Sunday, December 20, 2009

Toasted Pecan Eggnog Ring

One of the first things I did after finishing my finals was make this eggnog cake! I loooove eggnog so I always want to make baked goods that have eggnog in them. Unfortunately the two eggnog things I've made (eggnog cookies and eggnog bars) didn't really taste strongly of eggnog, so I didn't get my hopes up about this eggnog cake but thought I'd try it. Well, I was super happy when I tasted this cake to find out that it totally tasted like eggnog! I think it's due to not just having eggnog in the cake but also having bourbon and spices. In addition to the wonderful eggnog-y flavour, this cake has a nice soft slightly dense texture. If you like eggnog, I'd highly recommend trying this out while eggnog is still available!

This recipe calls for sifted cake flour, but you know, I really hate sifting flour. So I pretty much never do it. How many of you bakers out there sift your flour? Another random fact about my baking habits is that I rarely toast nuts when a recipe calls for it. This is because I forget I'm toasting them and end up burning half of them. However, for this recipe I paid close attention and toasted them as perfectly as I could! I'm not sure how big a difference it really made though.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Maple Walnut Cake
Applesauce Spice Bars
Cinnamon Swirl Buttermilk Pound Cake
Mom's Banana Apple Bread

Toasted Pecan Eggnog Ring
Adapted from Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More

I didn't use the eggnog glaze but I'll include it for those of you who want to try it.

2 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp cake flour (Ashley note: I used 285 g for the 2 1/2 cups.)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup premium-quality eggnog
1/4 cup bourbon, such as Jack Daniel's
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly firm
1 1/2 cups (packed) very fresh light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (4 ounces) coarsely chopped toasted pecans

Eggnog Glaze
1 cup strained powdered sugar, spooned in and leveled
2 tbsp warm eggnog
1 tbsp light corn syrup

1. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 325F. Generously butter a 9 inch bundt pan, dust with flour, then invert it over the kitchen sink and tap firmly to remove the excess flour. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups of the flour, the nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the eggnog, bourbon and vanilla. Set aside.

4. Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and place in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddled attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and lightened in colour, about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, taking 6 to 8 minutes. (Ashley note: Is this really necessary? I'm not sure it is but I did it as she directed.)

5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

6. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the eggnog mixture, dividing the flour mixture into three parts and the liquid into two parts, starting and ending with the flour.

7. In a small bowl, toss the pecans with the remaining tablespoon of flour. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and using a large spatula, fold in the nuts. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and bake for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes. (Ashley note: Mine took about 55 minutes.) The cake is done when the top is firm to the touch and a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Remove from the oven and let stand on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack and carefully lift off the pan. Turn the cake right side up onto a cooling rack, and place it over a rimmed cookie sheet. If you're going to make the glaze, start it while the cake is cooling.

Make the glaze
9. Whisk the powdered sugar, eggnog, and corn syrup together until smooth.

Finish the cake
10. Using a fork or a whisk, drizzle the glaze over the cake while it is still warm. Let stand at room temperature until the glaze is set.

Store under a glass cake dome or covered with aluminum foil for up to 5 days. This cake may be frozen.


Beatrice said...

I don't know if toasting nuts changes their flavor in baked goods, but I do like the smell (up until they start smelling burnt...).

Rachael said...

I want to make this kid-friendly without the alcohol. Can I substitute an equal amount of water to keep the liquids even? I'm a super novice baker...

Deborah said...

I love eggnog, but don't have it very often. This cake sounds delicious!

Hannah said...

This cake looks so good and seems fairly simple. By the way I never sift flour or toast nuts, I just like to be able to put everything together and not worry about preping the ingredients!

Memória said...

This cake looks delicious. I would love to try the frosting as well. Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for the bourbon?

Instead of sifting my dry ingredients, I use a whisk. Interestingly, Martha Stewart talked about using a whisk instead of sifting today on one of her cookie specials.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

My family would adore this cake. They're huge eggnog fans.

Toast nuts? I vote yes. It really intensifies the flavor.

Sift flour? Hmmm - sometimes. If my flour looks particularly clumpy (downside of humid climate), I do. Otherwise I end up with little flour chunks in the cake. But a lot of the time it sounds like too much effort and mess.

eatme_delicious said...

Rachael & Memoria: I'm not sure what would work for a good non alcoholic substitute. I was just googling to try and see and I found somewhere that suggested replacing 2 tbsp bourbon with 2 tsp vanilla. But that means you'll be using less liquid, plus I think the cake won't taste nearly as eggnogy.

Rachael said...

I think I'll try it with milk or water plus rum extract flavoring to keep the eggnoginess.

Melissa Peterman said...


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CookiePie said...

Beautiful cake! Love the eggnog flavor. I sift only when it really makes a difference, like in angel food cakes. :)

Snooky doodle said...

wow simply mouth watering :)

Grace said...

when i see moist, festive treats like this, i really regret that i don't like the taste of eggnog. it's a lovely cake, though. :)

Ricki said...

I LOVE eggnog too--how great that the cake tasted like it! I never used to sift flour, either, but with spelt, if you don't sift it, you get BIG lumps. I rarely remember to toast nuts, though ;)

Pam Walter said...

This is definitely a keeper and very different. Am going to try it next season.

Natalie... said...

Oooh I love eggnog this year too :) mmm this cake looks so good and no I never sift flour either, it normally just ends up all over the place!!

Helene said...

That looks delicious. Happy Holidays!

Hannah said...

Mm, that sounds amazing! Maybe it isn't too late yet to bake up some holiday cheer... ;)

Velva said...

Your eggnog cake looks delicious. I love the flavor of eggnog too. Very nice.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

This looks really yummy. Let's keep it between us but I once burned my pecans 3 times in a row for use in rum cake and almost ran out of nuts before I got it right O:).

Paris Pastry said...

I never thought of using eggnog in a cake, but this sure looks delicious!

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

The cake looks delicious! Must taste amazing, with the eggnog!

Aleeda said...

Can't wait to try this one. Another awesome Eggnog Cake is Flo Braker's Eggnog Cake with Crystal Rum Glaze

chard@cinnamon roasted pecans said...

Wow! It's so yummy! i really want to taste this one. I want to try and print this out so that i will make this at home. Thank you for posting this recipe!