Grape. I always have been and always will be a grape girl. Red grapes, green grapes, purple grapes. It truly doesn’t matter. If it’s grape-flavoured count me in. Here’s the tricky thing about grape…it’s a hard flavour to produce, baking wise, in a non-artificial way.

Extracts and emulsions leave that sweet artificial chemical taste. No thanks. I want a fully delicious and fully real grape flavour and I’m pretty excited to tell you that I think I hit the proverbial grape nail on the head with this Grape Cake.

Note: This post contains affiliate links to which I earn a small commission, but don’t worry there’s no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting CAKED by Katie.

The top of a light purple cake with black grapes on top

Tuesday Night Traditions

A little back story for you and I promise to keep it quick. Every Tuesday night, my husband and I have date-night-in. Very simply, we turn-on our in-house babysitter (read: Netflix) and the kids go downstairs to watch a show. We enjoy a few adult beverages over a rousing round or two of Yahtzee while we chat and laugh and simply enjoy each other’s company. It’s not fancy, it’s not glamorous, but it’s a weekly tradition that we all look forward to.

A light purple cake with a slice cut into it and black grapes on top

Pour Me Another One

Our Tuesday date-night-in adult drink of choice is always Black Fly Booze. They are a Canadian owned and operated company producing premium craft ready to drink spirit beverages that are more natural and less sweet. Meaning that they use real fruit juice blends, real cane sugar (no high fructose corn syrup here – woohoo), and are gluten-free, vegan, and kosher.

What my husband and I enjoy most about Black Fly is that every single beverage is not too sweet and calorie-conscious. We can enjoy a few drinks and not feel sick from too much sugar or guilty about enjoying a calorically heavy beverage. I save my calories for cake. 😉

My personal favourite Black Fly beverage is the Vodka Grapefruit full of tart pink grapefruit juice and flavour. The  Vodka Sour Grape, on the other hand, is my husband’s favourite drink to enjoy. And I won’t lie…I may steal a sip or two of his when he leaves the room.

A silver and purple can of Black Fly Booze Vodka Grape Sour drink between a bowl of black grapes and a sliced cake

Grape Inspiration

And this brings us back to the cake because the other Tuesday, while we were playing Yahtzee and drinking our Black Fly’s, inspiration struck. Looking at that can of Vodka Grape Sour, I knew I had to create a cake full of that delicious and fun grape flavour.

First off, I wanted to keep this cake recipe as easy and approachable as possible. Knowing that, I went with a trusty box cake mix. I’ve made a few doctored cake mix recipes (check out this Lemon one) and the truth of the matter is that they are quick, easy, and so dang delicious.

A light purple grape cake sliced open with cake layers peeking out and black grapes on top

Getting that Grape Flavour

Second, a pack of instant grape jello is added into the dry cake mix to pump up the grape flavour. Last, add in all the wet ingredients including ¾ of a cup of Black Fly Vodka Grape Sour and mix until just combined.

If you desire to keep this cake alcohol-free, simply swap the grape vodka drink out for 100% pure concord grape juice. You will still have a deliciously grape cake without any booze.

A slice of light purple grape cake on a plate

Grape Buttercream Secrets

To flavour the whipped buttercream frosting, I used pure concord grape jam and let me tell you, oh my yumminess! It was fluffy, grape, and so totally delicious. And I’ll let you in on a little buttercream secret. The trick to the fluffiest frosting is to cream the butter and shortening first.

With the paddle attachment, cream it on high for at least 5-10 minutes. You want the butter and shortening mixture to be smooth, fluffy, and light in colour before adding any of the other buttercream ingredients to it. This will set you up for frosting success every time!

Four slices of light purple grape cake styled on plates and black grapes around the plates

Goodness Gracious Grape

But enough talking about cake, let’s gather up those ingredients, get baking, and soon you’ll be eating (the best part, yes?!) this graciously good Grape Cake.

If you enjoy a boozy cake, make sure to check out my Baileys & Coffee cake recipe!

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Grape layer cake

Grape Cake

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Prep Time: 2 Hrs
  • Cook Time: 20 Min
  • Total Time: 2 Hrs 20 Min
  • Yield: 10 Slices 1x


The easiest and best grape cake recipe using a doctored cake mix. Paired with fluffy whipped grape jam buttercream frosting. This cake is full of delicious genuine grape flavour perfect for a light cake dessert.



Grape Cake

  • 1 box (461 grams) white cake mix

  • 1 (85 g. package) grape jello powder

  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt

  • ¾ cup Black Fly Vodka Sour Grape, room temperature *can sub for 100% pure grape juice

  • ⅔ cup dairy-free yogurt, room temperature

  • 3 eggs, large & room temperature

  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

Grape Buttercream

  • 1 cup dairy-free salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening

  • 6 cups icing sugar

  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ cup grape jam
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

  • optional: extra grape jam for filling
  • optional: black grapes for decor



Grape Cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare four 6-inch round cake pans.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer add in the cake mix, jello powder, and salt and quick it a quick whisk to break up any clumps.

  3. Add in all the remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

  4. Divide batter between the cake pans and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

  5. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes and then invert on a cooling rack to fully cool.

Grape Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment cream the butter and shortening on high speed until light and fluffy. Approximately 5-10 minutes.

  2. Add the icing sugar, salt, grape jam, and almond extract and mix on low until combined.

  3. Turn the mixer up to high and let mix for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides of the bowl when necessary.

Cake Assembly

  1. Level each cooled cake layer with the cake leveler.

  2. Place one leveled layer of grape cake on a cake board, plate, and/or cake turntable. With a pastry brush, brush on a little bit of the Black Fly Vodka Sour Grape or grape juice. Top with approximately 1 cup of buttercream and 2 tbsp. of grape jam.

  3. Repeat with the remaining layers and apply a thin coat of buttercream all over the cake. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

  4. Cover the cake with another layer of buttercream and smooth the sides with a cake smoother.

  5. Decorate the cake as you please. I used my Ateco cake comb to create a rustic texture wave-like design on the outside of the cake and left the top edge raw. Using black grapes, I topped the cake with a half border of them. Enjoy!

  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 975
  • Sugar: 81 Grams
  • Sodium: 658 Miligrams
  • Fat: 52 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 24 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 22 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 3 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 124 Grams
  • Fiber: 0 Grams
  • Protein: 5 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 107 Miligrams

Keywords: cake, dairy-free grape cake, boozy grape cake recipe, dairy-free grape cake recipe, vodka grape cake recipe, dairy free grape cake, grape cake recipe, doctored cake mix recipe, grape doctored cake mix recipe, dairy-free doctored cake mix recipe