Sangria Cupcakes

These Sangria Cupcakes are made with fruit in the batter and a red wine buttercream, these are the perfect party cupcakes! They can be a great start to a relaxing weekend. Let me tell you a little bit about how my week has gone…

Two delicious Sangria Cupcakes garnished with fresh blueberries, strawberries and a slice of orange.

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So.. I recently found out that someone was making fraudulent purchases on my credit card.

Eeekkk! It gives me all sorts of bad, icky feelings. I found out last Sunday night, which was terrible, because no one is at work on a Sunday evening. And what makes it even worse – it’s been happening for FOUR MONTHS!

Don’t give me a lecture on how I should be checking over my statements better and yadada. I’ve already realized that. Instead, I’m going to share a little public service announcement because I hope this never happens to you!

I was scammed by Vistaprint – a big brand name photo and card printing company. And it all started when I ordered our Christmas cards back in November. Ordering the cards went smoothly and when they showed up at our house, they looked great. No problems. I didn’t think I had any lasting ties to Vistaprint, it was a one time order.

Three Sangria Cupcakes with pink frosting surrounded by fresh strawberries and blueberries on a white serving plate.Sunday night I was looking at my credit card account because I was getting ready to pay the bill and I saw a charge from Vistaprint for $9.99, which was posted on my account 2 days prior. So, I was trying to think if I ordered something, then I asked Ryan if he ordered something. Nope. We started looking back through my previous statements, and sure enough on the 2nd of every month Vistaprint was charging me $9.99. Ryan immediately googled ‘vistaprint scam’ and tons of information came up. Apparently, I am not the first person this has happened to. We were reading through people’s horror stories about how Vistaprint had been charging them anywhere from 9.99-14.95 a month and that people had no luck in getting their money reimbursed. Great.

I don’t know what kind of scam they used – some online reviews were saying that if they offer you a coupon code and you use it, in the very fine print in a separate link, it says something about a monthly membership fee.

I decided I didn’t even want to mess around with Vistaprint, so I went straight to my credit card company instead. And you know what they told me? That I had to wait until they charged me in June before I could fail a complaint. WHAT?! No way jose. I am not going to let them charge me again.

Two homemade Sangria Cupcakes with red wine buttercream garnished with blueberries, slice orange and strawberries next to a glass of sangria.

Why I Need These These Sangria Cupcakes

There was only one thing left I could do, so I called Vistaprint. The customer representative said that they couldn’t see any other charges on my account other than my christmas cards. Um, hello! You’re charging me 9.99 every month! A long conservation went by, the rep was trying to be helpful, but it was ridiculous. I finally asked, do you even have a monthly membership where people can sign up and pay 9.99 a month? She said no. Then what am I even being charged for?!

I had to file a complaint and then their complaint department had to decide if my complaint was valid. It was approved. I was told my money would be reimbursed.. but I am still waiting for it. Hence, I need about 12 sangria cupcakes.

Three delicious Sangria Cupcakes with red wine frosting and fresh blueberries, strawberries and sliced oranges.

Sangria Cupcakes

Sangria Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Additional Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes



  • 1 & 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries, or a little less
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup blueberries or diced apples

To top the cupcakes

  • Orange slices, strawberry slices and blueberries.


  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2-2.5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups red wine and 1/4 cup sugar, reduced to red wine syrup, see below



  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.
  2. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Whisk and set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and sour cream until combined.
  4. Slowly add half of the flour mixture to the liquid, stirring to combine. Repeat with the rest of the flour mixture. Add in the chopped strawberries, orange zest, and blueberries or chopped apples. Stir to mix.
  5. Divide the batter among a muffin pan lined with muffin liners, fill the muffin cups to be about a little more than 1/2 full.
  6. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Red Wine Syrup

  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the red wine and sugar to a boil. Once the wine starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, you still want to see the wine boiling, just not a rigorous boil. Allow the wine to thicken and reduce, about 20-30 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool at remove temperature. This is where the wine will begin to thicken. Once the wine has cooled to room temperature, you can place the saucepan in the fridge to help speed on the cooling process.


