Red Wine Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttermilk Mascarpone

red wine red velvet cupcakes


We all want it and we all need it.

Tennyson said it perfectly:

Love is the only gold.

And when we have it, we are truly rich indeed.

It can be found in the most expected and unexpected of places.

In food made with it, in a heart filled with it and especially when we give it.

Image from Pinterest.Com

Image from Pinterest.Com

It’s found in compassion given to those who may or may not deserve it.  (Hint: they’re the one’s who need it the most).

Image from ImageShack.Us

Image from ImageShack.Us

When we make the choice to let go of needing to be right and choose happiness instead.

When we remove the word should from our vocabulary and replace it with could.

When we do things for no other reason or agenda than that it makes us or others happy.

Image from Gma.Yahoo.Com -- (AP Photo/Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

Image from Gma.Yahoo.Com — (AP Photo/Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

There is not nearly enough of it in this world and yet is all around us and everywhere.

Image from Neztiloy.DeviantArt.Com

Image from Neztiloy.DeviantArt.Com

This week — a week we celebrate this wonderful thing called Love — I wanted to make you something made with a whole lot of it.

Red Wine Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttermilk Mascarpone, to be exact.

red wine red velvet cupcakes 4

Red wine to take the place of artificial food dye …

Gobs of chocolate flavor — usually missing in traditional red velvet cake — and topped with light, fluffy tangy-sweet buttermilk mascarpone.

The combination?

Divine, just-sweet-enough red-wine-chocolate-velvety deliciousness.

red wine red velvet cupcakes 3

You won’t believe they have whole wheat in them, but they do.

And I hope that whenever you make them they remind you to love much, love fully and mean it always.

And to remember that there’s a little bit of love in there, just for you.

red wine red velvet cupcakes

Red Wine Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttermilk Mascarpone

Inspired by The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Makes 12 cupcakes

For Cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, rounded
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, rounded
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, rounded
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1/3 cup turbinado sugar
2 eggs
1 cup red wine (I used my favorite Tempranillo)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Buttermilk Mascarpone

8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons powdered confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons reduced fat buttermilk
1 pinch sea salt
a handful of freeze-dried strawberries, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 Degrees F.  Line a standard muffin tin with parchment paper liners.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl — using a wire whisk — combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together until well combined.

In a separate, large mixing bowl — using an electric mixer at medium low-speed — cream butter until smooth.  Add brown sugar and trurbinado sugar to butter and beat until fluffy.  Add eggs, beat well again and then add wine and vanilla extract.  Beat well.

Note: Once you add the wine and vanilla extract, the batter will look like it’s curdled.  Not to worry!  This will go away once you mix in the dry ingredients.

Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients and — using a rubber spatula — fold mixture gently, scraping sides of bowl from time to time until batter is glossy and fairly smooth.

Note: It’s perfectly fine if a few lumps remain.

Using a regular soup spoon, divide batter evenly into your prepared muffin tin lined cups.

Transfer tin to middle rack of oven and bake for 22 – 25 minutes — rotating tin halfway through baking — or until toothpick inserted into one of the middle cupcakes comes out clean.

Remove tin from oven and let cupcakes cool in tin on wire cooling rack for approximately 10 – 15 minutes.

Carefully turn out cupcakes from tin onto cooling rack to cool completely, approximately 30 – 40 minutes.

While cupcakes are cooling, make buttermilk mascarpone.

In a small mixing bowl — using an electric mixer at medium low-speed — beat mascarpone cheese, powdered confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, buttermilk and sea salt together until creamy and smooth.

Using a small offset spatula or regular knife, spread each cupcake with a dollop of buttermilk mascarpone.  Garnish each with a few freeze-dried strawberries if desired and …


40 thoughts on “Red Wine Red Velvet Cupcakes with Buttermilk Mascarpone

  1. What a lovely post! Thank you so much for it! My unromantic boyfriend doesn’t want to celebrate St-Valentine’s, but then I make goodies for him every other day! 🙂 And these cupcakes sound amazing! Buttermilk mascarpone… “oh là là”!

    • Thank you, Darya, and you are most welcome! Your boyfriend my not want to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day but with such a wonderful girlfriend like you who makes him so many delicious goodies (and every other day!), I think you could easily convince him to reconsider 😉 Every girl deserves it!

      Thanks for stopping by, foodie friend, and can’t wait to hear what you cook up next =)

    • Man Fuel!

