I always have eggnog around during the holidays. I like to make my own, of course, but when there are so many store bought options I just can’t resist the temptation to pick one up just to have some on hand. The problem with eggnog is that it is so rich, I can’t always drink that whole carton and I end up looking for alternative ways to use it up before buying a fresh batch. And this Eggnog Pound Cake is just one of many uses for that carton of eggnog when you have leftovers sitting around in your fridge.
Eggnog is made from milk, sugar and eggs and is typically flavored with vanilla and nutmeg. Although you can make a traditional uncooked eggnog at home, store bought eggnog is always cooked and has about the same consistency of buttermilk (some are thicker and some are thinner). In this recipe, the rich eggnog is used just like milk would be – but it adds extra flavor into the pound cake. The eggnog flavor would be too subtle on its own to stand out, so I add in additional vanilla extract and a generous amount of nutmeg to make sure that those flavors carry through into the finished cake. Use freshly ground nutmeg if possible for the best flavor.
The cake is not too sweet and has a tight, tender crumb. The cake has a hint of butter, but mostly you taste vanilla and nutmeg, with a hint of egginess that marks this as an eggnog flavored cake and not just a vanilla one. It is delicious on its own and I rarely add any icing or glaze to this cake. If you wanted to make one, you could whip one up with confectioners’ sugar, milk and a splash of brandy or run (maybe a few teaspoons) to “spike” the cake as you might spike a glass of ‘nog before serving it at a party.
Eggnog Pound Cake
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups store-bought eggnog (full or low fat)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in the eggs one at a time until well-combined, then beat in the vanilla and nutmeg.
In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine eggnog and vegetable oil. Working in two or three additions, alternately add the flour mixture and the eggnog mixture to the butter mixture, ending with a final addition of dry ingredients. Stir only until no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
If using a tube cake pan, allow the cake to cool in the pan completely before running a knife around the edge to loosen it and turn it out onto a serving plate.
If using a bundt pan, allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.