Sunday, May 1, 2011

Chocolate Red Wine and Olive Oil Cake

I have been wanting to make a dark chocolate cake featuring red wine for quite some time now, and I decided that this was going to be the weekend to do it!  I was enjoying a glass of red wine on Friday night after work and thinking about the heavenly combination of chocolate and red wine for dessert...and the thoughts of it being combined in a delicious decadent cake just got to me!  Before I knew it I was writing down the recipe and whipping up the cake. 

I decided that since red wine and dark chocolate are heart healthy, I might as well go for the full effect and use olive oil in my cake as well!  The scent of the batter alone while I was whisking it together smelled amazing...I had used a baby brunello and the fruityness of the wine combined with the scent of rich cocoa powder was amazing! 

Even better though was the aroma that filled my kitchen as it was baking!  Like chocolaty brownies but better!  I thought such an intensely flavored cake deserved a delicious frosting!  I didn't want a ganache however, I wanted it to be light and almost mousse like.  I decided to go with a whipped (vegan) cream cheese frosting which was creamy and chocolaty like a chocolate mousse!  The cake needed something else though, another element in the layers...some raspberry jam, something tart to cut the sweet and rich chocolate!  I had recently made some so I used my home made jam in between the layers and it was perfect!  

As a whole the cake was delicious!  The cake was deliciously moist thanks to the olive oil, and deeply chocolaty, lightly scented with red wine and enhanced by tart raspberry and silky mousse!  A chocolate lover's dream!  Even more perfect when enjoyed with a glass of red wine!  Here is the recipe if you would like to try some for yourself! 

Vegan Dark Chocolate Red Wine and Olive Oil Cake with Raspberry Filling
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake

2 6 inch cake pans

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use ghirardelli)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cups tofutti vegan cream cheese
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
3/4 cup agave nectar
1 cup cocoa powder

Raspberry jam (home made if available*)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, wine, and vanilla extract together in small  bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended.  Whisk in cider vinegar and stir quickly (pale swirls will be in the batter, which is the baking soda reacting with the vinegar, which allows the cake to rise since there are no eggs). Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (since cakes with no eggs crumble easier).  When chilled, slice cakes horizontally (very carefully as they will be fragile, using parchment slid underneath each layer to move layers if needed) in half so that you have 4 layers. To make frosting, beat all ingredients together in a medium bowl until very smooth, adding more cocoa powder if the frosting is not thick enough, or more coconut milk if too thick. Place a layer of cake on a plate, and spoon about 1/2 cup frosting over, almost to the sides, then top with about 2-3 Tbsp raspberry jam, then another layer of cake and repeat. Top with another cake layer, another frosting layer, then the top cake layer. Spread frosting over the top and the sides of the cake, and use remaining frosting placed in a pastry bag to pipe decoratively around the top of the cake, and at the base.  Chill for a few hours and serve!

*if you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

*Vanilla Scented Raspberry Agave JamMakes 2 cups

2 bags frozen raspberries 12 oz each
3/4 cups agave nectar
Juice of one large lemon
a pinch of sea salt
1 vanilla bean

Lightly blend berries, agave nectar, and lemon juice in blender (you want to keep it chunky). Pour mixture into a pot and add salt.  Slit the vanilla bean lengthwise with a sharp knife, and scrape the seeds out.  Throw the seeds and bean into the pot.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour jam into an air tight container. Jam will store in your refrigerator for several months.


  1. I haven't read through the entire post but I know I HAVE to make this cake. Your pictures are incredible Amy. Gold Star for you!!I'll finsih reading it now.

  2. What a gorgeous cake, it's absolutely stunning! Not to mention this cake is so creative. :)

  3. This cake is beautiful!!! I love the unique flavors in this cake too. Yum!

  4. Sounds amazing - will have to try it!

  5. You cake came out so beautifully, great job on the decoration! I'm always nervous making layer cakes, I think it's because they involve so much frosting! :)

  6. You are my queen of cakes...looks amazingly delicious and beautiful photos Amy! yummy post!!!

  7. Your cake has 3 of my favorite ingredients... pretty much ever. Wahoo - what a great recipe and picture!!

  8. This sounds heavenly! I bet your kitchen did smell amazing. This sounds like the perfect cake for an anniversary. Beautiful job with the frosting and decorating as well!

  9. This looks incredible! If I were to go with the 9" pans would I need to make any adjustments to the oven temperature of cooking times? Thanks!

  10. Yes, you would need to bake the cakes longer, but you could leave the oven at the same temperature.

  11. I have been on the hunt for a chocolate red wine cake all day when I stumbled upon this one. Looks AMAZING!

  12. This looks delish!!! I would like to skip the red wine - what can I substitute the wine with? Thanks!

    1. You could use any other liquid such as almond milk.

  13. Also I just realized you have the toffuti cream cheese - I am off-soy as well. Can I substitute coconut meat or something else for the cream cheese?

    1. I made this before I was eating raw. If I were to make it now, I would use avocadoes (3 cups) instead of the Tofutti, omit the coconut milk and proceed with the recipe.

  14. Great, thanks much Amy! One more thing - what can I use for whole wheat pastry flour? How about kamut flour? Or what else do you recommend?

  15. Hi Amy, sorry to bother again, but I plan to bake this cake tomorrow for my hubby's birthday - Would be helpful if you can recommend a substitute flour (wheat & gluten free) that would be good for baking. Thanks!