Egg Nog Cake

The essence of egg nog is captured in a rich, lightly spiced cake frosted with silky meringue buttercream, while a hint of rum and bourbon in the batter brings depth of flavor. Serve this dessert at your holiday table, and prepare to hear cheers from family and friends!

Egg Nog Cake by Cakewalker

Life-altering Decisions

My dear sister once remarked upon moving into her new home, “Choosing where to put things are life-altering decisions!” I chuckled at the extreme notion of the statement, not realizing fully what she meant until it was my turn to do the same. There are just so many things that you need to think about that it completely takes over your mind (and life).

You may recall last year my family moved into our new home the week before Thanksgiving. Mrs. W and I were no strangers to moving, but there was something about the move a year ago; I felt a need to settle in with forethought as to how we would live in the space, paying attention to the floorplan and its flow, particularly in the kitchen. Do we delegate prime countertop real estate to two stand mixers, just one, or canisters of baking staples? Which pans and utensils are used most often, and where should they go? What about the pantry? Should it be just dry goods, canned goods, and staples or include gadget overflow? You get the drill. By the time Christmas arrived, after days of making purposeful decisions about where our possessions would be stowed, I was yearning to play and get baking.

Whipped egg whites by Cakewalker

I had stumbled upon a frosting recipe I wanted to try, and needed a cake to put it on. It was holiday time after all, so I devised a cake batter using egg nog. Upon first taste, I knew I was on to something in regards to the cake, but the frosting, while good, wasn’t quite right for the application. I made the cake again using a Swiss meringue buttercream and posted a photo on Facebook. This time around, the pairing was on track but now the cake seemed to need a little oomph. The thing is egg nog was no longer being stocked in stores when I wanted to execute a third round. Some projects need to spend time on a shelf, and that’s precisely what this recipe did for the last year.

Filling, stacking, and frosting the cakes by Cakewalker

Smoothing the frosting finish by Cakewalker

Coming back to the project this year, I had a lingering thought to punch up the recipe, glanced at the photo, and set out to finish it. And I’m so glad I did. After stepping away from it for a long spell, the process fell into place with focus and ingenuity―free from the clutter of life-altering decisions.

Egg Nog Cake - Cakewalker

Egg Nog Cake

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 38 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: One 8-inch three layer cake. Serves 12 to 16.

Serving Size: One slice

Egg Nog Cake

The essence of egg nog is captured in a rich, lightly spiced cake frosted with silky Swiss meringue buttercream, while a hint of rum and bourbon in the batter brings depth of flavor. Serve this dessert at your holiday table, and prepare to hear cheers from family and friends!


  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extact
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 1/3 cup egg nog
  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • Frosting:
  • 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 to 10 egg whites (1 1/4 cup, may substitute pasteurized liquid egg whites)
  • 2 1/2 cups (5 sticks) unsalted butter, cubed and room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt (1/8 teaspoon)


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8x2 round cake pans, line bottoms with parchment, grease the paper and flour the pans; set aside. In a measuring cup, add the rum and bourbon to the egg nog, stir together; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice; whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla; scrape the bowl down. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Alternately add the flour mixture and the egg nog to the butter mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Blend each addition until just incorporated. With a rubber spatula, scrape the bowl, and gently stir in any unmixed ingredients if needed. Equally distribute the batter to the three pans, smooth the tops level with an offset spatula. Bake for 36 to 38 minutes until the cakes are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cakes in the pans on racks for 15 minutes. Run a table knife around the inside perimeter of the pans to loosen the sides of the cakes. Turn cakes out onto the racks, discard the parchment. Allow cakes to cool completely.
  • Make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and egg whites until well combined. Set the bowl over a pot of actively simmering water and whisk constantly. While whisking, heat the mixture until all the sugar granules have dissolved and the mixture is hot to the touch. Aim for getting the mixture as hot as possible but don’t overcook it into scrambled eggs.
  • Return the bowl to the mixer and seat the whip attachment. Whip on high speed until the meringue thickens and forms stiff glossy peaks, about 10 minutes. The bottom of the bowl should be at or close to room temperature. Stop the mixer and replace the whip with the paddle attachment. Set the mixer on low speed and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. After all the butter has been incorporated, beat the frosting on medium speed until fluffy.
  • Set the mixer back to low speed and add the vanilla. Once incorporated, scrape the bowl down and continue to mix until a smooth, creamy texture is reached. If the frosting appears broken, beat on high for 3 to 5 minutes or more and it will come together.
  • Fill and frost the cake. Place a cake centered on a serving plate; ice the top with an even layer of frosting. Place the second cake on top, frost again with an even layer of icing; repeat for the third layer. Frost the sides of the cake with a thin coat to set the crumbs; place in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm the frosting. Apply a final coat of frosting to the sides (touch up top of cake if needed), reserving some frosting to pipe borders. Using a #18 star tip, pipe stars around the perimeter on top of the cake. For the bottom border, use a #21 star tip and follow around the base. Finish by sprinkling festive jimmies on top of the cake inside the border. Slice and serve.


