red-wine-chocolate-cake Recipes

red wine chocolate cake

Saturday night, New York City was the loudest I’d heard it in a long time. I should preface this by saying that I live in a noisy part of an already noisy neighborhood and under the best of circumstances — NYU students gone for the summer, long holiday weekend, rain — there’s always a Saturday night ruckus. But this was something else. This woke me up. I swear, I heard a trumpet, more sirens than feasibly possible, people cheering like the Yankees had won the World Series (did they? no wait, something about football?) and when I went to the window, I saw a Vespa go down the sidewalk and I couldn’t get back to sleep. For the eve of such a somber anniversary, there was hardly anyone bummed out after midnight. I like that about this place, even grudgingly, even at 1 am.

the line-up, with bedell first crush!

I don’t have a 9/11 story. It barely happened to me. I mean, it very much happened to me, it happened to my city, I lived here at the time and it broke my heart. But I didn’t work down there, I didn’t know anyone that did, and were I to spin any kind of dramatic retelling, it would be inauthentic as it’s just not my story to tell. I wasn’t even on the island at the time, as I worked in the Bronx back then and I remember, distinctly, and in hardly my finest moment, feeling like I immensely hated my life right then, stranded miles and miles from everyone I cared about, stuck at the kind of job where they asked you to get back to work shortly after the first plane crashed. I wanted a different path, I just didn’t know how to forge it for myself.

swirly batter

The next year was a blur of trying to get our heads around the unfathomable, and I barely remember it. I know that on the first anniversary, it was still very raw and hardly needed to be commemorated because we hadn’t stopped thinking about it for a minute. But by the second, people had starting dusting themselves off and convincing themselves they were moving on. I’d recently started a blog (it was 2003! it was the thing to do!) and had started reading one from some guy who lived here, too. On the second anniversary of 9/11, he said that he’d invited some friends to get a drink and they’d reacted as if that were a tacky way to commemorate a nation’s tragedy. I was then and am still firmly of the belief that a stiff drink is a fine way to soften the blow of a crappy memory, and told him that a complete stranger would be happy to meet him for a drink after work. Two years later, I married him. Two years later, we decided to have a kid. Two years after that, we did. And this week, that kid turns two. I never once, not for a single moment before I was kinda secretly hoping that the bars would close already so I could get back to sleep on Saturday night connected in my head that I do have a 9/11 story, but it came later, and it is a happy one. I’d never considered that pretty much everything awesome that’s happened in the last eight years spun off from the axis of something awful.

red wine chocolate cake, dusted

This month marks another anniversary, the fifth of this site. Guys, I am bad with anniversaries; I never write cards — just ask that guy I met for a drink on September 11, 2003 — and I’m no better with this one. But one day in July, someone (hi, Anna!) left a comment on the everyday chocolate cake that she didn’t have buttermilk so she replaced it with red wine, and I had never considered this before, never even heard of it but knew it was going distract me until I tried it out. But before I even got a chance, a different person (hi, Marion!) emailed me to share a recipe she’d unearthed in an Alsace cookbook for, that’s right, a red wine chocolate cake and from that point forward it was no longer a matter of if, just when. Over the last few months I’d from time to time tried to figure out what would be a fitting 5th anniversary recipe for this site, one that pulled a theme neatly together but always choke on the daunting task of squeezing large sentiments (or bakeware collections, if I’m being honest) into tidy places. But on Saturday night at 1:30 a.m., it was so obvious to me that it had to this cake — something made better because people like you are here. Thank you.

with whipped mascarpone

One year ago: Linguine with Tomato-Almond Pesto
Two years ago: Cheesecake Marbled Brownies
Three years ago: Baked Brownie, Spiced Up and Braised Romano Beans
Four years ago: Tortilla de Patatas
Five years ago: Romaine Pesto and Egg-Stuffed Tomatoes

Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Whipped Mascarpone
Adapted loosely from this Everyday Chocolate Cake, and you

This, as far as I’m concerned, is the real red velvet cake — chocolate, naturally reddened and intensely flavored. For reasons I cannot put my finger on, this feels quintessentially September, fudgy rich chocolate, faintly spiced red wine, diminutive in size and so very quick to make. We are completely obsessed with it already.

Now, the essentials: The wine does not, I repeat, does not, fully bake out. It will taste like there’s wine in there though not in the way that it would leave you tipsy, nevertheless, I will not be using this cake for, say, my toddler’s birthday party, if you get my drift. If you’re familiar with the Everyday Chocolate Cake, you might notice that I’ve changed a bunch of things. It’s flat and round, not a thick loaf. I use only 3/4 of the volume of some ingredients and 2/3 volume of others, you’ll see, the red wine gives it an intensity that’s best served thin — the final cake is only 3/4- to 1-inch tall, and bakes quickly. I add a yolk which just… makes it better and cinnamon, which plays off the red wine and chocolate fantastically, but not so much that it competes with either. Oh, and it’s still a one-bowl cake, and bakes in no time. You know you wanna.

Cake
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup (145 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) white granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3/4 cup (177 ml) red wine, any kind you like*
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 cup + 1 tablespoon (133 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (41 grams) Dutch cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (this is a great place for that fancy Vietnamese stuff you stashed away)

Topping
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup (118 grams) chilled heavy or whipping cream
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the cake: Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment, and either butter and lightly flour the parchment and exposed sides of the pan, or spray the interior with a nonstick spray. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and yolk and beat well, then the red wine and vanilla. Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together, right over your wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold the rest together with a rubber spatula. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. The top of the cake should be shiny and smooth, like a puddle of chocolate. Cool in pan on a rack for about 10 minutes, then flip out of pan and cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack. This cake keeps well at room temperature or in the fridge. It looks pretty dusted with powdered sugar.

Make the topping: Whip mascarpone, cream, sugar and vanilla together until soft peaks form — don’t overwhip. Dollop generously on each slice of cake. It can also be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours.

* I used Bedell First Crush Red, one of our North Fork favorites.

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844 comments on red wine chocolate cake

  1. This cake embodies all of my favourite things in life (wine + chocolate + cake). I’ve got some red wine salt which I can imagine would be awesome in place of the table salt.

    Happy blog birthday – this is a very fitting cake indeed!

  2. Amy

    I love your 9/11 story. I didn’t know that’s how you met your husband – how sweet! Good things can come out of tragedy, as you have seen (and experienced).

    I wish I could try the red wine cake, but I’m pregnant! So unfair. Maybe later …

  3. wow could there even be anything better than the combination of red wine and chocolate? I cannot wait to try this one. Happy “Blog” Anniversary. I only found your blog this past year but I love it.
    I will never forget 9/11..I was at Boston Logan Airport getting ready to board a flight when all of a sudden they just stopped the boarding process and we are all asked to leave the airport immediately. I just can’t believe it has been 10 years already.

  4. This post is exactly why I visit.

    Thank you for the thoughts, the memories, and the assurance that yes, that drink is okay. But mostly, thank you for being the type of writer that can effortlessly combine a national tragedy and chocolate cake. Be proud of this post.

  5. I adore your 9/11 story and happy 5th birthday to Smitten Kitchen! I simply adore your recipes and I’m totally making this cake tonight. Every time I crave something delicious, I always find it on your site. Thank you:) Have a great day, Deb. Kisses

  6. That looks gorgeous. I love the hue of the cake, so rich and beautiful. I don’t have much of a story as well though I think, as you point out, it emotionally impacted all of us in some way shape or form.

    1. deb

      Naomi — No way! I love her blog and obviously, great minds think alike.

      Joanser — Typo. The buttermilk from the original recipe is replaced with red wine here.

  7. Alissa

    I love this post, and your sentiments about not “having” a 9/11 story, though I was in the city then, and still live here. I remember getting a frantic email that day from one of my oldest and best friends, all in capital letters wanting me to assure him that I wasn’t downtown. He is now my husband, and our daughter will be two later this year.

    And the cake looks fantastic.

  8. Claudia

    Hello Deb!
    In the recipe you say “add the buttermilk”, but it’s nowhere to be found in the ingredients list. Do we use it or not? If yes, how much? Thank you!

  9. Mrs. G

    You have no idea how happy this makes me. On my to-do list for this week was finding a recipe for a wine cake. And since I have yet to find a recipe here on Smitten Kitchen that is not amazing, I will not have to look any further. I am planning on making this into cupcakes so I hope it still turns out!!

  10. smrjunior

    De-lurking to say thank you for this post. I, too, feel disconnected from this tragedy, which never really affected me personally except for the increased airport security. I am sad about it, of course, but I reject the notion that I must be forced to acknowledge it as some sort of life-changing event for me. World-changing, sure. But it just feels like rubbernecking from here in Ohio. And if I had to choose a day when, for better or worse, my “world stopped turning ” (thank you, country music), I’m not sure September 11th would crack the top 5.

  11. Jess M.

    I am kind of in love with this whole post. The cake looks amazing, and yours is probably the best 9/11-related story I’ve ever heard/read.

  12. Brooke M

    That video was the sweetest commemoration of your story you could have possibly come up with. The blog, the city, all of it. Cake looks yummy, too! As always, great work, Deb.

  13. Vrushalio

    Great combination red wine and chocolate! Must try immediately! The link for Marbled Brownies is jumbled up by the way .. you might want to correct it!

  14. Jessica

    This sounds like such a great fall “transitional” dessert. Can I use a springform pan with no issues? I’m a beginning baker and am never sure of substitutions on bakeware.

  15. This looks like a terrific recipe, but more than that, what a beautiful post and a wonderful love story. Warms my heart that the two of you looked to the bright side of things, found one another, and made a family of it! xo

  16. EG

    9/11/01 was 11 days before my wedding, and to celebrate our 10th anniversary this year we’re headed to NYC in a couple of weeks.

    We’ll be en route on our actual anniversary but this cake looks PERFECT for an at-home anniversary celebration before we go!

    I love that you “met” your husband through blogging! Does he still blog?

  17. Julie

    I love you. What a wonderful story! And your recipes are always, always great. Red wine chocolate cake. As you say, it’s not a matter of if, but when. Thanks for a great start to the day.

  18. amn

    Thanks for sharing the story of how you and your hubbie met. That’s a just really great story. I will be using this recipe to celebrate getting out baby #2 who is so far 2 days and counting past his/her ‘due date’…. I also admit to feeling a bit disconnected from 9/11. I did spend the weeks afterwards reading the NYTimes and crying at breakfast over the victims’ pictures and stories but I just don’t want to commemorate it anymore… Maybe I just need a stiff drink.

  19. Your 9/11 story is too sweet for words. I noticed that, after I finished reading, my eyes were wide, jaw was hanging open and mouth attempting to smile. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    I’ve made chocolate cake with Guinness, but never with red wine. I think I’ll be doing this for our next dinner guests, as booze filled cakes are always a hit in this house.

  20. This sounds ridiculously delicious (I can’t help but think that mulled wine might also do the trick here and give it even more of that spicy fall flavor)!

    And what a remarkable story; it really shows you how we’re all connected and, more importantly, how tragedy can sometimes turn into something wonderful (if we let it).

  21. This cake is beautiful. But honestly, I’m hung up on the story. Thanks for writing about the day—and, who are we kidding, so much more—in such an honest way. Yup. Just thanks.

  22. I love your 9/11 story! That’s so sweet!
    And I’m so glad I’m not the only one turned off by the bright-redness of red velvet cake. It always seemed so unnatural. We don’t have any wine in our house, but I’m strongly tempted to try this cake with red grape juice….

  23. We are from Germany, just a stone’s throw from the border to France/ Elsass; your post reminds me of my grandma who always made the best red wine cake on earth!! Once fall has arrived here I’ll definitely try your recipe – very excited already!!
    And: wonderful story about how you guys met :)

  24. How lovely your 9/11 story is. To borrow from Tupac, it’s like a rose that grew from concrete. And speaking of roses and love and things that come from tragedy, I’d take this chocolatey, slightly red cake over eery artificial-colored red velvet anyday.

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. What a beautiful post! Thank you for the reminder that some of life’s biggest joys can be born out of our greatest tragedies. And of course the cake looks fantastic. Thank you for sharing your recipes and life with us. I look forward to each post!

  26. Beth

    Thank you for sharing your story!! I cannot wait to try out the recipe!! One question – you mention buttermilk in the directions. By buttermilk do you mean yummy wine? :)

  27. HeatherRH

    This may be the only red velvet cake I will eat. And the upside is it will be all mine as the husband is not a man who likes booze with his sweets *insert cheese eating grin here*

    And I can’t believe the babe is almost 2! It seems like just yesterday I was scouring your blog for news while off on leave after my kiddo was born (just two weeks earlier) and saw that he’d arrived.

    And thank you for the story of how you guys met, it’s sweet. And the video of the big slide conquest, it’s awesome seeing happy things take place on that day.

  28. Oh my goodness, what a great story! I had no idea that’s how you and Alex met. And I tip my cap to you for having the balls to go and meet him like that! Your story encourages me to be a little more bold, because you just never know what could happen!

  29. I am fully fascinated by this cake and pairing red wine and chocolate seems so obvious now that it’s staring at me from a computer screen. One of those, “why on earth have I not thought of this” moments? Thanks for sharing this…and your “foreword.” Very sweet.

  30. What a lovely post – after getting sucked into the TV stampede of 9/11 tributes it was a delightfully refreshing (and completely authentic) perspective on an awful event, and the years that have passed since.

    Happy birthday to the littlest, cutest, curliest-headed man and happy blog-iversary to you!

    Oh and the cake looks delicious. This is a must try.

  31. It’s been my experience that wine generally makes anything better (…cereal? hm, not sure…), and happy to know that chocolate cake (*real* red velvet cake … which is, indeed, due to a rich, red cocoa) is no exception! Happy Blogiversary!

  32. “I was then and am still firmly of the belief that a stiff drink is a fine way to soften the blow of a crappy memory, and told him that a complete stranger would be happy to meet him for a drink after work. Two years later, I married him. Two years later, we decided to have a kid. Two years after that, we did. And this week, that kid turns two.” I am in awe of your writing. Thank you for sharing your beautiful post 9/11 story. The world needs to hear more happy endings. And congrats on all those anniversaries!

  33. Thanks for sharing your 9/11 story. I think 9/11 affected the big picture for many of us in this country- even if we weren’t living in New York. It’s so big that it changed the course of our lives. Pretty amazing. The chocolate cake looks so good- the crumb! I love the idea and can’t wait to try it.

  34. Jennifer

    I saw your feature in Everday Food and showed my husband and he said, “wow she’s kind of hot” and I said, “she can cook too” ;)

  35. LizGil

    I wrote and rewrote my comment a couple times, before settling on just saying…thanks. For that cake, your beautiful story, and wonderful blog. <3

  36. Marci

    I was just thinking about my story yesterday (along with everyone else) and how that day led to my going to law school, meeting my husband, moving to NYC, and having our beautiful little girl. 9/11 had an impact on me in a lot of ways, but not all were bad!

  37. I loved reading the story about how you met your husband! And it is nice to think that something so good (well, many good things) came indirectly from an awful event.

    But the big question: when do we get to see Jacob’s birthday cake?! Was it ice cream this year?

  38. Wow, Deb, this sounds cool! I’ve been baking a lot of chocolate cakes this year. {When I turned 30, I decided that I needed to find my favorite chocolate cake} So, far, I like that double chocolate cake recipe of yours.

    But, this was one sounds super intriguing. Can’t wait to try it out.

  39. Noelle

    Deb,

    Awesome post. Great story!

    Also, I swear you’ve been in my fridge with your last 3 or 4 posts! I’ve been sending my husband emails saying, “wow, what a perfect way to use up X, Y and Z! (I’m also making your mac and cheese tonight to use up the giant brick of cheddar in the fridge…with some swiss chard thrown in!)

    And it continues; Red wine from our honeymoon in the fingerlakes 3 weeks ago, chocolate-just because, and mascarpone from making pie crust last week (side note: try this immediately!!!)

    As usual, thanks for being plain amazing…and a mind-reader! :)

  40. Kari

    I visited your blog for the very first time today. I typed “rice krispies” into foodblogsearch.com and yours was the first blog that popped up.

    I’m so glad I came over for a visit! I loooved your story. I’m happy I found your blog. :)

  41. Lorraine

    A wonderful and touching post, a beautiful video that made me laugh/cry, and a recipe I can’t wait to try. Thank you for sharing all of these.

  42. I am a pie girl at heart. And I have an unbaked peach pie (from perfect late-July peaches!) in my freezer just waiting to be baked until golden and have candles stuck into it for my birthday this weekend (Jacob and I have the 17th in common.) But, the house guests I have coming in are decidedly cake people, and this seems just the thing for them. Also, since 32 weeks pregnant is not really the time to toast myself with an actual glass of wine, I’m thinking a slice of this cake will be the perfect alternative. If I’m very disciplined I won’t eat the cake and the pie in the same sitting, but I make no promises.

    PS – Thanks for the honesty and authenticity of your 9/11 story. I really loved it.

  43. OOOOOOOOH!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m hooked. Two of my favorite things. Put together. I’m in love. The only thing left is to see if there is a way to make a red wine icing of sorts (I’m thinking some sort of reduction-turn-icing-drizzle?) for the husband who says cake isn’t cake without it.

    Also- has anyone played around with trying different wines? Since it leaves such a flavor, is it better if you’re using something dry, or something sweet and full-bodied, or perhaps even something veering towards dessert wine? Or is it much more a matter of personal preference?

  44. This was a very touching post, and I really love the way you write. I think it would be great if someday you wrote a book in the vein of “A Homemade Life” by Molly Wizenberg – where you mostly write but also share some recipes. This post would be perfect – it’s personal, but it touches us to. I definitely will be trying this cake. And I love all the good in your life that came from one very bad day. Thanks.

