You can find 1000+ of my kitchen-tested recipes using the Recipes tab, watch nearly 100 of my Kitchen Encounters/WHVL-TV segments using the TV Videos tab, join the discussion about all of my creations using the Facebook tab, or Email your questions and comments directly to me--none go unanswered. Have fun!


~ Butter-Rum, Vanilla Bean & Eggnog Pound Cake ~

IMG_9963If you're planning on drinking some eggnog over the course of the next two days, set a cup of it aside until you read the rest of this post.  You can thank me later.  In my opinion, any cake, cookie or confection that starts out as plain vanilla, gets jettisoned to star status with the addition of the flavors of eggnog:  cinnamon, nutmeg, and, of course, rum.  Even folks who don't care to drink eggnog per se seem to love it if it is used as a flavoring in a dessert -- like this cake.

Eggnog literally means eggs in a "nog" (a little wooden cup).

IMG_9263A bit about eggnog:  References to eggnog date back to the 1800's, when, even back then it was served during the Winter holiday season. Known as "egg milk punch", it was and still is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, sugar, raw egg yolks, whipped egg whites and a splash of rum and/or vanilla extract. Nowadays cream is always included in place of some or all of the milk, because today's milk has a much lower fat content than milk in the 1800's, which had cream on top.

Brandy, rum and/or bourbon are almost always added.  The plain truth:  Eggnog just tastes A LOT better with some alcohol in it.  Each smallish finished serving is poured into a punch cup, then it's topped off with a dollop of freshly-whipped cream and a sprinkling of freshly-ground nutmeg.

IMG_9129Eggnog means "eggs in a cup", and it is used on both sides of the Atlantic to toast to health.  "Nog" is an old English term for a small wooden cup.  It descended from a hot British drink called posset, made from eggs beaten with milk, sugar and some type of spirit. During that period, alcoholic drinks were served at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Because it was cooked, posset traveled and adapted well to local tastes.  One such place: the America colonies, which were full of farms which were full of chickens, cows and lots of cheap rum -- our signature ingredient. 

Fast forward to present day.  Over the holidays, pasteurized eggnog is sold in milk-like cartons in almost every grocery store in America.  Here is where I stick my two cents in.  All store-bought eggnog is not created equal.  Most mass-produced name brands are cloyingly sweet, leaving an almost bubblegum-like aftertaste.  Most purists agree that those who don't like this Yultide beverage have simply never had the opportunity to taste real-deal eggnog.  While I make my own eggnog for drinking, I do buy eggnog for baking, but, when I do, I head to one of two of our local Happy Valley dairy's to get it:  Meyer's Dairy or The Berkey Creamery.

IMG_9939When eggnog meets my foolproof "4:3:2:1" poundcake formula:

A bit about pound cake:  Pound cake, which is a type of butter cake, gets its name from vintage recipes stemming from the famous French "quatre-quarts" ("four-quarters") cake that called for weighing a pound each of flour, sugar, butter and eggs.  I made one -- once.  It tasted fine, but I didn't care for the heaviness of it at all.  That is precisely why present day pound cake bakers vary the proportions to achieve a sweet, buttery-tasting, moist, fine-crumbed cake.  I like them better than most other cakes, and, that's not because they are easier to bake (but that is indeed a plus).   My basic and favorite pound cake formula is an easy-to-remember one ("4:3:2:1"):

"4:3:2:1":  4 large eggs, 3 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1 cup butter

+ 1 cup of liquid dairy, 2 teaspoons baking powder & flavorings   

IMG_9877For dry ingredients:

3  cups all-purpose flour

2  teaspoons baking powder

1/2  teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4  teaspoon salt

For the wet ingredients:

1  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1  cup pasteurized egg nog

1  tablespoon butter-rum flavoring

1  tablespoon vanilla bean paste

no-stick cooking spray, for preparing bundt pan

IMG_9197For the eggnog glaze:

2  cups confectioners' sugar

5  tablespoons pasteurized eggnog

1  tablespoon butter-rum flavoring

IMG_9216In a small bowl stir together all ingredients until smooth and ribbonlike.  Cover and set aside while preparing cake.

IMG_9883 IMG_9884~ Step 1.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  

IMG_9889~ Step 2.  In a 1-cup measuring container.  Stir together the eggnog, butter rum flavoring and vanilla bean paste.  Set aside.

IMG_9905 IMG_9902~ Step 3.  In a large bowl, place the butter, sugar and eggs.  

Starting on low speed of hand-held electric mixer and working your way up to high, cream them together until they are smooth and light colored, about 1-1 1/2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula constantly.

IMG_9909~ Step 4.  On low speed of mixer, gradually beat in the eggnog mixture.  Increase heat to medium-high and beat 30-45 seconds.

IMG_9913~ Step 5. Back on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3-4 increments, scraping down the sides of the bowl with the spatula until a thick, smooth batter forms.

IMG_9918 IMG_9921~ Step 6. Using a large spoon, begin dolloping batter into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with no-stick cooking spray.  Once all of the batter has been transferred to pan, give the pan a few back and forth shakes across the countertop to settle it in and level it out.

IMG_9928~ Step 7.  Bake on center rack of a preheated, moderate 325-350 degree oven 45-50 minutes.  

Here's what to look for:  Cake will be puffed through to the center, golden brown and showing signs of separating from the sides of the pan.  A cake tester inserted in several places will come out clean, and, the top will spring back when gently pressed with the index finger.

That about covers it!

IMG_9939 IMG_9933~ Step 8. Remove cake from oven and cool in pan for a full 15 minutes.  The cake will still be warm but firm to the touch at this point.  Place a cooling rack over the top of the pan and invert the cake out onto the rack.  Place the cake, on the rack on top of a sheet of parchment or wax paper.

~ Step 9.  Once cake has cooled completely, about 2-3 hours, using a pastry bag fitted with a wide tip, a ziplock bag with the corner clipped out, off the edge of a large spoon, or, out of your gravy boat, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake.  Transfer cake to a serving plate:

IMG_9946Butter-Rum, Vanilla Bean & Eggnog Pound Cake:  Recipe yields 16 servings.

Special Equipment List:  spoon; 1-cup measuring container; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; bundt pan; large spoon; cooling rack; parchment paper

IMG_9607Cook's Note: While this pound cake, as far as cakes go, is very easy to make, if you still don't have the time to bake and glaze a cake, no problem.  I've got one more eggnog-flavored dessert idea up my sleeve for you.  Try recipe for ~ My Six-Ingredient Last-Minute Eggnog Shortbread ~.  You can find it by clicking into Categories 7,9, 11 or 20.  Don't let the year end without getting the great taste of a dessert containing all the great flavors of eggnog in your life. 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)


Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment