A taste of the holidays: Hot chocolate mulled wine Bundt cake

Bundt cake
Bundt cake

A taste of the holidays: Hot chocolate mulled wine Bundt cake

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

On a recent trip along the postcard-perfect German Wine Road, I dropped by Neustadt’s tourist information point where there were free magazines for the taking. So I grabbed one, and as I thumbed through its pages, I stumbled across a photo of a majestic Bundt cake of an exceptional reddish-brown color. This Glühweinkuchen looked so incredibly delicious I couldn’t wait to get home and bake it for myself.

When the time came to bake it, however, I found I didn’t have the five eggs required by the original recipe. So I went online to search out an alternative. The recipe I found that most closely matched the ingredients I had on hand called for regular red wine and was meant to create four mini-cakes. The first time I tried this recipe for Mini Hot Chocolate Red Wine Cake, I followed it faithfully, save for the fact I used an inexpensive mulled wine straight from the carton in place of the red wine and melted margarine in place of olive oil. While the cake came out moist and tasty, there wasn’t enough batter to fill my 10-inch Bundt pan, and the result was a bit too flat. So on my second attempt, I doubled the original recipe and added a few Christmas-inspired spices. The result was a moist and spicy cake I’ll be baking again and again.

So if you’ve got a glut of post-holiday Glühwein at home and you’re wondering what to do with it, I’d suggest baking this cake. I suspect it was the presence of ground cloves from a freshly-opened jar that sent its taste straight to the heavens!

Hot chocolate mulled wine Bundt cake

Start to finish: 55 minutes (20 active; 35 minutes bake time)

Servings: 8 to10

Dry ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 single-serving package hot chocolate mix

2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup mulled red wine (the inexpensive kind from a carton will do)

2 large eggs

1 cup of a thick, plain yogurt

2/3 cup cooking oil or melted margarine

1 1/3 cup sugar or equivalent of the sweetener of your choice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Position a rack in the lower middle of the oven. Grease a 10-inch nonstick Bundt pan with butter or use a cooking spray. I love my German springform pan, which helps to ensure the cake almost always comes out in one piece.

Sift together all the dry ingredients, except for the sugar, and set aside.

In a second bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla extract for two minutes to form a smooth batter.

Add the sugar and mulled red wine to the wet ingredients and whisk for another minute or so.

Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Use a spatula to incorporate air into the mix. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined into a lump-free batter.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and bake. After the first 30 minutes have passed, check to see if it’s baked through every five minutes. Check it by poking the cake with a toothpick in several places. When the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is baked through.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool thoroughly. Carefully turn out onto a flat plate.

To serve, top the cake with a dusting of powdered sugar, a red wine glaze or whipped cream and cherries. I melted a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) dark chocolate candy bar in the microwave and drizzled that over my cake.

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