Red Wine brownies are an incredibly decadent and delicious adults-only dessert! This rich, fudgy brownie recipe is the best way to have your wine and eat it too!!
Not to sound like a
raging alcoholic overly excited wine enthusiast, but I love me some wine. I mean, I really love wine. I've even looked into opening my own winery, but quickly ruled it out when I realized I'd rather just drink it. And cook with it of course, because wine-flavored food is also good. Especially chocolate. Mmmm... wine and chocolate.
My only problem in cooking with wine is that most people recommend using wine that you enjoy drinking. But it's wine I enjoy drinking! How can I possibly cook with the wine if I am also busy drinking it? Buying two bottles seems a little excessive, but I suppose for the sake of good food... 😉
I was first inspired to make red wine brownies when I encountered brownies made with powdered red wine skins from my Orange Glad dessert subscription box. I thought it would be even better to make brownies with actual wine, because real wine is always better. I decided to re-hydrate my cranberries in the wine to intensify the wine flavor and give you a nice alcoholic berry burst when you bite down. We only had the pomegranate infused cranberries around so I used those and they were soooo good with the wine. Highly recommend.
Normally, I am not really a nuts-in-brownies kind of gal, but with these red wine brownies, I like the contrast of sweet cranberries and walnuts. If you really want to get into it, I recommend finding chocolate covered nuts. The chocolate melts while baking, of course, but just adds to the extreme fudginess of the brownies, making them much more decadent.
To spare you the agony at the thought of using all your wine in this dessert, rest assured, this recipe only calls for ¾ cup of red wine. Phew! The rest you can enjoy while you wait for your brownies to finish baking - I promise I won't tell!
This brownie recipe is perfect for you if you enjoy a really fudgy, chocolate brownie with a crisp, slightly chewy top.
This is basically the perfect brownie for adults. You need to make these brownies.
Tips for baking the BEST red wine brownies:
I used to recommend all full-bodied wines, or any red wine that you love to drink. After a bit more research and experimentation, I realize that it is best to go with sweet reds and dessert wines. They are still amazing with any red wine and I still recommend this recipe to use up any leftover wine you may have around, but for the best experience, go for something sweet.
Many people ask if they can substitute the dried cranberries for other dried fruit. I haven't tried the recipe with anything besides dried cranberries, but I believe some dried fruits like dried cherries would work really well here. If you want to get a little crazy with it, try dried strawberries and report back on how that tastes!
I've also had a few bakers ask if they can omit the fruit and nuts altogether. The answer is yes! I know not everyone enjoys mix-ins in their brownies so feel free to take them out. My only warning is this: if you are taking out the dried fruit, you have to reduce the amount of wine in the brownies because the fruit soaks up and retains some of the wine. Without reducing the amount of wine, the brownie batter will be too liquidy and affect the end texture and baking time. I recommend using just ½ cup of wine in the brownies if you are not using the dried fruit.
I know there are a lot of people who can only eat gluten-free. I am not a gluten-free baker. I tend to look to The Bojon Gourmet and Snixy Kitchen for that. I can say that if you use an all-purpose gluten-free flour, you should be able to follow the recipe exactly the same. I have used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour and have never been able to tell the difference from traditional all-purpose flour.
Red Wine Brownies Recipe with Drunken Cranberries
- ¾ cup 177 mL red wine
- ½ cup 60 g dried cranberries
- 1 ¼ 156 g cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup 115 g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 6 oz 180 g dark or semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups 250 g sugar
- ½ cup 41 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup 63 g chopped walnuts (optional)
- In a small bowl, mix the red wine and cranberries together and allow to sit for 30 minutes to an hour or until the cranberries look plump. You can gently heat the wine and cranberries on the stove or in the microwave to speed up the process.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease and flour an 8 by 8 inch pan.
- Mix flour and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
- In a bowl over boiling water, heat the butter and chocolate until just melted and mixed together.
- Remove the bowl from heat and beat in the eggs one at a time. (If the bowl seems very hot, you may want to let it cool for about 5 minutes before adding the eggs).
- Add the sugar and cocoa powder and mix, then add the flour and mix well.
- Mix in the red wine and cranberries. Fold in walnuts, if using.
- Pour the mixture in the baking pan and bake for about 50 - 55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with only crumbs.
