Baking with Wine/Okanagan Summer Cake

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It's no secret that here in the Okanagan Valley we love our wine. It is so abundant here in the valley because of our dry region with great soil plus the big hot hot sun all equal out to a healthy wine spot.

Driving up or down our Okanagan valley you're sure to find many wineries along the way to stop and taste. You have probably heard of the health benefits of red wine - it can be controversial.

Why? Mainly because we as humans we love to overdo things that we know are good for us, now that's irony.

But in Holistic Nutrition we love the saying "everything in moderation."

We mean everything.

Plus, wine is technically a fermented food; raising the question about its ability to help us to digest food and whether that is connected to many peoples' ritual of having a glass with or after a meal.

Wine drinking, when truly moderate, can bring on a host of benefits.

It is thought that "Resveratrol" is the compound responsible for red wines' longevity benefits.

  • Small doses of red wine benefit your brain

  • Red wine in moderation can help lower blood pressure

  • Some studies suggest memory protection against Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Red wine tannins, which are what make red wine the color red, contain procyanidins — known for protecting against heart disease.

  • Keeps blood cells healthy, contributing to longer life spans in regions with regular, moderate red wine consumption.


Drink wine and you join the classy club of wine discussions regarding tasting notes, dry/earthy, cork issues and fermentation. Certainly as sophisticated as any other alcoholic beverage-connoisseur, wine is a favourite of many.

"I like cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food!"

Winemakers Grape cake is super easy (it took me about 15 minutes from prep to popping it in the oven!

It also looks pretty fun and the end result is delicious - sure to impress! You can use any another fruit as a topping if you don't have grapes too, making this an easily adaptable recipe!

Here's what you need:

  • 1 - 4” x 8” pan

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour  (I used 1/2 all purpose and 1/2 whole wheat with great success)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used raw cane sugar)

  • 6 tbsp (grass fed if you can!) butter

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 2 free-range eggs

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp lemon or orange extract (optional)

  • 2/3 cup Okanagan red wine  (and 1 cup for you!)

  • 1 cup seeded grapes (or blueberries)


Preheat oven to 350°C. In one bowl mix the flour and add the baking soda and sea salt. Then in a second bowl whisk together the sugar, butter and olive oil, then add the eggs, vanilla and extract. Add the flour mixture to this bowl alternating with adding the wine. Whisk till smooth after each addition.

Empty batter into parchment-lined cake or loaf pan. Cut grapes in half and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Take out of oven and dot top of cake with 2 tbsp butter and a sprinkling of sugar (or drizzle of honey) and return to oven baking for another 30 minutes longer. When golden on top and tester comes out clean, remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing.

Delicious! This cake is also not TOO sweet, so its perfect for those warm summer days when you need a snack but also want to stay hydrated and feeling fresh - not feel heavy from a sugary cake, increasing thirst and tiredness!