The Sweet Wine You Should Be Pouring Into Cake Mix

Infusing alcohol into cakes is a delicious way for the 21 and up crowd to enjoy booze that doesn't involve breaking out any wine glasses. While deeper-flavored liquors like dark rum and cognac work beautifully in desserts like Jamaican rum cake and mille-crepe tiramisu birthday cake, you may want to work with lighter alcohol varieties in the spring and summer. Enter Moscato wine, which is beloved for its sweet, fruity flavors and lower acidity.

Since it's already known as a dessert wine, Moscato is the perfect ingredient to zhuzh up your boxed cake mix. It will impact the texture the most, adding lightness and moisture, along with a tiny bit of extra sweetness and flavor. And although you could make a Moscato-infused cake from scratch, you can also add it straight to a premade cake mix. Simply pour ¾ of a cup of the wine into a bowl along with the mix and any other necessary ingredients (such as oil or eggs), and bake as instructed on the package.

Add Moscato for an element of complementary sweetness

There are a plethora of Moscato varieties out there, but try selecting one that aligns with the flavor of your cake. For example, complement a chocolate cake with a blueberry, strawberry, or orange blossom wine, or amp up a vanilla or yellow mix with passion fruit, peach, melon mint, or rose petal Moscato. Or flip the switch and center your whole cake around the drink by pairing the grapes in the wine with a lemon frosting or a strawberry glaze.

Once you've narrowed down your wine choice, you can also step up your game a little beyond simply pouring the drink in a cake mix. Try making a Moscato syrup for a more concentrated flavor. All you need to do is heat sugar with twice the amount of alcohol over the stove until the mixture reduces by half, then cool in the fridge.

If you really want to go the extra mile, try making a fruit Moscato purée with strawberries, raspberries, or another flavor-complementing option. Cook your fruit on the stove with Moscato, sugar, and a splash of lemon juice until reduced, then throw it in the blender and strain. You can add your syrup or purée straight into a bowl with the cake mix or when you're adding the dry ingredients (like flour) if baking from scratch. And depending on your preference, you may want to use less of these more concentrated options than you would straight Moscato.