Preheat oven to 350. Butter and lightly flour three 8″ round pans. Line with parchment paper circles.
In large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium-high using the paddle attachment. Beat until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
With the mixer on low, add eggs one at a time. Mix well after each egg. Scrape down bowl as needed.
Add vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
In a separate measuring cup, combine milk and vegetable oil.
Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk/oil mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Do not over mix. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.
Divide batter evenly between the three 8″ round pans.
Bake for 28-30 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 to 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
Make the Eggnog Buttercream:
Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.
Place bowl over a pan of simmering water to create a double-boiler. Whisking constantly, heat the egg mixture until it registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Carefully transfer the bowl onto the stand mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg white mixture on high speed for 8 to 10 minutes until the bowl is no longer warm to the touch and the meringue is fluffy, glossy and holds a stiff peak.
Switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low, slowly add cubed butter and mix until incorporated.
Add Holiday Nog, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. Continue mixing on low to med-low until silky and smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Assemble the Cake:
Place one layer of cake onto serving plate or cake stand and top with about one cup of frosting.
Repeat with second cake layer, more frosting and then last layer of cake. Crumb coat and frost cake with remaining frosting.
Decorate with piped buttercream leaves, broken cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg, if desired.
If at any point the buttercream appears curdled, just keep mixing. If the buttercream appears soupy, try placing it in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes then mixing again.
I made two batches of frosting for the cake, as pictured. One batch is plenty to fill and frost the cake itself. The second batch was made, minus the Holiday Nog Milk, cinnamon and nutmeg, to pipe the buttercream flowers. You will have more than you need to for piping, but plenty for practicing.
Remove whole nutmeg and cinnamon sticks when serving, or advise guests not to eat them! This should go without saying, but no one wants an emergency dentist appointment during the busy holiday season.
Store in refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
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