  45. Cara

    This sounds amazing, and yes – definitely a ‘when,’ not ‘if’ recipe! Your accompanying story was wonderful, as well. So glad to hear of a happy 9/11 recounting!

    On the baking side…do you think it would be wrong to turn this cake into cupcakes?

  46. Rachel

    I love that story, it just goes to show that you can never know when or how you will meet the person you are supposed to spend the rest of your life with.

    Also, thank you for telling people that alcohol does not cook out of food! I don’t know why but it drives me nuts when I hear people say that it does. The amount of time that you would have to cook something just to get the majority, not even all, of the alcohol out is a very long time.

  47. When I think about my time in NYC, I see two very distinct eras: Before 9/11 and After 9/11. I always felt the city was cloaked in an intangible sadness after the attack, but it’s hard to explain that to people who came After. I actually left the city in 2003. You have my utmost admiration, not just for being able to conjure up this rich cake at 1:30AM on a Saturday night, but because you really did make lemonade out of lemons. (mmm…Vermontucky lemonade…)

  48. Christy M

    I think your link about “One year ago” is bad. Also, it wasn’t one year ago, it was two, as you and I were pregnant at the same time and I swear your brownies saved my 8 months pregnant life. LOVE your site so much, and that’s a great 9/11 story.

  49. Another treasure!Love how moist and puddingy it looks and can’t wait to make it!
    Would any other alcohol work as well? Khalua perhaps?

    I think I would love to cook my way through your site. I already have discovered so many things from smitten kitchen that are now part of our family favorites! Happy blogversary Deb and thank you for many delicious meals and treats :)

  50. You express my 9/11 sentiments exactly – I was here, I grew up here in fact, so I felt it keenly, but I didn’t know anyone there and I don’t really feel like I have the “right” to say much about it.

    Oh, and the cake looks intriguing… and delicious.

  51. CraigW

    I agree with all the sentiments here, Deb. This post is exactly why I continue to come back; love the story, love the recipe. Happy Anniversary!

  52. Susan

    I’ve often wished you would do an occasional life musing on this blog; a little meatier than the snippets that you add to your regular recipe offering. I’ve read most of your former blog and really enjoyed reading your thoughts on life as it was unfolding for you. You have a gift for story telling. You used to pepper your former blog with recipes. I’d love it if could do the reverse for this blog, as you’ve done today; a recipe and a story! This was fun to read.
    .
    Now, I love this idea of a red velvet cake. No nasty tasting red dye, no stingy amount of chocolate, no fluffy cake and no marshmallow frosting. I will be making this one very soon. I love it when riff on desserts!

  53. Do you think this would work with wine that has gone a bit off? Since it’s a substitution for buttermilk, I’m thinking yes. But then again I’ve never used wine in baking before, so who knows.

  54. This is the most authentic, honest, real post I have read about the September 11th anniversary. Thank you for always bringing truth and beautiful recipes to this space. It’s such a gift.

  55. Susan

    Question?…In your experience, how does the wine you used in this recipe compare to other reds? In other words, is it similar to a pinot noir or a zinfandel?

    1. deb

      Susan — It’s a mild, light-bodied red wine (they use stainless steel casks, I think) but most red wine cakes I checked out looked like they suggested heavier wines. Use anything you like to drink.

      Olivia — I use old wine all of the time for deglazing pans, a glug in sauces, etc. But the flavor of the wine really stays with this cake. Use a wine you like to drink, but not something crazy expensive. It is, after all, just cake.

      Stoch91 — I don’t think it’s a New Yorker thing — my husband buys and writes wonderful cards, and I save them all — but it might be a writer thing. I can’t abide those hacky cliches in storebought cards and even in blank ones, I find the task of summing up an entire relationship and its importance to me in a few non-cliched sentences really, really difficult.

      Links to One Year Ago, etc. — All fixed now. Thanks!

  56. robin

    hi deb!

    thanks so much for this post–it really spoke to me and reminds me that i should always look for the positive, even after something awful. what a nice way to start my monday!

    xo
    robin

  57. Ali

    I will defintely be making this cake very soon. This month means that I have been reading your blog for a little over 2 years b/c I remember the posts of you being very very pregnant. Wow, 2 years. I can’t believe all that has changed in that amount of time, on the other it is amazing the things that have remained the same. Thank you for sharing your life and kitchen with me!

  58. This is a wonderful 9/11 story! It is incredible to me how that day put things into perspective in a new way for so many New Yorkers. It incredible how many unexpected relationships came out of that day, somehow or another.

    As for the “this is the real red velvet” angle . . . I was just thinking LAST NIGHT about how to make a red velvet cake without the red dye that makes my 5-year-olds bonkers. Maybe red wine is the answer! Or maybe there is something else still that can give you some nice color and flavor without the FD&C red #14?

  59. Red Wine Chocolate Cakes are pretty common in germany, and its a good way of getting ride of a bit of leftovers from wine (if you’re not a red wine lover)

    Will try this one out of course aswell – and Happy 5th Birthday ;)

  60. Charlotte

    Red wine cake is classic here, I live in the German region bordering on the Alsace. It was the first cake I ever baked on my own as a teenager and it’s still my very favorite! :D

  61. This post was truly fantastic. I enjoy them all, but this one especially touched me…due to both your story and the desire to try this cake! Thank you for sharing, for continuing to march on, and for making some kick-ass recipes. Congrats on 5 years!

  62. Stoch91

    That is truly touching! Tell me, ALSO! I must know: Is that a NY’er thing not to be into cards? My mom grew up in Queens and she’s like an alien in the forsaken south when she gives her speech about how lame cards are and how they’re Hallmark’s plot for the demise of humanity and a waste of paper, but then again, she thinks paper’s a waste of paper…so…what do I know? I’ve never really been to NY, so could you tell ME?? Solve this mystery? Is a no-card policy a NY’er thing, and if so, WHY?? :D

  63. I have been reading ever since you and Alex got married. :) You’ve come to feel like a friend. The first thing I ever made from your blog was the spinach quiche…and I’ve been hooked ever since. Your blog talked me through catering my first wedding – including the cake!, countless dinner parties, and baking birthday cakes for my own 4 kids. Thank you for the loveliness you have contributed to our life!

  64. i love all of this. the food, the stories, the good things spiraling off of something awful. You are so very good at what you do Deb. An inspiration in more ways than one.

    And then red wine chocolate cake? I mean, how could you not?

  65. I adore the story of how you 2 started dating! And I can’t wait to try this cake. I have never been a red velvet fan because of the copious amounts of food coloring- but this kind of red food coloring I can handle.

  66. EXCELLENT post today! We live only 18 miles from WTC – and I just remember going to a friend’s house down the street waiting for all the husbands to return home from work that awful day- which happily they ALL did. Was a good night for my close circle of friends. Now about the cake – my mouth is W-A-T-E-R-I-N-G!

  67. Happy Birthday! Really a thing to celebrate as it is not “just a blog” but a great site, full of inspiration and great content, really, I have to say congratulations!

    So, how to celebrate in a better way than in the classic top-combination of chocolate and red whine – cheers!

  68. I’ve been reading your blog in its various incarnations since, I think, right around the time when you and Alex first started dating. Happy blogiversary, and thanks for all the ways you’ve enhanced my kitchen efforts. :)

  69. Sarah McWeschler

    Just going to join the comments and be the next person to wish you a happy blogiversary and thank you for sharing your story. I’m a little hungover on 9/11 commemoration today, having watched, read, and listened to 9/11 remembrances until my soul felt raw. Your story was the perfect cure (hair of the dog, if you will); acknowleging a huge communal loss while celebrating almost a decade of the kind of personal happiness 9/11 reminded us all that we should treasure. Keep up the great work, Deb.

  70. Tara

    I am so taken by your warm and generous personality that comes through in every single post. This one in particular is bringing tears to my eyes and also reinforcing the idea that as hard as it may seem, life goes on and there are things to enjoy, both big and small. Thank you for all your hard work, both cooking-wise and word-wise.
    Sometimes when I cook, what I am making doesn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, but it ends up being pretty darn good and my family and I quite enjoy it. I don’t know if, as a writer, you always manage to say exactly what it is you want to say, but you definitely always manage to say something that I want to hear.

  71. Sini

    Red wine chocolate cake, are you serious? Although I haven’t yet tried the cake I simply cannot imagine how this combination could not taste heavenly good. Where have you been all my life?!

  72. Liz

    Happy Birthday Smitten Kitchen!

    A little bit of booze, a healthy dose of chocolate and a whole lot of cute curls (in action, yay!) – a perfect anniversary post I dare say!

  73. Lisa

    Bravo and congratulations– and thank you. This post was very uplifting after such a sad and melancholy weekend. Love you, Deb, and am thrilled and proud of you for your well-deserved success!

  74. emily

    I am a recent reader of this blog, and wanted to let you know how much I enjoy it. Your writing is clear, your photos are lovely and your recipes totally rock.
    The first recipe of yours I made was the Vermon-tucky Lemonade. The latest will be this cake.
    Here’s to many more happy years of marriage, kid-raising, cooking, and sharing your life and recipes with the world!

  75. See, Deb, you *do* have a 9/11 story! And it’s all the more touching because something beautiful was born (literally?!) out of it. This cake looks amazing. My birthday is coming up… I think it will be perfect :)

  76. Cathy

    Wow, I don’t always read the stories that go with the recipes but I started this one and got drawn in. Thank you for this beautiful and honest story – and of course the yummy recipe! Your blog is definitely one of my favorites!

  77. lynn

    this is cooling on my counter right now. What’s not to love about one bowl, red wine, and chocolate cake? (I must admit that I was a bit short of 3/4c of leftover red wine so I supplemented with leftover black coffee from this morning. I alway add coffee to my baked chocolate goodies, so I’m hoping this will add even another yummy dimension!)

  78. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your lovely story. I feel similarly. I grew up in Manhattan, but I look forward to a time when September 11 is just a day again. Hopefully it will be for your son when he gets older. If we lived daily with every tragedy or conflict that has ever hit the world, it would be one huge round memorial park.

  79. Claire

    Happy Anniversary! I live in Germany and teach culinary arts. I will try out this recipe soon – as it seems amazing! Thank you for posting it and the lovely 9/11 story.

  80. Happy Blogaversary! What could be more perfect than wine and chocolate to celebrate? I just happened to have picked up a bottle of a new variety of red wine by Cupcake, called (wait for it)…..Red Velvet. I’m thinking it’s a sign that I *need* to make this cake.

  81. Julie

    Hi Deb,
    I hate to leave comments on cooking blogs before I’ve actually tried the recipe and have something helpful to say about it, but I can’t not comment on this. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing your beautiful story, which is a perfect reminder that moving on from the awful tragedies of life is just as important as commemorating them. I’ve largely stayed away from the 9/11 anniversary coverage — I remember it perfectly well, thank you, and have too many friends who were directly affected — and this is one of the best things I’ve read on the occasion.
    Much love to you and your family.
    Julie

  82. Nicole

    I love your non-story 9/11 story. I haven’t read anything romantic about that day… ever. You made the point without being obnoxious, and I appreciate that positive fleck of “You never know who you’ll meet and when” you dashed in there. Oh, the cake looks good too.

  83. A very fitting cake for such a special anniversary. I caught your radio interview this morning, actually I planned my work errands around that interview so that I would be in the car, listening to the radio, at the right time. Excellent interview, inspiring me to get in the kitchen and cook.

    ~Brenda

  84. Pattypro

    I’m not gonna lie, Deb. The retelling of how you and Alex met had me teary. Yep, I’m soft & squishy like that.
    One of my favorite wines is a red table wine with dark chocolate notes, (from New Mexico), and I already loved the Everyday Chocolate Cake, so I know this will be a winner. We’re having friends over for dinner tomorrow, but I wasn’t sure what to do about dessert just yet. We’re all fans of red wine and chocolate, so you have saved the evening, and my poor brain!

  85. Loved your 9/11 story — as deep and rich as this fantabulous chocolate/wine cake. I cooked all day yesterday for a big family dinner, and as I looked around the table I knew how lucky I was.

  86. I am so in for this one. I don’t drink much red wine, but I am dying to find a red velvet cake with an authentic “red” source. Would it be wrong to use port? I have an insatiable sweet tooth.

  87. Kristin

    Great story, great cake, and Jacob has a great belly. I’ve made lots of your recipes and enjoyed your blog tremendously over the years. Can’t wait for the cookbook.

  88. Cordelia

    Thank you thank you for finding a way to put New York in the last ten years into such perfect words, for sharing such positive effects, and for combining two of the world’s best ingredients into one edible form.

  89. Wow. Perfection. Can’t wait to try this. I just tried vermontucky lemonade the other day. It went over really, really well. My beau gave it a whirl with jack Daniels’ Tennessee Honey and loved it. I guess it’ll have to be dubbed Vermonnessee Lemonade. :)

  90. Ali

    This is by far one of the most authentic and sincere tribute postings I’ve read. Thank you for sharing your story and this yummy looking cake that combines two of my most favorite things!

  91. Kendra

    And I too love this blog. No matter the topic, it is always an enjoyable moment in my day to read your words. Thanks for all the inspiration you bring to my kitchen~

  92. Paula B.

    I wanna, and I will, bake this cake. And thank you for sharing your wonderful story with us. As always, I am sure your recipe is exceptional, can’t wait to have some cake! Here’s to “the city that never sleeps”, and you, too, SK.

  93. I rarely comment but cook your recipes all the time (sorry! I’m bad too.)… but I just had to say that this was a really memorable 9/11 story. A regular old unfolding of life, which is wonderful. Great cake, too. I’m not a red velvet person (sorry!), but this one intrigues me.

  94. Jen S

    What a nice post of looking at a tragic event and leading to now such wonderful ones.
    Happy blog-iversary to you. Wine for the cook. Wine for the cake. Plus chocolate? Why not? I can’t wait to try this with some last of the summer raspberries or figs. They’d be perfect with chocolate and wine too.

  95. Laura

    Thanks for your lovely writing and for giving us the benefit of your impeccable taste in food. When I don’t know what to cook or bake, I know where to come! Happy blogiversary!

  96. Diva

    Beautiful story, great segue, and awesome recipe. I started following your blog back in the iVillage days (and to be honest, it’s probably the first blog I’ve ever read), and your posts remain charming and informative. Thank you! And by the way, you have the cutest baby EVER!

  97. Steph

    I read your site religiously but have never posted a comment. I know I’m not the first to write that. But I had to thank you for the touching post. In I way I can’t explain, it captured my feelings about a lot of things. So, thank you.

  98. Bekah

    Deb, you are so good. At food and at doing some really magical things with words. Thanks so much for your awesome blog. It is the best one I read, and not only because it’s the most delicious.

  99. Shelly

    I happened on your site by accident; my 2 year old grandson just watched Ratatouille last night and I just had to find the recipe. Of course the online recipes looked nothing like the image in the Disney movie; go figure, as you said in your blog, recreating a recipe invented by an imaginary rat. I was instantly captivated with your blog and can hardly wait to go home and read it on something a bit larger than my iPhone screen. I just wanted to say thanks – your writing is brilliant and entertaining.

  100. Cody Long

    Deb,
    Thanks for this. I’ve been reading for a long, long time and I think this is some of the most beautiful writing you’ve produced.
    In deepest gratitude,
    Cody

  101. Congratulations on the anniversary of the blog! Thanks for sharing such a sincere 9/11 story. It was sweet. I can’t wait to try out this cake. It sounds unique and delicious.

  102. Noya – gluttonandstudent

    I love that story! Thanks for sharing, and congrats on the blog’s birthday. There’s only one way to celebrate – cake.

  103. Jane

    Deb, that is a really beautiful 9/11 story. We’ve just come back from 11 days in Japan, where the only english tv the hotel had was BBC, which constantly played 9/11 memorabilia coverage. We had to turn it off, it was just so depressing, and like a reader said above…we all remember and I don’t need to be reminded (though being in Australia I wasn’t directly affected) Anyway, thanks again :) Oh, and great cake…will be making soon!

  104. Helen

    Thank you from a new (but now smitten) reader from Australia. A beautiful story that made my heart lift – and the cake sounds pretty good too!

  105. Tamara

    DEB! like so many, i cherish your writing, your stories, and your voice. thanks for this BEAUTIFUL post! full disclosure, i WILL be retelling your 9/11 story… “a friend of mine… 2nd 9/11 anniversary… met her beaux… a blogger… over a commerative drink.” ME LOVE.

    ALSO! i saw your hubby pushing jacob across Houston a few weeks ago… almost accosted them, but then did the polite, sensible pedestrian thing and kept on walking. what a cute lil’one!

  106. Jeni

    Dear Smitten,

    I have been reading you for so long – I think you were dating the now-husband? – but rarely comment. So here goes: I get that some feel their 9/11 story is less valid (?) than others’ who were directly affected. I believe that our humanity exists in these memories. In the fact that of course we remember where we were. Blessings to you, Smitty (I’ve always wanted to call you that). Blessings to all.

  107. The therapist in me says that telling your own story is a healthy to make sense of an incomprehensible experience. I think 10 years is a good amount of time to wait before those of us who weren’t directly affected (and I was far less directly affected than you) feel comfortable talking about how we’re trying to make sense of it.

    As for anniversaries, I always enjoy the “one year ago,” etc. Just last week I had a lot of tomatoes and was thinking about that tomato almond pesto I made from your site around this time last year… and there it is in the notes for today’s recipe :) It’s silly but always seems to confirm something vital about life. Turn turn turn, and all that.

