Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blackberry Wine Cake

As children, we spent our Christmas Eve night at my Granny’s house, out in the country.  There are some wonderful memories that come to mind of my brother, my cousin and myself sneaking to have a look at the Christmas gifts under Granny’s seemingly huge tree while no one was watching. Or, so we thought.

 Of course, there is also the memory of the three of us singing Christmas songs. Lots of repitition of Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer. (Hey, don’t judge. It was the 80’s. And that was THE Christmas song of all Christmas songs back then. LOL!).  I think someone even recorded our little performance and later in life we realized we sounded like Alvin & the Chipmunks on speed.  Oh the memories….

As we grew older and Granny did as well, she eventually moved back to the home that she had raised her family in many years before. I’m sure for my mom and aunt, this brought back lots of special childhood Christmas memories. It was also nice for the grandchildren to have a small glimpse at what their Christmases might have been like.
It was during these years, on Christmas Eve, I began recognizing that certain foods were seen only at Christmas. So, of course these foods created food memories for me. Isn’t it funny that whatever you grew up eating at holidays, almost always follows you into adulthood. It becomes something you crave every holiday.

 I can remember vividly 2 very specific things that my Granny made on Christmas Eve. One was Wassail, which I do not ever recall one person drinking, but it was there every year. I wonder now if maybe it was a food memory from Granny’s childhood?
 The other, my favorite, was Blackberry Wine Cake. Oh, Blackberry Wine Cake how I love thee…. it’s the same concept as a Rum Cake, just boozed up with a different alcohol. This can certainly be made a few days in advance, since it only gets better as the wine has time to strengthen and infuse. We always swore Granny used far more Blackberry Wine than was called for. Her only response was a smile. So, feel free to add a bit of extra wine in the glaze in lieu of the holiday season. Or, if you’re trying to behave yourself  and/or you’re going to be feeding this to small children that you do not want to intoxicate, you  can forgo the glaze and sprinkle with powdered sugar.


Blackberry Wine Cake 
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 small pkg blackberry gelatin*
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup blackberry wine
  • confectioners' sugar for dusting
*Jello no longer manufactures plain blackberry gelatin. A company called Royal does make it but it is sometimes difficult to find. Jello has started making a flavor called Blackberry Fusion  that I used this year and it worked perfectly.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan or tube pan.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cake mix, pudding mix and gelatin. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk, oil, eggs and wine. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate and cool completely. Sprinkle top with confectioners' sugar.
Glaze(if desired)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup blackberry wine
Mix together sugar and wine. Pour over warm cake.

1 comments: said...

This looks very tasty.. I think maybe I'll make one for New Years dessert! Thanks for sharing...and Merry Christmas!