Mulled wine in cake! Yes you read that right. This gorgeous mulled wine traybake cake is a fabulous easy moist sponge cake with a drizzle of mulled wine over the top. The Christmas traybake is then topped with a creamy cream cheese buttercream and decorated with dried orange slices, star anise, fresh rosemary and fresh redcurrants.
Mulled wine traybake cake. Two of my favourite things all rolled into one delicious dessert. IThis Christmas traybake cake is simple to whip up and make for a party (or enjoy with just a fork and the cake tin at midnight on Christmas day).
Why you’ll love this mulled wine traybake recipe
•This easy Christmas mulled wine traybake cake has quickly become a favourite in my house. It smells incredible as it’s cooking and really gets the family in the festive spirit.
•It looks so beautiful when decorated with fresh berries and dried orange slices.
•You can easily bake the Christmas tray bake ahead of when you need it and then simply add the buttercream and decorations when you’re ready to serve once the guests are merry on sherry and ready for a warm spiced cake.
For the full recipe and instructions scroll to the bottom of the page for the recipe card.
Is there a more festive smell than mulled wine warming on the hob? I’m sure everyone has their own memory of grandparents letting you have a sip and mum dancing around the kitchen in her new Christmas apron.
Whenever I smell mulled wine spices it always takes me back to those Christmas afternoons. Back to baking, infusing your Christmas tray bake with mulled wine is a great way to pimp up this simple dessert.
CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
My all-time favourite buttercream is this cream cheese frosting. It is the perfect combination for a sweet vanilla Christmas tray bake. Mulled Wine Tray bake cake is full of juicy flavour so adding this creaminess just takes it to another level.
MOIST SPONGE CAKE
I always think that knowing how to make a simple moist sponge cake is a great tool to have in your arsenal.
You can easily adapt your Mulled Wine tray bake to a leftover easter chocolate tray bake or if spook season is upon us, make a moist sponge cake for a Halloween Traybake. Although, if this mulled wine tray bake cake has tickled your fancy, try my summer Pimm’s traybake.
How to make mulled wine traybake – step by step
- Cream together your butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract and gently stir in the milk.
- Sieve in the plain flour, a pinch of salt, baking powder and all the festive spices.
- Mix until fully combined.
- Pour your mix into a greased and lined cake tin and bake until golden brown on top and a skewer come out clean.
- Leave your Christmas traybake to cool before making your mulled wine drizzle.
Making the Mulled Wine Drizzle
- Pierce the top of your mulled wine tray bake cake with a skewer, pressing through until about halfway down.
- Then, use a pastry brush (or very slow pour if you don’t have one) and guide your cooled mulled wine across the sponge so it infuses.
- Next, make the cream cheese buttercream and decorate your tray bake.
A beautiful tray bake cake ready to be decorated. I decorated mine with dried orange slices, fresh tart cranberries, cinnamon sticks and little star anise. You could eve
Top Tips for making a mulled wine traybake
- If the Christmas tray bake cake is browning too quickly cover with silver foil for the remaining time.
- Decorate with all the fresh components of a mulled wine, using cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries and other spices, it helps to enhance the festive flavour of your Mulled wine cake and it looks so beautiful.
- Dried Orange Slices
Make sure you try making your own dried orange slices – they are so easy and you can find my full guide on making them here.
Serve the mulled wine traybake with mulled wine of course! It’s Christmas so why not mix up that coffee and cake and have a Mulled wine and traybake instead? Treat yourself.
Edible Christmas presents are one of my favourite gifts to give, you know they will always be enjoyed and a traybake is a great way to scale up gifts for lots of people.
Simple slice into gift-sized slices and present this Christmas tray bake in a beautiful box. It always goes down a treat for friends and family.
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Substitutions and variations
CHOCOLATE MULLED WINE CAKE
Replace 50g of the plain flour with cocoa powder. The mix of red berries and chocolate is delicious. It really adds a rich and luxe taste to your Christmas traybake. Then to really give it some oomph, decorate with your favourite quality street (which I saw in the supermarket in August by the way!).
If you don’t like mulled wine but still want a Christmas traybake then try my mince pie cake. A gorgeous sponge with broken mince pies and mincemeat swirled in. It is a wonderful mix of Christmas flavours and spices and is so easy to make.
Sprinkles! Better yet, chocolate sprinkles! I am a firm believer that you can never have too many sweets at Christmas. So add your hundreds and thousands, sprinkles and enjoy. It makes the cake look amazing.