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the room temperature butter and shortening, beat using an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of the red wine syrup and mix. You can add more later, but you do not want the buttercream to become too wet.
  3. Begin to add in the powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time. Slowly beat the mixture until the powered sugar is incorporated. Continue this process, adding enough powdered sugar to make sure the frosting isn't too wet. You can add more red wine syrup at this time if you’d like the flavor to be stronger. You may have to add more powdered sugar too.
  4. Transfer a portion of the frosting to a large ziploc bag or piping bag fit with a piping tip. Push or squeeze the frosting down, getting rid of any air pockets. If using a ziploc bag, cut half one corner, making a hole between the size of a dime and a penny.
  5. Begin to pipe the frosting onto a cupcake, starting with the outside edge and working your way into the center of the cupcake, progressively stacking the frosting as you go around in circles. I used a wilton 2D piping tip.
  6. Top each cupcake with a small orange slice, strawberry slice and one blueberry.
On the Better Business Bureau website, Vistaprint has 131 reviews and 96 of them are negative. I guess I won’t be ordering christmas cards from Vistaprint next year.

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  1. I am awful about going over my statement too. There is nothing worse when you call a company and you get the run around. Hope you get your money back soon! I love the color of this frosting, how genius to use wine!

  2. OMG! That’s SO horrible!!! I nearly ordered our birth announcement cards from Vistaprint but then switched last minute! I’m so glad I did now and I’m SO sorry to hear what happened to you!

    I totally get why you would want to eat a whole batch of sangria cupcakes! I’d probably wash them down with some extra wine if I were in your position ;)

  3. That is so awful about Vistaprint. At least you were able to get it taken care of. And what a better way to end the night than with a a few of these sangria cupcakes.

  4. I don’t check my statements enough either so no lectures from me! However, I would be irate if I called my CC company and they told me I had to wait another month to get charged again. How is that even helpful?! At least you were able to get a refund from VP and now know to never order from them again! These cupcakes look the perfect thing to eat your sorrows away. Bad news is always made better with cupcakes :)

    • I felt like I had no choice but to call and deal with the wrath of VP!

  5. Wow! That is crazy. Seems like they have some major issues in their billing department. These cupcakes though? Amazing. The colors are so vibrant!

  6. WHAT?! That’s so sleazy of them! Not that I ever considered using them, but I won’t now! Fingers crossed that you’ll get reimbursed soon!

    I can see why you needed all the sangria you can get your hands on! The color of that frosting looks amazing!

  7. I’m terrible about looking at my credit card statements too Beth, you’re not alone. These cupcakes look amazing! I can’t get over what a beautiful color the frosting is!

  8. Eek thats scary, I’ve definitely used vistaprint before. But never again after seeing this!

    These cupcakes on the other hand.. I will be making! Love the red wine frosting!

    • If you haven’t had any sketchy problems with, you’re probably in the clear! Wheeww!

  9. YES red wine syrup! This looks awesome and that frosting is so out of this world :)

  10. Oh geesh! Can’t believe that!! But thankfully you caught & resolved the issue and shared these scrumptious-looking cupcakes with us! I’m pinning these!

  11. Ugh! Sorry about the credit card charges. But gah…at least you have these gorgeous cupcakes!

  12. Girl I am sorry! That is definitely not a fun experience to go through! And I am glad I have never used them and because of you, I never will! Good thing you (me in about 5.5 months ;) ) have these Sangria cupcakes to comfort us. They are SO colorful and so unique. Love.

  13. I have had fraud on my credit card 3 separate times. So frustrating!
    These Sangria cupcakes look AMAZING Beth! Any excuse for more wine ;-)

  14. Ugh! I hate customer service and all the run around! Their job is to take our money…our job is to get everything for FREE! haha ;-)
    I bet money that if you offered them these amazing cupcakes, you’d get it all taken care of. Mark my word!

