I’ve grown such a love for making cakes over the past couple months and I’m thinking about making one every month for the blog. They’re just so fun and therapeutic to make and decorate..I’m obsessed! I wanted to make a wintery one that you could make during the holidays instead of the loads of cookies and pies that we all typically have. This one might look intimidating but it’s honestly SO easy. Trust me!
You literally make the ganache in the microwave..in forty seconds. It couldn’t be easier! The cake itself is super simple and the frosting is an easy cream cheese buttercream that you can make with an electric mixer or your stand mixer! Who else loooves cream cheese frosting?
I can’t stand those super sugary frostings that are usually on the cakes you get at the grocery store..but cream cheese frosting that isn’t super sweet? I’m all in.
A funny story about this cake. I was picking from the bushes outside my house to try to find holly berries or something similar to style this cake, and I found these pretty little red berries with pretty twigs and long, green leaves. Several hours after styling and shooting the cake, I asked my mom, “what’s that bush with the red berries in front our house?” And she said “A nandina.” So I googled “are the berries on a nandina bush toxic?”
Hahahah. The answer is yes, they contain high levels of cyanide and are extremely toxic to all mammals. Of course I start freaking out because I had to taste some of the cake for quality control purposes! But that slice wasn’t touching anyway. So we’re good! Moral of the story: make sure you know if things from nature are poisonous before you put them on your food. Whoooooops.
So I actually don’t really like eggnog in its pure form, unless it’s IN things. Like in baked goods or lattes. It’s so sickeningly sweet and rich on its own. I could never have more than a couple sips. But in this cake, it is seriously to die for! It’s perfectly spiced and has a light sweetness/butterscotch/rum flavor that is perfect for the holidays.
And the frosting has a little bit of eggnog and nutmeg in it in addition to the cream cheese and it’s super light and fluffy because I whipped it for so long. You cannot beat a good homemade frosting!
Oh and did I mention there’s rum in the ganache too? Just a litttttle bit of booziness. It’s so so good. I used dark rum here but you could definitely use a spiced rum or whatever you have!
This is something you could semi make ahead of time if you’re having guests over. You can make the cake part a day or two in advance and just keep them tightly wrapped in plastic wrap before the day of! Then just assemble and you’re good to go.
Also, using fake plants is probably the best idea to decorate it. Or, you could use something like peppermints or candies, or even sprinkles! Or whatever your heart desires. Sugared cranberries would be super pretty too!
I want to live in this scene!
Eggnog Cake with Spiced Cream Cheese Buttercream and White Chocolate Rum Ganache
This eggnog cake is so festive and perfect for the holidays! It's frosted with a spiced cream cheese buttercream, and topped with white chocolate ganache!
For the cake
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup eggnog
For the eggnog buttercream frosting
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (3 sticks)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
- pinch of salt
For the white chocolate rum ganache
- 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- dash of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Grease and flour three 8'' cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and whisk until smooth. Add the butter, vanilla, rum, sour cream, and eggnog and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour the batter evenly into the pans and smooth out the tops with a spatula. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and let cool the rest of the way on a cooling rack.
Make the frosting. Add the butter and cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium high for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar until combined. Add the vanilla, nutmeg, eggnog, and salt and increase speed to medium-high and whip for 4-5 minutes or until super fluffy.
To make the ganache, add white chocolate, heavy cream, and rum to a medium microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and then microwave for another 20 seconds or until completely melted. Stir until smooth and pourable. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
To assemble the cake, place one layer on a plate or the cooling rack (just so you don't mess up the plate you are serving on, or the cake stand!), and spread the top with the frosting. Top with another layer and spread top with frosting. Top with the third layer and spread with another layer of frosting, leaving a little bit left for the sides of the cake. Use the leftover frosting to "half" frost the sides, to create a "semi-naked" effect. Use an offset spatula or bench scraper to smooth out the sides of the cake. Pour the cooled ganache over the cake and let it drip down the sides. Garnish with twigs, red berries, branches, sprinkles, crushed peppermint candies, sugared cranberries, or whatever your heart desires!