Eggnog Pound Cake

Here’s a perfect cake for the holidays, an eggnog pound cake. This recipe by Flo Braker is a favorite of my friend Evie, a professional pastry chef, who passed it on to us. If you like eggnog and pound cake, you’ll love this recipe.

Eggnog Pound Cake Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 20.

Notes from Evie: Baked at convection setting I used a 325 degree oven. I've made mini cakes from this recipe and got 12 plus a mini loaf pan. I also found out that eggnog can be frozen if you don't have time to bake the cake and the eggnog is in danger of going sour.

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup dried currants, raisins or cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp dark rum or water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup eggnog mixed with 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest

Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp dark rum
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Method

1 Soak currants in rum in a small bowl for 15 minutes.

2 Adjust rack to lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F (350°F if the pan doesn't have a dark finish). Butter a 9 to 10 inch bundt pan (original recipe calls for a Festive Cake Pan).

3 Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, 30-45 seconds. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4 In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

5 At very low speed, add dry ingredients in 4 additions, alternating with eggnog (begin and end with dry ingredients). Scrape bowl occasionally. Gently fold in orange zest, currants and any remaining rum.

6 Spoon batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 55-65 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center and pulls away from the sides of the pan. You can also use a long toothpick or thin bamboo skewer and insert into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, it's done.

7 Remove from oven and cool upright in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.

8 Prepare glaze by blending together sugar, orange juice, and rum.

9 Invert cake onto a rack, over a sheet of waxed paper. Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the cake with the glaze. Cool completely before serving.

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Recipe adapted from one by Flo Braker.

27 Comments

  1. Jess

    I don’t have a bundt pan… how well do you think two loaf pans would work instead? Should I change the cooking time at all?

    Also, is the glaze REALLY supposed to be made from granulated sugar, not confectioners sugar? It seems like without heat, the granulated sugar would not form a good consistency glaze by just mixing it with the orange juice & rum

  2. Elise

    Hi Jess – I think you could easily use a loaf pan, but I don’t have an idea about the cooking time. Regarding the glaze, the recipe actually calls for plain sugar, not confectioners. The original recipe calls for 2 Tbsp of rum to 2 Tbsp of water plus sugar. I think the idea is that the glaze is completely absorbed by the cake. That said, if you would prefer confectioner’s, go for it!

  3. Emily

    This was delicious! I made it in loaf pans (2) and they cooked for the same amount of time. I also noticed the recipe called for glazing the cake while it was still warm. I found this caused the sugar to melt and the granulated sugar worked just fine.

  4. Jess

    Thanks Emily! I’m so glad to hear that!! I’m making mine today (in 2 loaf pans) and taking one to a party tonight, so I was a bit nervous about how it would turn out. Now I’m excited!!

  5. sera

    I made this recipe for the first time to take on New Year’s eve…then got snowed out of going! My husband and I stayed in and enjoyed…he RAVED over this cake, and swore he was glad we didn’t have to share it! *grin* Wonderful recipe!

  6. Cherry Sue

    I made this cake and took over to my boyfriend for the weekend. He can’t stop eating this thing. It is one of the best recipes I have made. For the icing, I instead mix powder sugar and eggnog then drizzled over the cake. It is definitely great to compromise the flavor of the cake. Maybe I will try next time by leaving out vanilla and use rum instead. Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe.

  7. jonathan

    Elise, you may have finally found a way to get me to drink (albeit…eat) my eggnog.

    Re: the granulated sugar in the glaze…I’ve made lemon pound cake glazes with gran. sugar, which called for gently warming the liquid with the sugar, until the sugar dissolves. For those concerned, that should do the trick. Another option is using superfine (also called castor or bartender’s sugar). It’s less coarse, dissolves faster, and the measurements are equal (1 to 1) to that of gran. sugar. Happy New Year all!

  8. Amy

    Can you use cake flour instead of AP flour? How would that affect the texture of the cake?

  9. Anonymous

    Wonderful recipe I will have to try very soon! Regarding the rum, I make a caramel cake with icing flavored with a mixture of maple and rum extracts (I highly recommend the combination!!) I’m going to try mixing the flavoring in this cake, also. I’ll let you know how it goes! The granulated sugar reminds me of those lemon cakes that the icing is meant to melt in to make the cake moist, so it should work out.

  10. rai

    Mmmm eggnog. One of the few winter beverages I miss, being outside the US. I was actually tempted to try making my own this year but ran out of milk (curse you mashed potatoes)! maybe next year ;) or better yet, maybe next year at home with eggnog cake. Happy holidays.

  11. Lou

    Elise — this recipe has been rattling around in the back of my mind for a long time and I want to try it for the holidays this year. It sounds wonderful! Question: do you think it can be made ahead and frozen for a short time without spoiling the outcome? Or do you have other suggestions for short term storage if made ahead?
    Thanks!

  12. Gail

    I am wondering which Flo Braker recipe this is based on. I recently bought her book, and don’t see anything like it at a glance…

    Evie tells me that it isn’t in one of Flo’s books, but it was published at some point in an article. ~Elise

  13. Debra

    I have used your recipe twice – one time to make a loaf & another time into individual cupcakes/muffins. The result was not too sweet, not too buttery – just simply light, fluffy & delicious. Zest + baked goods seem to make a great pair. Thank you.

  14. Michael

    I made this cake exactly as called for and took it to a family gathering on New Year’s Day. This cake was ” the hit ” of the day! Everyone absolutely loved it! Although there were a variety of other desserts and sweets there, this cake was the most talked about and most liked of all the other sweets. Thanks for posting this delicious recipe, Elise!