      So great to hear from you =)

      And thank you for the kind words! To answer your question, the red wine affects the flavor of these cupcakes in an awesome way. You totally taste the wine — it doesn’t bake out completely — but blends in wonderfully with the other ingredients.

      If you’ve ever had wine and chocolate together, you’ll think you’ve hit the flavor jackpot; they are a perfect combination. Topped with the buttermilk mascarpone, it takes them to a whole ‘nother level =)

  2. I love that you use red wine to tint the batter rather than food coloring. I bet it brings a great taste as well! I love the sound of buttermilk mascarpone frosting too – I’ve never tried anything like that!

    • Thanks so much, Leah! I have never been a fan of the artificial food dye used in traditional red velvet cakes and though they looked gorgeous, the flavor of them always kind of left me uninspired and underwhelmed, you know? The red wine not only tints it just right, but the flavor combined with the extra chocolatey-ness of added cocoa and then topped with the buttermilk mascarpone … it’s a divine combo =)

  3. Christina! These look divine and are exceptionally gorgeous. They are decorated so beautifully and adding the red wine is an amazing idea!! I’m so curious..can you taste it? They look absolutely delicious and perfect for Valentine’s Day. Gorgeous photos 🙂

    • Aww, thank you so much, Brandi, I really appreciate that and so glad to hear!

      Yes, you can definitely taste the red wine — as it doesn’t bake out completely — but that’s one of the things that makes the flavor of them so wonderful. My husband mentioned that they vaguely reminded him of tiramisu — i.e. like they could be in the same “family” — and I can see how he could think that. The red wine is not overpowering, but just “heady” enough, and combined with the extra cocoa and tangy buttermilk mascarpone — divine =)

    • Hi Carissa,

      Welcome to Small Kitchen Chronicles =) So glad you’re excited to try this recipe!

      I hear ya on the red velvet because of all the coloring … I think you’ll find that the red wine replacement for it will be just the thing you were hoping/looking for =)

      Please stop and back and let me know how you liked it!

  4. Love this recipe! I think it’s genius to replace the red food coloring with wine – whenever I have made red velvet cupcakes in the past, I always cringed to dump so much food coloring in. Brilliant and beautiful!

  5. Looking at the pictures what immediately comes to my mind is a wine festival I visited last year during which a similar dish was served and it was really delicious. I love wine festivals and my favorite is the Vancouver International Wine Festival. Last year the atmosphere was great and I loved the idea of bringing together wine tasting and raising money for a good cause so I’m really looking forward to this year’s edition. Hopefully, I’ll discover some new great recipes just as this one. 🙂

  6. Awesome pics and post buddy, I would love to have one of those cupcakes right now:). In fact I could have one of the cupcakes soon:). Much love!

    • Thanks, Niko! I would love to be able to give you one of these cupcakes right now but they have been long gone and eaten, I am afraid! 😉 But, yes, you could indeed have one of these cupcakes soon =)

      Much love right back, brother wonderful!

  7. Oooh, totally gorgeous photos!!! I love that circular wire cooling rack–where’s it from? I also made this cake for Valentine’s Day except I baked it in a loaf pan cause I was lazy…but it definitely wasn’t as deeply red as yours, sadly. Love the dried strawberry accents as well. Hope you had a great V-day!

    • Hey Erika!

      Thank you so much; so nice to hear from you =)

      You know, I’m not quite sure where the circular wire cooling rack is from. I’ve had it forever and can’t for the life of me remember where I got it from … sorry =(

      Loaf pan or no, sounds like your cake was delicious =)

      Hope your V-Day was wonderful too, Erika, great hearing from you!

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  11. this sounds amazing! just curious with the flour how come you also use whole wheat flour? as isnt it most common for breads more so? also another query with the wine… have you tried any other type of wine? It wld be interesting to see if there was much colour difference depending on the wine… i will def try these next bake!.

    • Hey Katie,

      Thank so much for the kind words! Whole wheat flour gives things (when used in just the right amount) a heartier, chewier texture. It’s a lot better health-wise as well, adding more dietary fiber. It is more common to use in breads, but can honestly be used (again, in the right amounts) with pretty much anything, though does have a tendency of making things too dense and heavy if you use too much of it.

      I have not tried any other type of wine, but I suspect that the more claret or ruby-colored the wine, the redder the cupcakes. I suggest ultimately going for taste though above all — use your favorite red wine and you cannot go wrong =)

      Hope that helped and thanks so much for stopping by! You are welcome here anytime =)


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