‘Tis the season for eggnog, that nutmeg-spiced, custardy, boozy beverage that is so popular around the holidays. It tastes delicious and is oh-so-rich. The richness, unfortunately, keeps me and most of my friends from drinking more than a very small serving at a time. To further enjoy that eggnog flavor, I decided to turn the drink into a batch of holiday cupcakes.
My first impulse was to do a regular cupcake recipe, substituting eggnog for milk and adding in nutmeg to punch up the flavor, but in the nick of time, I remembered the great success I had with the Margarita Cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldearlier this year and decided to adapt it into eggnog cupcakes. The thing that further influenced my decison was that last year I did a taste testof soy eggnog (a.k.a. “snog”) vs regular eggnog and found that I quite liked the soy versions. The eggnog flavor covers up some the mild flavor commonly associated with soymilk and the drink still has a nice, creamy consistency. My two recommended brands would be Vitasoy Holly Nog and Silk Soy Nog.
The cupcakes turned out beautifully. They were incredbly moist and tender – and because of it, they did the drink justice very nicely. My preference is for rum in eggnog instead of bourbon, so I used quite a bit of rum in both the cakes and the frosting. The rum paired nicely with the nutmeg and the combination of cake, frosting, rum and eggnog was incredibly flavorful.
I want to note that I served these at a party and no one suspected that they might be vegan cupcakes; everyone simply raved about how tasty and eggnoggy they were. I used butter in my frosting (not vegan, obviously), but if you want a vegan version, use a vegan shortening or similar product in its place. If you don’t want to buy the soy nog, or can’t find it in a store near you, this recipe will work with “real” eggnog as well. I recommend opting for a low fat version because it will have a similar consistency to the soy nogs, and while the flavor of the finished cupcake might be slightly different (and not vegan, of course), it will still be delicious.
1/4 cup dark rum or bourbon
1 cup soy eggnog
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350F. Fill a 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
In a small bowl, mix together rum, eggnog, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla.
In a large bowl, mix together nutmeg, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour in rum mixture and whisk until just combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins (a 1/4 cup measure is a good tool for this).
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan for 3-5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
1/4 cup butter or nonhydrogenated shortening, softened
3 tbsp soy eggnog (or regular)
2 tbsp rum
generous pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground
2+ cups confectioners’ sugar
coarse sugar for “rims”
Cream together butter/nonhydrogenated shortening (depending on whether you want the frosting vegan or not), eggnog, rum, nutmeg and 2 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Add in more sugar if needed to make frosting stiff, but spreadable.
Spread on cupcakes and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon.