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How to Pair Cake and Wine

Devil's Food Cake with Fluffy Black Pepper Frosting

Wine pairs well with cheese, pasta, and steak—but is it a good cake companion, too? Yes! Although not a traditional duo, wine and cake pairings can be a lot of fun. We've paired four of our favorite cake recipes with a selection of equally enchanting wines.

Cake & Cabernet Sauvignon

Devil's Food Cake with Fluffy Black Pepper FrostingCake: Devil's Food Cake with Fluffy Black Pepper Frosting
Pair with: Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon

Why: This wine and cake pairing takes its inspiration from the classic combo of wine and chocolate. The rich chocolate and earthy black pepper notes in this cake need a wine that is equally robust, such as a rich, full-bodied red. Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon, a California cabernet heavy on the dark fruit notes (including blackberry, cherry, and dried plums) and a hint of cocoa, stands up to the intense flavors of this delicious cake.

Cake & Riesling

Hummingbird CakeCake: Hummingbird Cake
Pair with: Dessert riesling

Why: When pairing wine and cake, try to pick a wine that is as sweet as or sweeter than the complementary dessert. A sweeter recipe, such as this Hummingbird Cake with its notes of cinnamon, fruit, and pecans, pairs nicely with an equally sweet, late-harvest riesling.

Cake & Champagne

Raspberry Dream Layer CakeCake: Raspberry Dream Layer Cake
Pair with: Champagne

Why: A fluffy white cake, sandwiched around raspberry preserves, gives this dessert a light, almost ethereal texture that pairs well with a bubbly demi-sec champagne. Champagne is a good match for the flavors in this cake; choose a bottle labeled "demi-sec," which indicates it is slightly to medium-sweet. Remember: Any bubbly or sparkling wine generally serves as a palate refresher, acting as a counterpoint to sweet desserts.

Cake & Sherry

Coconut Carrot CakeCake: Coconut Carrot Cake
Pair with: Cream sherry

Why: Carrot cakes are generally rich and intensely sweet. That’s certainly true with this recipe, especially with the buttery cream cheese frosting. Choose a wine that's equally sweet and bold in mouthfeel, such as cream sherry. It’s smooth and velvety, and pairs beautifully with rich desserts.

No time to bake?

The Publix Bakery, which has a selection of stunning cakes and cupcakes for every occasion, can help:

Chocolate Ganache Supreme CakeLove chocolate and wine?
Try the Chocolate Ganache Supreme: Four layers of chocolate (or vanilla) cake, whipped topping, and chocolate ganache icing wrapped with ribbons of fudge. Pair it with a bold, sumptuous red wine such as a zinfandel.

Chantilly CakeNeed a lighter dessert that's beautiful, too?
Pick up a Chantilly Cake—handcrafted vanilla cake topped with Chantilly-mascarpone cream frosting and fresh fruit. It's pretty enough for special events (and goes great with a sparkling wine) but light enough for every day, too.

Publix promotes responsible drinking and supports efforts to fight alcohol abuse and underage drinking. Please visit the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility at www.responsibility.org for more information.