It is pretty well established that I have a thing for pound cake. But as much as I love making and eating pound cake, it can get old after a while if there is no variation. So, when I was in the mood to bake yesterday, I remembered I had eggnog in the fridge, and that some
years time ago I bought a book with a recipe for eggnog pound cake. I plucked the book from the bookcase and read the recipe. I had everything it called for, but of course, I almost never follow the recipes more than just to get an idea, and maybe measurements if it’s baking. For this particular instance I thought I’d put my Nassau Royale to use, since it has been languishing on the butler’s pantry counter since we went to The Bahamas in August. I had tried it, it was delicious, but I really don’t drink much. I also thought it would be fun to bake the cake in my seldom-used Christmas tree bundt cake pan, since it’s Christmas, and it’s a Christmasy cake with the eggnog and all.
So, I gathered my ingredients and got to work, but first I poured myself a little eggnog with some Nassau Royale, you know, for testing purposes. Here’s my recipe, which is adapted and modified from one found on Baking for All Occasions. I used Nassau Royale, but of course, you can use dark rum or something else if you want.
Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystallized Boozy Glaze
for the cake:
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbsp Nassau Royale
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground mace
1 cup store-bought refrigerated eggnog
1 tsp vanilla paste (or extract)
for the glaze:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp Nassau Royale
2 tbsp water
Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 325°F if using a dark-colored bunt cake pan).
Combine the raisins and the Nassau Royale in a small bowl, and leave to plump for 15 minutes.
Lightly spray the inside of a bundt pan with cooking spray. Add a light dusting of flour and swirl it around, making sure to cover every crevice of the pan. Over the sink or trash can, turn the pan over and tap firmly to release any excess flour. Do not skip this step or you will never get the cake out of the pan in one piece.
In the bowl for a mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to incorporate the each fully before adding the next. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground mace in a medium bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the eggnog; you should begin and end with the flour mixture. Beat well to incorporate but don’t overbeat. Add the vanilla and beat for just a few seconds. Add the raisins and any liquor in the bowl to the mixture, and beat on the lowest speed just until the raisins are evenly distributed in the batter.
Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan. Place a kitchen towel on the counter and gently but assertively, tap the pan on the towel to make sure the batter gets into every nook and cranny of the pan. Smooth the surface with spatula if needed. Place the pan on a baking sheet, place in the oven and bake until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean, approximately 55 to 60 minutes.
In the mean time, prepare the glaze by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl.
Remove the cake from the oven. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release the cake. Immediately invert onto a cooling rack and lift off the pan. Place a large piece of parchment paper under the cooling rack to catch any drippings. With a pastry brush, coat the surface of the cake with the glaze mixture, making sure to get every part, including the center hole. The glaze will solidify as the cake cools. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting.
This is not your grandmother’s pound cake! I have had a lot of pound cake in my life, but this one was quite possibly the best. Truly delicious. I could most definitely taste the eggnog, so buy good quality one, and I could also taste the Nassau Royale. The combination of the tender-yet-dense cake and the crunchy glaze is amazing. It is definitely a nice variation on your traditional pound cake, and one I highly recommend.
This cake can easily be turned into a gift. Just place it on a cake round, which you can buy at stores like Michaels and Joann’s, then put it in a large cellophane bag, tie with a pretty ribbon, add a pretty tag, and you’re in business.
In case you are wondering, I do plan to feed this cake to my son. I know there’s uncooked alcohol in the glazing, but it’s such a small amount that all it provides is good flavor and nothing else, especially since I used a sweet liquor and not straight rum. No one is getting drunk, or even remotely tipsy, off this cake. So, share with your kids, they’re going to love it!