December 26, 2017

Eggnog New Years Countdown Cake

I'm sure everyone is in a food coma right now. I'm about to explode from all the Chinese food, latkes, Christmas cookies, and chocolate I've consumed over the last 24 hours. But the best time to plan your next great cooking adventure is while you're immobilized from your last, so boy do I have a New Year's dessert for you. Normally I go with something classy and seasonal, like a cranberry eggnog cheesecake tart or a maple apple spice cake. This year, I wanted something more festive. I got you covered with the seasonal eggnog flavors, but it's frosted as a clock counting down to the new year.

I knew I wanted a clock for this cake; it's the perfect decor for New Years without going too over-the-top with frosting and decorations. As long as you have the numbers and hands, you can decorate the cake however you want. I went with a night sky sort of theme with swirls of blue frosting and gold stars, but you can pick your favorite colors and flavors to work with. To make the numbers and hands, I used white candy melts (you can use white chocolate or white bark coating), scooped them into a piping bag or ziploc bag with the tip cut off, and drew everything on a piece of parchment paper. For some extra pizzazz, I sprinkled on some glittery gold sprinkles before the chocolate dried. I did make a couple extra of the particularly fragile ones since it's better to have some chocolate to munch on than to have a broken clock.

Eggnog is a great flavor for cake; it's rich and custardy with notes of rum and nutmeg. It's like a really rich vanilla cake but so much better. I essentially make a vanilla cake and swap in eggnog for the milk or buttermilk. I also add a splash of rum and a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the flavors of the eggnog. The only problems that arise are the leavening since you lose the acidity of the buttermilk and the makeup of the eggnog makes it weigh down the cake. I combat this by adding a ton of baking powder; it doesn't need acid like baking soda does and adding even more helps to leaven the cake properly.

You can use your favorite cake recipe here; the flavor doesn't really matter. I chose eggnog to bring an extra bit of holiday flair, but the important thing is that your friends and family like it. Keep in mind that darker cakes tend to show through the frosting more, though that's a great excuse to keep piling more frosting on. You also don't have to attempt a night sky feel for the frosting since you can put the clock decorations on pretty much anything.

1 1/2 Sticks Butter, Softened
1 3/4 Cups Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
3 Cups Flour
1 T + 1 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1 1/2 Cups Eggnog
3 T Rum
4-6 Cups Frosting, Colored as Desired
1/2 Cup Melted White Chocolate/Coating

Heat oven to 350F. Line 3 9" round cake pans with parchment and grease.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together. Whisk the rum into the eggnog.

Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with the eggnog in 2 additions.

Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then flip onto wire racks to cool completely. Level the tops with a large serrated knife if necessary. Spread a spoonful of frosting onto the center of a platter or cake plate. Flip the first layer onto the plate. Top with 1/2-3/4 cup frosting and spread evenly to the edges. Repeat with the next two layers. Spread 1/2-3/4 cup frosting on the top layer, pushing down the sides as necessary to form a very thin coat of frosting. Spread some of the remaining frosting on the sides of the cake to form a thin but uniform layer. Refrigerate the cake with this thin crumb coat for 30 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, pipe the melted chocolate into numbers 1-12 about an inch tall, piping extras as necessary to make up for breakage. Pipe one short arrow and one long arrow, about 2" and 4". Sprinkle with glitter if desired while still wet. Spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the cake as desired. Press the numbers on the outer edge of the top of the cake as if making a clock. Add the arrows.

Makes 1 3-Layer 9" Round Cake
Recipe Adapted from AllRecipes


  1. Yummy! This cake is looking very yummy and beautiful. My birthday is coming and i will try this on my birthday. Thanks for sharing this with recipe with us.

  2. Yummy! This cake is looking very yummy and beautiful. My birthday is coming and i will try this on my birthday. Thanks for sharing this with recipe with us.