Fluffy vanilla bean cupcakes overflowing with a Pinot Noir berry filling, and topped with a berry Italian meringue buttercream – a perfect spring dessert!
That’s exactly how I feel about these Vanilla Red Wine Berry Cupcakes.
I only made a half batch for the purpose of this post, and they disappeared wayyyyy too quickly. Like…within the same day.
Instant gratification is such an unfair concept.
This is the joy for me.
I love cupcakes.
I love cupcakes. I now just manage it, so I don’t deny myself cupcakes.
I have cupcakes every day.
OK. That’s a complete exaggeration, courtesy of Oprah. But if my blog name didn’t give away my love for cupcakes, I don’t know what will.
I do, however, have a glass of wine almost every day. I’m not sure if that fits into any sort of weight loss program, but if someone out there is working on one and needs endorsements, I’m available.
Reds are my go to. I got my feet wet in the wine world on sweet whites, but after finally opening myself up to trying darker, drier vino, I fell in love.
Sweet wines are easier to drink, reds are more pleasant. You can nurse a glass of Cabernet or Merlot over dinner, over dessert, or while you catch up on your favorite TV show.
Plus, I think I read somewhere that red wine was heart healthy, so I’m banking on that for the future.
So welcome, by the way, to part two of my love for Gloria Ferrer series!
It’s not an official series, I just honestly couldn’t resist using both of the delightful varieties of wine they sent me to try in some sort of spring dessert.
Most recipes that match red wine and berries are paired with chocolate, for obvious reasons: they are amazing together. But the Pinot Noir berry filling and sauce used in this recipe are a perfect match for the vanilla bean cupcakes and the rich yet light Italian Meringue Buttercream that crowns it all.
Gloria Ferrer’s Pinot is quite earthy, but emits aromas of black cherry, cedar, and spice with a smooth mouthfeel and long finish. If you’re looking for a wine to pair with pan-seared duck breast or a cheese plate, this is the one.
I’m definitely becoming a Gloria Ferrer lover.
I have yet to make it to Spain, France, or even California, but tasting a glass of their award-winning wine almost takes me to each place simultaneously in my head.
The Spanish-hailing family opened Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, Caves & Vineyards, in 1986 in Sonoma County. The first wine house to bring back clones from France to plant in their 335-acre vineyard, the folks at Gloria Ferrer are renowned experts in the production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and produce estate grown still and sparkling wines that rival some of the world’s finest.
It’s no surprise they have over 400 gold medals on their mantle, and have garnered 50 90+ scored in the last five years.
Whether you’re a red or white fan, these cupcakes will blow your mind with vanilla and berry flavor – they’re definitely worth the time and effort, so no shortcuts here!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 cup Gloria Ferrer Pinot Noir
- 7 ounces granulated sugar
- 1½ cups berries, fresh or frozen (I used strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- ⅓ recipe Italian Meringue Buttercream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 standard cupcake pans with 18 liners, spraying them lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine melted butter and sugar. Mix together on medium speed for 2 minutes until thickened. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until blended between each one. Add vanilla and blend well.
- Add the buttermilk and flour mixture in alternate additions, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined - don't overmix.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking at the 18-minute mark for doneness. They should be a nice golden color and leave nothing on a clean inserted toothpick.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack.
- Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced.
- Strain the berries using a fine mesh sieve, reserving both the liquid and berries. Place the berries in a separate bowl and add back 2-3 Tablespoons of the liquid, stirring to combine. Cool to room temperature.
- Prepare Italian Meringue Buttercream while cupcakes are cooling.
- When ready to decorate, use a cupcake corer or small knife to hollow out the middle of each cupcake. Fill each cupcake with 1-2 Tablespoons berry filling.
- Stripe a piping bag with thin stripes of remaining berry filling, then spoon in Italian Meringue Buttercream. Top each cupcake with icing.
- Garnish with fresh berries rolled in sugar, and drizzle some Red Wine Berry Sauce (the reserved liquid) on top. Enjoy!
How do you like to incorporate wine into your recipes?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.