This Red Wine Chocolate Castle Cake is an irresistibly moist chocolate cake spiced with the dark fruit notes of Malbec wine & coated with a lightly sweetened cream cheese frosting, then covered with a sprinkle embellished white chocolate bark for a fun, yet regal appearance.
Well. . .hello there. It looks like I’m still failing miserably at checking in with you on the regular. Perhaps 30 lashings with a wet noodle will help turn this around.
In all seriousness, I really do go into each week with the intentions of bringing you something tasty to sink your teeth into. But honestly, I’m still struggling with finding that magic bullet that will allow me to do all the things necessary to keep this little space interesting while keeping our house running smoothly despite the Mr.’s seemingly endless business trips, fitting in my increasingly rigorous exercise routine (more on that later) and. . .well. . . navigating life in general. If you do manage to find the secret sauce that enables life to flow seamlessly, pretty please with a cherry on top send a tankard full my way. I desperately need it.
On top of my already topsy turvy life, the Mr. and I have been busy searching for a more “permanent” home. The already unbearable construction outside our place is about to quadruple as they are getting ready to break ground on a high rise RIGHT outside of our living room window which means our prized possessions, and the Mr’s whiskey collection, will continue to shimmy and shake as they drive monstrous beams into bedrock. If that weren’t bad enough, our envious city views will soon be going sayonara only to be replaced by a barren cement wall, or worse yet, an extremely invasive view inside anothers apartment (uuuuh. Can you please put some clothes on??) I just hope we are long gone before this becomes a reality.
In case my constant rants haven’t clued you in yet, Boston house hunting has been an extremely frustrating experience. But the insatiable desire to get our furniture out of multiple storage units spread across the city (hello heavenly bed. . .It’s been so long since we last spent any time together) keeps us wading through the mounds and mounds of frustration and disappointment in the hopes that the home that was meant to be, will in fact be.
So. . . I don’t want to jinx it given our less than stellar luck, buuuuttttt we have a contract on a place (again). It is currently under construction and should be ready for us in June.
I wouldn’t say that it is our dream home. I mean, you can see ocean and city views from what will be our rooftop deck but they aren’t quite as mesmerizing as some of the other places we have either lived in or attempted to purchase. But in the end, real estate is all about give and take and we opted for square footage and finishes over views and a rinky dink space.
But perhaps what I am most excited about is the kitchen. This past year and a half I’ve been trying to make do with a kitchen the size of a broom closet, so the 48 inch Wolf stove and 48 inch Subzero refrigerator feels like an impossible dream. Oh. . .and there are plentiful cabinets to house my ever expanding collection of baking pans, molds & sprinkles. And did I mention there is a regular sink AND a prep sink (for the path of tornado scale messes I always seem to leave in my wake), a wine chiller, and a 10 foot floating island? Swoon! A bakers paradise if I do say so myself and a somewhat rare find in the city.
I’m not sure what the lighting situation will be, so you may have to bear with me once again as I try to adapt my photos to best utilize the light. Also, I most likely will be taking everyone on a tour once we close. . .so be sure to follow me on Instagram so you don’t miss that.
In an attempt to to send good juju that will hopefully result in us FINALLY closing the deal and moving into our very own castle, I made this Red Wine Chocolate Castle Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Isn’t it the cutest? If I could move into this beauty, I definitely would.
This Red Wine Chocolate Cake all starts with an irresistibly moist chocolate cake lightly spiced with the dark fruity notes of Malbec Wine. I personally used Cupcake Vineyards (P.S. I’m not being paid to promote this wine, but just wanted to be perfectly transparent about what I used to make this cake) which has intense chocolate, mocha and plum notes. . .all flavors that perfectly compliment this cake. You can either go with this wine or sub in your personal favorite. . . or whatever is handy. But whatever you do, be sure to save a little on the side so that you can sip a glass (or two) as the cake is nestled in the oven.
I then slathered the cake with a cream cheese frosting that has a tasty balance of sweetness without being so sweet that you fear you might need to keep your dentist’s phone number on speed dial. Oh, and if your frosting skills need some work (like mine). . .hakuna matata. You can slap it up on the cake any which way you please because you soon will be disguising it underneath an impressive costume of chocolate bark. None will be the wiser that your frosting technique is a hot mess.
