Our contributor, Tessa Huff, is sharing a festive new cake recipe today…
With the holidays creeping up on us sooner and sooner each year, it can be difficult to know just when to start making and snacking on our favorite treats. Sometimes I feel like I wait all year just to indulge in daily sugar cookies a little more guilt free. But when the weather gets chilly and the days are shorter, it definitely calls for a hot mug of something creamy and a treat to warm the soul. It is just about that time, at least in my neck of the woods. So grab a snuggle buddy, your coziest sweater, and meet up by the fire for some sips and sweet eats.
The holidays bring out some of the best flavors and most festive foods, it’s hard to choose which ones to treat yourself to. I love to make holiday cookies and candies to gift to friends, but one of my favorite things to spoil myself with is eggnog. It can be so incredibly rich and creamy that indulging in a cup or two only once a year definitely gets me in the holiday spirit. For this recipe, I’ve taken the flavors and characteristics of eggnog and turned them into a luscious cake.
In this cake, layers of spice cake have been smothered in creamy eggnog filling and enrobed in silky buttercream. The browned butter adds a nutty, warm element to the classic cake and the slight tang of the cream cheese in the filling balances everything out. Since fillings and frostings can become super-sugary very quickly, this Swiss meringue buttercream is the perfect way to add rich creaminess without being too sweet. Garnish with bits of toffee candy and serve with a warm mug of eggnog.
a recipe by Tessa Huff
For the Browned Butter Spice Cake:
3 cups cakes flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup browned butter, made ahead and softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup whole milk
- Melt 1 cup butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Swirling occasionally, continue to cook until fragrant and browned. The butter will foam up a bit and little bits of browned butter will sit at the bottom of the pan when done. Remove from heat and transfer to a heat-safe container. Chill until the consistency of softened butter.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 8-inch cake pans and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Set aside.
- Place browned butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until smooth. Add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Increase speed to medium-high. Continue to mix for about 3-5 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- With the mixer on medium-low, add in the eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla. Once incorporated, stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and milk in three alternating additions – starting and ending with the flour mixture. Mix on medium-low for now more than 30 seconds or until combined.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the three pans. Bake for about 23-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean or with few crumbs. Cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans.
For the Eggnog Buttercream Filling:
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons eggnog
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix until smooth. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the remaining ingredients until incorporated. Turn up the mixer to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy.
For the Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
4 ounces egg whites
1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the mixing bowl on top of the saucepan to create a double-boiler. Whisking intermittently, heat the egg white mixture until 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Once hot, transfer the mixing bowl back to the electric mixer. With the whisk attachment, mix on high for about 8-10 minutes, or until the bowl of the mixer returns to room temperature. Stop the mixer and swap out the whisk for the paddle attachment.
With the mixer on low, add in the remaining ingredients. Once incorporated, turn mixer to medium-high and mix until silky smooth.
Garnish with toffee bits, if desired.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Buckeye Cake
Gingerbread Latte Cake
Poached Pear & Cranberry Cake
Cranberry Orange Cupcakes
Pie Crust Cookies
Christmas Cupcake Wreath
Find all of our holiday recipes and tutorials in our Christmas Gallery!