Transform a favourite holiday beverage into a decadent dessert with this Eggnog Latte Cake! Eggnog infused cake layers paired with eggnog and espresso buttercreams.
Today, I bring you the second cake in my holiday cake trilogy. I intended to get this Eggnog Latte Cake recipe out to you last Friday, but life was all sorts of crazy last week. It included three (!!) trips to the pet ER (within 24 hours), two trips to the vet (within 36 hours), and one very sick pup.
I don’t know WTF she got into this time, but it was not good. She ended up on an IV for a whole day at the vet. The x-rays, blood work, and vital signs were all fine, but I have never seen a dog so sick. Granted, this is our first dog, but we both grew up with dogs as pets and never saw anything like this. The poor thing. Poor us! Omg.
I am sure the vets all think I’m crazy, and they may be right, but I honestly thought she was poisoned by something. I still think that may have been the case — maybe she accidentally ate a mushroom or something when she was eating grass. I don’t know. Did I mention that Ryan was away while all this was going down? Fun times. Add to that a couple of other not-so-fun stressful time-consuming life things, and you’ve got an idea of my week last week.
Anyhow, this Eggnog Latte Cake is an homage to my good friend Sharai’s favourite holiday drink. I actually haven’t seen her in weeks (months??), so this cake is my way of making sure a get-together happens asap. I know she’s going to want a slice or two of this!
It’s no secret that I’m actually not an eggnog fan. Not straight up, anyhow. I find it thick and unappealing overall to drink, but in baked goods it is pure heaven!!
What is Eggnog?
For those of you outside of North America who may not be as familiar with it, Eggnog is a holiday beverage made from milk, cream, and eggs. It is often spiced with nutmeg or cinnamon, and is primarily served spiked (with rum, brandy, etc). These days you can get your eggnog dairy-free, and find it paired with things like coffee or hot chocolate, and baked up in various desserts (aka my favourite way to enjoy the beverage).
I say holiday season, but for the past couple years I’ve seen eggnog available in stores as early as September. I’m not opposed to this. I’m pretty much ready for holiday mode as soon as September hits.
How to Make this Eggnog Cake
I’ve made these eggnog cake layers before, but in a slightly smaller version. I didn’t mess with the recipe much (because it was SO delicious already), I only scaled it up a bit to bake taller layers.
This eggnog cake uses my favourite Vanilla Cake recipe as a base, except I swapped out the buttermilk (or milk) for eggnog, swapped some granulated sugar for brown sugar, and added some nutmeg and cinnamon. The flavour combo is truly delicious.
Eggnog Latte Soak
I brushed each of the cake layers with an “eggnog latte” soak, which is basically just eggnog and espresso powder mixed together. You can skip this step, but it adds an extra hit of flavour and moisture to the cake, which I love.
If you warm your eggnog to help the espresso dissolve, be sure to cool it before brushing it onto the cake.
If using the latter use 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup Advocaat for the cake recipe and make a simple syrup and add Advocaat and espresso powder to that for the soak.
Espresso & Eggnog Swiss Meringue Buttercreams
The buttercream is pretty straightforward. I made a large batch, split it in half, and flavoured it like so:
- Espresso buttercream – added instant espresso powder dissolved in a bit of hot water
- Eggnog buttercream – added eggnog and nutmeg
You can just do one or the other if you prefer, but I like the combo of both, since it is an Eggnog Latte Cake after all.
How to do an Ombre Cake
There are a few different ways to get this effect, but if you don’t want to mess around with piping bags this is the easiest way to do it:
- Start with the bottom half or so of the cake, and the espresso buttercream. Spread that roughly onto bottom half of cake with a straight icing spatula.
- Then spread the eggnog buttercream on the top of the cake and the upper half until the buttercreams are touching.
- Use a large icing smoother to smooth the sides and blend the buttercreams.
- Add darker or lighter buttercream as needed.
- Smooth the top with a small offset spatula.
Next time, I would got a little higher up with the espresso buttercream. I finished it off with some two-toned rosettes and some crispearls.
If you’re an eggnog fan (and even if you’re not) I hope you try this recipe. This Eggnog Latte Cake is truly a delicious flavour combo. The cake layers are some of my favourite ever, and would be so yummy even on their own (for you Bundt Cake fans out there).
Looking for more Holiday Cake recipes?
- Caramel Gingerbread Cake
- White Chocolate Mocha Cake
- Chocolate Gingerbread Cake
- White Chocolate Candy Cane Cake
- Sticky Toffee Pudding Cake
Tips for making this Eggnog Latte Cake
- The recipe as-is will also work in two 8″ pans. For three 8″ pans, 1.5x the recipe.
- To make cupcakes, all you need to do is reduce the baking time — start checking at 15mins or so.
- For the cake recipe, if your eggnog is on the thicker side (thicker than cream), use 1 cup eggnog and 1/4 cup milk to think it out.
- If you don’t have access to eggnog where you live, you can make your own at home, or use Advocaat liqueur if you have access to that. If using the latter use 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup Advocaat for the cake recipe and make a simple syrup and add Advocaat and espresso powder to that for the soak.
- Be sure to use instant espresso powder (not granules) and make sure it’s instant.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- Learn how to keep your cakes moist using Simple Syrup.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, check out my Flat Top Cakes post!
Eggnog Latte Cake
Eggnog Latte Soak:
- 1/4 cup eggnog
- 1/4 tsp instant espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease and flour three 6" cake rounds, line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and eggnog, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of eggnog). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula.
- Bake for approx. 30-35mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Eggnog Latte Soak:
- Combine eggnog and espresso powder until dissolved. Heat if necessary to help dissolve but cool completely before use.
Espresso & Eggnog Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.**
- Place bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins). Or registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.***
- Divide buttercream in half. Add eggnog and nutmeg to one half and whip until smooth. Add espresso powder to the other half and whip until smooth.****
- Trim the tops of each cake layer to remove crust. Brush each with the eggnog latte soak.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with about 2/3 cup of espresso buttercream. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Starting with the bottom and the espresso buttercream, spread roughly onto bottom half of cake with a small offset spatula. Spread eggnog buttercream on top of the cake and the upper half. Use a large icing smoother to smooth the sides and blend the buttercreams. Smooth the top with a small offset spatula.
- Fit a piping bag with a Wilton Tip 1M piping tip. Spread the Espresso buttercream on one side of the piping bag and the eggnog buttercream on the other side. Pipe dollops on top of the cake.
** Wipe your mixer bowl and whisk down with lemon juice or vinegar to make sure it is completely grease free and make sure there is no trace of yolk in your whites or your meringue will not stiffen.
*** The buttercream may look like it's curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth. If it looks soupy, place it in the fridge for 20mins and rewhip.
***** If your instant espresso is not a superfine powder, I recommend dissolving it first in 1-2 tsp hot water and cooling before adding to the frosting.