Ah yes, mulled wine. It is red wine served hot or cold with various spices mixed with it. Traditionally, it is made by allowing a cup of sugar, preferably large in portion or size, to settle or combine with spices and water mixed in a pint of red wine. As an added bonus, raisins are included.
How to make Mulled Wine Cupcakes
Now if you add a little bit of flour, baking powder, eggs, and the special ingredient, mulled wine (I suggest you use your finest red wine for a more flavorful experience) it turn your standard cupcake recipe into something magical you can share with loved ones, friends, and family. Every occasion or gathering can feel extra special with these decadent, warmly spiced chocolate cakes with sweet creamy icing.
Start by searching far and wide for the best ingredients. (Kidding, you can buy these in your local grocery store).
For the cakes or cupcake base:
- 90g softened unsalted butter
- 200g soft brown sugar
- 1 egg plus 1 yolk
- 175ml red wine (the one with fruity notes, I’m a big fan of https://www.lacantinapizzolato.com/en/)
- juice and zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 50g good quality cocoa powder
- 200g plain flour
For the icing or topping:
- 50g unsalted softened butter
- zest of 1 orange (orange essence)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 175g icing sugar
- 125g mascarpone
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the finishing touches:
- Dozen red grapes
- a bit more of that orange juice
- 50g caster sugar
Prepare and Bake your mulled wine cupcakes
Step 1 Preheat the oven
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350F/Gas Mark 4. Prepare your twelve-hole cupcake tray with cases.
Step 2 Butter and Sugar
Combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the egg slowly, followed by the wine and orange zest and juice, and slightly combine.
Step 3 Mix
Fold in the baking soda then powder. Add cinnamon, cocoa powder, and flour.
Step 4 Bake
Evenly divide the ingredients between the cases and heat in the oven for 20 minutes. Try also inserting a toothpick or skewer in the center of the cupcake. (If it comes out dry and clean, that means you’re good, and the cupcake is done.)
Step 5 Wire rack to cool completely
Cool down in the cupcake tray for a good ten minutes, then remove and leave to rest.
Step 6 Icing
The icing: beat together the butter, orange, cinnamon, and icing sugar until smooth and combined. Put in a bowl. Add the mascarpone and continue to beat until smooth. Use a spoon or piping bag fitted with a star piping tip to ice each cupcake. (No mascarpone, No problem. Full fat cream cheese can be a good substitute.)
Step 7 Sugar dipped grapes
Now for the sugar dipped grapes: toss the grapes with some orange juice then roll each one in the caster sugar. Allow to dry and use to decorate each cupcake. You could use raw egg whites for this step, but some may want an alternative so I suggest trying orange juice.
Serve and enjoy! If you want to make the cupcake bases in advance of an event, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. They can be iced while frozen and can thaw at room temperature within a few hours.
When assembled completely, store it in an airtight container and eat within 3 days.
If you want some tips on piping the perfect cupcake top, check out our article on cake piping.
If you have tried this recipe out, let me know how it turned out and share some pics on social!