The beauty of the Basic 1-2-3-4 Cake is its versatility. Sure, you can make chocolate-covered white cake all day long, and we sincerely doubt anyone will complain. But this base recipe is perfect for gussying up with practically any variation you can think of. This variation is a beautiful Eggnog Bourbon Cake perfect for more than just the holidays. Find more variations on the 1-2-3-4 cake, here.
Eggnog Bourbon Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
- 2⅓ cup (467 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 3¾ cups (375 grams) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Eggnog Frosting (recipe follows)
- Garnish: grated fresh nutmeg
- In a small saucepan, bring ⅓ cup (67 grams) sugar, 3 tablespoons water, and bourbon to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with baking spray with flour.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and remaining 2 cups (400 grams) sugar at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and nutmeg. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter between prepared pans (smoothing tops if necessary).
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 28 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Brush with bourbon mixture, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Eggnog Frosting between layers and on top and lightly on sides of cake. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired.
Makes about 6 cups
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 (2-pound) package (910 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground nutmeg
- 6 to 8 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy, 3 to 4 minutes. In another large bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and nutmeg. Gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese, beating until smooth. Beat in enough heavy cream to make frosting a spreadable consistency. Beat in vanilla.
is this cake dense enough to be covered with fondant? thanks!
Hi Tao Tao, our recipe developer said yes, this cake should be sturdy enough to withstand being covered in fondant. Happy baking!
Can I substitute eggnog for the milk in the cake, provided I cut down on the sugar?
Full fat eggnog can be a be quite a bit heavier than milk, almost more similar to half and half or heavy cream. The excess heaviness will affect the texture of your cake, making it more dense, and possibly make your cake too heavy to hold together. We wouldn’t recommend it if this is the first time you have ever made this cake. It might be best to stick to the original, and experiment after you are comfortable with the main recipe.
You’ve missed the step in the directions for adding the whipping cream.
Our apologies! We have added the heavy whipping cream back into the instructions! Thank you for helping us spot this error!
May I leave the bourbon out?
Thank you for your question! You can definitely leave out the bourbon in this recipe. In its place, we recommend adding an equal amount of water (in this case, 2 tablespoons).