  108. Stoch91

    Thank you, Deb! ;) I, too, am a writer and understand the frustration of feeling boxed in by meaningless pre-printed sentimentals. Or that WHAT THE HECK, I’ll just write a sentence this time, and it turns into paragraphs with did-you-graduate-from-1st-grade handwriting and squishy letters at the bottom and I’m all DARN YOU BRITTANY YOU’VE DONE IT AGAIN!!! But I read your comment to my mother and she said she’s all into blank cards, if any card at all. Thanks for taking the time to explain! ;D

  109. I love your story about how you and your husband met–so cute! I also absolutely love what you’re doing here and always look forward to new delicious things to try. Happy blogversary, keep up the great work!

  110. Christina

    I’m so excited to make this, and my mother is coming to visit soon – perfect timing. I live in a very small midwest town, so no worries about being awakened at 1 a.m. here, but we have only regular cocoa powder in our humble local grocery. Do you recommend any adjustments for replacing the Dutch cocoa powder with regular cocoa powder?

  111. Annie

    I saw your post this afternoon and made the cake tonight. Killer! Very rich and delicate at the same time. (I used regular cocoa powder with great results, for others who are wondering.) Happy anniversary, and thanks so much for sharing your recipes and writing with us. Cooking from your blog has truly changed my lifestyle for the better over the past couple of years.

  112. Your effortless writing, beautiful photographs, and approachable recipes have inspired my own journeys in the kitchen and will continue to do so. Here’s to five more!

  113. emily

    deb, what a beautiful story. this weekend i have been hearing many “light in the darkness” stories like this, and i’m so glad that you have one, too. i have been following your blog for a few years now and am constantly making things from it, but i think this is the first time i’ve commented (oopsies…). but i felt i had to comment today because…

    THIS CAKE IS UNREAL. in the name of everything that is good and right in the world, this cake is out of this flipping world. i needed this easy, INCREDIBLY moist and tasty cake tonight!!! holy mackerel. this is definitely going into regular rotation. omg. bravo.

  114. Congrats on making it to five years! I haven’t tried any of your recipes yet, but I love looking at them and dreaming of a time in the future when I will. Chocolate and wine in one may have to be the first.

  115. Hi Deb – does your husband still have his blog? I’d be interested to read it if you could provide the link!

    I also wanted to take a moment to mention how I fully appreciate someone flat out admitting that it didn’t affect you personally and that you don’t have a tragic story to share. I’m from Montreal and it’s unbelievable how many people come up with the “where were you on 9/11” stories and make them sound so terribly sad, when in reality they weren’t there & they didn’t know anyone that was! I enjoy the way you put it – how it would just be “inauthentic” to tell such a tale. I may quote you on that soon! Thanks for the honesty, as always.

    I absolutely love how the story turned out in the end – really sweet. It’s funny how I’ve never met you, but I read your blogs as if you were one of my good friends, and I always feel so happy for you when you share personal details such as this one.

    – allison

  116. Debbie, its so amazing, your story… I am going through some life-changing myself… Its great to hear inspiring stories like yours. It’s so great that everything is recorded down in this blog too… I can’t believe i first came across your blog whilst you were pregnant… (hinting about the bun in the oven) So glad life came through for you

    -cheers for Deb-

  117. I feel like you and I both bleed the same wine, the kind that makes tragedy into bittersweet cake. Thank you so much for sharing, and for saying things that I knew to be true for me, but couldn’t bubble to the surface.

  118. Aw, this is the sweetest post ever! Congrats to you and your fam, and happy birthday to Smitten Kitchen! This cake looks beautiful, and delicious, and I bet some poached pears would make a nice addition, too, in the name of things ‘quintessentially september.’ Cheers!

  119. I totally wanna!!!! I just recently found your blog a few months ago when I went on a quest for a marshmallow recipe, which by the way-is amazing and I have since made them 3 times. I have also made your garlic butter roasted mushrooms (capers really make the dish!) and a few other awesome things. This cake is the cake for me. I can’t wait to make it!! Over the summer, I had the pleasure of an electric mixer, but all I have now is a small food processor and an immersion blender. I recently used the immersion blender to make muffins, think it could work for the cake?

  120. wow! I was a follower years ago, you were new, I’m thinking in your first year. My computer had been down for months, and I decided to try the Atkins diet, I lost track of you. I think about your blog, and thankfully I stumbled upon it (this morning?)
    I have some archives to read, but, I hope you have a bigger kitchen, and congratulations on the baby! ;-)

  121. kim

    Ha, funny that, I just made your simple chocolate cake the other week (for the first time, which I also made in a round tin) and still have some buttermilk left over, so I wanted to make another one to use it up… and now I see this one. Red wine and chocolate is a good combination, Belgian chocolate brand Neuhaus did a collaboration with sommeliers to create wine pralines somewhere last year or so.

  122. Ann

    Great and interesting read Deb. Could I trouble you for the metric conversion of 6 Tb butter? If you don’t know offhand, don’t worry. I think I can guesstimate it. Our tablespoons are larger than the US size.

  123. jdens

    Deb, you told that story so well, so deftly, and so lightly that when I then watched the video of your husband and son–well, in context of the overall story, it totally made my eyes shiny. It is always a joy to see someone find their place in this world. I hope I find mine soon.

  124. Debra

    It’s your anniversary but we got the gifts! Thank you for the wonderful story and the very appealing recipe. Here’s to many more happy anniversaries to come!

  125. Ami

    Hi, do you think you could give me a substitute for egg in recipes such as these. I am a vegetarian and I end up being unable to whip up these wonders in the kitchen becaause of the egg quotient!! Help please :-)

  126. Petro in South Africa

    I remember receiving a text from someone regarding 9/11 “The world will never be the same again”. How true – there can not be anyone who are not in some way touched by it – worldwide.

    I agree with Debbie (82) – you (or someone with your writing style) need to write a (story)book based on your 9/11 connection. One of my all time favourite foodie stories was an extract from a book of MFK Fisher. I searched for 20 years before finding an old copy of the book it came from, and it was as good as when I read it the first time.

    I am going to buy strawberries on Friday at a Strawberry Festival an hour away from where we live. 10 Kg for R70 ($1 = R7.40). I plan to make your choc cake + strawberries for desert on Saturday for a BBQ I’m hosting, and on Sunday turning the rest into jam. Yum!!

  127. What a story!!! I had to share it with my Mum who is also now sat here rather deep in thought. It is sad that it was under such circumstances but an absolutely wonderful tale all the same :) and this cake, red velvet impostors can all take a running jump now as far as im concerned, youve convinced me this is the one to try! :)

  128. Michelle

    That’s one of the best “how we met” stories I’ve ever heard. And, refreshingly, a 9/11-related story that is not tragic. Thanks for sharing it. I wonder if there are other stories related to 9/11 out there, where the tragedy actually brought two people together in love and hope?

    The cake looks scrumptious. I am not a baker, but I am so compelled to try this.

  129. mei

    This is the best how-we-met story I’ve heard, it’s really lovely. And this cake is the perfect solution to my quandry-living alone in Paris but wanting to bake myself a fabulous birthday cake (in November, but yes I’m already thinking about it) and red wine is much easier to procure here than buttermilk (as far as I know). I think I will sub your topping though for some kind of berry (red wine!?) coulis, fruit and chocolate being my favorite combination in the world. I can’t wait to try it! Thank you and happy anniversaries!

  130. Yours is another (beautifully told) story which reminds us that in every bad situation, in every destruction,in every tragedy, there are the seeds to something positive and they can grow into something wonderful if we choose to nurture them. Whenever we tell these stories, we send out a ray of hope to someone who may think their world is hopeless, so thank-you for this.
    That said, I have been craving chocolate cake – I’m suppposed to be *eating healthy* (a euphemism for shifting a few unwanted pounds). The sight of this gorgeous cake, and the other amazing recipes on this blog have, alas, for today, sown the seeds of destruction for my diet…………..

  131. What a story and what a great post! Here in the UK we could only look on at it all and feel the seeming unreality of it from afar. Still everyone remembers what they were doing at the time. We don’t drink anymore, but I remember when I did always looking for a use for half a bottle of left-over red from the night before. What a hangover cure this recipe would be!

  132. This story was a great read, thank you. 9/11 is my birthday, but since my 16th b-day 10 years ago it will never ever be the same. Living in Belgium, far awar from the scene, I’m far away from any of the pain, but the images that we get to see on our tv make me silent every time. Nevertheless, I will be visiting NY for the first time in a few weeks and I am very much looking forward to it.

    Back to the food. I knew that chocolates and wine were a good pairing, but I had never thought of putting them together in a cake. I will definitely try this one out.

  133. I’m from Canada, from the port city of St. John’s NL. I’ll never forget September 11, 2001; it was my father’s 54th birthday, and we were glued to the TV set all day. At 5 pm, we went to the local bakery for a baguette to pair with dinner. All you could hear through the open windows of cars and shops were newscasters updating the public on the situation in NY. Even I have a 9/11 story; from a tiny speck on the map, we grieved for Manhattan.

    And I too have a happy story: two days agao, on September 11, 2011, I celebrated my one-year anniversary with my boyfriend. I’ll never forget what happended 10 years ago, but it’s nice to have a fond memory of that date now too. :)

    Can’t wait to try your cake, and thanks for sharing. KP

  134. Allison

    I’m pretty sure that’s the best “non 9-11” story I’ll ever hear. And I like that since you’re so bad with anniversaries, cards, etc, you just lumped all the big things into the month of September!!

  135. Caroline

    My parents had their 25th anniversary on 9/11, and this year we celebrated their 35th by visiting my sister in NYC. Every time I go to the city I wonder why I don’t live there– while I love DC it just doesn’t have the energy that NYC does.

    The red wine chocolate cake sounds so sophisticated. I’d think of this more as a January dessert, but I’m not sure I can wait that long to try it.

  136. patricia

    Looks like everyone does have a story after-all..-and I really liked what you said to your husband that day…something I would say. Now you did it…. I have to find the husband too.

  137. Chris B

    This is an awesome post. I think all of us have a 9/11 story, even those of us 2000 miles away. We watched and grieved for our sisters and brothers in NYC – hoping beyond hope that it was really a horrible nightmare… I too stayed away from all the coverage because it is etched in my mind so deeply that I will always remember it like it was yesterday.

    But I love this post. Congratulations to your entire family!

    One question: would a regular whipped cream work with this or does the cake really need mascarpone cheese? Could you sub a cream cheese?

  138. Life is always worth a risk, and you took one in September 2003 by going out for a drink and look what happened. A lovely story. I took a risk with my husband too, when I met him he was just out of a break up, had been engaged. I thought he was on the rebound and backed off, but it was worth all the worry as we have had 8 beautiful, rich years. I love the fact that your cake combine two of the best things in life, chocolate and red wine, which are also supposed to be nutritious ..bring it on!

  139. Jane

    Thank you for posting this. It felt like my story as well, as I lived in the city then but was on vacation when it happened. For me it definitely was the day to day after we returned that affected me the most… all the missing person flyers, newly painted commemorative street murals, every retail store having flags in their windows, that burning smell… When I wasn’t noticing those things during my walk to work, I was looking up to gage how high a plane was flying in the sky. So your one sentence about the anniversary “hardly need[ing] to be commemorated because we hadn’t stopped thinking about it” really rung true for me. I love the way you met your husband… especially all the 2’s coming into play. A really nice story, so thank you for posting. :)

  140. karen

    What a great 9/11 story. Not only the whole tale, but that fact something good DID come out of 9/11. (For the record, I once met a guy for a drink that I knew only from the phone trying to get in touch with his roommate. We dated just 2 months, but it was a fun adventure!) As for the cake. Yum! Any cake that can be made with left over red wine (there never seems to be any left over white- why is that??) at 2am must be just the thing to throw together for a quick bite with an impromptu crowd. Of course I must now keep heavy cream in my fridge at all times, musn’t I?

  141. I loved this post. It is lovely to hear a good story connected to 9/11. I also loved how you ackowledged that your blog is also all the people who follow you. So true, our blogs are what they are because people take their time to read and contribute. And make us better at what we do. Happy five years!

  142. I love your story and how it continues. This cake is the perfect recipe for the anniversary. I will have to try it out soon, even though cakes are something I kind of struggle with. I usually stick to tarts and tiny baked treats.

  143. Karen

    Ooh! You must have known I needed a yummy chocolate cake recipe this week! it’s my big ol’ b-day on Thursday and it always falls on me to bake the birthday cakes (I don’t mind it, I actually love it) and since chocolate is my ABSOLUTE fave (and I was planning on that bottle of wine anyway…) this is most serendipitous.

  144. Sharilyn Unthank

    So loved reading your story! The good things that come out of tragedies are what gives us all hope that the tomorrows of our lives will bring joy again! Love your recipes, photography and your writing. Thank you for sharing a little of your life with us especially Jacob. I love to look back on flikr at the index of photos and see in one screen how he has grown and changed so much!

  145. Mary

    Love your blog and recipes. Do you think this cake would be suitable for cupcakes or is it too soft and fudgy? (Which is not is a bad thing!)

  146. elisaveera

    THAT STORY. Goosebumps.

    I just recently moved to a new house and there’s plenty of people wanting to visit me, so I really want to make a big amount of this cake. Could it be possible to make this in a baking pan? How much ingredients would I need? Thank you so much in advance!

  147. Wendy

    I’ve just tried this recipe, swapping out the red wine and cinnamon for chocolate orange Baileys (not sure if this is available in the US?)…delish!

  148. Becca

    I am, as always, in awe of your writing. This one however, takes the cake. Pun totally intended :)

    I didn’t know it was possible to become more of a fan than I already was. I have made countless “smitten recipes” and never once have I been disappointed. Can’t wait to try this one out. Too bad I have to work the rest of the day or I would be whipping this up immediately.

  149. OMG, I am sitting here waiting for a long wished for spanking new stove with a convection oven. Last night I asked hubby what the first sweet I should bake (I am not a baker but maybe the convection has mystical properties) and he wanted a chocolate, chocolate, chocolate layer cake with double chocolate icing from scratch and you are publishing this post on the same day.
    You believe in fate, I think you do….

    I know what I am making tomorrow, and I have a story to tell behind it.

  150. Sorrel

    I’ve been a fan of your blog for several years now, ever since I tried your recipe for banana bread, but this is the first time I’ve commented. I love in New York and this post, your 9/11 story, reminded me of all the reasons why I still live in (and love) New York. Thank you.

  151. Becca (she bakes)

    Thank you, Deb.

    I am a lifelong NY-er now living in Montreal. It was hard to be away for the anniversary. Your story is so touching and is a beautiful reminder that it is okay for the tears to stop and to be happy again, and that moving on does not mean forgetting, it just means being able to find the good again.

    Thank you for your blog, for your food, for your photography, and for sharing bits of your life.

  152. Deb, love your writing and that is how i got hooked to your site in the first place. Happy blog anniversary and i hope you can keep writing like this for many many more years to come. I make the basic chocolate cake as soon as the last piece of the previous chocolate cake is eaten, yes that often, because the husband loves it and he also loves red wine! i can’t think of anything better for his upcoming 35th birthday. Thank you!

  153. Deb, we made this cake last night and it was fantastic! Your chocolate stout cake is the best cake I’ve ever eaten. I ask for it every birthday.

    So… we have a red wine cake and a stout cake. When are you going to bless us with a whiskey cake? That would round things off well: the trinity of boozy cakes.

    (P.S. This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been following your blog for several years now. I have yet to be even mildly disappointed with a single recipe. You’re my culinary hero.)

  154. JanetinMaine

    Loved your 9/11 story. I’m glad you shared it with us.
    I didn’t know anyone directly affected by it either. Lived in CA at the time and with the 3 hour difference by the time we got up it was like the world had crashed. Even though we were no where near NYC, myself and everyone I spoke to about it that day were just broken. Watching the news and seeing the people try to leave the city was heart-wrenching. It surely united our country that day. Many, many, good things have come from it. But we will never forget.

  155. tdawg

    Best 9/11 story I’ve heard. Funny thing, looks like significant things happen in your life every 2 years…mine is every 4! Met soon to be husband, 4 years later married him, 4 years later had first daughter, 4 years later had second daughter…just can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in 2012!!

    This is my first time commenting on your blog. Came across you a few years ago and fell in love with your photos! Your my favorite! Many of my go to recipes have come from you and I’m always looking forward to what you’ll do next. Much love from Texas!!

  156. Jen D.

    Hi Deb,

    Can I double the recipe and make it a two layer cake? Sometimes recipes don’t turn out when I double them….Your story is beautiful! – Thanks, Jen

  157. What a beautiful blog: good writing, beautiful photos, an intriguing recipe — I’m going to send the cake recipe to my best friend who is a red wine drinker who loves chocolate cake. I have made cocoa-based cake with vinegar, buttermilk, coffee and pureed beets (four different cakes!) but never with red wine. Yet. Cheers! Sharyn

  158. Brian Moss

    Today is my birthday!!! Thanks for posting this yesterday. My sister is going to make this for me, and, yeah, I’m just a wee bit excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Everybody sing, “Happy birthday to me, er, I mean you…” :)

  159. I know 280 people have already said this but…it is a great 9/11 story. I grew up in Manhattan but was living in the bay area at the time. I too was not on the island during the attack, but felt an emotional stab in the heart that my hometown had been attacked. Often good comes from bad and your history is a prime example. Oh yeah…and the cake looks beautiful.

  160. Mira

    Deb, just wanted to let you know that I absolutely adore you and your writing. And this cake. I must make this cake. I need to stop by the store to pick up some more wine though. I finished my last bottle this past weekend. Oops.