- Allow the brownies to cool in the pan about about 25 - 30 minutes, then remove to cool completely on a wire rack.
This is my second time making this recipe and I remembered from the first time that the baking time is wrong for my oven. I actually decided to bake in a two bite brownie mold this time. It took 22 minutes at 375F.
I replaced 1/4 cup of the regular cocoa powder with dark cocoa powder. The rest is the same and its delicious.
Trisha McMurray says
I work at a winery, in the kitchen, and I’ve been thinking of how I could use left over wine. I made some brownies but they didn’t turn out great. They tasted good but the presentation wasn’t desirable. Do I need to reduce the wine? Making it...maybe thicker like a Port or Dessert Wine? I love your suggestions for the dried cranberries and nuts. I will try that next. If you have any advice I’d love to hear from you. Thank you!
Amanda Powell says
Hi Trisha! When I soaked the cranberries in the wine, the sugar content in the cranberries did help to give the wine a bit more viscosity. You can certainly try thickening it.. reducing it down so it is almost a syrup could be good (which may require a bit of sugar), or even actually using a nice dessert wine (and adjusting the sugar depending on how sweet the dessert wine is).
I just cooked the brownie following stept by step. Set my oven to 175C, for 50 minutes. But my brownie was a bit burnt on top and quite dry inside. Should I cook it for less time?
Amanda Powell says
Yes, as a general rule, since everyone’s kitchen appliances are always slightly different, you should start checking your baked goods about 5-10 minutes before the stated time with a toothpick to test for doneness
This recipe sounds great for my husband’s birthday! He loves red wine. To do it in a 13*9 inch pan should I double it or make it one and half the recipe? Thank you!
Amanda Powell says
The brownies are kind of thick, you could probably get away with 1.5 of the recipe!
I’ve made these brownies! There great! I have to comment on your timing?
Cook 15 min? Baking time in 50-55 min ?
Do you know if the alcohol bakes off in this recipe? I've made it several times and love them, but want to make them for some nursing mama friends.
So, most of it does bake off, I would say at least 90% bakes out, but from what I understand about cooking out alcohol, there would still be trace amounts left. Not enough - in my non-expert opinion, but as a mom who also nursed - to have any affect on mama or the baby. I'd say its on par with drinking a bottle of kombucha.
Becky Gerber says
I have made these several times. AWESOME! First with dry red, second sweet red. Sweet definitely better.
Ready to make again but only have Sherry (mother loves a small glass after dinner). How do you think Sherry would work in this recipe?
I have not tried it with Sherry, so I cannot speak to that. If any other readers have tried it, please sound in!
I super love these brownies!!! In the oven now is my third try on them. Tweaking and getting it to my perfection: truffle like brownies. Wanted to try it this time with cherries though I don't have the dried ones. I used glazed cherries and soaked it in half cup of brandy. To get a fudgier batch: reduced flour to 3/4cup, used 2 eggs instead of 3 and sugar to 1 cup brown sugar. From the previous batch, I used a 9x9 pan, chilled the brownies and cut them up to 64 pcs so they are quite small. After which I rolled them in Cocoa powder. I tell you it's divine! Did these tweaks for this Christmas as gifts. How posh is it to giveaway or receive "Red Wine Cranberry Brownie Truffle" or "Black Forest Brownie Truffle."
Deb Snyder says
I tried these today with a couple of changes due to using what I had on hand. A Sauvignon blanc (white wine) and a blend of dried cherries, blueberries and cranberries. Delicious, rich and give high marks!! I look forward to trying the red wine, all dried cherries maybe 3/4 cup and adding toasted walnuts. A drizzle of semi-sweet chocolate would push them over the edge! Not a sweet wine fan will stick with a dry red.
Melissa Shaffer says
Hi! Just wanted to say I made these today and I let them bake for 45 minutes and they are pretty overdone. They are very tasty, but they are pretty dry. Be sure to check them early and often. I'm going to make them again, but start checking them at 35 minutes. I just tested my oven too, so I know it's not that.
Hi Melissa, so glad you tried the brownies! Do you by chance have a convection oven? I'm finding that they typically have much shorter baking times so I'm wondering if that might have anything to do with it? If not, then I'll definitely do some more tests regarding baking times