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Red Wine Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

These Red Wine Cupcakes are deliciously chocolate-y and moist with a subtle red wine flavor, topped off with a sweet cream cheese frosting. They’re perfect for serving at cocktail parties or girls nights in!

 

Head-on view of a red wine cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles on a baking rack with more cupcakes and sprinkles in the background with recipe title at top

(This recipe for Red Wine Cupcakes was originally published in May 2009, but was updated with new photos and content in 2019).

What’s better than a cupcake? A cupcake with a side of wine. And what’s better than that? A cupcake with wine IN it. I first made these red wine cupcakes for my sister’s wedding shower years ago (she just celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary!) and since then, I’ve made them plenty more times… They’re always a delicious success.

These chocolate cupcakes have just a touch of red wine flavor of them and are topped off with a delicious cream cheese frosting. You could add some wine into your frosting, too, if you desire… I actually also have a recipe for vanilla cupcakes with chocolate red wine frosting, so you can mix and match the cupcakes and frostings however you want.

RED WINE CUPCAKES RECIPE

Whether you have a bottle of red wine with just a little bit left or you need a good excuse to open up a brand new bottle of red wine, these cupcakes are the perfect solution! They’re easy to make and are always a hit at parties, especially adults-only parties!

To start, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake tins with cupcake papers. In a heatproof bowl combine cocoa powder and chocolate chips and pour in the boiling water. Using a whisk, stir the chocolate until it’s all melted. It’s going to be difficult for you to not grab a spoon here!

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Then beat in each egg one at a time until combined. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then slowly add that to the chocolate mixture making sure it’s all combined, but taking care not to over-mix.

Add half of the chocolate and half of the red wine to the mixture and blend until just combined. Add remaining chocolate and wine and blend again until just combined. Now you’re really going to want to grab a spoon!
Collage showing process for making red wine cupcake batter, including chocolate chips and cocoa powder in a bowl, chocolate chips and cocoa powder melted into a smooth mixture, and final chocolate red wine cupcake batter in bowl
Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins about 3/4 of the way full. Awesome tip I learned from my mom? Use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to spoon your batter into the cupcake papers. It is SO much easier than anything else I’ve tried!

Pop those in the oven for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the tin for a couple minutes before moving to baking racks to cool completely.
Collage showing process for baking red wine cupcakes, including red wine cupcake batter in cupcake tin and red wine cupcakes in tin just out of the oven
 
I knew my sister was a big fan of cream cheese icing and I figured it would complement the red wine cupcakes quite well. And since it was so delicious, I’ve made the cupcakes with cream cheese frosting every time since. But like I said, you can make any frosting that best suits your tastes!

 

Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Then add in salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar one cup at at a time and beat to combine. I added a little pink food coloring and some fun sprinkles.
Head-on view from a distance of red wine cupcakes on a cooling rack with pink frosting and sprinkles with bottle of wine, more cupcakes, and sprinkles in background

 

I love when I find a way to combine two of my favorite things into one delicious treat! These red wine cupcakes are perfectly chocolate-y and super moist, with just a touch of red wine flavor.
The cream cheese frosting balances out the chocolate perfectly, while still allowing the cupcakes to be the star of the show.

 

Landscape head-on closeup view of multiple red wine cupcakes with pink frosting and sprinkles on a baking rack with lots of sprinkles all around
Girls night? Cocktail party? Wine tasting? Or just a random Friday night? There’s no bad time for red wine cupcakes! OK, maybe you shouldn’t make them for a kid’s birthday party… Don’t worry, they only have a little wine in them and the alcohol burns off in the oven. But I’m not quite sure what the other parents would think if you served these to kids.

 

But for the adults at the party? These are totally necessary. I also have to mention that they go perfectly with a nice glass of red wine on the side!

 

Head-on view of a red wine cupcake with pink frosting and sprinkles on a baking rack with more cupcakes and sprinkles in the background
If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate wine into desserts, check out my Red Wine Affogato and my Chocolate Red Wine Buttercream Frosting! I also love this Red Wine and Black Cherry Ice Cream from Pedantic Foodie!
 
Have you ever incorporated wine into a dessert?
Red Wine Cupcakes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

These Red Wine Cupcakes are deliciously chocolate-y and moist with a subtle red wine flavor, topped off with a sweet cream cheese frosting. They're perfect for serving at cocktail parties or girls nights in!

Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cupcake Recipes, Fun Cupcake Recipes, Wine Cupcakes, Wine Desserts
Servings: 2 dozen cupcakes
Author: Sues
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cups fruity red wine (like merlot, red zinfandel, or pinot noir)
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line two cupcake tins with cupcake papers.

  2. Combine cocoa powder and chocolate chips in a heat-proof bowl and pour in the boiling water. Let sit for one minute before using a whisk to stir the chocolate until it’s melted and smooth.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well blended.

  4.  In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and blend until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.

  5. Add half the chocolate mixture and half the wine and blend until just combined. Add the rest of the chocolate and the rest of the wine and blend again until just combined.

