Sangria Cake

A delicious, fruity Sangria Cake for any summer special occasion!

Did you know that August and September are the months with the most birthdays? It’s probably the result of couples getting cozy around Christmastime nine months earlier–or some science even suggests the body is biologically predisposed to procreate in the winter months. Whatever the reason, in my own family of origin, it rings true: Both my parents have August birthdays, and I’m right behind in September.

Every year I bake my mom’s birthday cake. It’s a super fun exercise in creativity because she gives me free reign to make whatever I like, from this Chocolate Mint Layer Cake to this Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake.

This year, inspired by some gorgeous cupcakes I saw awhile back, I thought a sangria cake sounded perfect. Fruity, colorful, and a little different, it seemed just right for a summer birthday.

Once made, the flavors in this cake were actually rather subtle–not overpowering, but definitely with a fruity depth and a hint of orange. I especially loved the frosting, which was pretty in pink and just the right level of sweet. And I must confess I geeked out over decorating the exterior with an arrangement of fresh fruit. With the alcohol baked into the cake and just two tablespoons in the frosting, even my kids were free to partake. (And I think my mom liked it, too!)

So, for a special celebration, give this sangria cake a try! (My birthday is next week, hint, hint…)

Sangria Cake

Happy summer! This Sangria Cake makes the perfect pretty, fruity celebration for a summer birthday or other special occasion.
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 16


For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. room-temperature sangria
  • 6 drops pink or red food coloring

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 4 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. sangria
  • 4 drops pink or red food coloring


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in orange zest, then add eggs one at a time. Mix in orange juice and vanilla.
  • Mix in dry ingredients and sangria, alternating between the two, until fully incorporated. Stir in food coloring until well mixed. Divide between cake pans and bake 30-35 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make frosting: In a large bowl combine butter and powdered sugar. Add orange juice and sangria and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Once cake is done, let cool at least two hours. When cake has cooled, frost to your liking.


Cake adapted from Liv for Cake, recipe A Love Letter to Food Original.

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