You can really taste the eggnog in this lovely, rich, moist cake. No eggnog? No problem. You can make enough for the recipe in a jiffy. Nothing says Southern hospitality like this impressive cake. If you like, set aside and tint 1/4 cup of the frosting to your desired shade for decorating the top.

Recipe Summary

prep:
40 mins
cook:
30 mins
additional:
2 hrs 30 mins
total:
3 hrs 40 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 9-inch layer cake
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Cake:
Frosting:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

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  • Beat 1/2 cup butter and 1 1/4 cups sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add eggs, one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon lemon peel, mixing well.

  • Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Pour flour mixture into the batter alternately with 1 cup eggnog, mixing until just incorporated. Stir in bourbon. Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.

  • Bake in preheated oven until cake springs back when touched lightly with a fingertip or a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (test both cake layers). Cool in pans for 10 minutes before inverting on a wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make frosting, combine 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in 1 1/2 cups eggnog, whisking until smooth.

  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. When mixture boils, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool completely to room temperature.

  • Beat 1 cup butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in cooled eggnog mixture, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, rum extract, and 1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel. Beat on high speed until mixture is fully incorporated and frosting is fluffy.

  • Spread cake with plain frosting between cake layers, over the top and on the sides. Coat the sides with toasted pecans, pressing the nuts onto sides in small handfuls. Refrigerate until serving time.

Cook's Notes:

You can substitute dark rum for the bourbon, if you prefer.

If you don't have eggnog, mix up this recipe. You'll have enough for the cake and the frosting:

Pulse 2 eggs in a blender. Add 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and a dash each of vanilla and rum extracts. Blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts

594 calories; protein 6.5g 13% DV; carbohydrates 71.9g 23% DV; fat 31.6g 49% DV; cholesterol 133.1mg 44% DV; sodium 531.5mg 21% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (54)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2015
A dash of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best) in the frosting and 1/4 tsp in the cake underscores the eggnog flavor. Because it is so moist it's a great keeper and freezes perfectly. I see that some people have had trouble with the cake being dry or heavy. Be aware that butter cakes are rarely light and super airy. However if the heaviness was objectionable there are two possible reasons for this. First if there is too much flour the product will be heavy. Measure by dipping a spoon into the flour and keep doing until the cup measure is full. Sweep the backside of a knife across the top to level. Do not scoop the flour with your cup measure. Alternatively you could sift the flour into a cup and level. Secondly if the product was overmixed that would account for a heavy product. After you cream the butter/sugar/egg/extract mixture try folding in the dry ingredients by hand. Excessive mixing encourages gluten formation which is the element that gives bread its structure and chewiness. If dry that indicates overbaking. Ovens vary so given timing might not be perfect for your oven. Check 10 minutes before time is up and adjust accordingly. Bake only until a toothpick comes out clean and sides begin to release. If your frosting feels gritty mix the butter and sugar for 5-10 minutes with your mixer until the sugar "creams." Test it by rubbing some of it between your fingers. If it feels smooth then proceed. If not mix awhile more until it's no longer grainy. Read More
(90)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/01/2015
The frosting is excellent! The cake is dry and kinda "tough". I've always done Duncan Hines box cakes and this was my first scratch cake but I followed the directions to a Tee. I do scratch frosting all the time. If I try it again I think I will be adding more butter and maybe some dream whip to the cake batter. Aside from being dry the taste is good. If I can't get the cake right I'll definitely do the frosting again. Read More
(21)
60 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 25
  • 4 star values: 12
  • 3 star values: 15
  • 2 star values: 5
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
01/23/2015
A dash of ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best) in the frosting and 1/4 tsp in the cake underscores the eggnog flavor. Because it is so moist it's a great keeper and freezes perfectly. I see that some people have had trouble with the cake being dry or heavy. Be aware that butter cakes are rarely light and super airy. However if the heaviness was objectionable there are two possible reasons for this. First if there is too much flour the product will be heavy. Measure by dipping a spoon into the flour and keep doing until the cup measure is full. Sweep the backside of a knife across the top to level. Do not scoop the flour with your cup measure. Alternatively you could sift the flour into a cup and level. Secondly if the product was overmixed that would account for a heavy product. After you cream the butter/sugar/egg/extract mixture try folding in the dry ingredients by hand. Excessive mixing encourages gluten formation which is the element that gives bread its structure and chewiness. If dry that indicates overbaking. Ovens vary so given timing might not be perfect for your oven. Check 10 minutes before time is up and adjust accordingly. Bake only until a toothpick comes out clean and sides begin to release. If your frosting feels gritty mix the butter and sugar for 5-10 minutes with your mixer until the sugar "creams." Test it by rubbing some of it between your fingers. If it feels smooth then proceed. If not mix awhile more until it's no longer grainy. Read More
(90)
Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2014
My new favorite Christmas dessert! This was wonderful. I followed the recipe for the eggnog included in the footnotes; the only change I made was to add fresh-grated nutmeg to the cake batter and the frosting. I garnished the slices with whipped cream and more grated nutmeg. I also sliced one of my cake layers in half (it was a little larger than the other) and had enough frosting to fill three layers and frost the cake. I omitted the pecans because I wanted a smooth cake without the crunch but I bet they'd be tasty. Even the non-eggnog fan loved it: "Now this is about the only reason for eggnog to exist as far as I'm concerned." Delicious! Read More
(27)
Rating: 3 stars
03/01/2015
The frosting is excellent! The cake is dry and kinda "tough". I've always done Duncan Hines box cakes and this was my first scratch cake but I followed the directions to a Tee. I do scratch frosting all the time. If I try it again I think I will be adding more butter and maybe some dream whip to the cake batter. Aside from being dry the taste is good. If I can't get the cake right I'll definitely do the frosting again. Read More
(21)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/14/2014
Made this because could not find any eggnog ice cream in the stores. My family LOVES eggnog. This was perfect! Followed the recipe exactly using store bought eggnog. It was so good made it again for a party and it was loved! Then made it a week later in cupcakes. My daughters came home from shopping trip and bought 5 cartons of eggnog so I could have enough to keep making this cake while they are home from college. This is an eggnog lovers delight! Read More
(18)
Rating: 4 stars
12/30/2012
love this recipe cause it was tasty and not too sweet! Read More
(9)
Rating: 4 stars
12/26/2014
This is a very good recipe. I also left out the pecans then I added nutmeg and cinnamon to the icing. It was a Big hit. This is one recipe that I will use again. Thanks for sharing! Read More
(9)
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Rating: 4 stars
12/27/2013
I like to bring something different every Christmas and when I discovered the eggnog cake recipe it seemed like a recipe with a great holiday twist. I am a fan of eggnog so felt sure I would enjoy the cake though I am not a big cake fan. The cake was moist and the frosting was turned out like something closer to icing which was fine. Consider trimming the crown of the bottom cake so the top cake will fit better. Without the trim you run the risk of having a lopsided eggnog cake. I definitely recommend this cake for Christmas or any occasion around the holidays. Read More
(8)
Rating: 5 stars
01/01/2015
Loved it! My favorite holiday dessert! I will try a finer sugar for the frosting next time. Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2015
I loved this cake. It was better the next day. The rum flavor is very strong in the icing so I toned it done a bit with a sprinkle of nutmeg and allspice. Other than that I followed the recipe. The pecans are a must! Read More
(5)
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