Red Wine Velvet Cake Recipe by Darina Coffey

Red Wine Velvet Cake

Wine and cake, two of the greatest pleasures in life, collide in this recipe to make the ultimate sultry slice of heaven – Red Wine Velvet Cake. This red wine red velvet cake recipe is one for adults, replacing artificial red food colouring with red wine to add a deep, lusciously fruity hue to a traditionally tame cake.

Red Velvet so often lacks the chocolate kick it is meant to have, but this version is a chocolate lovers dream yet retains the lightness of traditional red velvet with bicarbonate of soda reacting to the acid in the wine rather than traditional buttermilk.

After how delicious this cake is, the best thing about this recipe is the fact that you can use up the end of a bottle of leftover wine, should you ever manage to have any…


400g plain flour
580g light brown sugar
225g butter
4 eggs
530ml red wine
2 tsp vanilla extract/bean paste
130g Green and Black’s Organic cocoa powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt

Cream Cheese Icing
200g full fat cream cheese
300g icing sugar
50g butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or the seeds of one vanilla pod, scraped

To Decorate
100g white chocolate, shaved with a vegetable peeler
50g freeze dried strawberries/raspberries


1. Preheat the oven to 160C and then grease and line 3 deep 8 inch round cake tins with butter and parchment paper.
2. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, soften the butter. Add the sugar and cream the butter sugar mix on a medium speed until fluffy – give this time as rushing will result in a dense cake – about 3-5 minutes will do.
3. Beat the eggs in one by one on medium speed and turn down to low to add the wine and vanilla extract.
4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients of flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together, whisking to remove any lumps and add air.
5. Sift this dry mix into the wet mix. Begin with a slow speed to incorporate, and then increase speed to medium to mix to a smooth batter, 30 seconds or so should do the trick, any longer and you risk overworking the gluten in the flour.
6. Divide the batter between the tins, smoothing the tops with a spatula.
7. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the centre of each layer comes out clean.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before flipping each cake out of the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
9. To make the icing, beat the butter with the icing sugar and vanilla extract/seeds on a medium speed in you mixer or a medium bowl until the mix is pale and incorporated, 2 minutes approximately.
10. Add the (cold) cream cheese all at once and beat until well mixed on a medium speed, roughly 3 minutes, as any longer risks turning the icing runny.
11. To assemble, place the first cake layer on a cake stand or plate, and spread with an even layer icing. Repeat with the remaining two layers and with a palette knife, scrape a thin layer of icing around the outside of the cake.
12. Chill for one hour before repeating the process of scraping a layer of icing over the outside of the cake to achieve a rustic, naked cake effect.
13. For a fully iced cake you can make a double batch of icing – it won’t go to waste and can be frozen.
14. Top the cake with crumbled freeze dried berries and white chocolate shavings and serve.



Darina CoffeyGrowing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that(and greed) as the ultimate motivator, I realised that baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law I undertook a PhD, but a preference for cookbooks to textbooks persisted. As a (self-confessed!) demon in the kitchen, I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, fuelling my desire to focus on food in a serious way. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting.

Darina Coffey Darina Coffey

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