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Apr 24, 2008 12:18 PM

Wine Bread? Wine cake? Recipe

Hi! A few years ago, a girl I worked with brought something she called "wine bread" to work. It was a family recipe, and one of the other women I worked with said that she didn't bring it often because it was expensive to make. I've lost touch with both of them, and am still remembering that wine bread and wanting to make it. I'm not sure why it was called wine "bread" (my family has odd names for favorite old recipes, so who am I to judge?) It was cakelike, super moist, made in a sheet cake pan, and was either not iced at all, or just had a glaze. The flavor that was prominent was lemon-y, not wine-y, but I believe the wine in it was the secret to its moistness. There were no other noticeable ingredients in it like nuts or fruit or anything. I'd experiment on my own, but I have no idea what kind of wine she used in it, and it could get expensive without that bit of info.

Does anyone have a recipe for something like this? Pleeeeeease. (I'm "winey", and also a dork.)

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  1. Alice Medrich's Olive Oil and Sherry Pound Cake.

    This is a fantastic loaf / cake. Her recipe calls for orange rind and amontillado sherry. I have also made it with lemon rind and a sweet white wine. Either way, this is an excellent, moist cake. I always make two and freeze one. Yum yum yum.

    7 Replies
    1. re: abud

      Thank you! That sounds like it might be the cake I've been craving for years now. I'm about to go out of town for a few days, and don't want to leave my husband home alone with a whole cake, so I'll make it next week and report back. I'm not sure what they mean by "flavorful" EVOO. I've never seen that specification in a recipe. I guess they just don't want me to use the "cheap" stuff I keep on hand for everyday use. Thanks again!!!

      1. re: stephanieh

        I assume she means don't use the cheap stuff. But I'd love to know what other chowhounds do. Like many of you probably, I have two good olive oils that I buy in bulk--one (milder) for cooking and one (more flavorful) for drizzling and salad dressing. When I am baking with olive oil I use the cooking oil (the less flavorful one). What do you all do?

        1. re: abud

          I use the WF or Citarella brands - occasionally the Costco one - for my "bulk" olive oil. And I have far too many more expensive, flavorful ones, though frutatto (sp?) has become a favorite.

          1. re: MMRuth

            I buy lebanese oils from Kalustyan's in bulk. I love them. The cooking one is called Beirut and the raw one is called Saifan, I believe.
            Heidi Swanson mentioned Apollo Sierra (I think that's what she said) from WF. Haven't tried any of the brands but have meaning to.

            1. re: abud

              What do you like about the saifan? Is it a fruity one? Or how would you characterize it? (Always interested in new possibilities.)

              1. re: karykat

                I will do a taste test this evening with that one and an expensive umbrian one that a friend gave me that I also sometimes use for drizzling so I can give you a more accurate description. They tasted so different last time I did this, I felt like I was comparing apples and oranges. Both were very good. I guess which one you use depends on the ingredients and the outcome you're shooting for.

                1. re: karykat

                  The saifan is a dark green olive olive. It's fruity. The flavor it pretty full but has a mellow after taste--which I liked in contrast to the italian one whose after taste was bitter.

      2. Here is a recipe from epicurious for a beaumes de venise cake made with muscat-type wine and orange and lemon rind. I have very much liked this cake. It also has grapes baked into it which sounds weird but actually works.

        Not a sheet cake but might be like what you are looking for. It is moist.

        1. Just wanted to report back, I made the cake last weekend, and it's truly delicious! I stuck to the amontillado, but did use lemon zest instead of orange, since that's the flavor I was remembering. I don't really taste the olive oil in the cake. Either my EVOO wasn't flavorful enough (probably), or my palate is just not that refined (equally likely). I used a mid-priced EVOO from a grocery store, nothing special, but not the cheapest. I tasted it before making the cake, and wouldn't have called it flavorful, but I'd already spent a lot on the sherry, so I went with the EVOO I had.

          I'm thinking this isn't the recipe I was looking for, but it doesn't matter because this filled the craving very nicely, and was even better than the cake in my memory. The difference is that this recipe is very dense, like a pound cake, which I love. But, the other cake was more like a cake from a mix, only waaaay better.

          Another note, I used a 10-cup bundt pan (the recipe says either 10- or 12- cup), and I got nervous it would overflow, so I had enough batter for an additional 6 small cupcakes. It's a good thing I did that, too. The cake doesn't rise a lot, but it would have spilled over in my pan (and I would have wasted some of the yumminess).

          Thanks for steering me to this recipe!!! I'm going to try that Beaumes de Venise as well... except I'm about to go on a baking hiatus because it's hot here in Austin. That will have to wait for fall.

          1. Don't know if this is close to what you're searching for- but it's quick to make-I usually have everything on hand, nice and moist, and I love serving it with strawberries (thaw a package of the sliced frozen ones in juice so the juices soak into the slices- the only time I'd ever use these instead of fresh) and freshly whipped cream-
            1 c. sugar
            2 eggs
            1/2 c. oil (I use canola)
            1/2 c. white wine (whatever is open!)
            1 1/4 c. sifted flour
            1/4 tsp. salt
            1 1/8 tsp. baking powder
            1/2 tsp. vanilla

            Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. Combine the sugar and eggs in a medium bowl and beat until just blended. Add the oil, wine, flour, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Mix well, pour into pan, and bake 25-30 min. until golden brown.

            4 Replies
            1. re: sweet ginger

              That sounds like it might bet the one. I'll give it a try. Thanks!!!

              1. re: stephanieh

                Hi Stephanie, I know you posted this question years ago, but I'm just seeing it now and I have the recipe you're looking for! A friend of mine makes wine bread and your suspicions were right on, it's based on a box of lemon cake mix. Here it is, I hope you see this!

                1 box lemon cake mix without pudding (Duncan Hines is her preferred brand)
                1 large box instant lemon pudding mix
                4 large eggs
                1/2 cup vegetable oil
                1 cup cabernet or merlot - doesn't have to be expensive wine

                Add all ingredients in large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. It turns an odd green color from the combination of the yellow lemon mixes and the wine, so don't be alarmed. Pour into two greased & floured loaf pans and bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. She always serves it chilled as it brings out the flavor.

                1. re: gsdlvr

                  I haven't been on in awhile and just now saw this. I'm so excited! I'm going to try this in the next week or so. This is the most likely the one, because, and I don't know how to say this delicately, my friend who made this wasn't a foodie at all. The cake she made was an old family recipe that was more like a church supper dessert than a Barefoot Contessa garden party dessert. But, those are sometimes the best kind. Thank you for posting this!

                  1. re: stephanieh

                    Oh, I'm SO glad you saw this post! I know what it's like to search for a certain recipe without success. Please post whether it is or isn't what you were looking for. My friend who makes this isn't a foodie either, so I really really think it's "the one." Sometimes she has a hard time finding the large boxes of instant lemon pudding mix, so she'll just grab two smaller boxes and weigh out the equivalent of a large box. Good luck and I hope this is it!