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Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes

Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes

Many of you already know that I don’t understand America’s obsession with red velvet cupcakes. Sure, I love cream cheese frosting and I love a chocolate cupcake as much as the next person. But, I can’t get behind cupcakes loaded with red food coloring.

BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Stella Parks, Bravetart, the one who created these red wine velvet cupcakes, shares my views.

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She says in her cookbook:

Despite my commitment to homemade, from time to time, I’m all about a little dye. A few tiny drops can be stretched into a thousand brilliant sprinkles that are truly a feast for the eyes. But when a recipe reaches the point that it’s calling for bottles of dye in a cake that serves eight to twelve, I have to draw the line. […] So I gave up the hype to focus on velvet, the silky crumb that once defined an otherwise simple cocoa cake.

Red wine

While her cupcakes don’t have a bright red color, they are made with red wine! Cheers!

Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes

I suppose you could dye these red wine velvet cupcakes red – but trust me, you won’t miss the color once you’ve tasted these!

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Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes
Print Pin
4.28 from 22 votes

Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes

Skip the food coloring and try red velvet cupcakes made with red wine instead!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cream cheese frosting, red velvet cupcake recipe, red wine velvet cupcakes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 149kcal


  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons raw cocoa powder 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons; Any cocoa powder will work, but raw cocoa powder has a reaction with the baking soda that causes the cupcakes to have a slightly - very subtle - red hue. Plus, it has a great flavor!
  • 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons, soft but cool
  • 1 cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cream cheese frosting to taste, a half recipe should be fine unless you like a ton of frosting.


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Sift flour and cocoa powder together into a small bowl.
  • Combine butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  • Mix on low to medium speed to moisten, then increase to medium and cream until fluffy and light, about five minutes pausing to scrape the bowl and beater halfway through.
  • With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Reduce speed to low and sprinkle in one-third of the flour/cocoa, followed by a third of the red wine. Alternate between the two, allowing each addition to be roughly incorporated before adding the next.
  • Fold batter with a flexible spatula to ensure that is it is well mixed from the bottom up.
  • Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes emerges with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Once cool, frost with cream cheese frosting.



Recipe printed with permission from Stella Parks.


Nutrition Facts
Red Wine Velvet Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Cholesterol 50mg17%
Sodium 116mg5%
Potassium 54mg2%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 315IU6%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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