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Recipe Review: Harvest Cake with Grapes and Zinfandel Syrup

One of the main reasons I love to host (and attend) events is that it gives me the opportunity to try out new recipes. For the fall Uncorked tasting (Style and Quality of Sparkling Wines), I decided to try out a recipe from Food and Wine Magazine. Check out the recipe for the Harvest Cake with Grapes and Sangiovese Syrup here.

This was a very quick and easy recipe that was absolutely delicious, with and without the red wine syrup. This cake is not overly sweet, so it would be a great compliment for a variety of wines.

Here is my harvest cake:


Harvest Cake with Grapes and Zinfandel Syrup (adapted from the recipe above)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups seedless red grapes (I sliced mine in half lengthwise)
1, 750 ml bottle of Zinfandel wine (I used a bottle from Sonoma)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the salt and baking powder. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the granulated sugar until pale yellow. Whisk in the milk, olive oil, melted butter, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by 1 1/2 cups of the grapes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
  2. Bake the cake for 15 minutes. Dot the top of the cake with the remaining 1/2 cup of grapes and bake for about 40 minutes longer, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack, carefully remove the ring and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, boil the Zinfandel wine over high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 25 minutes. Let the grape syrup cool to room temperature. Make Ahead: The grape syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. You can serve the syrup chilled or at room temperature (my preference).
  4. Remove the cake from the base and transfer to a serving platter. Dust the top with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the cake into wedges and serve with or without the syrup.

Collage of Harvest Cake

I enjoyed this cake with several different types of sparkling wine and it was delicious!


I think the next time I make this I will try using figs. Let me know if you try this with other fruit and how it turns out.
Happy Baking!




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