This recipe is my spiced-up version of a cake passed down from the Wendland side of my family. They called it Wine Cake, but I call my version WIIIIINES Cake. It tastes like a slightly boozy cake donut (if that does not pique your interest enough to make it, we could never be friends). It’s also easily transportable, gets better over a few days, allows for endless interpretation, AND it is the easiest thing ever to make.

I know, I’ve made that claim before. BUT THIS TIME I MEAN IT!! Let me introduce you to the magic of wiiiiines.

You will need:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 box vanilla pudding
  • 3/4 C sherry
  • 3/4 C vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • ¼ C sprinkles (optional)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350˚F.

Find a Bundt pan. This is the pan that looks like an iron donut. Bundts were all the rage in the 1970s, but I’m not sure how hip they are these days with all the young cats. (Don’t worry, if you don’t have one, your local Salvation Army will have four of them and you can take your pick.)

Either grease and flour the pan or use that Baker’s Magic spray that I love so much. If you skip this ESSENTIAL STEP, your cake may not come out of the pan properly. It will still taste super yummy, but it will be aesthetically displeasing. I speak from experience.

Dump all of the ingredients (except the powdered sugar) into a mixing bowl and mix it up for about two minutes.

When it’s uniform and kinda fluffy, decide you want to make it more festive. Mix in ¼C sprinkles. Ruefully accept that you could have used a funfetti mix. Lie to yourself that this will be better, because it is less “processed.” (That makes no sense, but somehow makes you feel better.)

Pour the batter relatively evenly into your pan, and pop it into the oven.

Set the timer for 35 minutes. This will give you enough time to clean up your mess and then some. The top of your cake will get puffy and may crack; DO NOT THROW YOURSELF UPON YOUR CHAISE LOUNGE AND WEEP. The top of your cake is actually going to be the BOTTOM of your cake! It can look super ugly and STILL your cake will be perfect and beautiful!

When your timer beeps, the top of the cake should be somewhat golden. If you jiggle the pan, the cake should not take on a jiggly life of its own. It should stand somewhat firmly, to let you know that it is done with the oven, entirely.

Take it out and put it on a rack to cool for five minutes. After five minutes, invert the cake onto the rack and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Bask in the glorious scent wafting through your house.

Once it’s cooled a bit, dust it with powdered sugar. I put my powdered sugar in a tea strainer and then bang it in the air over the top of the cake, but if you want to get a whole sifter dirty, be my guest. I will just assume you have way too much time on your hands for cleaning.

I like to slice it on the Bundt lines to serve it, but you can do whatever you want. Color outside of the lines! Shine on, you crazy diamond!

The main thing is, share this with at least one other person. It could be your kid or your pastor or your mail lady or your barista. But let AT LEAST ONE other person try this cake. Their eyes will get wide as they chew that first bite, and you’ll have the satisfaction of hearing “WHOA, that is GOOD!” just before they devour the rest. And that will make you feel like a baker extraordinaire, if just for a moment.

Gold stars, all the way around. It is sweet but not too sweet, fragrant, and perfect for snacking.

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