Recipe: Mocha Wine Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

This is my spin on a recipe that a friend posted recently.  After looking at it closer, I realized that it was a similar version of my favorite chocolate cake recipe (Althouse Chocolate Wedding Cake) that I’ve been using ever since our wedding in 1988.  I adore this recipe.  Since it’s a chocolate cake that uses oil and vinegar instead of milk, butter, and eggs, it’s an easy recipe to have on hand anytime.  I’ve made this in a 9×13, 9″ rounds, 8″ rounds, as well as cupcakes… it freezes beautifully and thaws just as well.  Simply put, this is the one chocolate cake recipe to keep on hand for any occasion.  NOTE: This recipe is a “half recipe”… if you want to make a 9×13 or two rounds, you’ll need to double this recipe.



1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

3 T cocoa (Hershey’s cocoa works well)

6 t oil (I use vegetable oil, but have used olive oil)

1 T apple cider vinegar

1 t vanilla

1/2 cup coffee (I used espresso)

1/2 cup red wine (I used a Meritage, dry red)


Mix ingredients together, spoon into cupcake tins, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.



6 T Nutella

4 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 t vanilla


Mix together, using an electric mixer, until thoroughly smooth.


  • I have each of these ingredients on hand at any given time, so it’s easier than worrying if I have a cake mix in the cupboard.  I might not have all the ingredients for the frosting in my cupboard, but even pre-made frosting tastes pretty darn yummy when paired with this cake.
  • This is my very favorite chocolate cake recipe and I hope that it becomes one of yours as well.
  • The original recipe called for 1 cup of water instead of 1/2 cup coffee and 1/2 cup wine. I have made this recipe with water, with water/wine, with water/coffee, and with coffee/wine. I find that this recipe is pretty forgiving and tastes great in any form. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Recipe: Mocha Wine Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting

  1. Skyler taskila says:

    Hi this is skyler im the usaa rep that solved your check dilema and I tried the cup cakes today and they blew my mind so thanks for telling me about your blog 🙂

  2. […] week, so I made a special cake for her.  The recipe for the cake is already posted on this blog here (although I substituted the coffee with more wine), but it was the frosting that was special for […]

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