This is not a cake for children since the liquor flavors are quite pronounced (just like they are in real eggnog), but non-alcoholic brandy or rum flavored coffee syrup can be substituted when serving to a mixed group of diners.
Where nutmeg is one of the primary flavors in this cake, it’s important to use freshly grated. It’s easy to grate fresh nutmeg either with a Microplane (which should be considered a must-have gadget in every kitchen), or a nutmeg grater (available at specialty kitchen stores). Whole nutmeg is available in the spice section of most major grocery stores (and also online and in specialty kitchen stores) and keeps almost indefinitely; once grated, it’s only good for a few days, so toss that old ground nutmeg on the cupboard shelf – it isn’t suitable for anything since the flavor was most likely completely gone before the jar even reached the grocer’s shelf.
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
4 large eggs, separated
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup commercially prepared eggnog
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup brandy
Fluffy Hard Sauce:
1 1/2 cups butter
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons brandy or dark rum, or a mixture of both
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Line two 9" cake pans with parchment and spray the parchment with non-stick spray.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and 1 1/4 cups of the sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- When the mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the egg yolks one at a time, until the mixture is light and smooth.
- Turn the mixer off, measure the flour, baking powder, and nutmeg into the mixing bowl, and turn the mixer to low speed; pour in the eggnog and continue to mix at low speed until the batter is smooth. The batter will be very thick, and this is as it should be.
- Beat the egg whites at high speed in a separate mixing bowl until they begin to thicken; gradually beat in the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the sugar is dissolved. Turn the mixer to low speed and add a few scoops of the batter to the egg white mixture, turning the mixer on and off so that the egg whites don't deflate.
- Stir in the remaining batter carefully, turning the mixer on and off and mixing only until the batter and egg white mixture are incorporated; this will keep the cake light.
- Divide the mixture between the prepared pans and spread it evenly.
- Bake the layers 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze: measure the sugar, butter, and water in a large microwaveable container.
- Microwave 3 minutes; whisk, and microwave until boiling. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the nutmeg, rum, and whisky or brandy. (Alternately the glaze can be prepared in a saucepan on the stove.)
- Pour the glaze evenly over the surface of the cake as soon as it comes from the oven.
- Let the cake layers cool thoroughly on cooling racks, then remove them from the pans by running a knife around the perimeter of the cakes then inverting them onto a rack.
- Make the hard sauce by beating the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy; mix in the brandy and/or rum.
- Place one of the layers, bottom side up, on a serving platter.
- Spread the flat side with a generous portion of the hard sauce.
- Top with the remaining layer, flat side down.
- Slice the cake into quarters, then each quarter into 5 slices (keeping them together).
- Pipe a large rosette on top of each slice and also on the bottom of each slice with the remaining hard sauce.
- Cover with plastic wrap and store in a cool place until serving time.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 542 Calories from Fat 268
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 49% Protein 3% Carb. 43%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 18 g
Cholesterol 124 mg
Sodium 441 mg
Total Carbohydrate 59 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 20 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 23% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 3%
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