Ver Jus Soaked Wine-tasting Cakes

Ver jus soaked wine-tasting cakes

Booze Cakes?

Can you believe their is an entire cookbook called Booze Cakes: Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer?

While there are many incredibly delicious sounding recipes in the collection, I was recently searching for the perfect dessert to bring to a wine-tasting picnic with my girlfriends.

So how could I possibly resist a recipe named “Wine-Tasting Cakes?”

This light, spice cake was fantastic soaked in a Ver jus and anise glaze.

And the remaining cupcakes tasted even better the next day. The glaze continued to soak and moisten the cakes. My kids and I couldn’t get enough.

My few adjustments to the recipe included replacing the Chardonnay with Oregon’s Hyland Estates Pinot Noir Ver jus (the tart, fresh non-fermented juice of unripe grapes). And, I felt the “icing” was a bit thin so I added more sugar and reduced the liquid a smidge.

I also decided to skip the tedious and messy brushing on of the glaze. I just gently dunked the tops of the cupcakes into the glaze. Each cake was thickly coated and the glaze slowly soaked into the cake. Mmmm. So good.

Ingredients List

  • 24 paper cupcake liners
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract
  • 2 cups flour (mine is mixture of 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 white)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Ver jus
  • 1/2 cup non-fat milk

Ingredients List for Glaze

  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Ver jus
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp anise extract


Preheat oven to 350°F (or 325°F if using convection).

Line cupcake pans with the paper liners and set aside.

Beat together butter and sugar in a mixing bowl for 3 minutes. Add in egg yolks, anise and vanilla and beat for another minute.

Gradually add in flour, baking powder, salt, Ver jus and milk. Continue mixing until all is combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites for several minutes until peaks form. Then gently fold the eggs into the prepared batter.

Pour the cake batter evenly into the cupcake pans. Using a 1/3 measuring cup for each is about right.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and tops spring back when gently pressed.

Let the cakes rest in the pan for 5 minutes then remove them from pan using a butter knife if necessary. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack for 15 minutes.

While the cupcakes cool, prepare the glaze.

Melt the butter over low heat in a small sauce pan. Whisk in the Ver jus, powdered sugar and anise. Continue to heat and whisk while the glaze simmers, sugars dissolve and the mixture slightly thickens.

Turn off the heat. Remove the glaze from the burner and allow to cool.

When the cakes are cooled and the glaze is still warm, dip the tops of each cake into the warm glaze, thoroughly coating the top. Put the cakes back on the wire rack to allow the glaze to soak in and cool.

You may get a few drips down the sides, but trust me, you won’t mind licking this glaze from your fingers.