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If you're looking for a classy, yet decadent, chocolate cake - look no further than Devil's Food. My family's version comes with a little twist, replacing water with wine. This red wine chocolate cake is the ultimate Devil's Food cake recipe. Rich and full bodied - the best vintage of cake!
Ingredients for Red Wine Devil's Food Cake
To make this wine infused Devil's food, you'll need:
- Butter - unsalted butter at softened at room temperature.
- Sugar - superfine granulated sugar or caster sugar.
- Eggs - large eggs, separated into yolks and whites. These should be at room temperature for best results.
- Vanilla extract
- Flour - all purpose flour or plain flour will work in this recipe.
- Cocoa powder - good quality cocoa powder is essential in any decadent chocolate cake.
- Baking soda
- Red wine - this recipe works best with a full bodied dry red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon. You can use other red wines dependent on what you have available and your personal tastes. Alternatively, you can also use water and leave out the wine all together.
Step by Step Perfect Chocolate Bundt Process
You will want to start with preheating the oven to 350°F and preparing your cake tin.
Grease and flour with cocoa powder
For chocolate cakes, I butter and dust my tin with cocoa powder instead of flour. This will provide the same benefits of avoiding the cake sticking, without leading to any white flour-y splotches on your chocolate creation.
Basic Devil's Food Cake Batter
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients - the flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Set this aside.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter and vanilla. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat to combine.
- Then add the flour mixture and wine into the sugar mixture, in alternating additions.
So one of the trademark elements of a good Devil's Food Cake is the use of egg whites to further leaven the cake. You've already added the egg yolks to the base batter, but in a separate clean mixing bowl, its time to make your meringue.
The key to a good meringue is to ensure that you make sure you start out getting to the soft peak stage before adding sugar. Trust me - I've tried to rush this before and it doesn't end well!
Once you've reached a foamy soft peak stage, begin adding the sugar about a tablespoon at a time, beating continuously. When you've added all the sugar, bring the meringue to stiff peaks.
Quick Tips for Cake Meringue
Meringues that you fold through cake need to be well whipped and sturdy in order to provide the structure and lightness to the bake.
My top tips for making this meringue are:
- Make sure your bowl is clean and grease free. Grease residues (from oils, butter, etc.) will destroy a meringue.
- Ensure you reach soft peaks with your egg whites before you begin adding sugar. If you add sugar too early, no amount of beating will bring these to stiff peaks.
- Add sugar to egg whites slowly, while beating continuously to ensure you don't end up with clumps and the sugar is incorporated evenly.
- Test stiff peaks by holding the bowl overhead - it shouldn't budge!
Adding Meringue to Red Wine Chocolate Batter
Adding meringue to cake batter needs to be done delicately so you don't knock all of the air you worked into the egg whites out!
Start my adding a small dollop of meringue in and stirring through to loosen the base batter. Then add the rest of the meringue and fold carefully. You want to fully incorporate it, but you don't want to beat or stir.
Pour into your prepared cake tin and bake!
Unmoulding a Bundt Cake
After your cake has baked, allow it to cool in the tin for about 5-10 minutes. This helps the cake to pull itself away from the sides of the tin and firm up its own structure.
When its time to turn out, you can really only hope that you've greased and floured the crevices well! Flip onto a wire rack and lift the pan off gently.
And to Finish
Honestly, in my family, we don't normally frost our Devil's Food cakes, opting instead for a dusting of powdered sugar to finish. This helps highlight the shape of the Bundt cake and makes for an elegant finish.
If you're looking for a topping, though, this cake does pair well with a classic vanilla buttercream or glaze. You could also add a chocolate ganache, for those who might want more of a death by chocolate experience!
Absolutely! Wine can quite easily be substituted for the liquid in many classic cake recipes. This is especially true for recipes leavened by baking soda - the acidity of wine will activate the baking soda similar to the reaction you might expect from vinegar or buttermilk.
This recipe for Devil's Food Cake replaces water with red wine.
No, you definitely do not have to make this Devil's Food chocolate cake in a Bundt pan. I've made this same recipe in various shapes and sizes of pans, from standard 9" round tins to loaf pans and even square 8" pans.
The times in my recipe are for baking in a conventional full size Bundt, so be aware that baking times will vary dependent on the pan being used. Simply keep an eye and use a toothpick to determine doneness.
Yes - chocolate cake with red wine can be frozen and is a great option for making ahead. Once removed from the tin after baking, allow to cool completely before wrapping and freezing for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before serving.
If you are frosting the cake, you can opt to frost before or after freezing, dependent on the icing being used.
So, technically yes - this is a Devil's Food red wine cake. But, the process of baking the cake will cook out the alcohol content.
If you prefer to make this without wine, you can substitute with water. Or if you're not sure you'll like the red wine, try substituting half of the wine for water for a lighter flavour.
If you like this recipe, try some other boozy cakes:
Or maybe another vintage classic:
Red Wine Chocolate Cake
- 2¼ cups all purpose flour or plain flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder plus extra for dusting the pan
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1¾ cups superfine granulated sugar separated into 1 cup and ¾ cup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs separated into yolks and whites
- 1⅓ cups dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon (this can be substituted for water if preferred)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175C/155C Fan) and prepare a bundt pan. Grease and flour the pan well using cocoa powder in place of flour to avoid white patches when turning out your finished product.
- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, adding 1 cup sugar and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add flour mixture and wine alternating between each and beating until well combined.
- In a separate clean bowl, using a hand held electric beater, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Once egg whites have reached soft peaks, begin slowly adding ¾ cup sugar a tablespoon at a time. Beat on high until stiff peaks form.
- Add the egg white meringue to the batter and carefully fold in, trying not to knock out all of the air.
- Pour evenly into the prepared bundt pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the central part of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. For serving, dust with some icing sugar.