An eggnog pound cake that is moist, dense, but still soft! Everything you love about eggnog and pound cake, in one delicious holiday treat!
A flavorful eggnog pound cake recipe that is simple to make and perfect for Christmas!
Pound cake is one of my favorite cakes to eat. It’s so unlike other cakes, because it’s dense but not gluey, sturdy yet soft and moist. It’s one of the first cakes I learned to make and you can check out my full troubleshooting post for classic pound cake here.
I adapted my classic recipe to make this eggnog pound cake, and it’s everything I love about eggnog and pound cake. And it’s perfect for the holidays!
What to expect with this eggnog pound cake recipe
- The texture of the cake will be similar to a classic pound cake (made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio, but with substitutions to include eggnog).
- A very pronounced eggnog flavor, that is not too overpowering (depends on the egg nog you use though).
- I use my own homemade eggnog recipe that tastes so much better than store-bought. But you can use store-bought too for convenience. Make sure you like the taste though.
- You can either top it with a gorgeous eggnog glaze, or a rum spiked whipped cream topping, or serve it just as is.
- I prefer to make the eggnog pound cake in loaf pans, but you can make this in a bundt pan too.
- It’s easy to make, and guarantees excellent results!
Tips for a perfect eggnog pound cake
Making the pound cake batter
Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This way the butter is nice and fluffy, and the ingredients will incorporate well.
Prepare your baking pan and preheat the oven. Line your loaf pan with parchment paper, OR grease and flour your pans (I like to use butter). You can use a bundt pan to make eggnog pound cake as well, but make sure to grease the nooks and crannies in the bundt pan with butter and dust it well to prevent the cake from sticking. Preheat oven to 325 F or 300 F (depending on your pan and oven).
In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the butter, sugar and salt. Cream the softened unsalted butter and sugar and salt, until really creamy, light, and fluffy. This can take at least 3 minutes, or even up to 7 minutes depending on the butter and ambient temperature. If you use a handheld electric mixer, this can take longer. Don’t rush this step – be patient.
Add the eggs and yolks, one at a time, while running the mixer at medium speed. Make sure they mix into the batter at least 90% of the way before adding the next egg. If the batter starts to curdle, it’s because there’s a temperature difference, but don’t worry, it should come together in the end.
Never forget to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl during the entire mixing process. This is crucial.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and spices together. Some add salt at this stage, but I prefer to add the salt with the butter. Mix the vanilla with the eggnog.
Alternate the addition of the eggnog mix and flour to your batter – That is, three additions of dry ingredients, alternated with two additions of the eggnog. Gently fold in the flour manually (along with the eggnog) without over-working the dough.
To prevent a heavy, rubbery cake – Do NOT overmix! Be gentle when folding in the flour. The more you mix the flour, the more gluten develops, resulting in a rubbery cake.
When the batter is ready, scrape it into the prepared pan. I like to add half of the batter to the pan first, and spread it evenly so that it fills the corners of the pan. Then I add the rest of the batter and evenly spread that on top. This ensures that there are no gaps or big holes in the final cake.
Baking the eggnog pound cake
Bake in the preheated oven for at least 60 minutes.
The eggnog pound cake is done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes. While still warm, flip the cake over onto a wire rack and let it cool the rest of the way, until it’s cooled completely to room temperature.
This recipe is enough for a single eggnog pound cake in a loaf pan. If you’re baking in a standard bundt pan, you would need to DOUBLE this recipe.
While the cake is cooling, you can make your pound cake topping.
Making the eggnog glaze
I LOVE this eggnog glaze and it’s simple to make too.
The eggnog pound cake is delicious on its own, but a thin layer of this eggnog glaze puts it straight over the top.
The glaze is simple to make, with just a few ingredients,
- Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
- A little extra nutmeg
Whisk enough eggnog into your confectioner’s sugar until you have a glaze at a consistency you prefer. I like a more runny glaze, but you can add less eggnog and make a thicker glaze too.
I also like to add a pinch of salt to my glaze to balance the sweetness – but that is optional.
Making the rum flavored whipped cream topping
This is a great option if you don’t want to add more sweetness to the cake, and instead prefer a light and fluffy accompaniment to your eggnog pound cake.
This topping is also really easy to make. What you need are,
- Cream cheese
- Whipped cream
- Confectioner’s sugar
Which pan to use
You can use either,
- 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan – the cake will be taller.
- 9 x 5 inch loaf pan – the cake will be shallower.
- Bundt cake pan – will need to double the recipe and reduce oven temp. to 325 F and increase baking time as well.
How to store the cake
Once the cake is baked and cooled, it can be stored in an air-tight container,
- at room temperature for about 2 days.
- in the fridge for about 5 days.
- in the freezer for about 3 months – but make sure the cake is wrapped well with plastic wrap and foil before storing in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.
Don’t freeze the eggnog pound cake if you glaze or frost it, as it won’t have the same consistency when thawed out.
How to enjoy eggnog pound cake
Slice and serve as is, or with the glaze or whipped cream topping.
