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This port chocolate cake makes a tasty dessert

a close shot of a slice of double chocolate cake
Photo by Shari Pennington

This rich cake is so dense it sometimes gets dry while baking so you may need to brush the layers two or three times with some wine to give it some added moisture. It appears in Un-Wine’d, which airs Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. on VPM PBS.

Watch past seasons and current episodes on the PBS app or PBS website. Check the broadcast schedule for local listings. To discover more recipes seen on Un-Wine’d, please click here.

What You’ll Need:

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ t salt
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1 ½ t. baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk or half and half
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup port or port-style wine
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ t. vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

For the icing:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 oz. butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups dark cocoa powder
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 lbs confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ c. liquid to thin


Step one: Preheat the oven to 350 F. and spray two 9-inch pans with a non-stick spray.

Step two: Mix the dry ingredients well then pour in the buttermilk, port and wine.

Step three: Mix well and add the oil and vanilla then the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition.

Step four: Divide the batter evenly into two pans. Tap the pans lightly on the counter before baking to eliminate air tunnels in the cake.

Step five: Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Step six: Remove the layers from the pans and cool on wire racks. If the cake seems dry on the outside, brush the layers two or three times with extra wine.

Step seven: Place one layer of the cake on a cake plate and spread the top evenly with ½ cup to ¾ cup icing.

Step eight: Top with the second layer then add icing to the cake all over.

Serves 12.