Last Saturday night, I met up with some very fun Baltimore (and Frederick) ladies for Cookbook Club. I think I’ve talked about it before, but the premise is each month the host picks a cookbook, and everyone makes a different recipe from the book. This month’s book was the much anticipated Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. The dinner was pretty much a home run, so if you’re looking for a new cookbook for yourself in 2013, it might be a good one to look at.
My course for the evening was dessert (always my favorite), and as I was flipping through looking for an appropriate recipe, my eyes landed on the Red Wine Cake. Decadent, involved, and filled with wine. Perfection. Just not for cookbook club. So mentally, I put the recipe aside, knowing that I would need to get to it soon.
And then it hit me, the next day, RAVENS game! Football fans love cupcakes. Especially ones with booze. And these were just perfect! Topped with some cream cheese icing colored purple to mark the occasion!
Red Wine Cupcakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
I halved this recipe for a cake to make a more reasonable number of cupcakes for a small gathering.
18 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for greasing
2 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups red wine
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/8 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 325°. Line the bottom of three 9 round cake pans with parchment paper. Grease parchment and sides of pan. Place butter in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream butter on medium speed until smooth. Add brown and granulated sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and yolk and beat until incorporated, then add red wine and vanilla. (Don’t worry if the batter looks a little uneven and grainy.)
In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Mix until 3/4 combined, then fold in remaining dry mixture with a rubber spatula.
Divide batter among prepared pans. Bake 25 to 30 minutes (or 15-20 minutes for cupcakes), or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. The top of each cake should be shiny and smooth. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on a rack.
Top with your favorite cream cheese icing (I just sort of made mine up!)