  161. esme

    Hi! I am 13 and was wondering if the cake had any alcohol content or if it would bake out and leave the flavor? Looks deluxe and delicious! Oh and thanks for the awesome Jacob video – soo adorable!

  162. That is the best “how I met my husband” story ever. And I love when something good comes from something bad. It sweetens the memory a bit and makes it a tiny bit easier to bear.

  163. star

    What a lovely post. Thanks for sharing your present and your past. going to give that cake a try since it contains two of the five food groups – wine and chocolate!

  164. Donna

    Well, I was dieting until I read your blog today. It brought tears to my eyes about how you met your husband. Now I’ve got to see if I have enough cocoa to make this cake a reality for my cake-loving family! I’ll just have one piece (right).

  165. Red wine and chocolate are obviously an amazing pairing but I never would have thought to make a cake with both of them. Thanks for the post, it has gotten my creative juices flowing. What if you added red wine to a mole sauce? Or molten chocolate cakes drizzled with a reduced red wine syrup! Kitchen here I come!

  166. I find this entire post so inspiring for so many reasons, not the least of which being your description of your job in the bronx and you wanted to make a new path but didn’t know how. I’m reading this at my desk at what I imagine to be a similar job, wondering pretty much the same thing. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s ever faced this dilemma, and it’s nice to see just how well things can work out in the end. Happy anniversary!

  167. JanetP

    This is a cooking blog! You are not supposed to make me choke up. Knock it off.

    The cake looks delicious. Happy anniversary — all of them!

  168. Rachel

    stfu. how did this cake never dawn on me on its own?!
    also, yourmeeting and subsequent story is just the sort of thing that ought to be commemorating such a horrific tragedy. To dwell on the negativity is to allow it to win; to turn your city’s – your country’s! – lemons into lemonade (a beautiful family was born!!) is just the way it oughta be. dammit.

  169. Naomi

    Hi Deb,
    I’ve been obsessed with your recipes and your stories for a few years now, but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to say thank you for your 9/11 story; it was probably my favorite post yet. What a beautiful perspective.

  170. Sorry I’m late to the party. This recipe sounds delicious!

    I’d been avoiding tv, news, and my favorite blogs the past few days because of the 9/11 anniversary. I’m glad that the best things in your life were result of that horrible tragedy. I knew people who worked in tower 1 and luckily they made it out in time, but every year I mourn those who didn’t, and pray for those who were left behind. It’s nice to have been able to read a “good 9-11” story this week. Thank you for that!

    Love and hugs from Birmingham, Alabama!

  171. Thank you so much for your touching story, and an absolutely gorgeous cake! There’s nothing so beautiful as love springing from adversity, and your family is a great example of that. :) I’m so glad you shared!

  172. Anneke

    Wonderful!

    For the pregnant moms, youngsters or anyone else who might want to make an alcohol free version, I just succeeded! I substituted 100% grape juice (the kind I buy is organic and not from concentrate – Sunflower Market store brand. A little pricey but worth it for the flavor) and just a splash of red wine vinegar and the outcome was divine.

    Also, I have a question for you – is there a reason you use unsalted butter and then add salt to the recipe? Does it do something different than just using salted butter would? Thanks!

    1. deb

      Zach — Because in the U.S. most butter is sold in sticks with tablespoon markings, so it’s the easiest way for most home cooks to measure. For 6 tablespoons, it would be 3 ounces or 85 grams.

      Anneke — Using unsalted butter and adding salt allows you to control how salty a cake turns out, which is why bakers usually use it. A stick of salted butter doesn’t have a standard amount of salt in it, it could be 1/4 teaspoon, 1/2 or more…

  173. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Red wine and chocolate cake? My two favorite things.

    Also, I appreciate your 9/11 story. It’s really delightful to have a wonderful new beginning spun out of remembering a tragedy. Thank you for sharing it.

  174. Catherine

    I made this yesterday evening and it was fabulous, however would personally dial back on the cinnamon just a touch. Delicious, nonetheless (that vanilla mascarpone whipped cream is utterly divine)! Thank you for such an amazing blog and for sharing your 9/11 story, Deb : )

  175. mavisclare

    I saw your post yesterday, and couldn’t stop thinking of it till I found a chance to bake it last night — had leftover red wine in the fridge, and couldn’t imagine a better use for it!

    It really is delicious — chocolately and nuanced (my bf thought the secret ingredient might be coffee at first — interesting how hard it can be to place unexpected flavors!). I didn’t have msacarpone on hand, so made a sour cream frosting. Perfect “adult cake”!!

  176. lisa

    thanks for sharing your 9/11 story, I love to hear one with a “happy ending”. As a person with a 9/11 birthday, that date will always be filled with good and sad memories, and you really added a lot to my good memory bank,
    and btw, that cake sounds awesome too.

  177. Great story accompanied by an awesome recipe! I’m printing it right now and already thinking about a good occasion to make it. It looks so chocolaty that I couldn’t believe my eyes when I didn’t see any actual chocolate on the ingredient list. Is Dutch cocoa powder similar to regular one?

  178. Sheri

    Dear Deb,
    I have been following your blog for over a year and use your recipes almost exclusively.. and as a consequence have gained a reputation as a great cook. I have never posted a comment before, but I just had to write to tell you how much I love this cake! I used a cabernet sauvignon that we had opened for dinner. I didn’t make any sort of topping for it, other than a little sprinkle of powdered sugar… The cake is just right — not as cloyingly sweet as some flourless chocolate cakes, and NOT the dried out chocolate cake we are sometimes served for birthdays! I have tried your stout cake, but this is better! Thank you for the lovely cake, your inspiring story and your great photography, too.

  179. This is the first time I have ever written to someone. I have been following your site for the past few months thanks to a friend and have been enjoying all of it.

    My sister-in-law-to-be’s baby shower is coming up (yes cart before horse but things like this are old news for us, yes?) and I think this would be a beautiful cake for the guests. She will appreciate it from afar due to the wine no doubt but it is right up her alley. Suggestions… Maybe 40 people are coming… cupcakes? how many cakes if not? other ideas?

    thank you!

  180. linda

    your words are honest, refreshing & direct.

    i re-read this post a couple of times…thank you for sharing
    your feelings with us & it was so interesting to learn about
    alex & you!

    happy birthday & may our country continue to forge on & shine…
    sometimes it is not only the recipe that resonates….

  181. Annie

    Wine in chocolate cake? I am *so* intrigued! I love wine, but only when it’s fully breathed and by itself (I hate it in sauces on foods). So I hesitate in making it. But that didn’t stop me from licking my monitor. Goodness.

    Different topic: Was it really 2 years ago that you posted that amazing cheesecake marbled brownies that makes me so popular with anyone and everyone??? (at a funeral even!) Seems like just a blink of an eye ago … Like that cute little boy of yours who is about to ask for the keys to the car. Ha!

  182. mhalvor

    What a lovely story about 9/11. Graciously told and touching without being soggily sentimental. Congratulations on all of your anniversaries. I love this site and have had great luck with many of the recipes since being introduced to the site last year. Keep up the good work! Can’t wait for your cookbook.

  183. memphislizzie

    thank you for a wonderful post. Congrats on the anniversary of this blog that I love and congrats on your wonderful life that has developed over the last 8 years. can’t wait to try this cake – perfect for fall weather, which is when I make my seasonal switch back to red wine from all of the crisp summertime whites…

  184. Kim

    This sounds amazing! When I first saw the title of your recipe in my email box I thought, “Wow! That was quick! I wonder what kind of changes she made to the $25,000 prize winner from Cooks Country!”

    I just got my most recent Cooks Country last night and they’d had some kind of “Lost Recipe” contest. The recipe that won the big prize is called “Grated Bread and Chocolate Cake” which also calls for red wine. (Frankly the cake in the magazine doesn’t look all that appetizing and I can’t understand how, with looking at the runners up, they actually won.)

    Your cake looks delightful! I’ll be trying it for sure!

  185. Great story! And I like the idea of red wine in cake. Depending on the wine, this cake could taste so many different ways. I’ve been happily keeping up with your blog the last few weeks. Great stuff. Thanks!

  186. Linda

    What a beautiful story! And from a fellow New Yorker who witnessed it all, I totally understand. I’m making this cake for my husband’s birthday next week – thank you.

  187. Thalia

    This might be the best 9/11 story ive heard, the thing we have to remember is that love can come from anywhere as long as we allow ourselves to look for it.

    also going to try this recipe asap, LOVE IT!

  188. Konna

    I really love your 9/11 story…..so much nicer than the hype on the news. I had to make the cake tonight and it’s cooling as I type. The batter tasted divine so I can imagine the cake! Thanks!

  189. Congratulations on all of your achievements and anniversaries (marriage, blog, daughter, etc.). I thoroughly enjoy your blog and look forward to the notices.

    Your story was very special and touching. I felt as though i was reading a novel. What a great Hallmark movie of the week this would be.

  190. AngAK

    Maybe I’m just overlooking it, but where is the link at the bottom of the page for older posts, or the archive to go back to early September/August posts?

  191. I’ve been saving this in my bloglovin until I had time to read it, and now I’m so glad I did. I saved it for the recipe, but you had a story to match. Definitely interested in giving this recipe a shot – happy anniversary to your blog.

  192. Sunny

    Stories like this are why I love your blog so much … add food to that … well it doesn’t get any better … maybe with a stiff drink. Thank you! Happy Anniversary! And may all of us see that something beautiful and wonderful could come from tragedy.

  193. Noa

    This looks like a true celebration cake! Congratulations Deb, and thank you. For those thinking of substituting juice: every September, when our grapes ripen, I make a chocolate cake with grape juice and olive oil. It’s one of my very favourites – I can’t wait for this year’s.

  194. pam

    you have no idea how happy your story makes me. 10 years later and i still can’t “go there” – you gave me something good to hold on to. thanks.

  195. Karen

    What a lovely story of two people meeting! Congratulations on your blog’s anni, and Curly-Head’s upcoming birthday~ (I refer to him as Angel Child). I look forward to all of your blog entries because of the recipes, of course, but also the snippets you share of your every day life.

  196. Robyn

    A friend told me about your website and I just viewed it for the first time yesterday. It just happened to be a great friend’s b-day today and we ALL loved this cake. They all said, and I agree, that it looks like it is going to be dry but it SO isn’t! The marscapone cream truly makes the cake AMAZING! I am very excited to try your perfect yellow cake recipe, I have looking for a great one for years – can’t wait!

  197. brendalynn

    This *does* indeed seem quintessentially September, in part because it’s like a little tiptoe back towards chocolatey and/or spicey baking goodness (which is so much better suited to Fall & Winter, no?) but also because September is grape season, and by extension, wine season!
    Totally seasonal. Now I’ve got to try it…

  198. srs1972

    My grandmother worked as a seamstress in Kingshwy, supporting her deaf Russian parents and her younger sister and brothers. They were all moved to Indiana and became a part of the Jewish community there. My grandmother would hold my hands and tell me her stories of the city that she loved. She described the smells and the sounds and the sights of her city that she so desperately missed. She was loud and brazen and was probably the one that rode the Vespa right down your sidewalk. I lost her when I turned nineteen. I was lucky enough to be able to celebrate my 21st birthday (New Year’s Eve) with friends in Brooklyn and got to see the fireworks in Prospect Park. The next day I rode the Staten Island Ferry non-stop, huddled in a puffy down coat, so I could see the the city in the daylight, at dusk, and at night. Recently, I made the same trip on the ferry. Back and forth and back and forth. This time with no towers. This time, much older. Tears for all of the people that are unable to hold the hands of their grand-daughters. Tears for all of the people that didn’t come home to their families. Tears for a city that never let go of the people that loved it. Yesterday, I read your post and felt strangely comforted. I’ve always enjoyed your website but this post speaks to my soul. Life continuing. Love forming from a desperate time and bringing new life to this tired world. Thank you.

    So, yeah, I’m gonna make this cake!

  199. Amy

    Wow, Deb. What a phenomenal idea! I made this tonight and it’s so insanely yummy that it might actually be a BAD idea for me to have made it…I think it’s one quarter gone already! But thank you just the same for another great recipe. It’s everything your recipes always are-easy, fast, seasonal, intriguing and delicious. You knocked another one out of the park!!

  200. This recipe looks phenomenal! Definitely like the idea of “maturing” red velvet cake with wine instead of food dye. I’ll have to give it a shot, especially since dark chocolate and certain red wines go so well together. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  201. I made this cake last night. I saw your recipe pop up in my RSS feed and I thought “Red wine? In a cake? I have to try this!” So even though it was just a regular Tuesday night with no real reason to bake a cake (but also no real reason NOT to), I did it. And my boyfriend and I agreed it was fan-freaking-tastic! It was so moist and chocolate-y and the red wine really surprised me with such a unique taste. I did decide to forgo the topping as I didn’t have the ingredients on hand, but I sprinkled some powdered sugar on it, and I didn’t feel it was missing anything. Just a note on the baking time: it took me a little longer — about 35-40 minutes — for it to fully bake. Great recipe and great story, thanks for sharing it!

  202. Mary

    Here in Australia, we’ve been revisiting 9/11 in the last few days and weeks too, and it’s been so heartening to hear all the stories about how the people of NY have rebuilt their lives since that awful awful day, and your story is a perfect example – I’d have gone for that drink too. Also, that cake looks amazing!

  203. Judy

    Add me to this growing list of people wowed by your story – thank you for sharing a gorgeous example of how destiny can work – keep writing and cooking and baking – you’re right where you’re supposed to be with your hubby and sweet little boy… also planning to bake the red wine & chocolate cake. You inspired me to put rum in my banana-chocolate chip muffins today & they were great (didn’t have bourbon in the house – probably need to get some if I’m going to keep reading your blog…)

  204. Jennie

    Hi Deb,
    Saw you in the Times story on scales this morning — nice! I would like to take this moment to thank you for inspiring me 2 years ago to buy a scale — I love it and use it all the time. Thank you!!

    And I can’t wait to bake this cake. Red wine and chocolate — two of the best foods the world has to offer.

  205. Mel

    Dear Deb, thanks for sharing your story. It really made me smile!

    Needless to say, this recipe turned that smile into a grin.

    Man… reading your blog always makes me happy!

  206. You made me tear up. I, too, worked at a job that–as we watched the second plane crash–was telling us to go back to work, and I remember, quite vividly, the feeling you describe. Ten years ago isn’t really that long of time–thanks for reminding us how much can change.

  207. When I first started my home-baking exploits, one of the first things I baked was a White Wine Bundt Cake–unfortunately it was pretty much a disappointment, with most of the flavor coming from an added glaze. Will definitely have to give this red wine cake a whirl too!

  208. Christi Ferry

    I made this cake last night for a casual dinner with our neighbors, and I can’t overstate how well it went over. Everyone from the sugar junkie (that would be me) to the guy who doesn’t like sweets, to the 9 year old who hasn’t developed a taste for wine loved this cake. I saw the 9 year old and her dad sneak extra slivers after we’d finished dinner. A perfect dessert.

  209. Barb

    Deb – this cake sounds wonderful. I’m tasked with a gluten-free chocolate … something for Thanksgiving dessert every year. Would this work to substitute a gluten free flour? I think I have sorghum flour at home – would that work?

    Thanks!

  210. midgetsal

    Hey, Deb,
    Lovely piece (of writing – not cake…haven’t tried the cake yet).
    Delighted to learn of how you and Mr. Smitten met.
    Is he still writing his blog?
    Best,
    Sal

  211. First, wine + cake = yes. Even to a non-cake fan. This I would try, happily, with a boozy smile on my face.

    Second, I like your 9/11 story. Sometimes, after hearing about all the tragedy and horror that those events brought about, it’s nice to hear about something sweet tied to the same date.

  212. Deb- First, I have learned most of what I know about cooking (not very much) from you.. My mom didnt cook for me growing up, and I have slowly been attempting to learn cooking through various sites and yours has been the most helpful… 2nd. I LOVE stories of how people meet, and yours is definetly one of the best I have ever heard.
    3rd, I have a ton of wine left over from my trueblood finale party and now I know exactly what to do with it ;)
    well besides drinking it! haha

  213. So…I didn’t see an answer to this, and I’m sorry if it’s a repeat question, but does the alcohol(or at least most of it) “bake out”? Also, happy anniversary to SK! It’s the best of any food blog or cookbook I’ve ever used.

  214. Definitely trying this. And this post definitely made me cry. Happy bloggiversary – I am a forever fan, and so glad that you started the blog that introduced you to your happily ever after, and introduced me to fail-proof recipes every single time. Even my hubby (who generally only cares about the end-product) knows you’re the first place I look for a new recipe, especially for sweets. Eagerly awaiting your book. :)

  215. JK

    What a fantastic post. You got me sniffling and drooling at the same time—–no easy feat! Love love love your blog and have been cooking from it like crazy lately (I was crabby when I made the naked sauce and thought it was lacking, but the leftovers were to die for……and I was no longer crabby. So now I have to try it again when I’m feeling more chipper. Such is life with a toddler and one on the way!). Can’t WAIT to try this cake!

  216. Natalie

    Thanks for this beautiful post, Deb.

    I was fired two months ago from a job not unlike the one you described. One month ago I was hired at my dream job. It’s been two months now and I am loving it. And did I mention, they are paying for me to go back to school. :)

    It is such a beautiful thing when tragedies turn into something good.

  217. Kirsty

    What a beautiful getting together story – I have tears in my eyes on the way to work! Destiny is a wonderful thing… from your Smitten fan Down Under, Kirsty.

