Holiday eggnog cream cake

Recipe for Holiday Eggnog Cake
with thanks to Rose Levy Beranbaum

Ever since a discussion on Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Forum asking about an eggnog cake, I have wanted to make one. I had already read Rose’s recipe for a Whipped Cream Cake and thought this would be the perfect recipe to use, as it contains lots of whipped cream, a major ingredient in eggnog. The recipe only needed grated nutmeg and rum to complete the transformation.

For a holiday look, I used a vintage, tin-lined Kaiser Kugelhopf pan. The cake turned out so tender, as tender as any of Rose’s cakes, but the pan caused a problem. Its central tube is 3/4″ higher than the pan sides, similar to an angel food cake pan, so that it can be upended to cool. When I inverted the cake over a cake rack, it had 3/4″ to fall, compressing it somewhat. Before inverting, I had brushed the cake with warm rum. This extra moisture made an already tender cake more fragile. Trying to slide the cake off the cooling rack and onto a plate was just as dicey, causing the moist surface to crumble.

When I bake this cake again, I won’t use the kugelhopf pan. Instead, I’ll use the large Bundt pan that doesn’t have a raised tube. And I won’t invert it onto a rack to cool, but directly onto a plate. In Rose’s recipe, the cake is inverted on a rack, but my version of her recipe results in a moister cake with the added rum, so I’ll cool it on the plate on which it will be served.

Despite the cake being almost too tender to handle, this same quality gave it a melt-in-the-mouth feel, which is exactly what I was after. Eggnog goes down so smoothly, it is so creamy. The cake had the same qualities, plus the nutmeg and rum flavor. I love eggnog, and I loved this Eggnog Cake. This recipe will become a holiday favorite in our house.

Holiday Eggnog Cream Cake 

  • 2 1/4 cups (8 ounces/225 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspooon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups cold, heavy cream (12.3 ounces/348 grams)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature (5.3 ounces/150 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup superfine sugar (8 ounces/225 grams)
  • 4 tablespoons (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) warm rum
  • Whipped cream and grated nutmeg for garnish
  1. Butter and flour a 10-cup tube pan. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C (350°F/175°C if using a dark pan).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whip the cream, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.
  4. Whisk the eggs and vanilla just until lightly combined. On medium-high speed, gradually beat the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The mixture will thicken into mayonnaise consistency (unless high-butterfat cream is used). Gradually beat in the sugar. It should take about 30 seconds to incorporate.
  5. Add half the flour mixture to the cream mixture and, with a large silicone spatula, fold in the flour until most of it disappears. Add the rest of the flour mixture and continue folding and mixing until all traces of flour have disappeared. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Run a small metal spatula or dull knife blade through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth the surface evenly with a small metal spatula.
  6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted between the tube and the side comes out completely clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven.
  7. Spoon 2 tablespoons of warm rum over cake and let cool in pan for ten minutes on cake rack. Invert onto plate, remove pan, and spoon 2 more tablespoons of rum over top of cake. With a small metal spatula, loosen the top edges of the cake and invert the cake onto a wire rack that has been coated lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cool completely.
  8. Dust cake with powdered sugar for a holiday look. A large spoonful of softly whipped cream, barely sweetened and sprinkled with grated nutmeg, completes the effect of duplicating in cake form a goblet of eggnog.


If you don’t have superfine sugar, which I don’t as it isn’t available in Mexico, process regular sugar in a food processor for three minutes for a finer texture.

Rose advises not chilling the bowl and beater for whipping the cream, as the eggs will not incorporate into the cream if it is too cold.

To fold flour into cake batter, insert the long edge of a spatula into the center of the batter, drawing it toward you as you lift and turn it, bringing batter from the bottom of the bowl up to the surface. Using your left hand (if you are right-handed), turn the bowl about 90 degrees and repeat the inserting and lifting of the spatula, turning the bowl each time, until all the flour is incorporated.

The cakes I bake are usually either all whole wheat flour or 50% whole wheat. For this cake I made a concession and used all white flour, as I wanted to mimic eggnog in color.

I have learned from Rose’s recipes that a cake should be removed from the oven before it has pulled away from the sides of the pan. While it sits in the cake pan on a rack for ten minutes, it will continue to bake. Most layer cakes call for this ten minute rest on the rack, but other cakes may have different instructions on handling the cake when it is removed from the oven. Follow the recipe advice.

Rose’s original recipe can be found in her new book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes, and on the Amazon site that sells her book. Since the recipe is already on the Amazon site, I have printed it here again, adding nutmeg and rum for an eggnog effect.

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2 thoughts on “Holiday eggnog cream cake

  1. Pingback: Feliz Navidad! « Cooking in Mexico

  2. Pingback: Cake stands to make for holiday gifts « Cooking in Mexico

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