Close

Site Information

Blog

​Tante Thea’s Red Wine Cake Recipe

Posted by Gina Leto - Owner, Esthetic Living on

I think we all have a couple of recipes that evoke such happy memories that making them always puts us in a happy place. This is my “happy” recipe. Growing up, I was lucky enough to spend summers with my aunt and uncle on their farm in a small town in Germany. For a girl from NYC, these summers were magical and the beginning of my love affair with Europe.

Despite all the work my aunt had on the farm, every Friday freshly baked cakes were made for the weekend. One of my favorites was my aunt’s Red Wine Cake. The hazelnuts, chocolate and red wine give this cake a rich flavor and makes it the perfect comfort dessert.

When I got married, my aunt gifted me with her recipe, as it had now become my husband’s favorite cake as well! Today, it is a family favorite and the recipe needs to be doubled or tripled to keep everyone happy. I don’t mind though, the smell of my kitchen on baking day brings back many happy memories of my aunt and my days in Germany.

Guten Appetit!


Ingredients (makes one large loaf):

2 sticks (225g) butter

1 ¼ cups (250g) sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup (100g) ground hazelnuts

½ cup finely chopped chocolate or mini chocolate morsels

2 cups (250g) flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder

½ cup (125ml) red wine


Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease and flour a large loaf pan (I prefer a 12”x4” pan)
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add and beat eggs until fully incorporated.
  5. Add all dry ingredients (ground hazelnuts, chocolate, flour and baking powder) alternating with the red wine. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure cake is fully baked as baking times may vary.
  7. When done, remove the cake from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning it out onto a baking rack.
  8. When fully cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar and voilà!

Sautéed Mushrooms To Die For: How to Make this Scrumptious Meal

Many years ago, on a summer evening much like tonight, my cousin took me to this wonderful little Spanish tapas bar in Old Sachsenhausen in Frankfurt, Germany. Sachsenhausen is always fun but even better in summer when the streets are packed and the apple wine is flowing. On this particular evening though, we decided to forgo [...]

Read More »


Gina's Summer Pasta Recipe: ​Penne with Brie, Tomatoes and Basil

When summer comes around, the last thing I want to do is spend hours in the kitchen cooking a meal for my family. To me, during the summer season, it's all about enjoying the outdoors and spending less time inside. While the barbeque is a great way to move cooking outdoors, sometimes I just crave [...]

Read More »


Quiche Lorraine Recipe: How to Make This Traditional French Dish

Having a French husband, quiche is a bit of a dietary requirement in our house and, as the kids love it as well, I tend to make it a few times throughout the year.A freshly baked quiche, a green salad and a nice bottle of wine make one of the best relaxing meals to be [...]

Read More »


Making Pie Crust – Not Such a Big Deal Anymore: Gina's Tips for Making A Pie Crust

When I lived in Switzerland, good quality, pre-made (pre-rolled!) pie crust was available in every supermarket. So making a quiche or pie (tarte) was fairly quick and simple. Moving back to the US, I realized that unless I was willing to make my own crust, pies and quiches were going to become a thing [...]

Read More »