Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes with Red Wine Buttercream Frosting (healthier)

Get ready to drool because these Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes are just too amazing to miss. This is a healthified recipe so you don’t have to feel bad about indulging! Say hello to the Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes with Red Wine Butternut Frosting. Droool now!

I have a secret.

Well, it’s not really a secret to anyone who knows me in real life. But I don’t think I told you guys this…

Red Wine Cupcakes by

I don’t actually like red wine. I know. I tried drinking it. I tried liking it. I just can’t. I do enjoy sweeter whites but even the reds which are sweeter simply do not go down well. I don’t know. I tried. I’m much more of a craft beer girl.

The first time I made Chocolate Red Wine cupcakes were for Mother’s Day last year and my mom LOVED them. They were just okay to me since I’m not a big wino. But I knew I wanted to re-do these delicious cupcakes and make the recipe a tad bit more nutritious than the original one I posted.

Red Wine Cupcakes by

This recipe makes only 8 cupcakes. And guess what…. I actually LOVED these! I’m not lying – I honestly think these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever made, possibly even better than the most popular recipe I posted in the beginning of my blog’s days: the Hard Cider  Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche Filling. Yeah, another super popular recipe and it involved alcohol too ;)

Anyway, these Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes are amazingly delicious, my mom went crazy for them again and I liked this redo recipe more than the original one I posted. The cupcake base is not very sweet at all, so you are welcome to add more sugar to it if you so desire. Personally, I think the sweetness of the frosting and the not-so-sweet base, balance out perfectly. After all, red wine isn’t supposed to be sweet, you guys! And these cupcakes are SERIOUSLY amazing – I totally recommend them! The recipe might seem difficult but it really isn’t. Trust me.

Red Wine Cupcakes by

Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes (makes 8 cupcakes)
Recipe by Sensual Appeal

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
4 packets Stevia
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups red wine

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with liners or parchment cups. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, 4 minutes. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer. Working in two batches, alternately fold in the dry ingredients and the wine, until just incorporated. Scrape the batter into the cups, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Red Wine Cupcakes by

Red Wine Buttercream frosting (to cover 8 cupcakes)

Adapted from my Red Wine Frosting Recipe

  • 1/3 cup red wine + 1/2 tbsp, divided
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1.5 cup confectioner’s sugar

Place red wine and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat while stirring constantly until the sugar is all dissolved. Bring to a boil and then let simmer for a while, while stirring sometimes (not constantly). Cook until the syrup is reduced to about  3 Tbsp. Put in a mug, let cool a little bit and stick in the fridge for a few hours to cool completely.
Whisk the butter while adding confectioner’s sugar to it by 1/4 cupfull. Cream together to form a frosting. Once a nice consistency is reached (almost all of the required confectioner’s sugar is in), add the wine reduction and continue beating. Add some more confectioner’s sugar. Then add 1/2 Tbsp of red wine. Add more confectioner’s sugar if desired.


What do you think? Will you be giving these gorgeous and delicious babies a try? I sure hope so!

Kammie wants to know:

  • Do you like wine? What’s your favorite type?
  • What is your favorite boozy dessert or baked good?

Let me know in the comments below!

Shared at Slightly Indulgent, What’s Cookin Weds
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xo Kammie


  1. says

    I love these!!! I made it as a cake based on a Smitten Kitchen recipe, and the frosting based some something else… then I turned them into cake balls. And I drank the rest of the wine ’cause I dig on the red. ;)

    Have you made beer cupcakes?! It’s really good with Banana Nut beer.

  2. says

    I forced myself to start drinking red wine when I turned 25 as before then I only drank spirits and mainly vodka. I don’t love white wine though unless it is really sweet.

    I think with red wine it all depends on the kind you try. I love cab savs and I can do Merlots and Shiraz but I had Pinot Noir. If you keep trying you might find one you like :)

    Those cupcakes look yummy!

  3. says

    Oh GREAT RECIPE! AH! So yummy looking like all your recipes look! I ADORE a good Pinot Noir, and it’s the only alcohol I drink, and only on special occasion. I’ve never had a boozy dessert but loving having a glass of the Pinot with a square of dark chocolate:) GREAT recipe! I’m thinking I’ll try substituting the flour with some lower carb options..wonder if it will work?:)

    • says

      Depending on what you choose but Im sure it can be done. I’ve only done a little GF baking so I’m not a pro at the substitutions since there’s all those starches and whatnot that go into play – but I would love to hear your experience if you try your hand at these with different flours!

  4. says

    These look great! And I do like wine, red or white, in pretty much any form ;)

    I tried making some mulled wine cupcakes at Christmas, but my go-to cake recipe at the time didn’t really have any liquid in, so I had to reduce it a *lot* and the taste wasn’t very strong. I’ll have to have another go!

  5. says

    What a great idea! I need to try this. What type of wine did you use?

    My favorite red wine is Pinot Noir, and my favorite white is Reisling.

    I made my boyfriend Whiskey cupcakes with salted butter cream frosting and bacon sprinkles for his birthday. To die for.

  6. Noel says

    Thanks for the great recipe! I am wanting to make these cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. I personally like the healthier twist on these cakes, but my friends could honestly care less. I looked at your previous, less healthful, recipe for the red wine chocolate cupcakes as well, but they do not look as fluffy as these ones. For non-health conscious consumers, which recipe do you think would be best? Does the whole wheat flour give them a noticeably different “whole wheat” texture? Also, your recipe doesn’t mention when to add the stevia? I’m assuming with the sugar, but I wanted to make sure. Thanks for the help!

    • says

      Hi Noel! Yes, add the stevia with sugar. As for my personal preference, I preferred these just because they WERE more fluffy and I love that. If your friend doesn’t care about healthy foods and might have a sweeter tooth than me, I would recommend adding a bit extra sugar in there as well. The cupcakes as they were, were not very sweet (except for the frosting). Hope this helps! I’d love to hear your thoughts about the outcome! :)

  7. Ari says

    Great recipe! I loved the icing, though I used Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix and substituted red wine (a Malbec in my case) for the water in the recipe on the box. They came out incredible! Super fluffy and moist, with just a hint of wine in the cake. So for those of you who want a slightly easier method, or don’t want to make the cake from scratch, trying spiking a box mix ;)