If there's one drink that really says Christmas, it's got to be mulled wine. I'm pretty sure it's only drank around Christmas time, and I know a lot of people who consider that after they've had their first mulled wine, Christmas is officially here! Also know as 'gluhwein' and 'glogg', mulled wine is warmed red wine, with sugar and spiced with orange, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, star anise, and/or cardamom. These Mulled Wine Cupcakes are made with a red wine chocolate sponge, filled with a mulled wine jam and topped with spiced buttercream and candied oranges.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Mulled Wine Cupcakes
Make the candied oranges first as they need time to cool and dry. Slice the oranges, then boil them in a sugar syrup for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Then drain them, and put them on a cooling rack. For the sponge, mix the sugar and butter together until smooth. Add eggs, red wine, flour and cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth.
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake for 25 minutes until risen. Once the cupcakes are fully cool, use a cupcake corer to make a hole in the centre. Fill them with a mulled wine jam made with cherries, spices and port.
If you can't find a similar jam, use cherry jam and mix in some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or you can skip this step. Make the buttercream using icing sugar, butter, ground cloves, cinnamon and milk. Pipe it onto the cupcakes and decorate with the candied orange slices.
What jam is best for the filling?
I used a mulled wine jam that I got at a National Trust shop. You can buy various mulled wine jams online from different brands like Cherry Tree and Harvey Nichols. You could also make your own mulled wine jam, again there are several recipes available online. Or you can use a plum or cherry jam and stir in some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, and some orange zest or even a cheeky splash of port!
Can you make Mulled Wine Cupcakes alcohol free?
Yes! Instead of red wine, you can use a fruit juice like cranberry, grape or pomegranate.
How long do the cupcakes last for and can they be frozen?
The cupcakes will last for 2-3 days in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze both the cupcakes and the buttercream. To freeze them separately, wrap the cupcakes well in cling film or put them in an airtight container. The buttercream can be frozen in a sealed tub. To freeze them decorated, freeze the cupcakes on a plate until frozen solid, then carefully wrap in cling film. Remove the clingfilm when you take the cupcakes out of the freezer to defrost, as if they defrost with it still on it could damage the appearance of the buttercream.
Can you make the cupcakes with plain/all purpose flour?
Self raising flour, which is very commonly used in the UK where I am based, already contains a raising agent and a little salt too. Therefore if you want to swap it for plain or all purpose flour, you will need to add some baking powder and also a little salt if you like. Some people like to add salt to cake recipes and some don't, so I'll leave that up to you as it won't affect the bake. The general advice is to add 2 teaspoons baking powder (a measuring teaspoon, not the kind you stir your coffee with) per every 200g plain or all purpose flour. So for this recipe you'd need to add 1 + ½ teaspoons baking powder. Please note, I have not tested this recipe using plain or all purpose flour.
Serve the Mulled Wine Cupcakes with a glass of mulled wine, of course!
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Cupcake tin
- Mixing bowls
- Cooling rack
- Kitchen scales
- Electric hand mixer
- Piping bags
- Wilton 2D Piping nozzle
- Cupcake corer
- Brown cupcake cases
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Mulled Wine Cupcakes
For the candied orange
- 200 g Caster sugar
- 450 ml Water
- 1 Large orange
For the sponge
- 175 g Butter or baking spread softened, unsalted
- 175 g Light brown soft sugar
- 3 Eggs large
- 175 g Self raising flour
- ¼ tsp Baking powder
- 20 g Cocoa powder
- 75 ml Red wine
For the filling (optional)
- 6 tbsp Mulled wine jam or cherry jam, or plum jam
For the buttercream
- 200 g Butter softened, unsalted
- 400 g Icing sugar
- 2-3 tsp Milk
- ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Ground cloves
- Make the candied oranges first. Slice up the orange into 5mm pieces, then cut in half. You should get 12-14 pieces
- Put the water and sugar into a pan and bring to the boil
- Add the oranges, turn the heat to a simmer and leave to simmer with a lid half covering for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes or so
- When they're done, remove with a slotted spoon and put on a cooling rack to drain and dry out for 4-5 hours
- Pre-heat your oven to 160C Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a cupcake tin with paper cases
- To make the cupcakes, mix together the butter and light brown sugar until smooth, ideally using an electric mixer
- Add the eggs and red wine, and whisk in
- Add the self raising flour, cocoa powder and baking powder and whisk in gently
- Divide the mixture between the cupcakes cases, and bake them for 20-25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Put them on a rack to cool completely
- Use a cupcake corer or a knife to make a hole in the middle of each cupcake
- Fill the holes with the jam
- To make the buttercream, mix together the butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves with a spoon or electric hand whisk, when it starts to come together, add the milk and mix until smooth. If it is too stiff, you can add a little more milk
- Pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake using a piping bag fitted with a nozzle. Or spread on with a spoon
- Top with the candied orange slices
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place, eat leftovers within 3 days
What a unique idea, Kat! Very festive
Thanks Kerry, I'm loving the festive spirit right now 🙂
These definitely scream Christmas! Love the colour of the icing and edible glitter is a must at this time of the year 🙂
Thanks Ros! I am a huge fan of edible glitter too, so pretty!
Wow these look so pretty! I always think mulled wine fails to live up to the expectation somehow, but I can definitely get on board with it in cake form! x
Thank you! Oh I loved mulled wine in all forms 🙂
Great festive entry Kat - makes me want some mulled wine!!
Thanks Stuart! I hope you treated yourself to some!