The chocolate bark is super simple to make. Just zap it in the microwave for short intervals, stir and re-zap until smooth. Skies the limit with how you decide to decorate it. My personal favorites are nonpareils, sprinkles, chopped up candy, freeze dried fruit & nuts. . .but really you don’t have to stop there. I have another cake planned for Mothers Day which will use something even more spectacular. Stay tuned for that.
Oh. . .and consider yourself fully warned because this Red Wine Chocolate Cake is over-the-top delicious. As proof, I took the cake down to our concierge and the following day, he tackled me in the lobby, exclaiming that it was the best cake he had ever had. I think he was trying to hint that he would be more than happy to clear my place of any remaining pieces. Which I happily obliged for fear that nothing but elastic pants would be in my future if kept this delicious beauty anywhere near me.
P.S. I’m sad to see you go. But, if you must, I would love for you to take a few more seconds & join our little Road to Honey family. It’s really simple. Just enter your email address in the box in the upper right hand corner on this site. This will guarantee that you are first to see any new posts from the Road to Honey. And you can be confident that I will never, ever, not in a million years share your e-mail with anyone else – pinky swear.
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 cup Malbec or other red wine
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp red gel paste
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp vinegar
- 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- sprinkles, sugar pearls, nonpareils
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line three 5-inch round cake pans and two 2-inch round cake pans with parchment paper & butter & flour them. Set aside.
Whisk together the first four ingredients (flour through salt) in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the sugar, oil & red wine on medium speed until combined.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla & red gel coloring.
Stop the mixer & scrape down the bowl & paddle attachment with a rubber spatula.
With the mixer on low, add 1/3 of the flour mixture & beat just until combined.
Add 1/2 of the buttermilk & mix until combined.
Stop the mixer & scrape down the bowl & paddle attachment again.
Add half of the remaining flour & mix until just combined.
Add the remaining buttermilk to the cake batter. Mix until blended.
Scrape down the bowl & paddle attachment. Mix in the last of the flour. Do not over mix.
Whisk the baking soda & vinegar together in a small bowl. Add to the cake batter & mix on medium for 30 seconds.
Divide the batter among the three 5-inch pans and two 2-inch pans.
Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool cakes in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cakes from the pans & allow them to cool completely on the wire rack.
Place chopped chocolate in a microwaveable bowl.
Microwave for 30 seconds.
Remove from microwave & stir.
Continue to microwave in 15 second intervals (about 2-3 intervals), stirring in between each interval. Note: White chocolate burns easily, so it is important to microwave in short intervals so that it can be carefully monitored.
Once the chocolate becomes very soft (it will still look lumpy), stir vigorously until the chocolate becomes smooth & silky (about 1 minute)
Pour the chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet & use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly.
Decorate with sprinkles, nonpareils, sugar pearls, freeze dried fruit, nuts or candy.
Allow to set at room temperature.
Place all ingredients in a medium size bowl & stir until creamy.
Place a small amount of the frosting in a small bowl & set aside. You will use this to help attach the chocolate bark to the outside of the cake.
Level the cakes, if desired.
Place a 5-inch cake layer on a cake plate, top with frosting. Repeat with remaining layers.
Frost the outside of the cake.
Break the chocolate bark into pieces. To make slicing the cake easier, your pieces should be about the width of a slice of cake.
Before the frosting sets, spread a thin layer of frosting on the section of the chocolate bark that will be pressed against the cake. Gently press the chocolate bark onto the cake. Repeat until the entire cake is covered in chocolate bark.
I used THIS food coloring. Note: I used 1 tbsp of gel coloring. If you would like a more intense red, increase to 2 tbsp.
If you would like to use a pan that is different than the size called out in this recipe, I recommend THIS tool to help you determine the recipe conversion.
I doubled my batch of chocolate bark so that I could pick the best pieces of chocolate bark. Alternatively, you could score the chocolate before it is fully set to make it easier to snap off the desired size & shape.
The estimated cook times do not include rest/cooling times.