Eggnog Sponge Cake with Eggnog Frosting
1 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup eggnog
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - NOT imitation
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 (freshly opened) to 1/2 (open for a while) teaspoon nutmeg, optional
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract - not imitation
4 to 6 teaspoons eggnog (or milk)
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325F.
2. Grease a 9" round cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper, cut to fit. Flour the pan. Set aside in a cool area.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, plus optional nutmeg if desired. Set aside.
4. With an electric stand mixer on medium high speed, beat the eggs for 1 minute. Lower the speed and slowly add the sugar and continue beating, until the mixture is thick and pale, about 2 to 4 minutes.
5. In a small saucepan, cut the butter into bits and heat the butter and eggnog until the butter melts and the mixture is very hot, starting to bubble but not quite boiling.
6. In a slow, steady stream at low speed, beat the eggnog mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. (Use a heat-resistent spatula or spoon to scrape the pan.) Then add the vanilla extract and mix until blended. The batter will be very thin.
7a. If using an electric stand mixer, keep it at lowest speed, and add the flour mixture 2 heaping tablespoons at a time, allowing a few seconds between additions.
7b. If you are mixing by hand, add the flour mixture all at once, folding it in with a rubber spatula until just blended.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a couple of crumbs clinging to it.
9. Place the pan on a wire rack and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out the cake top-down onto a plate to remove the paper, and flip it back onto the rack topside up to cool completely, at least 1 hour.
10. Frost the cake with Eggnog Frosting.
With an electric mixer, in a small bowl beat the butter until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then gradually add the eggnog until a smooth spreadable consistency.
Pairs Well With
My version of a frosted single-layer sponge cake using eggnog instead of milk, adapted from Hot-Milk Sponge Cake in THE FANNY FARMER BAKING BOOK by Marion Cunningham, and informed by America's Test Kitchen. :)
a. If you don't have cake flour, you can use all-purpose, but the crumb or texture of the cake will be coarser and the cake may not rise as much.
b. If you don't have any eggnog, you can use milk. Just add ⅛ teaspoon each of cinnamon and ginger and ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg to the flour in step #3 for flavor.
c. If you don't have parchment paper, you can use waxed paper in a pinch but it doesn't peel off as well. YOU MUST LINE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN OR CAKE WILL STICK!
d. The recipe can be doubled if you want to make a two-layer cake. If you want to make a tube or sheet cake, the baking time will be longer but I can't give you any insight into it since I've only made it as the recipe is written.