Soft, luxurious egg nog cake layers with just enough warm spices to bring back all the memories of the holidays, adorned with the most gorgeous egg nog buttercream. This cake is for my fellow egg nog lovers everywhere!
Hi friends! I couldn't wait to share this gorgeous cake recipe with you, and hope you love it as much as we did. I draw a lot of my inspiration from Instagram, Pinterest, and just about everywhere else. It can be something as simple as a familiar flavor combo turned cake, or something as different as a taste memory from dessert's past (like this egg nog cake from a Christmas memory!). It usually starts out with a flavor I love, and a technique I'd love to try, and then it quickly takes off from there. This time, I was scrolling through my Instagram feed and immediately gasped when I saw the gorgeous Winter Buttercream Greenery on a cake The Cake Blog posted. I immediately clicked on it and watched the tutorial. It looked like a lot of fun and seemed pretty simple. A couple days later I was in the kitchen recreating the cake with the same leaf technique (you can find the tutorial in the link provided above), but of course, my own take on the egg nog cake. I used real cinnamon sticks, and a bit of rolled up chocolate fondant for the nuts. It came together beautifully, and I can't wait to use this technique on another cake very soon!
I know, I know. Egg nog isn't something for everyone (oh WAIT. IT TOTALLY IS). If you're not an egg nog lover, there's still hope for you 😉. While growing up, we'd always have egg nog around Christmastime. We'd each get a little cup of it (non alcoholic version, of course), and my Mom would often mix in a little bit of milk to break up the thickness. I loved it. It was one of my favorite food traditions around the holidays.
That said, not all egg nog is created equal. My favorite, hands down, is the Darigold version. It's super thick and dreamy, with the perfect amount of warm spices in each sip. Naturally, that's the only kind that I've used for my cake and buttercream here today! I've found it at Costco, and as easily available as Walmart.
The egg nog cake recipe is very simple. As you may notice, the ingredient list isn't a mile long, doesn't require a stand mixer, and is very fool proof! If you've made one of my cakes in the past, you've noticed I used a doctored cake mix recipe. This means that instead of the usual dry ingredients in a cake, I use the pre-mixed ingredients in a cake mix. Many people would give me a raised eyebrow for this one, but the recipes really turn out beautiful and tasty, with less work involved at the beginning. It's not just the egg, water, and whatever... the ingredients I add to the cake mix are not traditional, and get the most moist, delicate, gorgeous cake to pair with your from-scratch buttercream. No one will be able to tell the difference!
I use straight up egg nog in the cake & buttercream, which I thought would give the cake enough of an egg nog taste, however, to ensure the classic flavors were spread throughout, I used a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon to take the flavors home.
It worked out beautifully! My husband said it was like a light, fluffy, spice cake with a glass of egg nog. I couldn't be happier with how the cake layers turned out.
But the cake is half the story - the buttercream is a whole new level of heaven.
Usually in my buttercream recipes, I use heavy cream. It's the best way to get an even more creamy taste, as well as thicken up the buttercream without it turning into a strange consistency. It pairs with butter perfectly. However, in this recipe, I used egg nog in place of the heavy cream. It worked like a charm! The brand of egg nog I recommended earlier is super thick, just like heavy cream, so it was a no-brainer, but also added that lovely warm nutmeg and cinnamon flavor just enough. I could have eaten this buttercream with a spoon all day, really! I love the speckled look it added to the outside of the cake, too.
Hope you enjoy my Egg Nog cake! If you'd like to make these into cupcakes, keep the oven at 325, bake for about 11-15 minutes for 24 cupcakes. Easy peasy!
Egg Nog Cake with Egg Nog Buttercream
makes 3x 5" rounds, or 2x 8" rounds
4 egg whites
3/4 Cup egg nog
2/3 Cup sour cream
1/2 Cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 white cake mix (I usually use Duncan Hines), sifted
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (depending on how strong you like it)
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 Cup egg nog
pinch of salt
4-6 cups sifted powdered sugar
heavy cream if needed to thicken buttercream (you can also use more egg nog here)
1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and prep cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg nog, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg until uniform throughout. Sift in cake mix, then whisk until just combined. Don't overmix, but make sure all the dry ingredient is incorporated.
2. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center does not move, do not overbake. Remove from oven, let cool in pans for 2 minutes, then carefully flip out onto a wire rack to cool to almost room temperature.
3. For the buttercream: In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add in butter, and whip around until it's broken up and smooth. Add in vanilla, nutmeg/cinnamon, and mix until combined. Add in egg nog, then the powdered sugar about a half cup at a time, on low speed, until your desired consistency has been reached. (You may not use all the powdered sugar, but at least 4 cups. Add in heavy cream a tablespoon at a time to make it more of a thin consistency). Then let the mixer go on full speed for about 2-3 minutes to add volume and air. Turn off mixer, then mix by hand with a wooden spoon to smash out all the air bubbles.
4. Assembly: Add a little bit of frosting to your base, then the first cake layer, add about a cup of frosting, spread it out, then the next year. Repeat, then frost the outside (making sure to crumb coat and refrigerate before the final buttercream layer). Refrigerate until about 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Recipe Source: Original Baking with Blondie Recipe