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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!Print