Cupcake Hero #3: [Liquor]

February 15, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Posted in blog event, Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 18 Comments
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Not exactly the ingredient I was expecting for the month of Valentines’ Day. But I am SO down! Cupcakes that get you crunked. Hellz yes!

A little birdie told me that our co-hostess with the mostess, TemperedWoman, likes her vino so in my excellent attempt to suck up and get a win I knew what I had to do…

Now I have no idea what the difference is between a red zinfandel and white zinfandel (aside from the obvious) much less that Zinfandel wasn’t a brand name! I must have looked like a big newb going up and down the forbidden liquor aisle looking for the “Z” shelf. How was I suppose to know they don’t organize alphabetically? (Doesn’t it feel like the liquor area is always in a far corner at the back of the grocery store with dim lighting? Reminds me of the porn section at the video store… uh… I mean thats what I am told. ::looking around innocently::)

Finally after the labels were starting to go blurry and I was getting cross-eyed, I dialed up my alcoholic friend, April, on my trusty cell phone. (Seriously what did ppl do before cell phones?). She patiently gave me a crash course in Wino 101 and explained how wines were categorized on the shelves. But I could not for the life of me find a Zinfandel so she said a nice Shiraz would probably be a good substitute. So FYI if the cupcakes taste like butt, blame April. I can give anyone her phone number+address if you wanna crank call and toilet paper her house. No seriously… I can. LOL

And to top off my wine shopping experience, I was NOT carded. sigh… I have crossed *that* line. Looks like I am officially “old” now…

Thanks to Laurie and TW for hosting! Who says liquor and cupcakes don’t mix? I am a believer now!


(Recipe adapted from AcmeInstantFood | photos from ©iheartcuppycakes!)

Makes ~14 cupcakes


For cupcakes
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red wine (I used a shiraz)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

For ganache
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
3/8 cup whipping cream


To make cupcakes–
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with papers, or grease well.

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Cream the egg, sour cream, oil and wine together in mixer for two minutes. Stir in flour mixture until well combined.

Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir. Fold in chopped nuts. Batter will be fairly thin. Pour into prepared cupcake tins and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

[NOTES: I put the ganache on the cupcake straight out of the oven b/c the warm cupcake keeps the ganache spreadable.]

To make ganache–
Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate melted. Spoon ganache over cupcake. Allow ganache to cool before adding frosting.

Garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries. (What goes better with wine than strawberries right? oh wait… thats champagne. dammit! ah well…)


Husband rating: A-/A
He really liked the chocolate and pecan combo. The wine was faint but you can definitely get a wine sensation from it.

Wifey rating: A
The cake was incredible and you can definitely smell the wine. Since I am not a wine drinker, its not my favorite cupcake but if you have an affiinity for red wine, you’d probably go nuts for it!



  1. Oh snap, looks like I have some serious competition! However, I’m putting the finishing touches on my super top secret liquor cupcake recipe (of doom) right now MWAHAHAHA

  2. KRISTINA, ooohhhh me can’t wait to see!

  3. Looks soo purdy! The chocolate covered strawberries look professionaly done.

  4. NINA, thanky very much. I was very happy with how the strawberries came out. I was gonna try to make the bride and groom ones but then I got lazy and opted for random lines. It does the trick. haha.

  5. Love it! I was a professional strawberry dipper in my past life and these are prime examples. Good job!

  6. First of all, I take offense to being called an alcoholic. LOL I do like my wine, however, I do not think I have a problem. Let me just throw that out there. HA! :)
    Glad these turned out!!! I will definitely be posting some WINO 101 on my blog soon for those who struggle like you.
    Thanks for the good laugh last night though. LOL

  7. WOW, girl….you have outdone yourself! I never would have even thought to put wine in cupcakes, and I LOVE wine! I am definitely going to have to try these!!!

    *still laughing to myself that you called April an alcoholic…LOL*

  8. Those are gorgeous!! They would great too. That’s cool that you could actually taste the red wine in it.

  9. for a second I was like where are the cupcakes, it took me a second to realize they were under the strawberries I was drooling over. the strawberries here looked like crap so we didn’t have any for v-day

  10. RACHEYPOO, seriously? professional strawberry dipper! Where do I sign up for that?? haha

    APRIL, haha. I think its funny that you are offended by the “alcoholic” remark and not the toilet paper-ing! Glad you have your priorities straight! LOL.

    ALANNA, aawwww you’re so sweet to say that. oh man! If you love wine, you’ll like this cupcake!

    STEPHANI, Well I have to say I am not the best reviewer but T said that its faint wine taste but you can definitely smell it so it adds to the experience of eating the cupcake.

    BETH, haha. Gotta love living in CA – strawberries available all year round ;)

  11. Goodness, I don’t even feel like I should bother entering now. Yours are just too pretty. I love to decorate with edible items, but it wouldn’t ever occur to me to put a choc. strawberry on top. I must say that I don’t consider wine a liquor, but I guess if the judges let it slide, then so will I.

  12. “Uhm, shiraz is a perfectly acceptable choice.” says the wino judge. ;-)
    I love the chocolate covered strawberry idea- very fabulous. And your entry made me laugh out loud several times.
    Since the alcohol actually bakes out, it makes perfect sense you will smell it more than taste it. And any good wino will tell you, the smell is a huge part of the experience. This is a great entry- thanks!
    And no worries~ the secret ingredient is technically any alcohol of choice.

  13. ZEBE, wine isn’t a liquor? oopsies! What is it classified as?

    TW, w00t w00t! Glad it meets your approval! So no TP-ing April’s house. bummer. hehe.

  14. Oh, definitely more offended by the alcoholic remark. LOL I knew the Shiraz wouldn’t taste like butt so I wasn’t worried. LOL

  15. […] YAY!  I thought I might be able to guess what was in the box, and I was right!  It was “Red Wino and Chocolate Cupcakes” from Clara!  […]

  16. Wait now… just a moment!! I have to hijack this a moment and disagree with TW… Taste IS a by product of smell, so if you smelled it, you tasted it. :p

    Okay… done now. Can I squeal like fan girl over wine cupcakes?! *squeeeeeeeaaaal* I KNEW someone would suck up to TW with red wine. [*Ahem* who said I considered doing that too, no way!] But they look so GORGEOUS! My sloshy cupcakes in no way compete in the looks department. Oh… they will sob in their drunken fruity corner!

  17. BOMBSHELL, squealing is definitely allowed! haha. Trust me! I can suck up with the best of them ;)

  18. […] this can’t-go-wrong-with-wine-n-choc-n-strawberries […]

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