  15. Gordon

    Just wanted to say – delicious! This is the first time I have ever made a pound cake and I can’t think of a better one to do it with than this one. Did I mention it was delicious? All I had was some raisins to put in it, but that was just enough. Fresh OJ from the oranges off the tree in the back yard – what a wonderful treat for Christmas Eve! Thank you – and Merry Christmas!

  16. anna

    I tried this last year. It was very good, but not very egg noggy.

  17. silvia

    I made this for Chistmas and it turned out great! We also put in figs, so good. I will make it every year :)

  18. Christina

    Hi Elise,

    I was also wondering if you could freeze this eggnog pound cake without ruining the results. I see someone else asked the same question, but I could not find a response…If you could advise, much obliged!

    I haven’t frozen this cake but don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  19. Leanne

    Hi-
    This sounds wonderful. What should I do differently for high altitude baking? I’m in Denver. Thank you!

    Hi Leanne, great question. As I don’t do high altitude baking, I don’t know what to tell you. You might want to Google it for some ideas of the adjustments you’ll need to make. ~Elise

  20. Joyce Tordoff

    Had eggnogg left over and decided to look for recipes to use leftover eggnog in and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of hits I got. The eggnog pound cake caught my eye and the rest is history. What a beauty. I will make it every year from now on and I will be making it again in the next couple of days with the rest of the eggnog and freeze it for a comforting treat during the rainy days of the Spring. I thought I would wait until we serve it to glaze it though, just in case the glaze goes gooey from freezing. I am so pleased to have been blessed with this recipe not to mention my husband’s remarks. He is very happy with it too. Thank you for posting this recipe
    TIP: I used Castor sugar (powdered fruit sugar) for the glaze and it was scrumptious! I also used Strawberry flavored cranberries (all I had)and they worked too.

  21. Aileen

    I did make this in 2 loaf pans instead and set the timer for 40 minutes and kept testing. I don’t think I would make this again as I found it to be very sweet – I definitely would not do the glaze because it only added more sweetness and no extra flavor. Also the half cup of dried fruit ended up being very sparse so either leave out or double the amount.

  22. Loraine Miller

    This cake was a hit with my husband,use to he very seldon eat any kind of pond cake.
    But now when every I say Im going to bake a Pound Cake, my husband tells me to bake the Egg Nog Pound Cake.
    This is one of my favorte cakes, and I will bake this cake for Christmas this year.
    Thanks again for this site and Im looking forward to finding more good cakes in this site.

  23. LaShanta

    I made this cake for my office Christmas party. I found that 55 minutes wasn’t near enough time for the cake to finish cooking. When I took it out at 55 minutes, there was lots of wet batter still on my tester knife that I stuck into the cake. I added 15 minutes to the cooking time and that pretty much finished it up. (It was still a bit moist in the center but it was edible.)

    Another thing that happened was that it fell when I took it out of the oven. It had puffed up pretty high in my angel food tube pan. But when I took it out, the center part near the ring fell in a lot. Did that happen to anyone else? Again, the flavor was pretty good, but it was much more dense and heavy than I had anticipated. I wish it had been a bit fluffier. Will adding an additional egg help with that?

  24. Renee

    I made this cake as a treat for my part-time job co-workers where it was a big hit (I omitted the raisins/currants). I had a big problem getting it out of the Bundt pan once cooked, since I took the directions literally and only buttered the pan with PAM butter spray & did not flour it. Also, did everyone assume that the glaze ingredients were to be heated on the stove? It didn’t dawn on me until I tried to put it on the cake while cooling.

    Also, I had to make some substitutions since I found out I only had baking soda not powder; light eggnog instead of regular; orange-pineapple juice instead of straight orange.

  25. Melody

    I tried this recipe tonight and it was great! I don’t typically bake, but I followed the instructions carefully and the cake is amazing! It rose more than I thought it would and when I took it out, it seemed like it may not be finished cooking. However, once it cooled it was fine. I used white rum in the cake itself and also in the glaze. I soaked my currants in brandy and may have put a few more than it called for. We made homemade orange juice for the glaze and used Wray & Nephew White Overproof Jamaican Rum. I definitely used more rum than the recipe called for and more OJ for the glaze. I used all of the extra glaze and it came out great! Thanks so much for this recipe. It is a great way to use extra eggnog and fun for a beginner baker like myself!

  26. Kris

    This is in my oven as we speak! I used pumpkin spice eggnog (it is fabulous stuff!) and can’t wait to taste it tonight! Thanks for the recipe!

  27. Patricia Smith

    I love eggnog flavored desserts. After reading many of the comments here, I made this cake for a teachers’ Christmas dessert buffet at my daughter’s school. After tasting it, I had to make another cake at the eleventh hour! This recipe was a huge disappointment — flavorless cake with a dry, crumbly texture that caused thin slices to fall to pieces. The granulated sugar glaze also hardened to an unpleasant, grainy solid shell, even though the cake was still warm when glazed. I did not take this to the buffet, and my family would not eat it either. I am a very experienced baker, so do not believe the results were related to technique. With all due respect to Flo and Evie, I will not make this recipe again. There are far better eggnog pound cake recipes out there!

    Don’t know what happened with your making of the recipe, but this one is tried and true. Both Evie and Flo are professional bakers. And pretty much most of the people who have commented had great results. Who knows? Sounds like perhaps an ingredient was left out by accident. Or maybe it was one of several other factors – the pan, the oven, the humidity that day, the flour, the sugar, the altitude. Or perhaps it hadn’t cooled completely before slicing. That can make a huge difference with the ability to slice. ~Elise

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