  6. Fill cupcake papers about 3/4 of the way full (I like to use a cookie scoop to fill). Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean.

  7. Let cupcakes cool for a couple minutes in pan before moving to wire racks to cool completely. Frost cupcakes once they're completely cooled. Top with sprinkles if desired.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. Beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth and creamy, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in vanilla and salt.

  2. Add confectioners' sugar one cup at a time until completely combined.

  3. If you want some color to your frosting, add a couple drops of food coloring or gel in and blend well.

Red Wine Cupcakes -- These Red Wine Cupcakes are deliciously chocolate-y and moist with a subtle red wine flavor, topped off with a sweet cream cheese frosting. They're perfect for serving at cocktail parties or girls nights in! | wearenotmartha.com #cupcakes #redwine #wine #desserts

27 Responses to "Red Wine Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting"

  1. Jen says:

    Red wine, chocolate and cream cheese frosting—you’ve outdone yourself! And, they are gorgeous!

  2. Sara says:

    these were AWESOME. i think the texture of the cake was the best part of them. they were like velvet!

  3. Kelly says:

    Yum. Wine plus chocolate sounds fabulous. Do these have a subtle chocolate flavor like a red velvet or is it a stronger chocolate flavor?

  4. Joan says:

    Red wine is ALWAYS good! I will try these.

  5. RebeccaC says:

    What an intriguing idea…and heart healthy too with all the red wine and chocolate…right?

  6. Susan says:

    WOW, I was beginning to think they were a myth. I can’t wait to try to make them.

  7. RecipeGirl says:

    It’s like beer bread (kinda). Love the idea… fun for a party, definitely. Your display is so cute too 🙂

  8. toni says:

    This is amazing! And it’s the first time I’ve heard of using wine in cupcakes. I bet they tasted really phenomenal 🙂

  9. Cupcake Vineyards Wine says:

    We think this recipe sounds amazing, and we have just the wine! Would you mind if we post your recipe on our Blog when we get up in running?

  10. Shannon says:

    I made these for a picnic yesterday and someone told me they were "to die for". They came out SO good! I used chocolate icing, which gave them a little bit more of what I call a 'chocolate hangover', but they were delish!!

  11. Jessica says:

    I made these a few weeks ago and they were so fabulous that I came back to your website to find the recipe again. Without a doubt the best cupcake recipe I’ve ever made.

  12. d says:

    delicious! definitely a crowd pleaser. i added some wine into the icing as well which gave it a nice color. i added a bit more cream cheese to thicken it back up. fantastic! thanks.

  13. Teri [a foodie stays fit] says:

    These are SO delicious! I’m making them for the 2nd time right now!

  14. Robert Nabors says:

    I used a Moscato Rosé instead of Shiraz it is a little sweeter than Shiraz. Also, I added an Black Berry purée to the icing…delicious! It blends so well with the Moscato Rosé!

  15. Emily says:

    I tried these, and they were great! I also tried this same recipe but used Kahlua instead of red wine!! AWESOME!

  16. Lynne says:

    I made these for wine club and they were a big hit. I used chopped dark chocolate instead of the chocolate chips. Delicious!

  17. Arielle says:

    I love this recipe. I keep going back to it again and again. My latest favorite incarnation for this recipe is cake balls. Because it’s not a super sweet recipe you don’t go into sugar shock when you cover the cake balls with chocolate.

  18. Mary-Joy says:

    Wow!! I just had to make these when I saw the receipe. They are AMAZING!!! Thank you!! x

  19. Kristin says:

    These are soo moist and good! Only problem is they were flaky on the top making them difficult to frost and look good. They are not the prettiest but taste so yummy!

  20. Aimee says:

    I just made these and, as everybody has said, they taste awesome! Just one word of caution…when I added the red wine (even in very small amounts) and turned on my mixer it went EVERYWHERE. Not good. I ended up adding the wine by folding it in with a spatula.

  21. […] A friend of mine requested cupcakes, so I went searching the internet for a new, fun recipe. Though I wasn’t particularly in the mood for chocolate, I found this gem and decided to try it: Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. […]

  22. […] Red Wine Dark Chocolate Cupcake (12 cupcakes), from We Are Not Martha […]

  23. Rosemary says:

    These cupcakes are really good, but I use a different frosting recipe that has Red Wine in it. 1/2c butter, 1/2c veg. shortening, 3c pwdr sugar, 1/4c red wine reduction, 1/2t vanilla, 1T milk Take about 1/2-3/4c of red wine and bring to a boil until reduced by half. Cool. Cream the butter and shortening, add powd sugar, using the red wine as needed. Add vanilla and the milk, Beat till fluffy, around 5 min.

  24. Erica says:

    I’ve made these two or three times now and they’re delicious…a wonderfully lethal combination of red wine, chocolate, and cream cheese frosting.

  25. Larry says:

    I used dessert wine, specifically port, in both the batter and the frosting and it came out awesome. I also subbed the chocolate chips for 70% Honduran dark chocolate. Thanks for sharing.

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