  218. Megan

    I made this cake last night…so wonderful! When my roommate and I were in line buying some necessary ingredients for the cake the woman in front of us line commented on how she wanted to head to our house for dinner. We proceeded to tell her that we were making this cake and she was also a smitten kitchen fan! We then proceeded to talk about all of your recipes that we love and pass along your blog to the cashier! Just wanted you to know all the way in Seattle we are cooking and baking along with you!

  219. Mrs D

    Ahhhh, Deb, you’ve brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing.

    GO ALEX for trying to organise that get together and GO YOU for going to it. I just love destiny…

    Printed the recipe, trying Saturday morning.

  220. I was very moved by your thoughtful words of this day in history that we will all remember, much like Pearl Harbor. In addition, velvety red wine chocolate cake looks very moist and I can’t wait to give it a try. Take Care

  221. kickboxkim

    What a beautiful post on how we all honor the memory of that horrible day differently. Next time I need a red wine/chocolate boost it will be in the form of this fabulous cake! Thanks for sharing from your heart.

  222. Jules

    I just thought of this wine that would probably go great with the cake called Red Velvet by Cupcake Vineyards. It is a delicious blend of Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. They have other great wine too, a colleague introduced me to it. Enjoy! : )

  223. mimi

    i will be commenter 386 and everyone else has already said what i wanted to say! ditto about how my client insisted we proceed with a meeting as the towers were falling and though i knew some people who died in tragedy, they were acquaintances. i continue to be amazed, delighted and surprised at what i will find at smittenkitchen–an unconventional chocolate cake recipe and a bittersweet love story all wrapped up in a single post.

  224. kara

    i’ve been reading smittenkitchen since 2007 and have cooked more from it than from any other place–website or cookbook–always loving what i make. but what has also always kept me coming back are your great stories and watching your beautiful life unfold. thanks for sharing the story of how you and alex met…it touched me in the way that so much of what you’ve written has before!

  225. A few months ago, my darling boyfriend asked me what kind of cake he would be, if he were a cake, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since, as his birthday approaches. I think you might have answered his question.. Thank you, & happy anniversary!

  226. I couldn’t wait to make this cake, so I made it tonight. I was lucky to have all the ingredients already at home. It turned out delicious, I can never go wrong with your recipes :)

  227. Lau

    I made this today with a friend. (We used a Pinot Noir from Argentina. Nieto, I think.) We had the rest of the wine while it baked. I have to admit I was skeptical about the combination, but it was rich and delicious. Thanks for sharing! Happy blog anniversary!

  228. Deborah Cacho

    Hi Deb,
    Greetings from Nanjing China. I love your website and intend to make the Chocolate
    Wine Cake tomorrow. It sounds wonderful!

    Have you considered offering metric conversions too? Since becoming an ex-pat
    I have learned to bake by weighing and find it more accurate and so much easier!

    Thanks a bunch!

    Bai Ping

  229. Steffany

    This sounds totally awesome I can not wait to make it hahaha. And I am not even a chocolate cake fan (I know, blasphemy, right ?!) but I do love me some red wine. I have a bottle some friends brought us that we were not huge fans of, so maybe I will use that as cooking/baking wine !

  230. amanda i

    Made this cake yesterday! I had the perfect amount of Casali Rosa Di Rosa sparkling red wine just waiting for it’s curtain call in the fridge. It was perfect. Simple no fuss ingredients turn into sophisticated chocolatey goodness with a decadent topping! Thanks!

  231. Oohh so hungry. I think my tummy is actually … tickled at the thought of this cake! It has gone to the top of my list.
    But first, a trip to NYC. My very first. Husband and I will be going this Saturday for a week. I have looked through some of your posts that I knew you had mentioned restaurants in, and cannot wait to try a real NY bagel and compare it to the ones I make from your raisin cinn. adaptation.
    For sure you have been my favorite blog, and I dare wonder if I may be too bold to ask if there is a chance I could meet you?
    Busy busy I know you are. But doesn’t hurt to ask.

    Such joyous things to celebrate at this time of year! What a blessed thing.
    Thanks for being so lovely.

  232. julie

    Happy Blogiversary, I’m so glad you’re around! Sunday’s 9/11 anniversary coverage was so heartbreaking husband and I opened a bottle of wine, one he discovered in NYC. I agree a drink is a fine, fine way to commemorate a solemn occasion. We drank every lost drop, but I do look forward to making this cake another day.

  233. Hi Deb. Usually I only comment here to review a recipe, but this post really touched me and I wanted to say so. Thanks for sharing the story of how you met your husband, and not being afraid to let such a great tragedy have a happy ending.

  234. Jenny

    Dear Deb,

    Happy birthdays to your blog and your beautiful son – and thank you for sharing photos and videos of him with us! It is a joy to see him grow up. Thanks also for sharing your 9/11 story…big events take on deeply personal meanings. I tell everyone I know about you and your blog — you are the blog that never fails me! The flavor in every recipe seems to be spot on, so thanks for five years’ worth and counting (I hope!)!

    I made this cake tonight for the going away party of a friend moving to Juba (to do humanitarian work in the world’s newest country) — it is perfect. I only had 4 Tbl butter so used extra virgin coconut oil to complete the six, and people at the party could not stop raving!

  235. Dannie

    That is such a wonderful 9/11 story-something beautiful from something sad. I live in the DC area and everyone around here works for the government including several of my family members so it was scary but we’ve all moved on from that time.

  236. laurie

    Thanks for the inspiration to try something new and different and for the stories about NY, your family, and everything else. Your mom’s apple cake (made for my daughter’s 14th birthday), blueberry boy bait (made last month with peaches. I love that cake sooo much!), crisp rosemary flat bread (made last night), cream scones (made last week also also with peaches), smashed chickpea salad (just typing the name makes me crave it), apple spice cake (made two weeks ago with pumpkin), chocolate caramel crack (new Passover tradition/addiction), matzo ball soup (made last Sunday when everyone was sick), and icebox cake with homemade chocolate wafers (my family adores this) are some of our favorite recipes. Looking forward to many more recipes, stories and your book!

  237. Kate

    Just thought I’d share some info for the don’t-drink-a-lot-of-wine people out there: those mini bottles that some brands sell (187ml, usually sold in 4 packs) are exactly 3/4 c. Perfect if you don’t usually have wine on hand!

  238. Mary

    I will so be making this as soon as baby #4 makes her appearance, or maybe I should make it now and it will speed things up a bit!! This sounds heavenly and decadent! Can’t wait!! Thanks for the fantastic recipe!

  239. Allison

    409 Comments later, so you may never even read this, but I wanted to say thank you for your blog. I love coming to your site and finding delicious, creative, and new recipes every time. I love how you weave stories about your life, your family, your personality into every recipe. I love your photos. Every post feels like a casual recommendation from a good friend, passed on in a cozy, friendly kitchen. I cannot tell you how many rave-reviews I’ve gotten for your meals over the past three years. Thanks Deb!

  240. Jen

    Thank you for sharing the recipe and your story. It is great to hear about positive transformations arising from the 9/11 tragedy. I hadn’t realized until reading your words how 9/11 had also shifted my path, ultimately leading me towards heading down a completely different road than I ever would have imagined, but ultimately much more rewarding. I enjoy your writing style, and am looking forward to trying the red wine chocolate cake, which in and of itself sounds like reason for a celebration.

  241. Marie M.C.

    Happy Blogiversary! Loved every minute of the past five years reading Smitten Kitchen. Does Alex still write for his own blog? What was the name/subject matter — can we still access it?

  242. Erika

    Thanks Deb for this delightful recipe and your really lovely story of how you met your man, and then your other little man. September 11th will always be a sad day, but I too, like you, do not have a personal story to tell from that day in particular. It sucks to have your birthday that week ( 13th), but other then that, it’s also a time to celebrate how everyone I love is still with me.
    And what better way to show the love then this cake. I made it tonight, and brought it to the Andrea Bocelli concert in the park. We sat in the rain, drizzle, rain, wind, in ponchos and devoured it with the marscapone cream that I added crushed pink peppercorns to, and a raspberry sauce left over from a wedding cake I made last week.
    Made with Italian wine of course!

  243. I just said “Oh my God!” out loud when I got to that part. That is such an awesome story, and the way you framed it was masterful, and I’m here to be the 427th person to say so. Hot diggity.

  244. Tali

    It’s 1:30 AM and this deliciously awesome cake is in my oven (the batter is excellent). When I saw this recipe, I immediately decided I had to make it TONIGHT! Thanks for the inspiration! I love your blog!

  245. Kelley

    I made this cake today with port… wonderful flavor. I love the proportion of brown sugar to white, the hint of cinnamon and the taste that is not overly sweet. Today I served warm with a dusting of powdered sugar… tomorrow with the mascarpone cream. Lovely…

  246. I’ve been living on a boat with blokes for 4 months, and one of my key roles has been ‘dessert chef’. I’m going to try this gem of a cake for them tonight, and I know their eyes, tummies, and taste buds will love it! Our sea safari up the Great Barrier Reef is just about to come to a close, and what better way to celebrate than with your Red Wine Chocolate Cake? Perfect.

  247. Ronda

    i’ve been an expatriot for so long, I don’t even want to count the years! On that fateful day I was teaching. The principal’s secretary came in and told me the princpal wanted to speak to me (that is always a bad sign!). I went with great trepidation (I have two kids. I don’t wanna hear something happened to them!). When I arrived at his office, he drew me in shut the door and told me what was happening in NYC.
    He didn’t have to do this. He could have waited for me to go home and hear about it on the news. But he didn’t want me to hear it in such an impersonal way. We sat there and listened to French radio together.
    So hey, I want to do this cake with French wine.

  248. this cake was possibly the best sweet thing i have ever made. it went over HUGE, even with a couple too-skinny british girls who first turned up their nose at the proffering of dessert but were subsequently convinced by the looks of ecstasy on the faces of the crowd. the recipe was petitioned many multiple times over, even by those whose kitchen specialty consists of pasta and box sauce. i cannot make it any clearer: You Must Make This Cake.

    i made it cupcake-style and topped it with fresh whipped cream spiked with vanilla and dusted with saigon cinnamon.

  249. You have singlehandedly introduced my 60 year old mother to the world of food blogs. I sent her this recipe because we both share an extremely unhealthy love for red wine and chocolate and she fell in love. Baked it yesterday after perusing the wine aisle for the best wine to use (an organic, eco-friendly grown Cabernet with spices and chocolate notes, mmm) and then devoured it with massive amounts of whipped cream. I now have 17 more recipes in my inbox from your blog sent from my mother, so I and my waistline thank you, hehehe.

  250. I made this this week for a book club and it was a huge success! It was so rich and decadent. If you do not have Dutch cocoa powder, do NOT substitute! I have never used dutch processed cocoa before and now I feel like I can’t go back. It has such a different aroma and taste. DELICIOUS. I will be making this over and over again.

  251. Your story gave me chills – what a wonderfully written and poignant piece. It is a welcome relief from the other reflections on 9/11 I’ve been reading. Thank you for sharing.

    P.S. Can’t wait to try this chocolate cake

  252. Heather

    I am SO excited to try the cake this weekend and I love your 9/11 story. So glad I found your wonderful blog.
    p.s. I also made your fresh tomato sauce this week – turned out pretty well AND tried the fried tomato skins that you linked to. I need to tweak both a bit and I thank you for making me more adventurous in the kitchen! (I’m generally a follow-the-recipe type girl.)

  253. meg

    What a coincidence! I just made Nigel Slater’s Chocolate Beet Cake–so delicious and fudgy. I’ll bet the red wine does wonders for the flavor of this cake, though.

  254. Edan

    My best bud made this for no reason at all yesterday. I ate a lot. It was awesome. And then I had a dream that I had an advance early copy of your book.
    Then I woke up, and couldn’t remember ANYTHING I flagged.
    I was disappointed. : )

  255. Selkie

    Jeeesh. You brought tears to my eyes, and then smiles to my face, in one paragraph (the one between the uncooked and the cooked.) and THEN gave up a great chocolate cake recipe!! (I lost my sweet taste buds in cancer treatment recently, and am finding that so many things where we usually thrill on the sweet part are SO MUCH BETTER without the sweet, like chocolate and red wine (and maple and berry. and caramel. and …)
    Thank you for all these years. Looking forward to many more!

  256. Beck

    I returned home today after a funeral for my father-n-law, sat at the computer (beer in hand) and decided now, it was time to decide what kind of cake to make for my daughter’s first birthday party in two days. So much to think about this past week. A death is always hard, on a normal day. Trying to hype up my daughter’s first birthday 9/10 over the 9/11 ten year anniversary is damn near impossible. Add a death to that, and well who has time to think about pink cupcakes and sprinkles. Ugh. I don’t dare disappoint my friends and family, when it comes to baking. I have a following of ‘screen-lickers’ for my baking posts. I almost *gasp* picked up a box of cake mix tonight. I opted for a case of beer instead. Sorry for the novel here but I just wanted to tell you how PERFECTLY AWESOME that I opened your blog first. I am SO making this cake tomorrow. I’m going to try cupcakes though. So I can, um, test one just to make sure they are safe for the party *wink! Do you think it would do well with a cream cheese icing instead of mascarpone? What about a raspberry sauce? Thanks for making my life more awesome through baking.

  257. penny wolf

    I made this cake in a loaf pan and served it with homemadevanilla ice milk. The cake is wonderfully intense. I think it stops one in their tracks and is so glad to be eating dessert.

  258. Theresa

    I grew up with red wine chocolate cake! This always was my mum’s go to recipe and since I can remember I think virtually all my birthday cakes were red wine chocolate cakes. And for all of you concerned mums out there, the red wine probably cooks out more in my mum’s recipe but my sister and I turned out just fine (despite the fact that my mum’s recipe also adds rum)!

  259. BSK

    Thank you for using measures by weight! I have a great scale and being able to pour in the proper weights keeps me from using/dirtying/needing-to-wash a half dozen measuring cups!

  260. flo

    hi deb!

    thanks for sharing your 9-11 story!
    i made this cake yesterday and it was delicious! but mine didn’t look as fluffy and moist as yours :( would you happen to know what i did wrong? or how to make it more moist?

    thanks!

  261. Katherine

    Made this cake last night. Husband said it was the best homemade dessert he’s ever had. Someone else also suggested a touch of cayenne would be awesome and I definitely agree with that! Delicious as always. Thanks Deb!

  262. Rachel

    This was FANTASTIC! So deep, dense, rich, luscious. Reading a few of the above comments, I think I will add either a touch of cayenne or possibly espresso when I make this again. Do you think these could successfully be turned into cupcakes? I know they would be thin, but I think for a large party setting, it would be a better option.

  263. Katrina

    I made this cake for my fiance’s birthday and it was to die for. :) Thank you again Deb for posting amazing recipes! I also loved your 9/11 story- thanks for sharing.

  264. Sarah

    Oh how I love your blog! Everything I make is always delicious and comes out perfectly, however, this time, I had a bit of trouble. I made this red wine chocolate cake for my birthday. Since it is a single cake, I decided that I would make two for all of my guests. Perhaps I needed to change the measurements when I doubled the recipe but the batter was so thick! So thick! Almost to the consistency of bread. The cakes still came out delicious, however, what I noticed is that we couldn’t taste the red wine until we had leftovers for breakfast and what went wrong to make this cake more like bread. I’m not a bad baker but I think I must have done something wrong.??

  265. Erin

    AMAZE-ing! Wine and chocolate, my two favorite things combined into one incredible recipe. I just used some white zinfandel I had when I made this and it turned out great.

  266. longtime fan of this site, but this is my first comment. first of all, i’m kind of obsessed with this post. i re-read it three times. what a lovely story. secondly, thank you for also including the metric measurements in your recipes. i recently moved from san francisco to france and figuring out how to cook my old recipes using the metric system is just one of the challenges i’m faced with (did i mention i don’t speak french?)

    on an unrelated note, i cannot seem to find brown sugar ANYWHERE here. i actually just smuggled back 3 bags during a recent trip to the US. any suggestions for a substitute?? how exactly do the french create such amazing baked goods without brown sugar?

  267. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s beautiful. And perfect for all of these anniversaries. I know it’s true so it’s not like you intended it, but it strikes the perfect note for these times, a reminder that so often good comes out of tough situations.

  268. Sara

    What an awesome post-including us. What a great story of natural ramifications from 9/11 that so deeply and positively affected your life. And a great cake, it seems too- I will have to try it. Thanks for being so quietly authentic, and sharing all this charm with us!

  269. KC

    This cake is amazing. Came out of the oven perfect and fluffy at 25 minutes. I had just under 3/4 cup of wine left, so I topped it off with a bit of balsamic vinegar mixed with water – i know its weird but it worked fine. I added two dashes of cayenne, it has a perfect, almost unnoticeable, kick to it. Thanks Deb!

  270. Erin

    This reminds me of one night in college – I had baked brownies for some friends, and we were up late eating them and drinking wine. Of course, one of us knocked over our glass, right onto the brownies. Despite my worry that they were ruined, the group agreed that the brownies soaked in red wine were the tastiest ones. I haven’t had the heart to dump wine over brownies on purpose to try to recreate it since then; this recipe might be the answer! Thanks for sharing it (and your lovely story).

  271. Sina

    I just made this lovely cake. I like that it isn’t too sweet, but I would like to add a little bit more dynamic to it. I’m thinking of letting dried cherries soak in wine overnight and then chop them really small to give them a little burst here and there. Also cooked this in a smaller spring form pan. Made for a taller cake and therefore cooked for almost an hour. It turned out to be a very moist cake with a bit of a crunchy top. Very nice. Lovely recipe. Thanks for the wonderful posting. My audience for this cake gave it rave reviews.

