The essence of a warm mug of mulled wine from English Christmas markets, but in the form of a tender, flavorful cake.
While the holidays may have come and gone, there’s a long cold winter ahead and no reason why we shouldn’t still enjoy ourselves. Yeah, we should definitely cut back on some of the overindulgences. But there are plenty of reasons to celebrate – birthdays, snow days, Fridays. Whatever the reason, this mulled wine cake is here to help.
what is mulled wine?
Mulled wine is a wonderful beverage to warm up with on a winter’s evening. Red wine simmers with spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and star anise with red wine and oranges. Before serving you can add a sweetener, such as sugar or honey, and a splash of brandy. It’s essentially the same as hot spiced cider but made with wine.
Mulled wine is commonly enjoyed during winter in many European countries and is a staple of their quaint Christmas markets, especially in England. But anyone can make mulled wine at home with little effort. Just grab some wine - no need to use anything pricey – and heat it in a saucepan with a few whole spices and some orange slices. Simmer as long as you like and sweeten each cup upon serving.
how to make mulled wine at home
You don’t need a specific amount of spices. Use what you have and only as much as you like. If all you have are cinnamon sticks, I think that’s fine. Although, I will say that whole spices do a better job of infusing the wine. Ground spices don’t blend well here, and you don’t want to find yourself sipping up a clump of ground cloves. If you don’t have many whole spices hanging around, you can actually find mulling spice blends that often include dried orange peel.
Whether you let the wine simmer for hours on the stove or just a few minutes, you can make just a mug full, which I do quite often, or prepare a large pot for a party. Or use a slow cooker to simmer a pot of mulled wine without even having to pay attention to it.
If you like mulled wine, you might also want to check out my hot buttered rum recipe, another warm and comforting winter beverage.
If you enjoy mulled wine or the idea of the beverage sounds appealing, you will appreciate this cake. It takes all the flavors of mulled wine and puts them in an edible form. You might think that this would result in a boozy, dense, and overly spiced dessert, yet that’s not the case. Rather, the flavors are subtle, and the cake has a light texture and crumb.
If you like the idea of this cake but aren’t into alcohol, it’s worth noting that there is only about a tablespoon worth in each serving, and that’s before taking into account whatever may cook-off in the process.
This recipe will make four cups of batter, which is enough for either one eight-inch round cake, one dozen cupcakes, or if you have a similar pan to the one I used from King Arthur Flour, six mini cakes to share (or not).Print