Baked Sunday Mornings: Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream

The perfect recipe came up on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule just in time for our annual holiday open house: Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream. At last year's open house, the Stump de Nöel from Baked Explorations was a huge hit, so I hoped that the spice cake would rise to the challenge of everyone's expectations from last year. It didn't disappoint.

This recipe for this cake is very similar to that for the Whiteout Cake from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. You cream together butter and shortening, add sugar and vanilla, incorporate an egg, and then alternately add the dry ingredients (cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) and ice water. Then you incorporate cinnamon, allspice, ginger (I used ground instead of fresh grated), and molasses, and fold in three egg whites that have been beaten with cream of tartar until soft peaks form. You divide the batter into three 8-inch pans and bake.

Once the cake layers have cooled, you assemble and frost the cake with a variation of the standard cooked Baked buttercream that has vanilla, dark rum, cinnamon, and nutmeg added (you are supposed to use one tablespoon of freshly grated nutmeg, but I used half a tablespoon of ground nutmeg instead). I can attest that as the recipe states, the frosted cake keeps beautifully under a cake dome at room temperature for several days.

When I made this cake for our holiday party, one of the cake layers broke when I unmolded it; I think that it was still a little too hot (whenever I bake a cake with three layers, I have to bake one of the layers separately because our oven isn't large enough to fit three cake pans on a single rack, and I never bake on more than one rack at the same time). Still, I served it as a two-layer cake and I had the advantage of a lot of leftover frosting for decorating! I made the cake again a few days later for an office party as a three-layer cake, and there was just enough frosting to go around. I lamented my lack of gold dragees to decorate the cake and used white luster pearls instead; only after the fact did it occur to me that I could have applied some gold luster dust to the white pearls to get the effect I was looking for.

This cake is incredibly delicious, and I'm not even a big fan of spice cake. The cake texture is remarkably delicate and tender, and the amount of spice is perfect -- warming and embracing, but not overpowering. The frosting is amazing; I'm pretty sensitive to rum (i.e., I can't stand it), but the flavor of the buttercream a perfect complement to the cake. This cake is fantastic, nothing short of festive holiday cheer in every bite.

Recipe: "Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Buttercream" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Anonymous said…
Your buttercream looks amazingly smooth! Beautiful cake. :)
Bourbonnatrix said…
What a pretty cake! It looks flawless!
What a beautiful three layered cake! You decorated it beautifully. I really do love the look of a three layer is a showstopper!
I really enjoyed the flavour of this cake too. The lightness of the cake made it even better. Though I found it delicate to take out of the pans.
Hope your holidays are happy.
margot said…
Your cake is exceptionally pretty. It's fun seeing how everyone decorated theirs. I think it was a pretty delicate cake, mine came close to breaking when I transferred it to a cake stand.
Kris' Kitchen said…
Wow! You made a professional quality, beautiful cake. Great baking job. Merry Christmas!
So bummed to find out a day after the party that this was your cake that I missed out on -- and egg nog buttercream?! Looks divine! And I actually could
Have had a piece now that my diet has expanded!
Susan said…
Your cake looks just perfect! I'm sure everyone enjoyed it! I couldn't believe how light it was.

Have a very Merry Christmas!
Sheri said…
Your cakes are always so beautiful. I want to make this cake again and again. It's one of my favorites of all time.

And we both ended up with a two-layer cake! I didn't mind. The broken layer was good snacking. :)