  15. Omg Beth!! I am so sorry. This has me scared because I just used them for my business cards. I need to check into this. You better get your money back, dumb company. I would be guzzling that sangria and stuffing my face with cupcakes if I had to worry about this. So sorry. But these cupcakes look perfect and are spot on! Gorgeous and delicious!! :-)

    • Yes! Be sure to check! 9.99 is a sneaky small amount where you might not notice it like I did!

  16. It upsets me to just to read about the problems that can be caused by what you went through with InstaPrint. I feel I need the Sangria cupcakes, too, to calm me down and will be trying them as soon as I have both blueberries and strawberries. The wine syrup sounds interested.

  17. how did you get your frosting color to be so vibrant !?

    • Hi there! The red wine syrup when added to the buttercream gives the frosting that color and vibrancy!

  18. hi! (:
    I’m baking these for a farewell party and I noticed vegetable shortening in the buttercream recipe. I don’t mean to be completely clueless.. but what is it?
    Google said I could substitute it with butter as I don’t think we have vegetable shortening here in Australia (I could be completely wrong btw!!), but would that not be too much butter in the one buttercream recipe?
    I am doubling the recipe too… so it seems like a hell of a lot of butter :/
    Thanks! (:

  19. Beth, these cupcakes are gorgeous! I am rerunning an updated Cupcakes on Parade post tomorrow and your cupcakes will be one of the features. My readers will go crazy over them! Wow!

  20. Thank you! I made these for a co-worker’s birthday and got rave reviews!! Moist, great flavor, and the frosting was perfect!

  21. I need a neutral colour icing, would white wine work the same? Thanks!!

    • Hi Kyla! I’m not sure if white wine would work. It probably would. Obviously is wouldn’t have the same flavor as red, but I think it’s worth a try!

  22. Hi Beth, I’ve featured these cupcakes on my blog, hoping that you don’t mind, but if you do, please contact me and I’ll remove it. All the best.

  23. Cupcakes look wonderful! Sorry you had to go through all of the vistaprint credit card stuff…now I’m a tad worried, just placed an order with Vistaprint a few days ago….I’ll be making a lot of these cupcakes!

  24. How reduced are you supposed to let the wine get? 

  25. I am allergic to strawberries but I just have to make these cupcakes! Any suggestions on a substitue ?

    • Cherries or any other kind of berry you like. Or you can substitute apples too!

  26. These look amazing & I would like to make them for a party this weekend. I have two quick questions though… what kind of red wine would you recommend? (A sweet one or Merlot?) And lastly, do you think adding a little lemon zest as well would hurt them? My mother loves lemon so I thought I could add a hint of it but wasn’t sure. I have people who are allergic to strawberries so I am going to work around that but thought lemon might be kinds nice. 

    I am so excited to try them…. great recipe! 


    • Hi Krystle! I used a sweet red wine. And I think a little lemon zest would be great!

  27. Would you be able to tell me the best type of wine to use? Can I get away with a lower priced wine?

  28. Hi Beth, just found your recipe on Pinterest. I live in the UK and don’t quite understand the measurement 1 stick of butter. Could you tell me the weight in grams, please? Your cupcakes look amazing! I want to make them for my friend’s 30th surprise bday party :) Thank you 

  29. These look yummy. It’s turning to autumn though, so I might sub in some cinnamon and stick a bayleaf in the syrup to make mulled wine cupcakes.

  30. I’m sorry I did not catch the first part about Vista Print. I do have a question regarding the Buttercream frosting. For the powdered sugar it states. 2-2.5 cups. Is that two and one half cups two times. I did not see where I would need it two times. Please respond. These cupcakes look beautiful and I bet delicious.

    • Hi Roz! For the powdered sugar measurement I meant that you can add up to 2 & 1/2 cups. Start with 2 cups, but if the frosting seems wet, add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I hope that helps!

  31. how much sugar goes into the red wine syrup? is it powdered or regular syrup?

  32. Will the red wine syrup be similar to a molasses or corn syrup thickness?

  33. I made these but would change the frosting to something that does NOT contain the shortening. Otherwise top notch.

  34. Hello! I was wondering if these must be served right away or can they be fridge over night or even two?

    Thanks <3

    • Hi Wen! Buttercream frosting is best served the same day. Perhaps you could frost them and store them in a container on the counter overnight and then add the fruit!

