2 ratings

Red Wine Snack Cake With Goat Cheese Frosting And Candied Olives

Pair it with red wine
Red Wine Snack Cake With Goat Cheese Frosting And Candied Olives
Courtesy of Chicago Tribune

This is the perfect snack to try with a glass of red wine on the side. Just like the classic cheese and olives snack pairing, this dessert incorporates that idea using goat cheese frosting and candied olives on top of a chocolate cake.

This recipe is by Stacey Ballis and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.


For the cake

  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 Cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cup red wine, full-bodied is preferable
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons wine flour or powder, (if you do not use, add 2 extra tablespoons cocoa powder)
  • 1 Cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Goat cheese frosting
  • Candied olives

For the frosting

  • 6 Ounces mild goat cheese, softened to cool room temp
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to cool room temp
  • 8 Ounces powdered sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
  • 1/8 Teaspoon kosher salt

For the candied olives

  • 1 Cup pitted oil-cured olives
  • 1 Cup sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cinnamon stick, optional


For the cake

Heat your oven to 350, with a rack in the center.

Spray a 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray; if you are not going to serve right out of the pan, line with parchment paper with the ends of the parchment hanging over the side so that you can use it as a sling to remove the whole cake from the pan for easy slicing.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugars till light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

While beating, add the eggs and yolks one at a time, adding the next when the first is fully combined.

Mix the red wine and the vanilla together in a mixing cup with a spout.

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

Alternate mixing the red wine mixture and dry mix into your butter mixture in thirds, beating just long enough to almost fully combine before adding the next batch.

Pour the batter into the pan; smooth the top.

Bake until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean, and the top springs back when you press it, 30 to 40 minutes.

Cool completely on a rack.

Frost in the pan with a generous layer of goat cheese frosting and dot with candied olives to garnish. (Or remove cake from the pan with the parchment paper handles and frost and serve on a platter.)

Cut into 24 pieces to serve.

For the frosting

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or with an electric beater, whip the butter and goat cheese together on medium until you have a light fluffy mixture, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the vanilla paste and salt; mix just to combine.

Add the powdered sugar, 1 large spoonful at a time, until you have the texture of frosting you desire.

If you are serving the cake the same day you might want it slightly thinner; if it needs to travel, sit overnight or the weather is warm, you might want it a bit thicker.

All goat cheese does not have the same moisture content; if you find your icing too thick, add a tablespoon of sour cream, creme fraiche or milk at a time until you get the balance right.

If you need to make it ahead, keep it in the fridge, but take it out to come to room temp for at least 30 minutes before frosting your cake.

For the candied olives

Place the olives in a medium saucepan with 2 cups of water.

Bring to a boil.

Boil, 2 minutes; strain the olives.

Add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar to the saucepan with the strained olives, along with the cinnamon stick, if using.

Bring to boil and cook until the syrup thickens substantially 10-15 minutes.

Remove the olives from the syrup with a slotted spoon and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Spread out, sprinkle with enough sugar to dust each olive.

Shake pan to coat olives evenly.

Let cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.