My eggnog cake with fluffy eggnog frosting is a wonderfully festive cake for the winter season, an absolutely scrumptious finishing touch to a holiday meal. Prepared with rich eggnog in both the cake batter as well as in the buttery frosting, this eggnog cake recipe, with its wonderfully sparkly exterior, is deliciously moist and utterly irresistible, filled with an abundance of seasonal flavor!
A Festive Winter Cake Brimming with Eggnog
Baking during the winter holidays is one of my favorite things to do, and I just adore how the scent of festive sweet treats makes my kitchen smell so divine!
There are so many goodies to bake up during this time of year, and while cookies are always on the list, I love to prepare a scrumptious cake fit for this season to have as an elegant finishing touch to a light-filled holiday meal.
My eggnog cake with fluffy eggnog frosting and decorative little sugar crystals resembling snow flakes is one of my favorites.
I love how sparkly and twinkly it looks, reminding me of winter snow flurries, with the decadently rich flavor of eggnog, one of our favorite seasonal treats!
An elegant and decadent end to a special meal, or a fun offering to serve to family and friends who stop by for coffee, this eggnog cake recipe is exactly what the holiday season is all about—It's a taste of sweetness, love and coziness in each delightful bite!
My Recipe for Eggnog Cake with Fluffy Eggnog Frosting
While I wanted this special cake to have lots of eggnog flavor, I also wanted it to have a very wintery, snowy look, with a bit of sparkle...
To create the snowy-white look, I'm using egg whites and clear vanilla extract, though clear vanilla is not necessary if you prefer to stick with traditional vanilla extract. (This will add a slightly more yellow hue to the cake and frosting, which is fine.)
The batter also includes butter as well as buttermilk, a small kiss of nutmeg, plus a generous pour of rich and delicious eggnog, of course! (Go with full-fat eggnog to keep the batter rich and moist.)
As for the fluffy eggnog frosting, it is a classic buttercream frosting made with organic butter and powdered sugar. I add just a touch of ground nutmeg here as well, along with fresh eggnog to reinforce that delicious eggnog flavor.
Prepared in three scrumptious eight inch layers, this eggnog cake is not only an absolute delight to eat, but a fun homemade cake to prepare and decorate with sparkly sugar crystals as well!
Here's a sneak peek at my eggnog cake recipe with fluffy eggnog frosting: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I prepare my dry ingredients and then my wet ingredients, and using a stand mixer, I prepare the cake batter.
- Next, I pour the batter into three, 8 inch cake pans fitted with parchment paper and misted with cooking spray.
- I then bake the cake rounds for roughly 25 minutes.
- Once the cake rounds are baked, I allow them to cool completely,
- While cake rounds cool, I prepare my fluffy eggnog frosting to have ready and on hand.
- I frost the cake once cooled, then finish with a variety of wintery looking sugar crystal decorations to create a glittery, twinkly look. I keep the cake cold, then allow it to come to room temp before slicing and serving.
Eggnog Cake with Fluffy Eggnog Frosting
by Ingrid Beer
This moist, decadent eggnog cake with fluffy eggnog frosting is the perfect wintery dessert filled with lots of eggnog flavor!
Yield: Serves 12
Nutrition Info: 786 calories per serving
Prep Time: 25 minutes (does not include time for cake to cool)
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Eggnog Cake Ingredients:
- 2 ¾ cups cake flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ cup organic, full-fat eggnog
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract (regular is fine, too; however, the cake will not be quite as white)
- 4 jumbo egg whites, room temp
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp
- 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided use
- Sugar crystals and/or pearls, for decorating cake
Fluffy Eggnog Frosting Ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups unsalted organic butter, room temp
- 5 ½ to 5 ¾ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- ¼ cup full-fat eggnog (more as needed), room temp
- 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon, heaping, ground nutmeg
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of you cake ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Preheat your oven to 350°, and line three, 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- To prepare your cake batter, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a bowl, and set these dry ingredients aside.
- Whisk together the eggnog, buttermilk and vanilla in a large cup, and set these wet ingredients aside.
- Add the room temp butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Then, add in 1 ½ cups of the granulated sugar, and continue to cream together until the two are fluffy, about another 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
- With the mixer on low, add about ⅓ of the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar mixture, and once that is incorporated, add in half of the wet ingredients, allowing that to fully incorporate. Repeat the process with another ⅓ of the dry, and then the rest of the wet, finishing with the dry ingredients.
- In a medium-size bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy using a hand-held electric mixer. Then, while whipping, sprinkle in the remaining ¼ cup of the granulated sugar, and continue whipping until the whites form glossy, stiff peaks, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Using a spatula, gently fold the whipped egg whites into the cake batter taking care not to deflate them too much, just enough so that the batter is well blended.
- Divide the batter equally between your three, prepared cake pans, and bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
- Allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then carefully turn them out and allow them to completely cool on wire racks before frosting and decorating.
- While the eggnog cake cools, gather and prep all of your eggnog frosting ingredients according to the ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- Add the butter to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cream until fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- With the mixer on low, begin adding about a cup of the powdered sugar in at a time, alternating with a drizzle of eggnog, allowing the mixture to blend until fluffy.
- Finish with the vanilla and the nutmeg, and mix until those are well incorporated. Use the frosting immediately, or keep it covered in fridge, at which point you can then re-mix the frosting (if it is cold and stiff) to make it fluffy once again.
- Once cake is cooled, frost each cake layer with the eggnog frosting, frosting the entire outside of the cake as well. Then, decorate with the sugar crystals and/or pearls, for a twinkly, wintery look. Serve immediately, or if serving later, keep cold (if your kitchen is warm), then allow the cake to come to room temp before slicing and serving.
Tips & Tidbits for my Eggnog Cake with Fluffy Eggnog Frosting recipe:
- Clear vanilla and egg whites for a winter-like cake: If you can find clear vanilla, it will keep from adding a yellow hue to the cake to keep it more wintery and “snowy” looking. I also skip the egg yolks here, and whip up egg whites to give the cake lift and keep it moist while not adding color. However, feel free to use traditional vanilla extract if you prefer to use that.
- Decorative wintery looking sugar crystals: I used a variety of wintery/snowflake looking decorations as a finishing touch for this cake (you can find them online, or perhaps even at your local craft store). I used teeny white sugar pearls, small sugar crystals, and little sparkly sugar stars. You can be as creative as you'd like to create a wintery look!
- Prepare the eggnog cake and eggnog frosting ahead: You can prep and bake the cake rounds a day or so ahead of time, of keep them wrapped tightly in plastic wrap once cooled. Also, you can prep the eggnog frosting, and keep it in the fridge, then allow it to come to room temp and re-whip when ready to frost (as it will be cold and hardened). Then, put the layers together and frost the day you'd like to serve.
Craving more sweet and cozy, holiday-inspired treats? Check out my recipe for Gingerbread Cake, Cherry Almond Cake with Sour Cream Drizzle, Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce, Chocolate Bark, Chocolate Truffles, Drinking Chocolate, Cranberry Tart, or even my recipe for Creme Brulee!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!