These Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes are quick and easy to make from a box cake mix, but taste like they are homemade! They are light and airy and a little fancier than your typical chocolate cake mix cupcake. Although they are a delicious and special treat any time of the year (especially for the wine lover in your life), these cupcakes are ideal for Valentine's Day, a girl's night, a wine lover's birthday, a Galentine's Day celebration, Mother's Day or any special occasion!
This red wine cupcake was inspired by my Red Wine Chocolate Strawberry Cake on this site, and pairs perfectly with my Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting (with jam). The red wine flavor melds with the chocolate flavor, totally elevating a simple box mix cupcake. Even if you are not a red wine drinker, you'll love these cupcakes!
If you're a fan of light-textured cakes and cupcakes, you'll love this red wine cupcake. Although I love to bake from scratch, so many cake recipes are too dense and heavy for my liking, while doctoring a box cake mix guarantees a light and airy crumb.
I learned to doctor boxed cake mixes (pretty expertly, I might add 🙂 ) during my cake-making and cake-decorating days. Not to mention, it makes for a super fast and easy elegant cupcake. My family couldn't get enough of these cupcakes; I didn't even get the chance to share them with anyone else!
For this chocolate cupcake recipe, you'll need:
- chocolate cake mix (from box mix) * I use Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines Devil's Food Cake Mix
- vegetable oil
- red wine * I use Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon
- milk * I use 1%
- instant coffee
*See recipe card for quantities.
Hint: Only fill the cupcake liners up to ⅔ - ¾ full (at most) or they will bake up too high and spill over the muffin tins.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C and line 2 - 12 muffin tins with liners.
- Add cake mix, eggs, milk, instant coffee, vegetable oil, and red wine (you do NOT need a red wine reduction) to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low speed for 20 seconds.
- Turn the mixer up to medium and beat for another 30- 45 seconds, or until fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. *If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
- Pour batter/chocolate mixture into lined muffin cups to ⅔ - ¾ full, dividing the batter evenly between all 24
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in tins, then move to a wire rack (cooling rack) to cool.
- Once cooled, frost cupcakes with your favorite icing, I recommend my Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting - it's the perfect pairing!
📖Substitutions & Variations
- Diary-free - you can use water instead of milk or dairy-free milk and a dairy-free cake mix. *Find out which cakes mixes are dairy-free HERE
- Milk - you can use whole milk or 2% milk instead of 1%
- Gluten-free - use a gluten-free cake mix
- Cake mix - I prefer to use Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker cake mixes, as I find they taste the best. And for these cupcakes, Devil's Food Chocolate cake mix is ideal
- Dark Chocolate Red Wine Cupcakes - Use a dark chocolate box mix
- Red Wine- dry red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, or Merlot work best with this recipe
- Kid-friendly - use non-alcoholic red wine and decaffeinated coffee
- Frosting - These cupcakes are ideal with any frosting, but I especially love them with my Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting (with jam). But they are also superb with my Chocolate Frosting (without butter). You could also use a cream cheese frosting.
👪 Serving Size
This red wine chocolate cupcake recipe makes enough frosting for 24 cupcakes or you can make a 1-8 inch chocolate red wine cake. However, you can half, double, or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
You'll need an electric mixer, either a stand mixer or hand mixer , and muffin tins (affiliate links) to make these wine-infused cupcakes. A cake tester (affiliate links) is also a handy tool to check for doneness.
Store these chocolate red wine cupcakes in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to 5 days. However, if you frost them with a perishable frosting, they need to be refrigerated.
These cupcakes freeze well in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
If you're looking for a red wine chocolate cupcake, you'll love this quick and easy one made from a box mix!
📋 Chocolate Red Wine Cupcake Recipe
- 15 oz - box of chocolate cake mix * I use Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker Devil's Food Cake Mix
- ¾ cup red wine
- ½ cup milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoon instant coffee
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/175 degrees C and line 2 - 12 muffins tins with liners.
- Add cake mix, eggs, milk, instant coffee, vegetable oil and red wine to a large bowl and mix on low for 20 seconds.
- Turn mixer up to medium speed and beat for another 30- 45 seconds, or until fully incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl. If you're using manual beaters, beat for 2 minutes. *If you are using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment.
- Pour batter/chocolate mixture into lined muffin tins, dividing the batter evenly between all 24.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool.
- Once cooled, frost cupcakes with your favorite icing and sprinkles, if you desire. I recommend my Strawberry Whipped Cream Frosting and mixed heart sprinkles- this frosting is the perfect pairing for this cupcake and also quick and easy to make! (https://foodmeanderings.com/strawberry-whipped-cream-frosting-with-jam/)
Wow! What a great way to doctor up a cake mix. You are so right, chocolate and wine go so well together, it's like it was meant to be.
Your cup cakes look amazing! The icing is making them stand out!
love this easy cheat hack to make things easier
Do you need to add the instant coffee? Just wondering what it’s purpose is, as I’m not a coffee drinker as not fond of its taste. But these cupcakes sound delicious so I don’t want to leave the coffee out if it enhances the wine flavor?? Thanks!
Hi Jeanine: Coffee enhances the chocolate flavor, actually, not the wine. You really can't taste it, but maybe if you are super sensitive to it, you will taste it. I love coffee, but don't taste it. But that being said, you don't have to add the coffee, it's just better with the coffee.
Hope you enjoy it!