  272. tracy

    deb –

    beautiful story. and you MUST come to seattle for your book tour. i will wait dutifully in line to meet you even if i geek out & freeze up like i did when i met ina garten.

    happy birthday, jacob! it has been such a pleasure watching you grow.

  273. I just made this and unfortunately only found 1/4 cup of cocoa powder in the cupboard so I melted in half of a green and blacks dark chocolate and dried cherries chocolate bar and it was amazing – dried cherries make a fantastic addition to a great recipe! I loved it and had it with some blackberries from our yard.

  274. Meghann

    Making this tomorrow for my new fiance! He loves chocolate cake and, since I got a pretty new ring, the least I can do is make him cake :)

  275. I just made this for my cook club dinner party, and it turned out exceptionally well. Rich flavors and great texture. I used Cupcake Red Velvet wine, and it was a good match for the chocolate. I served it with a coconut milk ice cream flavored with cardamom. Delicious! Thanks for the lovely recipe and story!

  276. Heidi

    We have a Supper Club that meets several times a year. This month’s menu included, among other things, your eggplant bruschetta (I admit I was a little skeptical of the eggplant and had bread as a back up but the eggplant won and was amazing!), zuchinni fritters and this cake for dessert. I wasn’t sure the cake would make it to the oven as everyone was eating the batter straight out of the bowl and swooning. It was delicious and the whipped mascarpone was divine. Thank you!

  277. Polona

    I come from Slovenia, Europe and I am new to your blog but I love it already. I love your writing and I love cooking so I’m quite sure I’ll be reading you regularly from now on. And I’m also going to the kitchen the minute I stop writing this to make this amazing red wine cake! Thanks and best wishes from Europe to America!

  278. Amy

    Holy moly, your story made me cry. I had no idea that’s how you met your husband/decided to bring Jacob into this world. It’s wonderful to know that the spirit and love of those who were lost lives on with new life, new food, and new memories. I pray that your son grows up in a safer, more peaceful world. <3

  279. clb72

    I made it last night for a dinner party. A big hit! And I wouldn’t worry about the alcohol content. My five year-old ate a big slice and he drove just fine afterwards. :)

  280. Lisa

    Just made this and it is fantastic! Not too sweet but full of depth and great texture; Might try adding a dash of cayenne next time, as some readers have suggested. I am allergic to alcohol and did experience a slight reaction – Meaning most of the alcohol does bake off, but not all. A child would be fine having a slice, maybe not two :)

  281. We have “tea” daily with our 80 year old friends who own the land we farm. We are all big lovers of red wine and chocolate, so I brought this cake over for tea yesterday. It was a big hit and the recipe was declared a keeper! Thanks!

  282. amy

    I made this for a party last night and. . . oh my! Delicious. I used an inexpensive Cabernet and the combination with the cinnamon resulted in an impossible-to-describe spiciness that was wonderful. And you’re right, a small slice is plenty adequate. Thanks for another winner!

  283. Victoria

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. I belong to a knitting group. We call ourselves “Knit, Sip and Rip”. We knit, we drink and then we rip out whatever we have knitted!! We have so much fun and this cake was the perfect treat to bring. Thanks again.

  284. Brittany

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday this week. It was absolutely perfect — a grown-up cake for a grown-up occasion. :) Thank you so much for sharing the recipe!

  285. What a wonderfully written post! I have not baked much with wine or alcohol but I am definitely going to make this at some point. I wonder what a white wine cake would be like, perhaps with fruit or vanilla instead of chocolate. I’ll have to experiment and let you know!

  286. Andi

    My husband loves a raspberry and bramble berry wine from a Seneca Lake winery – I wonder how the raspberry wine would work with the chocolate??

    PS saw your magazine piece! Congrats!

  287. elisa

    Deb-Love, love your story-it’s a beautiful one, that was such an unbelievably awful day and it was wonderful to hear something happy coming out of it. I can’t tell you how many times I’m telling my friends a story from my “favorite food blog person Deb”.

    I just made the cake and I LOVED the deep chocolate almost fudge like texture, however I’m not loving the wine taste, nor did my 10 year old taste tester, naturally. What do I use to substitute the wine?

    Thanks for this blog-it keeps me going!

  288. Laura

    Thanks for the great cake! I made it this weekend for a dinner party and it got rave reviews! Everyone loved it…even the ones who were not cake fans to begin with! Thanks so much!

  289. Amy

    Deb! Thank you! I am getting rave reviews from a picky-eater boyfriend who turned his nose up when I told him I was putting red wine in chocolate cake.

  290. Sarah Kay

    I literally JUST made this this evening for my Fiance’s 26th birthday. It is AMAZING! I used a medium-bodied Merlot (French House 2008) and it worked very well — especially on the wallet. I would like to try it with the frosting as soon as I can get my hands on an electric mixer (mine exploded during a meringue-fest last summer…oy vey). You are amazing and I cannot wait for the cookbook! Cheers!

  291. Kania

    This is such a beautiful post, Deb. I love how you managed to combine a memory that is personal with something as universally recognizable as cake, and did so with such eloquence.

  292. Nick

    Red Wine Chocolate Cake. Heres a photo of just how it looked before consumption. Kellie made this cake for James Birthday and we all of course loved every bite accompanied with a Napa Valley Sherry and a couple of Cab Sauv’s. Smitten Kitchen is the Go To Blog for food, humor and the foodie life. Sliced and ready to eat, Red Wine Chocolate Cake http://t.co/addHZ32z and ready to eat…. Wrap your lips around this….lol http://yfrog.com/mf3jroj

  293. Gerry W

    Wow – my daughter’s 23rd birthday and this cake was just made for us…with a little bit of tweaking to make it Aussie and a more than generous amount of cocoa – can you make a chocolate cake with too much chocolate? (My excuse – the cocoa poured out of the packet too fast…) Of course a good Aussie shiraz gave itplenty of flavour too….
    Thanks for the recipe – I have now tried two of your baked goods and both are serious crowd pleasers – we have been blessed with some wonderful blood oranges from a friend’s garden this winter (it is just spring now where we are) and so have made your blood orange and olive oil cake several times – helped by some beautiful oil from a friend’s grove in western Victoria.Good food and good friends – quite a match.

  294. Melissa

    Oooh…my second anniversary with my husband is coming up next week, and we have nothing special planned, but I think this cake might be a lovely little surprise for him. It seems like the perfect celebration cake! I can’t wait to try it.

  295. Janet

    Excellent cake, everyone raved about it! They were lucky they had anything to rave over, considering I debated even cooking the batter – it was that good!

  296. Carol

    I baked this cake over the weekend. It took me 15 minutes to prepare the batter. It was awesome! I skipped the icing and served with coffee ice cream. Just fabulous. I’m in awe of people who think to do weird and wonderful things like using red wine instead of buttermilk. I am clearly not thinking outside the box enough. It does remind me a bit of a depression era chocolate cake made with vinegar.

  297. Krista

    I love your story, it’s great that good things can always come out of the worst tradgedies. And Happy Blog-iversary! I found your blog a year ago or so and I’m always inspired to try new things. I’ll have to see if you’ve made tamales because I just bought masa and corn husks. If you have a good recipe, let me know…. Congrats and thanks for all the food fun!

  298. Kellie

    I made this cake last night for a dinner at a friend’s house. I started to haul out my Kitchen Aid mixer, but then decided to enjoy the true experience of a one-bowl cake and grabbed my hand mixer and spatula instead. It was a great change of pace. I made the recipe exactly as written, using a nice merlot. The cake batter tasted so fabulous before it went into the oven, I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out. I served it with red raspberries and the mascarpone cream (which was divine in it’s own right). I received rave compliments on the cake. I must say that it will go into my arsenal of favorite chocolate cake recipes. It was easy to make, simple to decorate, and divinely delicious. Thank you for such a simply elegant dessert.

  299. jennifer

    That is the most wonderful 9/11 story i have heard. It made me cry. Thank you for sharing it with us along with your recipes. I cant wait to try this cake. I cant wait to try ALll of your recipes.

  300. neha gattani

    Just made this cake..though i didnt have mascarpone cream so just dusted it with some icing sugar….and I must say the cake tasted divine…..thanks for this easy and delicious cake recipe

  301. SusanL

    Oh Deb, your story was lovely, and I had to check back to tell you I made this cake on Saturday night and it was the perfect ending to five head garlic roast chicken. The cake was lush, remarkably easy to make, and the husband and I realized we liked it even better chilled the next day. Totally adding this cake to my “Things To Impress Dinner Guests With” list. Next time I’m definitely buying some marcaspone to make the topping!

  302. SusanL

    Oh, and I forgot to add–THANK YOU for adding weights to this and many of your recipes. I saw your comments in the Times regarding food scales, and I totally agree that a scale makes everything one bowl!

  303. Olivia

    I just made this today, to go along with grape sorbet. It was lovely! I was a little hesitant because a short cake, to me, always seems like it is somewhat lacking (while this is usually untrue, it still nags me). However, even with the old cooking wine, this cake was very tasty. I used half butter, half greek yogurt, and it worked splendidly. I was feeling lazy, so in place of using one egg yolk, I just used two whole eggs and added a tablespoon more flour and teaspoon more cocoa (approximately). Once again, very great!

  304. sheila

    My sister made this for me this weekend and it was HEAVENLY. it was everything we needed for a girly weekend without our husbands :) whipped creme with marscapone is genius, i don’t think we’re ever making whipped creme without it again. thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  305. Amanda

    Deb, you are my kitchen hero, and the food blog Queen, or maybe the food blog gateway drug, since discovering your blog I now follow over ten.. but none so religiously as yours. Anyway, I made this cake yesterday as a fun return home surprise for my parter and he LOVED it, and this is a guy who is relatively jaded about food (he is spoiled), but this cake really blew him away. So thanks for this and all the recipes! Also, the whipped mascarpone is a match made in heaven.. its Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire in cake/whipped topping form.

  306. It’s wonderful that something so special came out of such a terrible day. The cake looks delicious and i would never have thought of putting red wine into a cake! Perfect combo – red wine and chocolate!
    Mary

  307. Meryl

    I used to work as a cellarhand intern at Bedell in the 2007 and 2008 harvests. So glad you love North Fork wines… I am a big fan of your blog and am putting this on my to- make list!

  308. Arlen

    I loved the sound of this so much that I tried it last night! I was so happy with the results. What a wonderful recipe. And I thought beer and chocolate smelled good baking together, but this was on a whole other level! :)

    Mine came out a bit dry though. Do you have any suggestions for a moister cake? Maybe I baked it a little too long? It was in for 25 minutes. Thank you for the help and inspiration!

  309. So easy, even a man can do it! I’m only mostly kidding. My boyfriend and I are calling this “booze cake” and dreaming up an occasion when we can eat red wine cake, guiness cake, kahlua cheesecake, bourbon ice cream… Seriously though, it’s a fantastically simple and fantastically delicious recipe, an elegant solution to the age-old problem of what to do with the dregs of a bottle of wine. And the smell is intoxicating (pun intended)! Thanks Deb!!

  310. Leah

    Does anyone have suggestions for doing this at high altitude??? I moved to Quito, Ecuador 4 months ago and now live at 10,000 feet. Baking here has been challenging! I’d appreciate any tips because this looks AMAZING and I’d love to make it!

  311. Elizabeth

    I do have a 9/11 story, but it came later, and it is a happy one. I’d never considered that pretty much everything awesome that’s happened in the last eight years spun off from the axis of something awful.

    Perelman, you’re O.K., kid.

  312. I have a mad desire to make this cake. I don’t think I can make it for Saturday, because the person who cannot have alcohol is being understandably careful. But maybe for some other day! Like tonight.

  313. Erin

    I have made many of your recipes (all wonderful) but this is the first time I felt compelled to comment. I had been off baking for a while because my mixer had died and I hadn’t found another one. This recipe made me go on a late Sunday night hunt for a mixer just so I could make it! I cracked open a bottle of my favorite sweet shiraz and went to town on this recipe and holy moses, I believe man CAN live on this cake alone! Thanks for yet another great everyday cake, Deb :)

  314. Amy P

    I just made this. It’s ridonkulous. It smells amazing from start to finish and the flavour has all kinds of notes! Can’t wait to roll it out for Christmas.

  315. Just read 17 and Baking and then your blog and kind of had an “excitement attack” because my two favorite bloggers ever had a major a September coincidence. Why am I such a nerd?

  316. Julieta

    Dear Deb. I ran to the kitchen to make this cake as soon as soon as I finished reading your post. It was done in 45 minutes :) When we tasted it… wow. It is the sexiest cake I’ve ever made, there is no other way to say it. Really, you could seduce the man of your dreams with a slice of it. I used a nice little bottle of Catalan wine. I’d love to try it again with a young, fresh Mexican wine. The concept of red wine and chocolate cake is not new to me, though. In case anyone reads Spanish, this is a wonderful take on the red wine and chocolate cake. http://elgourmet.com/receta/3723-torta_al_vino_tinto_wein_torte (from the Argentinian food channel El Gourmet) This recipe asks for infusing the wine with a stick of cinnamon and a strip of orange peel, the batter is spiked with pecans, and the cake is glazed with a mixture of confectioner’s sugar and red wine. The result is beautiful.

  317. Kelly

    Dear Deb,

    Made this cake Saturday night for card club along with the mushrooms strudels. Couldn’t figure out how to roll the phyllo like you did so just rolled them into packages. HUGE hit, huge. Everyone loved it all. There’s an excellent Ohio Red. North Ridge that I used for the cake. There’s never been one thing of yours that I’ve made that hasn’t been terrific.

  318. Thank you for the beautiful story Deb. I love it as much as I love this cake, which was first made for a very special reason as well. I’m glad you celebrated with something so simple and unassuming.

    I hope for many more anniversaries to come for SK. Your blog continues to enrich my life and that of my friends’!

  319. I made it, and it was a hit. Half way through Survivor, we had a piece of cake. Oh, My, Heavenly, Gosh! It was yummy. I used Robert Mondavi Merlot. It’s the grown up version of the “Snackin’ Cakes” of the 70’s. I knew it was going to be good. Thank you for another winning recipe!!! N

  320. erin

    I made this for a knitting night to rave reviews. Very moist and flavorful cake (I used a Zin) that didn’t need the cream/a topping, which was great for my lactose-free friends. Instead of dusting the pan with flour, I dusted with cocoa powder to make sure nothing would show. I also tried swapping chocolate extract for half the vanilla; have you experimented with it before? I just found it at my local megamart, so I’m still figuring out how to use it.

  321. Have you considered making wine ice cream? There’s a place in Ithaca, NY that specializes in wine ice cream, made with local wines.. resulting in DELICIOUS flavors such as Burgundy Chocolate, Strawberry Zinfandel, etc. A foodie such as yourself might simply drop dead in pleasure!

  322. Okay, I finally made this tonight, and accidentally put in a cup and a half of flour. (D’oh!!) I decided to toss in a generous splash of buttermilk to hopefully help compensate, and reduced the bake time and checked it starting around 19 minutes.

    BUT, the piece de resistance…to make up for it being too floury…I melted some semi-sweet chocolate and whisked in some red wine and drizzled that over the top. Oh. Snap. And then the marscapone whipped cream on top of that. Decadent. And the cake wasn’t even that much too done. It was a little bready, compared to the more devil’s food appearance of the texture of yours in the photos, but it was still delicious. Can’t wait to make it again with the right proportions of ingredients. And the wine chocolate drizzle. Thank you again for the wonderful recipe. Oh, and I used a Malbec.

  323. Like so many others, I had to try this too! I skipped the marscapone topping, since I didn’t have the ingredients on hand, but it tasted great sprinkled with powdered sugar and accompanied with vanilla ice cream. Thanks for the recipe! :)

  324. Fabsy

    Hey there! I just discovered this blog and it seems just amazing! Just for you to know that red wine chocolate cake is a north eastern french specialty (yep I am french – living in Alsace. Excuse my english :)). In fact north citizen of Alsace cook it, but less people knows this recipe in the south…FYI Alsace is only 200km long. I do remember my grandma cooking it when it was cold outside on long rainy or snowy winter days and I am really pleased each time I do so for friends…most of time they are really surprised to hear there is red wine in this cake!

  325. Texas girl

    This is my first post and I found your blog last spring which has been bittersweet. How could I have been so ignorant for so long?!?!?! With that being said, keep on coming with your amazing recipes…maybe one day I will catch up!
    I made this last night and it was an incredible crowd pleaser. I thought there was some extra red stashed away but to my dismay I only found some opened red that was facing demotion to cooking wine. I said a prayer, held my breath, the stars aligned and it baked beautifully. And yes, it happened in that order. It seems now that I must keep mascarpone and heavy whipping cream on hand as I have a new favorite!

  326. Deb, I don’t comment often, but wanted to say Happy Anniversary to your blog! I have been reading it since just about from the beginning and probably went back and read the ones I missed. I love the way you write and love your recipes. They have always been a hit! And each month my review of the peanut butter chocolate cake still gets more hits than anything else. :) I loved reading about how you met your husband. LOVED IT. Thanks for sharing! I plan on trying this cake also. Sounds delicious! Melissa

  327. Stacey

    I doubled the recipe and made two of these cakes on Tuesday night for the going-away party of a very, very special colleague. In the midst of the baking I discovered that I had no cinnamon and substituted garam masala instead. The spice was great with the wine and chocolate and made the cake nicely fragrant. It was a huge hit.

  328. Magpie

    Would appreciate insight into what UK brands if any are Dutch + if not, what modifications might be needed if I have to use something else.

