Merlot Cake



I want to eat this cake every night!   Really!   Actually, I think I might!  It is so delicious and as far as cakes go, I venture to say it is pretty healthy.   It is made with whole wheat pastry flour and has no butter or shortening.  It is easy to make and is a very impressive sight with all the grapes on top.  I have to mention that a small amount of the alcohol may remain after baking, so small children and people who avoid all alcohol should probably avoid this cake.   However, for those like me that enjoy their wine, I think some cabernet sorbet would be the perfect accompaniment.  Chocolate and wine is one of my favorite pairings and this cake pairs them perfectly.   This is definitely one of my very favorite cakes!

For those of you that do not know, most wines are not vegan, even though the ingredients in them usually are.  The production process of wine involves filtering the liquid through fining agents which include blood and bone marrow, casein (milk protein), chitin (fiber from crustacean shells), egg albumen, fish oil, gelatin (protein from boiling animal parts), and isinglass (gelatin from fish bladder membranes).  Thankfully, there are vegan alternatives.  For a great resource for vegan wines, check out


  • 2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 c coconut oil
  • 1 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 T ground flax seed mixed with 5 T water
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 c full-bodied red wine, such as merlot
  • 1/2 c vegan chocolate chips
  • grapes for garnish

for the frosting

  • 10 oz vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 T merlot


Heat oven to 350.

Lightly grease two 9” baking pans and line with parchment paper and grease again.


Combine flour, cocoa. baking soda and salt in a small bowl.


Beat coconut oil and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the flax seed and vanilla and mix for 2 minutes.  Add half of the flour mixture and combine.  Then add half of the wine.  Add the remaining flour mixture and then the remaining wine.


Spread the batter into the two pans and sprinkle half the chocolate chips on each.



Bake 35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool at least 10 minutes, then turn out onto plates.

For the frosting, melt the chocolate over medium heat.  Stir in the coconut oil and vanilla.  Add the merlot and cook a few minutes more, stirring constantly.


Frost the top of one cake layer and top with the second layer.  Frost the top of the second layer and then garnish with grapes.



Tip – use a serrated knife to slice this cake.



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