Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

So let me get this straight…I can satisfy both my wine and chocolate cravings with this one little cupcake? Well, probably not satisfy them,  that’s a bit optimistic no? But hey I love the concept of the boozy cupcake and everyone knows chocolate and red wine go oh so well together. And might I point out that the wine is not only in the cupcake, but also in the frosting. Joy!!! If a little is good, a little more would be ever so much better! So I just couldn’t rest until I gave these decadent little rascals a try. Luckily an “Ultra-Friend” of mine (you know who you are 🙂 ) was having a birthday, so he ended up being my guinea pig. The cupcakes were fantastic – moist, rich, spicy and decadent. Not to mention, you really could taste the Merlot!

I made the full recipe for the birthday celebration, so there were a few left over. UF (ultra-friend) reported back to me that the flavour actually improved with time (like most wine does I suppose…) and that they were even better the next day. I’m sure any full-bodied red wine would work well with this recipe, so if your UF prefers Cabernet or Zinfandel you could customize it for them. Hmmm….I think I might have just come up with an idea for some Shiraz Sinners! Stay tuned….

Chocolate Merlot Cupcakes

recipe from Life Tastes Like Food

yield: 24 cupcakes


  • 3/4 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Merlot
  • 2 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 Ounces dark chocolate, melted


Preheat oven to 350° F. Line two 12-cup cupcake pans with cupcake baking cups.

Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the eggs one at a time until everything is incorporated. Add the Merlot.

In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients together and then slowly add to the butter mixture.

Mix in the melted chocolate.

Pour batter into the cups, filling them about 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Chocolate Merlot Frosting

recipe also from Life Tastes Like Food


  • 3 Cups plus 6 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 9 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 9 Tablespoons butter
  • 10 Tablespoons Merlot wine


Cream butter and slowly add the confectioners sugar. If you add the sugar too quickly, your icing will have a gritty texture.

Add the cocoa powder alternating one tablespoon at a time with the Merlot. Incorporate until the mixture is nice and fluffy.

Make sure cupcakes are completely cooled, and then using a frosting tip and piping bag, pipe frosting onto the cupcakes.

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