There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love eggnog and those who hate it. Until a few years ago, I was decidedly in the latter camp. I have an aversion to liquid dairy (I take my coffee black and prefer my cereal to be dry). I am hesitant around creamy things in general, but especially drinks. I have had one glass of eggnog in my life and while I loved the flavor, I just couldn’t handle the texture.
Luckily I’ve learned to bake since then, so I can have the flavor of eggnog without the texture. Last year, I made some rockin’ Eggnog Sandwich Cookies and I’ve been dreaming of other ways to bake with eggnog ever since. A few months ago, it hit me: Eggnog Bundt Cake. Soft, tight-crumbed cake flavored with everyone’s favorite seasonal beverage, scented with cinnamon and nutmeg, and drizzled with glaze.
I know that all the ridges and curves in a bundt pan can make it intimidating–there’s a greater chance that a chunk of cake will stick to the pan or that it’ll break in half when inverted. The secret here is to grease it heavily with a mixture of flour and oil. Whisk equal amounts of them together until a thin paste forms and then paint it over the entire inside of the pan. This creates a barrier between the cake batter and the pan, greatly reducing the chance that your cake will stick. When the cake is done and has had a chance to cool for a few minutes, run a small, thin knife around all of the ridges and curves and invert it onto a cooling rack. The cake will come out of the pan in one piece every time–there’s no hoping and praying about it. There may be a little excess flour on the top of the cake, but it should come off with the swipe of a dry paper towel. Voilà! Easy cake release every time. I use this method with all my layer cakes too, and have excellent results every time.
Once the pan is greased, get to work on the cake batter. You’ll see all of the usual suspects here–flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, eggs. But then we put a holiday spin on it and add a full 1 1/2 cups of eggnog and 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg! The cake batter will be very thick, but should pour easily into the greased pan. Bake it for nearly an hour before inverting onto a rack and drizzling with a simple glaze made with confectioner’s sugar, more eggnog, and spices.
Eggnog Bundt Cake is soft and moist, perfectly spiced, and full of eggnog flavor. It’s a great dessert for holiday parties, but you could also place it on a cute tray, wrap it with cellophane and a bow, and give it as a gift!
Eggnog Bundt Cake
makes one 12-cup capacity bundt pan
For the Pan:
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour*
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cups eggnog
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
3-4 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the pan. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together flour and oil. Use a pastry brush to paint mixture over the entire inside of the bundt pan. Pour out any excess. Set aside.
In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until very light and fluffy–about 2 minutes. Beat in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, combining completely after each addition. Mix in eggnog and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing on low until combined. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top. Tap full pan on the counter five times before baking for 50-55 minutes, tenting with foil at the 25 minute mark. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in several places comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the outer edges of the pan before inverting the cake onto a rack to cool completely.
Make the glaze. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of eggnog and vanilla. Add another tablespoon of eggnog if you’d like a thinner glaze. Use a fork to drizzle glaze over cake. Glaze will set a bit after 20 minutes. Slice cake and serve.
Cake will keep covered at room temperature for up to three days, or in the refrigerator for up to five.
You may use cake flour instead of all-purpose. Use 3 cups of cake flour and omit the cornstarch. Proceed with recipe as written.