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Drunk Chocolate Cake

Known as Torta Ubriaca in Italy, Drunk Chocolate Cake coats the beloved dessert in a layer of red wine, in this recipe from the cookbook Giuseppe’s Easy Bakes.

Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting

Torta Ubriaca or Drunk Chocolate Cake from Giuseppe Dall’Anno’s cookbook, Giuseppe’s Easy Bakes. Photo: Matt Russell

In 2021, Giuseppe Dell'Anno became the first Italian to win the popular competition show, The Great British Bake Off. An engineer by trade, his baking recipes have proved popular not just on TV but in newspapers and in his recently released cookbook, Giuseppe's Easy Bakes—Sweet Italian Treats. This Drunk Chocolate Cake recipe is excerpted with permission from the book.

Ubriaco means drunk in Italian, and it is an appropriate name for a cake that uses a decent amount of red wine for the batter and coating. Torta ubriaca, or Drunk Chocolate Cake, has an intense, deep flavour; it is the perfect chocolate cake for grown-ups. The alcohol evaporates entirely while baking, but the cake is left with a complex fragrance that, thanks to the warming spices, is very reminiscent of mulled wine. For extra heat, add a pinch of hot chilli powder, but go carefully, based on the strength of your chillies.

Drunk Chocolate Cake (Torta Ubraica)

Drunk Chocolate Cake (Torta Ubraica)

Recipe by Giuseppe Dell'Anno
0.0 from 0 votes


Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the sponge**
  • Vegetable spread, for greasing

  • 7 oz 7 egg (200g) (about 4 medium eggs), at room temperature

  • 1 cup 1 plus 2 tbsp (230g) caster (superfine) sugar

  • 1/8 tsp 1/8 salt

  • Scant 1 cup (200g) vegetable oil (preferably corn or sunflower)

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 (180g) dry red wine

  • 1 1/2 1 cups (200g) soft wheat 00 flour or plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

  • generous ¼ cup (50g) cornflour (cornstarch)

  • generous ¼ cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 tsp 3 baking powder

  • 1 tbsp 1 pisto (or use 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground cloves, ¼ tsp

  • ground black pepper and ¼ tsp ground nutmeg)

  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder (optional)

  • 3 3 ½ oz (100g) dairy-free dark chocolate chips (50–55% cocoa solids)

  • For the glaze
  • 3/4 cup 3/4 plus 1 tbsp (120g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar

  • 3 tbsp 3 (20g) unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tbsp 2 (30g) red wine

  • 1 tbsp 1 clear honey


  • Set the shelf in the lower half of the oven and preheat it to 320°F/160°C/ Gas mark 3. Grease the tin with vegetable spread and dust it with flour, tapping off the excess.
  • Add the eggs, sugar and salt to a bowl large enough to accommodate all the ingredients, and whisk at high speed with a handheld electric whisk (or use a stand mixer) until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is pale and fluffy. It will take about 3–4 minutes. With the whisk still going, trickle the oil into the bowl, and whisk for about 1 minute to emulsify it fully. Then trickle in the wine and whisk for a further minute.
  • Sift the flour, cornflour, cocoa, baking powder, pisto and chilli (if using) into the bowl and whisk again at low speed until the batter looks smooth, without any lumps of flour. Add the chocolate chips and fold them in with a spatula. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour 14–16 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the deepest part of the cake comes out clean. Leave in the tin to cool for at least 15 minutes.
  • While the cake cools, put the ingredients for the glaze in a small saucepan and warm over moderate heat until the mixture just starts to simmer.
  • Turn the cake out of the tin and move it to a serving plate. Pour the glaze, while still hot, onto the cake and let it drip over the sides. Serve at room temperature. Torta ubriaca keeps for up to 3–4 days under a cake dome.


  • Serves up to 12 for a 9 in (24 cm), 87-fl oz. (2.5-litre) bundt tin or a 9 in (23 cm) springform cake tin

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Excerpted with permission from Giuseppe’s Easy Bakes by Giuseppe Dell’Anno published by ‎Hardie Grant Publishing, November 2023, RRP $32.50 Hardcover.

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