measuring ingredients is crucial when baking cakes. Too much or too little of any ingredient can throw off the balance of the recipe, causing your cake to be undercooked or overcooked.

3. Bring the ingredients to room temperature

Having your eggs, butter, and red wine at room temperature helps them incorporate better into the batter, creating a smoother texture. Before beginning the recipe, leave these ingredients on the counter for about 30 minutes to get them to room temperature.

4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder

Sifting flour and cocoa powder aerates them, making your cake fluffier and lighter in texture. Take an extra minute to sift these dry ingredients before adding them to the wet mixture.

5. Don’t overmix the batter

When mixing the wet and dry ingredients together, avoid overmixing the batter as it can cause gluten formation, making it tough and dense.

6. Use a toothpick to determine doneness

To ensure that your cake is cooked to perfection, insert a toothpick in its center near completion time. If it comes out clean or with few crumbs sticking to it, your cake is ready.

7. Add red wine glaze before serving

Although optional, adding red wine glaze on top of your Chocolate Red Wine Cake takes it up a notch in flavor and presentation.

With these tips in mind, you can make a great Chocolate Red Wine Cake that’s Better Than Robert Redford!


Now, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about this chocolate red wine cake recipe! These queries include possible ingredient substitutes, baking adjustments, and dietary restrictions. So, whether you’re a beginner or seasoned baker, read on to get the most out of this decadent cake recipe.

Does chocolate cake go well with red wine?

When it comes to enjoying chocolate cake with wine, Syrah, Cabernet, and Grenache varieties are definitely top contenders.

What does wine do to cakes?

When it comes to baked goods, adding wine can enhance both the taste and texture. The alcohol not only provides sweetness, but also moistness to the finished product. This technique is particularly effective for desserts that require soaking, such as sticky toffee pudding, which can be elevated with the addition of bourbon, or coconut cake, which pairs well with coconut rum.

Why is it called better than Robert Redford cake?

The dessert recipe known as “Better Than Robert Redford” has been a classic for decades. It’s unclear who initially created this dish, but it has become so beloved that it bears the name of a famous actor.

Which red wine for cake?

When it comes to pairing wines with a rich and luscious dark chocolate cake, I suggest going for a bold and strong red wine like merlot, cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, syrah or shiraz, Chianti, malbec, tempranillo, or pinot noir. These full-bodied wines will complement the deep chocolate flavor and add an extra layer of decadence to your dessert.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this chocolate red wine cake recipe is a must-try for all baking enthusiasts and wine lovers. With its rich chocolate flavor and bold red wine undertones, it’s the perfect indulgence for any occasion. Its versatility also makes it an excellent dessert choice for dinner parties, special occasions, or even a simple yet decadent treat at home.

Furthermore, the recipe’s use of basic ingredients like flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and eggs means that most bakedingredient cupboards will contain them already. Additionally, the substitutions and variations outlined in the recipe allow room for experimentation and creativity in the kitchen.

So grab your favorite bottle of cabernet sauvignon or red wine and whip up a batch of this delectable dessert! Whether you choose to indulge alone or with loved ones, this chocolate red wine cake recipe guarantees a gastronomic experience unlike any other. Trust me; it’s better than Robert Redford’s famous bundt cake!

Remember to follow the serving and pairing suggestions provided to maximize your enjoyment of this exquisite red-wine-infused chocolate cake. And don’t forget to store any leftovers (if there are any!) using the guidelines provided to ensure freshness.

Overall, I highly recommend giving this mouthwatering chocolate red wine cake recipe a try. Not only is it easy to make, but it also delivers on taste and texture, leaving you craving for more. Happy baking!

Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Chocolate Red Wine Cake Recipe

This cake, from Italian chef Gennaro Contaldo, sounds absolutely amazing -- my two favourite sins, chocolate and red wine, in one! Dusting it with cocoa powder just before serving makes it look extra special.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 20cm cake
Calories 784.2 kcal


  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 g plain chocolate chips


  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).
  • Lightly grease a 20cm springform cake tin.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the eggs, then sift in the cocoa powder, flour and baking powder.
  • Mix in the red wine, then fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake for an hour or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven, let it cool in the tin and then turn out.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 155gCalories: 784.2kcalCarbohydrates: 100.6gProtein: 11.8gFat: 38.8gSaturated Fat: 22.9gCholesterol: 212.2mgSodium: 303.5mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 56g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Dessert, Oven, Sweet, Weeknight
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