You can grill slices of pound cake and serve with grilled fruits and / or ice cream! This cake is perfect for grilling because it’s sturdy. Who wouldn’t love a warm slice of grilled pound cake on a cold winter day?
We also love eating this eggnog pound cake with a glass of eggnog iced latte. Can’t have too much eggnog.
Eggnog pound cake
Eggnog pound cake
- 226 g unsalted butter softened at room temperature, 2 sticks
- 226 g white sugar preferably caster sugar, 1 ⅛ cup
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 yolks from large eggs
- 120 mL eggnog ½ cup, full fat (I use homemade eggnog)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 195 g AP flour about 1 ½ cups, measured by spoon and level method
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 170 g confectioner's sugar 1 ½ cup, sifted
- 3 tbsp full fat eggnog I use homemade (use less or more, according to preference)
- 1 tbsp rum optional
- Pinch of salt
Rum whipped cream frosting
- 120 mL heavy cream ½ cup (35% fat)
- 57 g cream cheese 2 oz
- 28 g confectioner's sugar about ¼ cup
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp rum 30 mL
Eggnog pound cake
- Butter a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan, and dust the inside of the pan with flour to coat. Shake off excess flour. Alternatively, you can line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F / 170°C.
- Weigh out all the ingredients. Sift the flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and baking powder into a bowl, and set aside.
- Place the softened butter and salt in a bowl, and cream the butter until light, creamy, and fluffy (between 3 – 7 minutes), at medium speed (speed 4 – 5 on a kitchenaid mixer). Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure you get all of the butter, and it's creamed well.
- Add the sugar, and cream the butter and sugar together for a further 2 – 4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Halfway through the mixing process, stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure the sugar is evenly mixed.
- Break an egg into a small bowl (make sure there are no egg shells). Add the egg to the butter-sugar mix. Mix for about 20 – 30 seconds until the egg has incorporated into the batter, and there are no traces of egg yolk. Repeat with the other egg and egg yolks, while making sure to stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl halfway through the process.
- Mix the eggnog and vanilla in a separate bowl or jug and set aside for the next step.
Mixing in the flour by hand (you will need a long-handled baking spatula to fold the flour into the batter)
- Stop the mixer and remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. Sift about ⅓ of the dry ingredients over the batter. Fold the flour into the batter, while rotating the bowl after each fold, until the flour is about 90% incorporated.
- Add ½ of the eggnog mixture, and continue to fold in the eggnog.
- Repeat with the dry ingredients, eggnog mixture, and finally the dry ingredients again. Carefully incorporate all of the flour while folding it into the batter (avoid vigorous mixing). This will give you a smooth cake batter.
- Make sure there are no dry bits of flour in your batter.
Mixing in the flour with a stand mixer
- Reduce the speed of the stand mixer to the lowest setting (stir speed in a kitchenaid mixer).
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients to the batter and mix for a few seconds until just incorporated. Repeat with ½ of the eggnog mixture, ⅓ of the dry ingredients again, remaining ½ of the eggnog mixture, and finally ending with the remaining ⅓ of the dry ingredients.
- Make sure to scrape the bowl as you go to prevent dry flour pockets, and also to prevent overworking the gluten.
Baking the pound cakes
- Scrape half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter evenly, making sure you get to the edges and corners of the pan.
- Add the rest of the batter, and then evenly spread it again for a flat surface.
- Gently shake the pan a little to make sure the batter is evenly spread, and knock the cake pan on your kitchen counter 2 or 3 times to remove any air pockets.
- Transfer the loaf pan into the oven (ideally in the center of the middle rack). Set the timer for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, rotate the cake pan, and bake for a further 20 minutes. This will depend on your oven, so adjust the time accordingly. I use a conventional oven.
- Check on the cake after a total of 60 minutes of bake time to test the doneness, using a clean toothpick or a cake tester. Insert the toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, then the cake is done. In my oven, this can take about 60 – 70 minutes to bake.
- Remove the cake from the oven, and let it cool down for about 10 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto a cooling wire rack to cool down completely.
- Eat warm, or at room temperature, with a glaze or whipped cream topping.
- Place the confectioner's sugar and salt in a bowl.
- Add the eggnog 1 tbsp at a time, and whisk it in. Add enough eggnog to get the consistency you prefer.
- Add rum if you like as well, and whisk it in. I usually add about 3 ½ tbsp of liquid to 6 oz of confectioner's sugar.
- If the glaze is too runny, you can add a little more confectioner’s sugar. Now the glaze is ready to be poured over the cake.
Rum whipped cream
- Make sure the heavy cream and the bowl it's in are both chilled. This helps with the proper whipping of the cream.
- Whisk the cream cheese until light and fluffy in a separate bowl.
- Add all the ingredients (except the cream cheese) into the same chilled bowl with the cream. Whisk at medium speed until you reach soft peaks. If you °whisk at high speed, the whipped cream can deflate faster, so whisking at a slower speed ensures the whipped cream is more stable.
- Then add the beaten cream cheese, and continue to whisk until you have stiff peaks.
- Use immediately to spread it over the surface of your ca°ke.