Chocolate Sangria Cake

Posted in Baking By Ingrid Luke

My parents were out of town this past weekend, and Luke and I volunteered to dog sit. Our apartment doesn’t allow pets, so it usually makes the most sense to pack up our bags and spend the weekend at my parents’ house.

Gunnar, the family dog, loves this arrangement. Long walks, trips to the park, hours of playing tug of war with Luke- what’s not to love?

Whenever we dog sit, my mom makes a list of food we should use, lest it goes bad before it she returns.

Fruits, vegetables, dairy products, a new kind of cereal my dad didn’t like; these are all typical list items that Luke and I are happy to use.

This time, the list included something unusual: Sangria.

Sangria is a traditional drink in Spain and Portugal- made with wine, fresh fruit and sometimes a little brandy. It’s the perfect beverage to enjoy on a warm summer’s day.

However, I decided I didn’t want to drink the sangria- I wanted to bake with it.

I was inspired by chocolate cake recipes that add red wine to create a rich and decadent flavor.

This chocolate sangria cake is just a decadent, but with hints of fruit and spice. A small slice of cake goes a long way (so don’t be terrified by the amount of butter in this recipe)!

Chocolate Sangria Cake


  • 8 ounces (or 2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla (not a typo- you do actually want a tablespoon!)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup red sangria (note this is bottled sangria purchased from a store, and does not contain chunks of fresh fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses, optional
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • Whipped Cream (Optional Topping)
  • 1 cup cold whipping cream
  • 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter with sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and orange zest, and mix until smooth.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk remaining dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt). In a small bowl, whisk sangria and molasses together until combined.
  4. Slowly add dry ingredients and sangria mixture to the butter mixture.
  5. Alternate between adding dry ingredients and sangria, mixing until combined. Once all ingredients have been incorporated, your batter will be very thick, like brownie batter.
  6. Spoon batter into greased bundt pan, making sure batter is evenly distributed.
  7. Bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. The original recipe said to bake for an hour and 15 minutes, but my cake was done in 50 minutes.
  8. Cool cake in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer to a serving platter by placing the platter on top of your cake and inverting. The cake should slide easily out of a well-greased pan. Cool completely before serving.
  9. Once cake has cooled, dust with powdered sugar.
  10. This cake was so dark and decadent, I decided to make whipped cream to serve on the side. The whipped cream really helps lighten an otherwise very heavy cake.To make whipped cream, combine cream, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
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And there you have it!

A dark, decadent chocolate cake perfect for a summer afternoon. Pour yourself a nice glass of sangria and enjoy!