Cheers to Wine Cake.

wine cake4

I have this friend who I’ve got this little tradition with. For the past two years, at the beginning of the year ,we’ve each gotten the same book – one of those “365 Days of Something or Other” type books, and we’ve each independently read the passage for each day, and then texted each other with our thoughts. It’s a fun little way to stay connected, and we decided to continue it this year. The book of choice for 2014 is called “One Good Deed: 365 Days of Trying to Be Just a Little Bit Better” by Erin McHugh. The book doesn’t actually start on January 1 like the others did, so we just flipped to the first, and started there anyway. Why am I telling you this? Well, about a week ago, one of the daily passages involved a cake. A “Wine Cake,” to be exact. And it even included the recipe. It sounded easy and tasty, so I thought I’d try making it and see for myself.

After making the decision and prepping the kitchen, I realized I was missing one of the ingredients – a box of instant vanilla pudding. I only had chocolate, and a lot of it for some reason. It was snowing, and I wasn’t about to leave my house for one box of pudding….so, you guessed it, I threw in the chocolate instead.

improv baking takes the cake.

improv baking takes the cake.

It looked good – really good. But then another obstacle was thrown in my path – there was no recipe for appropriate frosting included with this cake. I thought that some kind of wine-based buttercream might work out well, so I did what any good baker would do — googled “white wine frosting.” I got nothing. Well, I got SOME things, but nothing that really seemed to be what I envisioned. So, I did the next thing any good baker would do — made up my own White Wine Buttercream recipe.

a little wine with your frosting.

a little wine with your frosting.

I frosted the cake, and decided it needed just a little something – some pizzazz or “flair”, if you will. So I made it sparkle (with sugar crystals).

look at me, i'm sparkling.

look at me, i’m sparkling.

I put it aside, while my boyfriend and I made pizza (again), and after we ate as much pizza as all the kids at an 8-year-old’s birthday party combined, we decided it was cake time. It was so moist – and although you got a soft hint of white wine, it was by no means overpowering. And the chocolate pudding – yeah, that made all the difference (in a good way). So, since I found the recipe in my reading, I’ll share my modified recipe for Wine Cake now with you, and even throw in my made-up frosting recipe. Cheers to that. 🙂

White Wine Cake.

What you’ll need:

1 package yellow cake mix

1 package instant chocolate pudding

1 tsp nutmeg

4 eggs

3 tbsp butter (softened)

½ cup canola oil

1 cup white cooking wine

¼ cup hot water

What you’ll do:

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, pudding, and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, and add them to the dry ingredients. Add the butter, oil, wine, and and water, and mix by hand or with a mixer until well blended.  Grease two 8” round pans, and divide the batter evenly among the pans. Bake for 25-30, or until the top springs back and the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan.


White Wine Buttercream.

What you’ll need:

8 oz butter

4 oz shortening

1lb 4 oz  confectioner’s sugar

¼ cup white cooking wine

1 tsp nutmeg

What you’ll do:

Cream together the butter and shortening. Add the confectioner’s sugar, wine and nutmeg, and mix until smooth and consistent.