Happy New Year!!
It’s been said that layer cakes may be one of the food trends in 2012 and with that in mind Anna at Cookie Madness put together a list of favorite layer cakes, and provided a link to another list of her favorite chocolate cakes. Her list is better than any magazine spread I’ve seen in awhile. With all of that layer cake love and inspiration I realized that I could make a layer cake a month in 2012 without making the same cake twice!
There is a cake on that list that I can’t wait to get to, but with some eggnog in the refrigerator needing to be used up I decided to start with the eggnog cake. I buy organic eggnog to make cinnamon eggnog scones at Christmas time. I love those scones! The only problem is that no one in my family likes to drink eggnog and I always end up with leftovers that most often get thrown out. We like the flavor but the glugginess is a turn off.
So on New Year’s day after a week plus of eating too much sugar and eating too much in general there I was in my kitchen making cake! I only had enough eggnog to make a half recipe and I only own nine inch round pans so I made one layer of cake, cut it in half and layered it.
We like this cake quite a bit. It has a slightly course texture, but is moist without being wet. It’s very easy to make. We both liked it on day one but we like it even better on day two. The nutmeg and eggnog make this cake very flavorful and will be enjoyed by anyone who likes those flavors. The frosting is that old fashioned frosting where you make a roux and then incorporate it into a creamed butter and sugar mixture. It sounds funky but is actually quite good and a good technique for making frosting when you realize you don’t have any powdered sugar in the pantry. There is a chance that the roux will have lumps in it, but I didn’t have any problems with lumps using the microwave method and the frosting was super smooth.
I’m retyping the recipe in the half batch version and including instructions for making the roux in the microwave. For the full version and stovetop instructions for making the roux you will find the recipe here.
Julia Waldbaum’s Festive Eggnog Cake
1 cup all purpose flour (4.5 oz.)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 rounded tsp.nutmeg (I used already ground nutmeg even though the recipe notes to use fresh and that it’s worth it to use fresh)
2 ounces unsalted butter softened
1 large egg + 1.5 T. egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup eggnog
2 T. flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup eggnog
1/3 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray one 8 or 9 inch round metal cake pan with cooking spray and coat with flour.
In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add softened butter and stir it in, mashing it into the dry ingredients and coating them with butter. When the mixture is moist with butter, add the eggs, vanilla and eggnog. With a spoon or lowest speed of electric mixer, beat until mixed. Turn speed to medium high and blend for about a minute. Pour batter into cake pans, dividing evenly. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.
Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Flip and cool completely.
In a microwave bowl, whisk together flour and salt and about 2 T. of the eggnog. Continue adding the egg nog 2 T. at a time and whisk each addition until all lumps disappear. Microwave on 50% power for 2 minutes stirring once. Remove from microwave and whisk again. I didn’t have any lumps.
In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add flour mixture and continue beating on high with an electric mixer for about 8 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and the icing isn’t grainy. (It only took me 5-6 minutes to get to the non grainy stage. Beat in the vanilla. Ice the cake.