  35. If I need to make these ahead of time for a party, is it possible to chill the frosting? Or would I need to make the frosting right before serving? 

    • Hi Michelle! You can make the frosting before hand, just put it in a tupperware container on the counter!

  36. I have these in the oven now….the batter seemed thick like a muffin batter…I figure with the fruit inside it will balance out…

    • Our cupcake batter tends to be thicker because it will help produce nice domed tops!

  37. Does the butter have to be unsalted or is regular butter fine?

  38. These look amazing! I’m planning to make them for a progressive dinner tomorrow. Question:
    The frosting ingredients lists 1/2 tsp vanilla, but I don’t see where it gets added. It could totally be mommy brain, but thought I’d better double check. Thank you.

  39. I made these this weekend for a bridal shower and they were delicious! The fruit in the batter is awesome and keeps the cupcake moist. The wine reduction in the icing is perfect with the cake and isn’t super over powering. I’d probably add even more of the reduction to the icing next time for a little more wine flavor and a bit of a thinner icing as mine was a bit hard to pipe onto the cupcake. I will definitely make these again! 

  40. These look amazing! Would it work as a large cake rather than individual cupcakes? Thanks :)

  41. I just made these for a bbq and they were a hit! 
    Side note: if you’re running short on time, make your wine syrup first thing to allow proper time to cool. 

  42. My red wine and sugar didn’t thicken. Any advise on how I can fix it?

  43. I made these for a birthday treat for my coworker!! They are perfect! I used Greek yogurt instead of sour cream because that’s what I had in my fridge, and they turned out amazing! Perfect texture and flavors that are spot on to a sangria! Thanks for this awesome recipe idea! ????????????

  44. Do you think it is okay for Kids?

  45. Hi Beth.  I made these and they were a HUGE hit, so thank you for the recipe.  I wanted to know how you got your frosting THAT vibrant?  I used an authentic Spanish wine specifically used to make Sangria and it came out much paller, like the color of strawberry frozen yogurt (haha).  Thank you!

    • Hi Diane! Next time you could add a small bit of food coloring to intensify your color.

    • No matter what she said, the color does not come strictly from the wine. I added about 6 drops of Wilton gel coloring in magenta and about two drops of McCormick neon pink. Give or take until you get the color that best resembles.

  46. Hi! I just came across your post, and I was wondering if there is anyway I could substitute the alcohol for something else? Thanks!

    • Hi AJ! I don’t believe you’d be able to use a substitute, because the recipe calls for boiling the wine down into a syrup.

  47. Ok – just made these.  I thought they looked amazing.  I am pretty experience baker.  Followed direction to the letter.  Batter texture was more like muffin consistency rather than cupcake like.  Baked up more like muffins too.  Retraced my steps.  Thought maybe I left something in the liquid ingredients out.  Nope.  They made lovely muffins but I was looking for a fancy cupcake recipe.  Where did I go wrong?  I will try them a second time to see if I can get the texture right but…..

  48. Wow – I bet that’s awful. It would be like finding out someone passed off photos of your baked goods as theirs – without permission or attribution. Stealing is wrong – wherever it shows up.

  49. I just made these and they turned out cute and yummy as can be! My only thought is about the frosting. The shortning gave it a wax-like aftertaste. So I doubled the other ingredients and it turned out amazing! Gave me plenty of frosting for a second batch of cupcakes too!! Yum!

  50. These cupcakes looks yum and my husband would love them. I wanted to make them as a cake though… has anyone done this? Did it work? Cook time? Thanks!

  51. I’m not sure what I did wrong but the wine syrup did not thicken at all… would the wine type make a difference?

    • No, the wine shouldn’t make a big difference! Once the wine has boiled with the sugar, it will turn to like the consistency of maple syrup. Not super thick – still runny, but not watery.

  52. Hi! I am planning on making this for my mother and law and myself but I wanted to know what wine you use? Does it make a difference?

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