Chocolate & Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine come together to make magic in this vegan, whole wheat chocolate red wine cake. Perfect for your vegan valentine!

Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Only a seriousย loserย would bake her own birthday cake, right? Right. So I will just gloss over the fact that my hubby and I ate this Chocolate Red Wine cake for my Birthday dessert last month, and focus on its suitability as a vegan valentines day dessert instead.

Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine contained within one bite? That is my idea of a good time. This is such a lovely variation on the traditional chocolate cake. I was first inspired by this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen, but used this recipe from Moosewood to make it vegan, and a little tweaking of my own to make it whole grain.

Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

I definitely fall into the Valentines Day non-enthusiastic camp, but I will take it as an excuse to make this chocolate cake again. I mean, by birthday isn’t for another 11 months…
Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen


Chocolate & Red Wine Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chocolate and red wine come together to make magic in this vegan, whole wheat chocolate red wine cake. Perfect for your vegan valentine!
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • For cake:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar*
  • ½ cup safflower oil ( or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • For Icing:
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • water or almond milk to create desired consistency
  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C
  2. Line a 9 inch cake pan or grease liberally
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar, set aside
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, wine, water and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the try, and mix until just combined. Quickly transfer to the cake pan
  5. Add the vinegar to the mixture, and quickly stir until its evenly distributed throughout the cake batter
  6. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, allow to cool for a few minutes in the palm before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
  7. Make the icing: place chocolate chips, vanilla and wine in a small microwavable bowl, microwave at 20 second increments, stirring between each blast. When the ingredients have completely melted together, you can stir water or almond milk to reach desired consistency
  8. When the cake is completely cooled, smooth the icing over the cake


Adapted from this recipe, and inspired by this one.

If you don’t have a microwave you can prepare the icing with a double broiler instead.


  1. CakePants says:

    This looks fantastic! Is this the kind of recipe that the flavor of the wine really shows through – as in, should I use a good wine, or would a cheap one do the trick?

    • Emma says:

      Great question! I went middle of the road as the recipe doesn’t call for two much time, and I wanted to drink the leftovers ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope this helps!

  2. Joanne says:

    I always make my own birthday cake!! I think this just means that I have standards…not that I’m loser. ๐Ÿ˜› At least that’s what I tell myself! The chocolate red wine combo is so classy…totally birthday approved!

  3. themuffinmyth says:

    Girl, I ALWAYS bake my own birthday cake. Sometimes the husband or a friend will make me one as well, but it’s never exactly what I want so I just go for it. I know I’ll bake a better cake (sorry husband, your cake was dry) and I know it’ll be crafted with exactly my tastes in mind. I love the looks of this red wine cake, and that you’ve made it with whole wheat. I’ll be home alone on Valentine’s day this year, so perhaps I should treat myself to another cake!

  4. Manali @ CookWithManali says:

    Emma I made my birthday cake too this year…so you are not alone ๐Ÿ˜› It’s fun least I had fun making it! Your cake looks really good..I have never made chocolate cake with red wine but looks like I need to.

    PS: That bowl with your name is totally cute! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Caitlin says:

    Wine in my chocolate cake makes dessert easy! And vegan! And only one dish to dirty ๐Ÿ™‚ I think making your own cake is a great idea because then you get exactly what you want! I can’t wait to try this.

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