Easy Chardonnay Cake Recipe
My recipe for Chardonnay Cake may be a little too easy. Perfect for afternoon soirees, every time I serve this simple cake, I get raves.
- Yellow Cake Mix
- Chardonnay- 2 cups
- Grand Marnier- 1 cup
- Orange Juice- 1 cup
- Sugar- 1 cup mixed with
- Corn Starch- 2 tablespoons
- Prepare cake mix according to package instructions Substituting the water with Chardonnay.
- Heat Grand Marnier and Orange Juice over medium heat until bubbly
- Add sugar mixed with Corn Starch and dissolve until glazed
- Pour over the top of cake
Below is my whimsical story of how I happened upon this gem of a recipe.
The Story Behind The Chardonnay Cake Recipe
At the very end of a long and windy rode in Paso Robles, California is a positively charming and unpopular winery. I won’t mention the name, because although the scenery there is magnificent, the wine is not.
At the end of a long day of wine tasting during a group trip, we stopped off at this bewitching little spot owned by a famous couple from the 1950’s (at my urging only, because my wine-snobby friends would gladly have skipped it).
The story of how this quaint little winery came to be still gives me goosebumps. I’m not sure if it’s true, but here’s how the story goes.
The husband and wife wine-making team are actually a famous 1950’s actor and Miss America from 1950-something. During a helicopter flight from shooting in Hollywood to Northern California, the helicopter crashed with the husband inside on the site of the now-winery. He survived (obviously). And when he emerged from the wreckage he said something like, “this is the most beautiful place; I think I’ll build a home and winery here”. He was then joined by his beauty queen wife where they still are. He hand-paints labels for their wine and she keeps the place- well- charming.
During this particular visit, she (Mrs. Beauty Queen Winemaker) was out front pouring wine and giving away small samples of a Chardonnay cake she made. Wow, this is a real treat, I thought. No other winery we visited would ever think to meet you with hand-baked goods from the owner. I loved it.
The cake was so moist. I was sure used had some age-old culinary method. As we chatted, I went on and on about how great her cake was when she offered to give me the recipe.
“Would it be too complicated?”, I wondered. “Perhaps with some type of wine-reduction technique?” As I waited for her to retrieve a copy of this gourmet secret compound, I burst at the thought of wowing my friends with an authentic Chardonnay cake recipe directly from a Paso Robles wine maker.
But, instead of leaving the table to retrieve it, she leaned over and said, “I use a basic yellow cake mix and substitute the water with two cups of Chardonnay.”
Maybe the cake tasted better than I thought after all this wine tasting- okay- drinking. So, I thanked her and vowed to make it when I returned home to see for myself.
It was as good as I remembered it- moist and light tasting with just the perfect hint of Chardonnay. Now I impress my friends during summer entertaining with this culinary marvel.
If you didn’t catch the secret recipe and are waiting for my ingredient and instruction list to follow: yellow cake mix….no water….Chardonnay instead.
The cake comes out super moist and is sliced into bite-sized pieces to serve as finger food. If you insist on having some type of icing for this cake, I used a glaze for mine. I heated a cup of orange juice and some Grand Marnier in a small saucepan, then added a cup of sugar combined with a couple tablespoons of corn starch over medium heat until it turned to glaze.
If you’re having a party, try this fun giveaway- Chalkboard Wine Bottles.
Used as table decor, I set out some chalk for guests to sign their name or write something cute. Then I give away the bottles to a guest at the end of the night. They can also be used for wine tasting parties to mark each type of wine, “Merlot”, “Cabernet”, etc.
They’re simple to make: simply spray-paint some empty wine bottles of different shapes and sizes with chalkboard paint. Dry.
For more fun ways to use chalkboard paint, visit my Pinterest Board!
For more summer entertaining ideas: