Eggnog Cake

During December, we remember all the years that came before. We think about where we were, who we were, who we were with, and what we were doing. This is how we measure our lives. And traditions keep us connected through time, to ancestors and progeny as well as our evolving selves. Food is an integral part of holiday gatherings. We feast, break bread, come to the table together to experience constancy and continuity in this ever changing life. We bake and share sweet cookies, make a much too big roast, mull wine, and even leave a carrot for Santa’s favorite reindeer. There is one tasty Christmas treat more sacrosanct than all the rest. And yet it is humble. It can be hand crafted, but I will always argue that the very best of its kind comes from the refrigerated section of your local supermarket. Yes, friends, I speak of eggnog. That sweet and faux-boozy boxed dairy drink, only available at the holidays. Cause have you had homemade eggnog? It’s gross. And there are so many kinds of delicious non-alcoholic nog for sale right now. I used a carton of plain, Oakhurst eggnog to make this rich, dense cake.

Eggnog Cake
Adapted from a recipe by Taste of Home


For the cake:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup eggnog

For the frosting:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups eggnog
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 an prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans with baking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream softened butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each one. Add vanilla. Whisk together dry ingredients, then pour into the mixer, alternating with eggnog. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the frosting:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine flour and salt. Whisk in eggnog and keep whisking. Bring to a boil and let the mixture thicken, stirring constantly. Cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract, rum, and nutmeg, then the cooled flour/eggnog mixture. Beat until well blended an smooth. Once the cakes are completely cool, frost and keep refrigerated.


Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.


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