  329. GinaG

    stumbled upon this via two-tarts “blogs followed” and, WOW, am I ever glad I clicked on this link. One I’ll be following for sure. Thanks for great story & superb recipe. Cheers!

  330. Lizzy

    Love your blog and this cake! I just wanted to chime in and say that replacing the butter with an equal amount of veg. oil worked well for me, in case you don’t have butter on hand. I’ve made it twice already- a hit both times!

  331. Susan

    I made a half recipe and baked it in a 6 inch pan, which made a good size for 2 people. This was an interesting cake: dense but soft with a fair amount of taste and a bit of buzzy alcohol on the tongue from the wine. The cinnamon flavor was subtle but present. This recipe was adjudged a keeper.

  332. Jenny in Portland, ME

    Deb- a friend of mine turned me on to your blog after I asked her for the recipe of the best scones I’ve ever had (turns out she made your dreamy cream scones for her daughters b-day brunch)…and now your blog is my new favorite thing to read. I can’t wait for the book (well, I can and I will!)…congrats, as I saw also that Time named this one of their Top 25 Best Blogs of 2011! Alright, enough rambling from me…I have a chocolate red wine cake to go bake before my friends come over for one last Indian Summer BBQ. And tomorrow, will be making the scones again because I have wild Maine blueberries to use up, and want to try them with some lavender from my garden as well. :) Thanks for your blog!!

  333. Fanya

    Question. So this look delish, but I’m not familiar with cocoa and wine. Can I substitute red wine with white wine? and can I use “baking cocoa” instead of Dutch cocoa?

    I know there are differences, but don’t know if it’s big enough to ruin the cake or make it less tasty…

    1. deb

      Fanya — It helps to know whether your baking cocoa is a natural cocoa or a Dutch-processed one. If it’s Dutched, it will likely say so on the package or it will be from Europe, where nearly all cocoas are Dutched. It changed the acidity of the batter, and will throw off the leaveners a bit if you use a non-Dutched cocoa. The cake may sink a little, rather than dome. You can use white wine for the red, but the red wine will impart a richer flavor.

  334. Vanessa

    This recipe is SO good, and equally easy. I made it for a dinner with friends last week, and it was a huge hit. The flavours are really quite unique, as you taste the cinnamon a lot. Thanks, and also for the story.

  335. Ginny

    Deb, this cake is fabulous. I didn’t even used to like cake all that much. (I know!) AND I never used to consider myself much of a baker. But your everyday cake collection (especially the walnut jam one and the lime yogurt one with the blackberry coulis…) turned me around. This one is definitely going into heavy rotation.

  336. I ran across your website through a fiber arts site that I frequent (Ravelry). I just had to pass on a link to your site with your 9/11 story. I really found it profound. I too thing a stiff drink, even though I don’t drink) is a perfectly fabulous way of dealing with a crappy memory. It could be anything from softening the blow to toasting those that were directly involved. You reached out to someone and pulled back a soul mate. I love that. Thank you so much for sharing that story.

    and oh yeah, that cake recipe didn’t hurt either ;)

  337. First off, I read your complete post and it was great. Though the day was tragic for all of us {even though we all don’t live or work in there}, it will be forever in our hearts. I really enjoyed reading how the day impacted your life and I commemorate you on it. It’s wonderful to read a happy ending on a day that was not so happy for others.
    Love your blog and your recipes. You are fantastic!

  338. Michele

    What a beautiful 9/11 story! I too agree with you and your husband that a stiff drink is a perfectly acceptable way of dealing with a crappy memory. Thanks for posting the yummy chocolate cake recipe, I cannot wait to try it.

  339. Angelia

    Deb, you really are my baking fairy! Every single cake I dared to bake so far, was a success, and propelled me to develop confidence with the (dreaded) ovens. Loved this cake (to the last crumb), so ridiculously simple to make, yet elegant and with such complex taste! Thank you :)

  340. Sue

    Deb
    I was just lead to your website yesterday and your Oct 2007 recipe for pumpkin bread pudding. I made it with some modifications and it was fabulous. Thanks so much for a great (and timely) recipe. It’s pumpkin time for me
    Sue

  341. I make a very similar cake, but it uses more butter, no brown sugar, and some melted chocolate in the batter. I also put cinnamon in the mascarpone topping, and make it more like a cream cheese frosting. I might try working some of the elements of this into my cake, I think the brown sugar would add a nice flavor and tenderness to the cake. And the lightness of the whipped cream topping might be a nice texture. I was actually planning on making these this weekend, we’ll have to see what I end up doing!

  342. Sue

    What an interesting idea! You say in the recipe to use any variety of Red Wine. How much do you taste the wine? Would different types of wine be noticeable? You’ve really got my curiosity with this recipe. I think I’m going to have to give it a try. Congratulations on your anniversary!

  343. Mmm, it’s delicious, subtly winey… had it with red wine tonight… yeah! Good timing too, as I had a part-bottle of wine in the fridge from a few weeks ago, too old to drink, but too good to throw. I’ll be subbing homemade labneh for mascarpone when I whip up the topping tomorrow to have with friends. Thanks for this and the golden dhal recipe too (I always make a double or triple batch of that!).

  344. abby_wan_kenobi

    I made this for a girls night last week and it was a big hit. I used Mondavi cabernet and skipped the topping since it was so rich and just served it with a little powdered sugar on top a large mugs of Kona coffee. The wine flavor was quite strong, I might do it with a lighter wine next time, but the girls loved it. Thanks for the recipe – I’ll definitely be breaking it out again around the holidays.

    And for anyone who manages to keep it around this long, mine was still tasty after almost a week (I kept it covered at room temp). It got a little dry around the edges, but the flavor was still so rich it didn’t really matter.

  345. Michelle

    Delicious. I made this last night and I love it. What a unique recipe! I only had about a half cup of cocoa powder on hand and I used it. I was worried it wouldn’t come out as good but it was perfect the way it was. Moist, wine-y, chocolately. I really enjoyed this recipe.

  346. mairsydoats

    This cake was a big hit at a party over the weekend!! Easy-peasy and impressed the folk! Can’t ask any more from the baking projects…

  347. Emily

    I just made this cake and from the crumbs in my cake pan, I can tell that this is already going to be a favorite of mine. Can’t wait to run to the store in the morning to make the topping! I am waiting eagerly for the publication of your cook book!

  348. Eric

    I just got around to making this cake, and it is Fabulous! Like your favorite chocolate truffle. Be advised that it is rich, so a standard 9″ cake will easily feed 10-12 people. It also stores well, so is great to make ahead of the big day.

    Deb, my only question is that mine didn’t develop a “chocolate puddle” on top. I mixed it in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and didn’t do the final step of folding in the last of the flour/cocoa mix with a spatula, just used the machine to mix the whole thing. Could that have been it?

    As mentioned, it was terrific. Might try it with other liquors as well – Thinking about Chambord for a raspberry flavor.

  349. This sounds so interesting and looks like a really good brownie! I’m going to have to give it a try once I have an oven that doesn’t moonlight as a microwave on it’s days off.

  350. Ladotyk

    I made this cake for a wine tasting party and it was a dream. The taste is most elegant, especially with the faint hint of cinnamon. It was so simple too; as long as you don’t overcook you can’t go wrong. I’m definitely putting this one on the list.

  351. Deb, what a seriously great writer you are. Have you considered writing a book? I’m an aspiring writer myself and really love your style. As for the cake, its on my shopping list as we speak!

  352. Saw the photos of this cake in my reader and literally stopped in my tracks. By the sounds of things this weekend’s going to be a wash out – perfect time to try out this recipe! Looks and sounds amazing. Thanks!

  353. B.A.

    Opening the bottle of wine was seriously the most difficult part of making this cake. (Struggling with a particularly stubborn cork then not being able to drink the wine on account of it being 10:00 in the morning and having to go to work in the afternoon was not the most pleasant experience, but I don’t blame you for that at all.) And it’s a fantastic cake–moist and decadent, but not too rich or too sweet. I’m definitely going to make this again.

    1. deb

      Hi SJ — I would not. The alcohol doesn’t fully bake out and nearly a cup of Baileys or hard booze in a small cake would make a slice like a shot. The original recipe which uses buttermilk instead of wine; you might use buttermilk and use, say, all but 2 or 3 tablespoons of buttermilk and use the alcohol of your choice for the remaining liquid to keep the booziness in check.

  354. Katie

    I’ve made a lot of the recipes on your website but I think this one is my favorite. I’m always one to want to add more to cookie/cake recipes – chocolate chips, icing, etc. – but this one I thought was perfect just the way it is. It’s rich but fluffy, and the chocolate/wine flavor is amazing. The mascarpone whipped cream is also awesome, but if you wanted to skip it, the cake can completely stand on it’s own. Thank you for the great recipe!!

  355. nbm

    I made it for break-fast and it was both impressive in its dark solidity (despite being quite flat) and absolutely delicious. It’s not as sticky-truffly as I expected, I guess because it uses cocoa instead of melted chocolate. The wine and cinnamon give it a haunting something behind the chocolate. I skipped the cream but did give it a sprinkle of powdered sugar.

  356. Red wine in cake – that’s a new one to me – thanks! I almost always put Porter or Stout in my boozy, chocolatey cakes, and it works a treat. Give it a whirl.

  357. Lindsay

    Just finished making this cake. It is wonderful. Although it was beyond moist enough on it’s own, I made a reduced red wine simple syrup and put it over the cake. I strongly recommend this recipe!

  358. Hi there! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. I made this cake on Friday, and it was absolutely delicious. I ended up making in an a square 8×8 in pan as I didn’t have a 9 in round cake pan, but it still turned out wonderful, I’m glad I decided to go ahead and improvise. Thanks for the recipe!

  359. Big Sky Ski Mom

    Couldn’t wait to make this. Used a petite syrah/petit verdot combo however didn’t have the dutch chocolate, only hersheys powdered. Dusted with powdered sugar when finished and we all had a small slice before bed. Excellent as made!!! Can’t wait to make again with dutch chocolate, a different variety of red wine, and the mascarpone topping (and then again with the syrups some have listed above).

    A special thank you for teaching me about the parchment paper cut out in the bottom of the pan and then sprayed; I have never had a cake come out so nice. My ten year old son and I had a blast tonight following this recipe. Can’t wait to read and follow more!

  360. Jim

    So easy and SO good! Just used whipped cream (Cabot). Keeps really well, too. Really liked the complexity that the red wine added. And, I also sipped a nice, dry Spanish red while I was eating it!

    Thanks!
    Jim

  361. Made this last weekend, but I couldn’t get the topping right. It just ended up too liquid-y, but the cake was perfect and the powdered sugar on top made it so pretty. The cinnamon in the batter adds a whole other dimension!

  362. eileen

    I made this as a birthday cake for a friend who loves both red wine & chocolate. It was a drop-off gift, so I didn’t get a chance to try it myself, but I just got any email from her with the headline: YUMMALICIOUS! I’d call that a rave review.

  363. Alyssa M.

    Made this cake last night and it is fantastic! I’m going to share with a few ladies at work today :)
    What brand of dutch cocoa do you use? The only kind of cocoa that my grocery store has is hershey’s special dark cocoa. I’m thinking of buying some online and am not sure what to get.

  364. hi deb – quick question about this cake…just made it tonight and i’m a little unclear about the last step before putting in the oven. when you say “mix until 3/4 combined” do you mean with an electric hand mixer or with a spoon? since everything else said “blend” and not “mix”, i used a spoon for the last step and the batter was really lumpy. was i supposed to use an electric hand mixer?

    thanks!

    1. deb

      You can mix with whatever you’ve been using — electric mixer, stand mixer or whisk — for everything but the last bit. I always stir the last part of dry ingredients in by hand to avoid overmixing. I’m surprised it was really lumpy as the batter would be very thick by then. Nevertheless, small lumps usually disappear in the oven. Hope that helps!

  365. Katie

    we just made this for the second time. i’ve been shamelessly eating it for breakfast. this with a cup of coffee…perfect morning :)

  366. Dear Deb,
    Will You Marry Me? Or rather, what I mean to say is that I just made this cake and then I died and went to heaven because it’s amazing and so simple and that I love you forever and ever amen.
    *s*

  367. Hi Deb!
    I just now discovered smitten kitchen while looking for a chocolate cake recipe. And I’m so glad I did! Me and my boyfriends anniversary (2 years) is coming up and I wanted to make something special for him. And a red wine chocolate cake is perfect. Since he is diabetic tho, I wonder if you or anyone else has tried making this cake with splenda or any other sweetener? Also, could I sub the mascarpone for cream cheese or ricotta? Maybe the ricotta would be too gritty…any suggestions???

  368. Jessica

    This look unbelievable. Thanks for sharing. Can it be baked a day before? Does it need to be heated before serving the following day?

  369. Tamara

    Thank you for this recipe. I made it last weekend and it was really delicious. I’m not sure I achieved the “puddle of chocolate” consistency you were going for with the top of the cake; it was firm, I might have baked it a few minutes too long. I found it really delicious though. The cinnamon really does something special to it.
    And I have to say, the batter for this tasted like liquid truffles. I could have eaten up the whole bowl.
    Happy Anniversary and thanks again!
    Tamara

  370. Gugi

    I made this cake today, because I had some excellent red wine left over and didn’t want to drink it by myself.
    I followed the recipe (in metric) in every detail, something I normally don’t do, and it turned out beautifully.
    Pefect!

    The mascarpone topping will probably become the center of desert at some point, with some “speculoos”, as this too was so delicious.

    Thank you for this great (and quite simple) recipe!

  371. Amy

    I am seven months pregnant and have been craving a glass of red wine. I figured this cake was a good way to taste my wine, and not feel guilty about it. The cake is absolutely wonderful; it is moist and has just the right hint of red wine taste. It tastes even better the next day. I did pair mine with vanilla ice cream. I can’t wait till next weekend, when I will be making this again.
    Thank you for another great recipe.

  372. I baked this with my husband last night. I think it made him fall in love with me again; he said it was a tie with the chocolate cake I baked for our anniversary (He’s been talking about that one for a few months now). Thank you for such an amazing cake recipe (it’s my new fave) and inspiration for an impromptu date night last night!

  373. Ka

    I can finally profess my undying love for you. This past week I made your Mom’s Apple Cake, Whole Wheat Apple Muffins, Zucchini Bread (with cranberries), Pear Bread, Red Velvet Cake, and this Red Wine Chocolate Cake. My family and my coworkers were in heaven. But I have to admit that although everything was delicious, this cake was my absolute favorite. I am so looking forward to your cookbook!

  374. amydian

    This cake! I’ve made it twice now, once as presented, and the second time I doubled it and made a two-layer cake frosted and filled with ganache (from the double-chocolate layer cake recipe). AMAZING! And easy. This will definitely be in heavy rotation. Thank you!

  375. Nadia

    Dear Deb, would you mind confirming whether I can make this in a loaf pan if I have the recipe? I intend it to be a more-portable birthday cake so I don’t want to mess things up..thanks!

  376. Terry

    I made two of these – one to try and one for Thanksgiving. What a hit. No one could figure out what was in it until I told them but they absolutely loved it!

  377. This tasted awesome, but took much longer to cook than stated–at least 40 minutes and it might have been more like 45-50. Made me late to bookclub, but then everyone loved it so I was forgiven ;)

  378. I made this for my mother’s birthday this past week –AWESOME.
    I actually used the 8 inch and it turned out really beautifully.

    LOVE the topping, it was just PERRRRRRFECT.

    I am making it for my man when he gets back, he is traveling abroad right now and he is a huge red wine lover :)

  379. Jes

    This is a lovely recipe…I decided to double it and bake one as shown and decided to tweak the second by doing a cherry upside-down cake. Both are YUMMY!

  380. I had this recipe in my book marks for a few weeks before the opportunity arose to make it. I’d made pesto with my new birthday present, a new food processor, and there was just enough leftover wine from the dinner party.

    This is definitely my new favorite cake. It just got better every day after it was initially baked, which was great–very encouraging to not eat it all in one sitting! I’m a tannin fiend, and this truly does the trick.

    Thanks for the lovely post!!

  381. wjbk

    This cake is absolutely PHENOMENAL! Mine took a bit longer than the 25-30 minutes stated in the recipe. At 25-30 it was pretty loose. I took it out before the cake tester was clean — about 35 minutes, and the texture was perfect.

    You’re my go-to girl, Deb. When’s the cookbook coming out?

  382. Eliz

    Hey Deb, I love your recipes! They always get me rave reviews. Do you think this recipe would do well in mini loaf pans? I was thinking mini’s would be great for my stocking stuffer baked-goodness (I always have a little loaf cake or cupcake).

    1. deb

      Hi Eliz — I think mini-loaves would work… but you’d have to scale this up. This cake is 2/3 to 3/4 the volume of one that would fit in a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan.

  383. Ashley

    I have made this recipe twice as cupcakes and both times it yielded twelve (perfect and delicious) cupcakes :3 They were on the thin side but that way the frosting was inside the cupcake holder too and they looked GORGEOUS. I’m also happy that this was my first time decorating cupcakes and they turned out wonderful!

    BTW, I used the cream cheese frosting and although I loved it my friends all said it was too sweet compared to the cupcake.

    Thanks again, Deb :D your blog has my friends convinced I’m a good baker.

  384. Hi, this looks really good and reminds me of a Rot-Wein-Kuchen, we used to make around Christmas in Germany but baked it in a bread pan.

    Will try it asap. Thanks, Deb for your great blog. It gives me tons of ideas and your photos are fantastic.

