Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes

My friends are hosting a Valenwine’s Party tonight to celebrate Valentine’s Day with wine tasting. Most people think of cheese and crackers and other charcuteries, but I go straight to the cupcakes. When I found this recipe for Blackberry Cabernet Cupcakes, I knew what I’d be taking to the party.

The first bottle of wine I picked up for this recipe was Cupcake Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. How appropriate, I thought. But then I saw this bottle of Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet that made me swap.

Cupcake Vineyards Red Velvet Red Wine 2012 CaliforniaAccording to the description on the label, “This wine shows a heady nose of chocolate, deep rich blackberries, red fruits, and a creamy mocha finish that is unmistakable in its intensity and length. It’s reminiscent of a blackberry chocolate cupcake with a mocha coulis.” Sounds perfect for making blackberry chocolate cupcakes, right?

Of course, we had to taste the wine first as a safety precaution. The cocoa and mocha flavors were unmistakable, with dark hints of berry. I had to pour a cup aside to save for the recipe to make sure we didn’t drink it all!

ingredients to make chocolate cabernet cupcakes from scratch

Chocolate Cabernet Cupcakes:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cabernet sauvignon
2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Cream butter and sugar till smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and baking powder separately, and add to batter. Pour in red wine and mix well, being careful not to overmix. Add cocoa powder. Scoop batter into cupcake tins lined with papers, and bake 15-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When cupcakes are cool, brush tops with additional cabernet sauvignon (uses about 2 tablespoons.)

blackberry cabernet sauce for frosting

Blackberry Cabernet Frosting:

1 cup blackberries
½ cup cabernet sauvignon
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Bring blackberries and cabernet to a simmer in a small saucepan. Reduce until wine thickens to syrup and berries mash easily. Strain out seeds. Remaining liquid should total about ¼ cup.

Beat butter with mixer till creamy. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk (may need slightly more or less of each) to reach thick consistency. Add blackberry cabernet sauce and mix well. I added more powdered sugar at this point, but the frosting was still runny. It’s easier to spread with a knife than to try to pipe on.

Press a blackberry into the center of each frosted cupcake and serve. Happy Valenwine’s Day!

chocolate blackberry cabernet cupcakes for Valentine's Day

chocolate blackberry cabernet cupcakes for Valentine's Day


Oh, and this is what my recipe notebook looked like after baking (so you can imagine what the rest of my kitchen looked like):

messy recipe notebook after baking blackberry cabernet cupcakes

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