Dark Chocolate Pinot Noir Cupcakes

You groan at valentine’s day, but I see an opportunity. We get one day a year (albeit, a hallmark holiday) to celebrate LOVE – however that love is defined for you. Whether you spend it with a significant other, a friend, family, yourself, even your pet, it should be a day of celebration. Most importantly, VDay is the ultimate excuse to indulge in four of my favorite things: red wine, flowers, chocolate, and candles. You could say its my perfect holiday.

I teamed up with 90+ Cellars this year, who I officially have asked to be my valentine, to create a dark chocolate pinot noir cupcake for you to ~fall in love with~ this year.

You can find 90+ here: https://www.ninetypluscellars.com/ – check for a location distributing their wine near you. Lucky for all of us, they are currently featuring 15% off pinot noirs!


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened/dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup coffee (room temperature)
  • splash of 90+ Cellars Lot 75 pinot noir


  • 3 stick unsalted butter, softened (do not microwave)
  • 1/4 c shortening
  • 1/2 cup pinot noir syrup (90+ Cellars Lot 75 pinot + granulated sugar)
  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt until combined.
  2. Then in an additional small bowl, stir together buttermilk and coffee.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer, mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and add in the vanilla.
  4. Add half the dry ingredients to butter mixture and half the buttermilk and coffee. Add the other half of the dry and the remaining buttermilk and coffee. Add the semisweet chocolate and mix until consistent.
  5. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Bake at 375° for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Pinot syrup: in a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 c pinot noir and 6 tbs granulated sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves. Leave at a low simmer until thickens enough to leave a film on a spoon. Cool completely.

Mix the butter and shortening until creamy. Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, and add the syrup once it starts to thicken, a little at a time. Beat until fluffy. If your buttercream is too thick, add some cream. If it is too wet, add more powdered sugar (a little at a time). Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

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