Storing mulled wine traybake / Making ahead-of-time options
Easy vanilla tray bakes can be made ahead of tie and frozen. This is a great way to save yourself some time once the Christmas period has begun.
Simply bake and fully cool your tray bake cake and then place it in an airtight container wrapped in a kitchen roll to stop it from becoming too moist. Then when you are ready to decorate and serve. Ensure it’s fully defrosted, add your mulled wine drizzle and enjoy!
Sponges are best kept in an air-tight container once they’ve been baked and decorated, they will keep for a couple days but your sponge will dry out rather quickly.
I have never had mulled wine tray bake cake leftover after baking so I’m sure you won’t need to worry too much about storage.
Can you add mulled wine to a cake?
Yes you can add mulled wine to a cake. Infact I would encourage it. I added a mulled wine drizzle to my Christmas tray bake by baking a sponge with mulled wine spices and then infusing it with mulled wine. Adding mulled wine to cake is a great way to add flavour when you make a Christmas traybake.
What is a traybake in England?
A tray bake cake in England is often called a sheet cake in America. Both terms mean the same thing, a cake that instead of being baked in a round traditional cake tin.
It is baked flatter in a large rectangular tin, it serves more people and can be more evenly shared amongst a group. It is also quicker to bake and easier to decorate in my opinion.
Which flour is best for cakes?
The best flour for cakes is plain flour if you are using a raising agent such as baking powder. This helps your cake to rise and become light and fluffy. You can use self-raising flour for your cakes but the amount of rising agent in self raising flour can differ so might give you different results.
What size is a tray bake?
A tray bake can be any size! My prefered traybake size is a 9 inch x 12 inch traybake cake. The bigger the better in my opinion. There is no uniform size for a tray bake cake. Any large rectangular cake can be called a traybake.
How do I line a tray bake tin?
My top tip for lining a tray bake tin is to turn the tray over and lay a piece of greaseproof paper/parchment paper and aluminium/silver foil on top.
Push the two pieces to form the shape of the tray bake tin. Flip the tin over and the greaseproof paper and foil combo should fit perfectly in the tin. This also helps remove the cake when it’s baked.
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Mulled Wine Traybake Cake
For the Cake
- 380 g Unsalted butter or Stork butter
- 340 g Caster sugar
- 4 Medium eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 375 g Plain flour
- small pinch salt
- 60 ml semi skimmed milk
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 0.5 tsp ground cloves
- 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
Mulled Wine Drizzle
- 150 ml Mulled wine
- 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 150 g icing sugar / confectioners sugar
- 180 g Philadelphia cream cheese (full-fat)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Cinnamon sticks (decorative only)
- Star Anise (decorative only)
- Dried oranges (decorative only)
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 170ºC fan / 356ºF.
- Grease and line a 9-inch x 12-inch traybake tin with greaseproof paper.
- Cream together the 380g of butter and the 340g of sugar until smooth (in a mixer or by hand).
- Mix in the 4 medium eggs, one at a time, followed by the 0.5 tsp of vanilla extract.
- Sieve in the 375g plain flour, pinch of salt, 0.5 tsp of baking powder and 0.5 tsp of all the spices.
- Gently stir in the 60ml milk.
- Add the mixture to the prepared tin and level. Lightly tap on the worktop to remove any large air bubbles.
- Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown. Use a cake tester to make sure the middle is baked through. (If browning too quickly cover with silver foil for the remaining time)
- Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin while you make the drizzle.
Mulled Wine Drizzle
- Add the 150g mulled wine and 4 tablespoons of sugar together in a saucepan and cook on a low/medium heat until it starts to thicken slightly and turn more into a syrup.
- While the cake is still warm, use a skewer or tooth pick to make holes all over the cake, about 2cm apart and only halfway down through the cake’s depth.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the cake with the mulled wine. Repeat additional layers until all the mulled wine mix is used. Leave the cake to cool and for the drizzle to soak in.
Making the Cream Cheese Buttercream and Decorations
- Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the 125g unsalted butter and 150g icing sugar together to make a smooth buttercream.
- Drain off any excess water in the 180g of cream cheese and add it to the buttercream mix along with the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
- Beat again until smooth and pop it in the fridge to set slightly.
- When the cake is cool, smooth the cream cheese buttercream across the entire top using the back of spoon.
- Add your decorations and serve.
- The cake can be made up to 3 days in advance. Add the cream cheese buttercream and decorations on the day of serving.
- Store somewhere cool.
- Makes 16 medium size slices but you can make this cake stretch further.
Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only.