The rum and bourbon simply lend their flavors for a base note without making the cake taste overtly boozy. My kids gave it a thumbs up. But if you prefer to forgo the liquor, omit it altogether and double the vanilla extract measure for the batter. To the contrary, if you desire a cake with a kick, consider swapping out some of the vanilla extract measure in the frosting for rum, bourbon or brandy. Treat yourself to using fresh grated nutmeg in the recipe instead of the all ready ground spice from the grocery store―the difference in the final product is astounding!

Egg Nog Cake Slice by Cakewalker

Looking for a tasty spiked Egg Nog beverage? Check out this recipe!


  1. Wow does this ever sound good. I have always loved egg nog.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. I used to chuckle at people who stressed to much about how to arrange their kitchens. Then I started this blog and cooking became a big part of my life and I started to understand (at least a little bit). Then I remodeled a kitchen and agonized for months over every decision. That’s part of the reason my remodel took more than 900 days to “finish”.

    Your superior skills with cake shine through on this beauty. GREG

    • Brooks Walker says

      Thank you for the compliment, Greg. I’ve seen your kitchen reno, and the invested agony paid off fabulously!

  3. Are you kidding me, Brooks? This cake is incredible. I just keep staring at the detail. I love how you decorated it – simply superb, and the crumb of the cake looks extraordinary. I cannot wait to try it, but might need to wait until after the holidays. My son and I love eggnog; my husband and daughter not so much, but I think they would love your cake. Maybe I should buy some eggnog and freeze it?? Beautiful, beautiful cake and post. Also (a side note), I love your cake plate; it goes ideally with your cake!!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Freezing egg nog for future use will be ideal until you’re ready to make the cake. Thank you for the lovely remarks, Susie. I truly appreciate them.

  4. Brooks, This cake looks scrumptious and so perfect for the holidays. The photo is very nicely done, as always. Have a wonderful second Christmas in your home. Sharing this!

    • Brooks Walker says

      We will enjoy Christmas, Joan, and the same to you and yours. Not surprisingly, more decorations were put up this year. Thank you for the terrific comment. Cheers!

  5. Boy can you bake! This is superb — great recipe, outstanding result. And getting the kitchen just right is a bit of a pain, isn’t it? All those compromises you end up making. Anyway, good post — thanks.

    • Brooks Walker says

      You’re correct, John. Setting up the kitchen by plan, though a bit tedious, saved in constantly shuffling things around at the discovery initial placements weren’t right. I thank you for the kind remark.

  6. What a spectacular cake! It was worth waiting a year for this beauty! I like your boozed up version just fine…perfect for the holiday table. Wishing you and your lovely family my best for a merry Christmas and much joy in the new year.

  7. What a smart way to move into a house and a kitchen! And hello?!!! Wow, this cake is perfect!! Your frosting job is spectacular and I’m so glad you went back to this recipe!!! Delicious and beautiful!!

    • Brooks Walker says

      Many thanks, Alice! I’m glad I came back to the cake too. 🙂 I appreciate you stopping by.

  8. It’s a spectacular cake on an elegant cake stand. Perfect for any holiday party.

  9. Brooks, I’m so glad you revisited this cake so you could come back and share it with all of us. I mean, with your family. 🙂 Glad you are a year + settled in your home, and I trust that everything is in its place. xo

  10. Brooks, your cake is absolutely stunning. I’m sure the lucky tasters were so thrilled you returned to such a delicious cake project! Yes, I totally understand your sister on the organisation thing: we’ve just spent the past year renovating and I’ve spent a lot of time making fun decisions – it’s amazing how changing pans around in certain cupboards can even help your back!
    Have a wonderful, sweet Christmas with the family – and now that everything is in order in your new home, I’m sure you’ll be able to enjoy it much better this year. All the best, Brooks x

  11. This, Brooks, is *my* kind of cake! I don’t want ooey gooey or candy or chocolate; I want subtlety! This cake is so elegant.

    • Brooks Walker says

      I’ve got a generous slice with your name on it, Jean. I hope you enjoyed a lovely Christmas, and may 2015 be all you dream it to be. Cheers!

  12. Oh Em Gee Brooks, I need this even though Christmas has come and gone.

    • Brooks Walker says

      The great thing about perennial recipes, Marlene, is they come back every year. It’s good to have you here, and I thank you for visiting!

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