  385. I ADORE making this cake. It’s got a beautiful winey, chocolatey finish. I used Valrhona coco powder last time and it ended up overpowering the wine flavor, so I think I’ll stick to a more normal variety. I’m trying it out once again for a potential date on Thursday. Fingers crossed…(for the boy, not the cake)

  386. n

    i was skeptical about this cake. i knew it would be GOOD, but i doubted that a cake with no layers and no frosting could really be SPECIAL. but i was so wrong – it was rich, fudgey, indulgent and complex. dusted with powdered sugar and topped with the whipped mascarpone, it was a (very pretty!) show-stopper. if you’re reading this comment and you’re on the fence – make this cake now!

  387. Jen

    I have a mind to use the “rich ricotta” recipe you posted in place of the mascarpone in the topping. if I get around to it, I’ll let you know how it worked out!

  388. CarrieAnn

    I made this for St. Valentines day….OMG..it was amazing. Richly chocolate with beautiful wiffs of cinnamon. The marscapone/whipped cream topping was to die for as well. Excellent recipie!

  389. Vicki

    This is one of my new GO TO desserts when I have dinner parties. Makes people moan audibly. Its beyond scrumptious – really chocolately, but delightfully light. THANK YOU!

  390. Amy from Detroit

    This is AWESOME. Made it for my office’s “Cook-off” (wont know if I win till Apri) but OMG, everyone was raving how good it was. So easy and yet it looks and tastes so sophisticated.

  391. Jen Merschel

    Just made this to use up some leftover wine from last night. It is absolutely fantastic just by itself! It has such a rich, complex flavor and the texture is almost fudgy.

  392. Reney

    Made this w/ a red-cherry wine blend (I’m from MI) for my friend’s birthday. She loved it! I’ve also made the predecessor cake, which I love.

  393. Elizabeth

    This was delicious – used a malbec, beked as a dozen cupcakes, and frosted with a bit of bittersweet ganache. Cupcakes baked for 20 minutes at 325 degrees in my oven. Next time I’d try the marscapone topping as the ganache was a bit to sweet for the cake. But what a great recipe – the moistest cupcakes with the most delicate crumb that I’ve made in a long time. I found the cinnamon flavor rather pronounced – seems like that could be left out or reduced if that’s not what you’re looking for.

  394. rhonda

    Hi Deb
    I love your blog, I am Australian but my daughter discovered you whilst studying in Italy (bizarrely!).
    I tried this cake and it is delicious but was quite flat, the proportion of baking soda and baking powder are lower than I would generally expect or see in most recipes, is there a reason for this. I did find the cake cooked a little unevenly with a moister layer in the middle. Am going to try again but wondered if you have any suggestions.
    Thanks for your lovely blog.
    Rhonda

    1. deb

      Hi Rhonda — It’s actually a very thin cake, slimmer than a single-layer cake. I felt that the flavor was so intense that a thinner portion was tastier.

  395. Allison

    I dug in when this was 10 mins out of the oven, and it’s delicious. I am going to restrain myself, let it cool properly, then try it again tomorrow. I am really not the best baker (it has something to do with patience and attention to detail) but as far as I can tell this turned out flawlessly, just like your picture. I can tell this is going to be one of those rare recipes that become a signature dish. Thanks so much.

  396. Tom and Jim Brewer

    OMG! We have tried this cake but did a bit of playing around with it….We used dark cocoa powder, we used a red zin, when the cake was cool we poked it with toothpick and brushed it with Godiva Liquor….then used red sea salt (sparingly) after dusting it with powder sugar…..thanks for the inspiration!

  397. Made again, brought to dinner at a fabulous East Side penthouse with perfect views of both the Chrysler Building and the Pepsi-Cola sign — once again a huge hit. I was asked for both seconds and the recipe. Thanks for a festive, intriguingly different but surprisingly easy creation.

  398. Allison

    I have to review again: I made this a second time, for my family, and my mother claimed it’s the best chocolate cake she’s had. I made the topping thiis time too, and that is amazing in its own right, and really goes so well with the cake. I can’t get over how easy this recipe is. Thanks.

  399. LOVE! We’ve been invited to a hoity-toity wine club dinner party on Saturday night and are supposed to bring dessert for 12. This recipe sounded perfect, subtle flavors, complex et al….Tried it, loved it and had to sample it at breakfast with my coffee. Here’s the potential problem. Is it pretty enough to impress hoity and toity? Would you use this recipe x 2 if you had to serve 12?
    Thanks, you rock!

  400. Gabe

    Deb – yet again, another beautiful recipe. I just made this cake after having been eyeballing it for a few days on here. It’s perfect. The texture, the density but not-too-dense, the rich yet subtle taste of wine. (I used Cocobon from Trader Joe’s. It’s one of my favorites right now and has really nice cinnamon-y, chocolate undertones.) It’s the perfect marriage of wine and chocolate that meet at the fork (or by the thumb and forefinger while I dive right in for seconds… and thirds… okay, and maybe just one more bite.) Thanks again. This cake is truly divine.

  401. deb miller

    I am traveling by bus from DC to NYC for a reunion of folks I went to school with in Italy. I made this cake and posted it some time back and this is what the reunionees have demanded I bring- should I bake and freeze for the travel (making the topping when I get there) or just bake it the night before and take it room temperature? Well wrapped of course!
    It truly is delicious.

  402. Adira

    Hi, the cake is in the oven- the batter tastes amazing! Can’t wait to try the real thing! So I’m planning on serving it on Sunday (today is Thursday). I see from previous responses that it should last all right. So here are my questions:
    1) Wrap it in what?
    2) Leave it wrapped in the fridge or out?
    3) Can the whip topping be made in advance or should I stick to the four hour rule?
    Thanks!

  403. deb

    Hi Adira — You can keep it at room temperature. You can cover it loosely with plastic wrap or with a cake dome. I would make the whipped topping shortly before you’re going to use it; it needs to be kept chilled.

  404. Lauren

    so glad to find a use for leftover wine besides gravy and stew! Was so decadent- wrapped it up promptly so I could avoid eating the whole thing!

    As a broke,and I mean BROKE student in Vancouver I have been living off rice and frozen veggies for nine months- this blog has inspired me to enjoy cooking (and to pickle those baby carrots that have been sulking in the back of my fridge) and I am delighted that there are so many simple recipes with ingredients I have on hand! Thanks, Deb!

  405. Alissa

    Deb- your food is so so good! Everything I make from your recipes is fabulous! I actually just finished a piece of leftover spinache quiche:). I am having a wine and cupcakes party next weekend on my balcony in sunny Santa Barbara, CA. I am going to make this cake into cupcakes with blackberry frosting. What do you think? Wish you could come! I’d love to meet you someday!

  406. kaavee

    I just finished making these as cupcakes. Followed the exact instructions, cooking time, etc. Truly one of the best chocolate cake recipes I have ever had. The cinnamon is a perfect addition, and reminds me of a cinnamon chocolate fudge recipe I once sampled. I used a dark fruit pinot noir for the wine. I’m so happy I found this website!!

  407. Thank you for this recipe. I love it! And you are true, it bakes in no time! Although I sub red wine to a more local alcomix instead and it still comes out great!

  408. Katie

    I made this cake last night for my parents’ 34th wedding anniversary. Things have been difficult lately and I just needed a win. The cake turned out absolutely perfect (no adjustments to the recipe), rave reviews from everyone. Thank you, thank you. I always knew chocolate and wine could fix most things- never knew they were so divine together in a cake!

  409. I adore your 9/11 story and happy 5th birthday to Smitten Kitchen! I simply adore your recipes and I’m totally making this cake tonight. Every time I crave something delicious, I always find it on your site. Thank you:) Have a great day

  410. Bridget

    Is the mascarpone topping essential to the deliciousness of the cake? It looks divine and I will definitely have to try it at some stage (we’re so boring, we normally just have plain whipped cream!) but I’d like to make this cake for my study group and I don’t know how well the cream/mascarpone would keep throughout the day. I was thinking of turning the recipe into cupcakes and just dusting with icing sugar…?

  411. Erin

    This cake is AH-MAZING! I’ve made it twice already and loved every single bite. A group of friends came over and also raved about it. The Marscapone topping really makes this over-the-top delicious too. Can’t go wrong with this one. I think I’m making it again this weekend for a friend’s dinner party.

  412. Lee Anne

    I love love love this cake (and you), but I’m thinking I want to turn into a flourless version of itself, more truffle-like. I’d be exceedingly curious to know if you have any ideas of how to best do that … until then I’ll be experimenting in my laboratory of delicious things.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all that you do with us.

  413. I am absolutely IN LOVE with this recipe. I made it in its original form for a friend’s birthday and then did it again, in vegan form. HUGE success. I’ve also added almond extract to the whip cream instead of vanilla; had people saying “Mhmm” and trying to guess what flavor it was.

    My question for you: what would this look like in cupcake form (meaning: use a cupcake tin instead of a springform)? How long and at what temperature? Is it possible to double this recipe for a larger (10″) springform?

  414. Erin

    Deb, I love this post. Reading your story is what I do to commemorate an anniversary like today’s. Your writing is poignant and beautiful and hopeful. Thank you.

  415. Nicole Evon

    Well, I’ve been making this cake for a year now & figured it was time I thanked you for it! I’m more of a cook than a baker usually, but I’m a fan of all things red wine & chocolate. Plus I loved the one pan deal & the not too sweet topping…so I made it for a long weekend trip with friends to celebrate my October wedding anniversary – a hit! The perfect fall cake. Pulled the recipe out again to bring something simple, festive & sweet to my parents for an extra dessert at Christmas. A hit again! The perfect Christmas sweet. And yet again for Valentine’s day with friends. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s just the perfect cake. And the weather has turned cool enough in Chicago now that I’m making it again… just because I haven’t had it since Valentine’s day :)

  416. GBannis

    The wine, I think, would make a big difference because there’s quite a lot in the recipe. I went for a complex flavor and chose a Cotes du Rhone, and the cake was splendid — deep, rich flavor with winking hints of berries, ginger, cinnamon, etc.

    We served the cake with the mascarpone cream mixture but everyone exclaimed that the cake was better unadorned. Delicious and easy.

    1. deb

      It’s best to bake batter once mixed because the leaveners start activating once wet. If you need to bake it in advance, less than a day, just keep it wrapped well at room temperature. Longer, I like to keep cakes in the freezer, undecorated.

  417. Hi! I just came for the cake (sent here from google, but I have visited your site before) but 9/11 caught my attention and I decided to read on. That is the BEST story that I have ever heard.

  418. Veronica

    Oh. My. God. I am still waiting for it to bake, but the batter….I’ve always disdained chocolate wine, because it just looks silly, but as soon as I had a taste of this batter, I was won over by the chocolate/red wine combo. I can think of no other way to describe this than sexy. Can’t wait until it comes out of the oven!

  419. Olga

    I made this for my coworkers and family, and everyone from the most sophisticated to the most simple palate loved it. Nothing makes one feel quite as classy as red wine cake.

  420. I’ve made this a couple times and they were both huge successes. The first with with a full bodied Apothic Red (blend) and the second time with the medium-bodied and slightly fruity Gato Negro Merlot. Both offered astoundingly different flavours and I actually preferred the bold taste of the merlot, both were completely delicious and irresistible.

  421. I have celiac disease so I just made this with my own gluten-free flour mix (sweet rice flour, tapioca starch and potato starch- no gums) and it is DELICIOUS! It needed to bake longer than 30 mins but that is most likely due to my mile high elevation. THANK YOU for the recipe!!

  422. Kim

    Cake coming out of the oven now. Smells delicious! Can’t wait for it to cool down and taste it! A friend of mine from Holland recommended it to me and now I’m making it in Brazil. Thank you!

  423. JCS

    sorry to join the dialogue so late in the game… i’ve only recently discovered your wonderful blog via your cookbook! i was wondering how this cake would taste with marsala wine? read through the comments to see what wine people used… love good wine but not too terribly knowledgeable about it… would love some advice on wine picks? love, love, love your writing and recipes!

  424. Jen G

    Hi, I made this cake and was disappointed by how dry it was, my hubby said it tasted good but you need to pair it with milk because it’s hard to swallow on it’s own, wonder if it was because of the wine I chose? (red dessert wine by yellowtail). I want to try again but maybe I will add little warm water mixed w/ cinnamon and sugar.

    1. deb

      Hi Jen — This cake is usually very, very moist so I am wondering if something else could have gone wrong. Did anything else seem unusual?

      Jcs — I think a little marsala could be good, but not in this volume. It would just be too strong. You could replace most of the wine with buttermilk, if you’d like, and then use marsala for the remaining volume of wine instead.

  425. Jen G

    Nothing seemed unusual, I did shift from your directions a tinge, instead of creaming the butter I melted the butter and after beating the sugars it did not seem to have a “fluffy” appearance, even though I beat for 3 minutes. I sifted all the powders into a measuring cups to a T and used one egg and one egg yolk at room temperature and mixed the rest accordingly. I am trying again because I know if it was a bit more moist it would have been perfection.

  426. mimiindublin

    Thank you for a wonderfully honest (and brave!)post. Your 9-11 story is the best I have ever heard, and it brings truth and balance, the comments show that too. Can’t wait to try this recipe too! And (belated) Happy Anniversary to Smittenkitchen! Your site is a wonderful tapestry of words and food, much like life itself!

  427. Heidi

    Holy Moses – this stuff is amazing! I made this and the St.Louis Gooey Butter Cake (overcooked it, more like lemon bars without the lemon), and it was awesome! I might dial back the cinnamon a smidge – even at a quarter teaspoon it was stronger than I cared for, but everyone’s mileage varies. Your Everyday Chocolate Cake is my go-to cake recipe, but I’ve been antsy to try this one, and it totally came through. Happy 2013, Deb!

  428. Kate

    Here is how great this recipe is. I was making the book version of this cake (the one with three layers) for a New Year’s Eve party and I was a little too excited about my new scale, with which I was carefully weighing out all my ingredients into little bowls. I’m a long-time baker but never had a scale before and so I was enchanted by the taring and weighing and when I put the cakes in the oven I thought “hmm, even for a flourless chocolate cake that batter looks a little curdled”. I look over, and there’s the flour on the counter. Quickly I grabbed the warm pans out of the oven, poured the batter back into the bowl, folded in the flour, and threw them back in the over, thinking “this is going to be a disaster.”

    But no, it was devoured and praised. It’s a miracle cake. Thanks, Deb!

  429. Lissa

    This cake is absolutely… (can’t think of a word that fully describes it… I’ll go with)… luscious, magnificent, love in physical form? I made this in a three layer cake and your carrot cake in a two layer for my step mother’s birthday party. They were an absolute hit. The batter was so delicious and they came out so pretty that I wasn’t even nervous making them for the first time before presenting in front of 30 people in a restaurant. I tripled the cake and doubled the whipped cream/mascarpone topping and used it to frost between and around the layers. I then topped it with the chocolate ganache from your brownie mosaic cheesecake and added raspberries for a garnish. Kept it real cold in the freezer between steps. Oh man, friggin’ to-die-for. This may have even gotten me a wedding cake gig :). Thank you!!

  430. Liza

    I’ve made this cake for New Year’s and OMG, what an amazing cake it is!!! I agree with every word that you wrote about it, but moreover I want to say that this cake is a love with a first bite!
    Thank you-thank you for this recipe, Deb! And Happy New Year to you!!!

  431. Cora

    My partner recently baked me this cake (well, the version of this cake from your cookbook) for my birthday. Initially I was going to do it myself, but soon realized that I didn’t really want to bake my own birthday cake. Picking up on this, Mike decided to bake the cake before I woke up on the morning of my birthday. In his sleepy phase he read “2 cups (475 mL) red wine” as “two 475 mL cups of red wine” and made the cake with a full doubling of the suggested amount. To our mutual amazement, the cake came out fine with a 5 minutes extra baking time. I think his version was quite a bit more dense/moist than yours looks. And quite a bit more boozy. But appreciated all round.

  432. Staci

    So I’m sitting here on the couch, half watching tv and hitting the ‘surprise me’ button on the IPad (like I often do when I should really be sleeping!) and this popped up. I’ve been debating the red wine cake from your cookbook but now it’s on!! I’ll be bringing it to work on Thursday! Your story made me cry. And then cry some more! Life is amazing, isn’t it?

  433. Gabrielle

    Just made this as 12 perfect cupcakes for my friend’s twentieth birthday (noting that in Canada, 20 is perfectly legal to be drinking.) Delicious, rich, but not too sweet. This would be perfect paired with unsweetened whipped cream. Yum.

  434. Hi Deb, a question about the cookbook version of this recipe, if you happen to see this–i’d love to make it for my birthday on Monday but really only need half the amount the recipe makes. Any idea how I could halve it? Or is the recipe here close enough to the cookbook that i could double it? Googling “halving a three-layer cake” only gives me suggestions on how to cut cake!

    1. deb

      Christina — When you say you only need half what it makes, do you want to make fewer layers, and if so, how few, or would you like to make it smaller? Most 9-inch round cakes can be neatly halved to make 6-inch cakes, so you could make an adorable 3-layer 6-inch cake. Or, you could just 2/3 the book recipe and make a 2-layer 9-inch cake. In the book’s version, each layer is a little thinner and with possibly an even more moist, satisfying crumb.

  435. I ended up just 2/3rd-ing the cake recipe (except the eggs, used 3 of those) for a 2 layer 9 inch cake, kept the same amount of frosting (not usually a fan of frosting, unless it involves cheese!), and it was perfect! I also made the chicken with grapes and olives for dinner. I can only hope the rest of my 30s are as awesome as the first day!