Sunday, December 23, 2012

holiday spice cake with eggnog buttercream

I like to bring treats to the adults taking care of my kids for Christmas. Well anytime really, but Christmas especially. I've done cupcakes in the past, but I find that little 6 inch cakes are also very pretty to give, and they are easy to share.

I chose a recipe from Baked Elements this year, mainly because it was on the Baked Sunday Mornings schedule, but I know I couldn't go wrong with a spice cake that smells like Christmas, topped with an old-fashioned boiled milk frosting.

My plan was to double the cake and frosting recipe, but after consulting a fellow Sunday Mornings baker, we decided I should just make the recipe twice instead. And I'm glad I didn't double the recipe right away! It made the 5, 6-inch cakes I needed, plus a small cupcake so I could actually taste the cake and write up a review!

For some reason when I set out the make the cake I was expecting a straight forward cream butter, sugar, eggs, alternate dry ingredients with wet recipe, but then I realized that this was a Baked recipe... So that meant creaming butter and sugar, adding an egg, sifting dry ingredients together, alternating dry ingredients with ice cold water, then folding in a molasses-spice mixture, whipping egg whites, and folding them into the batter, all the while dirtying a massive amount of dishes. But of course, the dishes are always worth it in the end!

I've made the boiled milk frosting a few times in the past with great success (and reviews!) but I know that the method is finicky. I was very happy to have it come together with minimal issues. The only thing is, I didn't have any rum, so I added a tablespoon of vanilla and a teaspoon vanilla paste to the recipe instead. Because for some reason, I thought the recipe would require eggnog. So that's what I bought, not rum...

I only frosted the tops of the cakes, and topped them with white sprinkles, non pareils and dragees, as suggested by the Baked boys. I even sprinkled luster dust on the frosting. But I just couldn't resist adding a little gumpaste/fondant penguin I had made the weekend prior. Of course, then the cake was too tall for the cake boxes, but it made for pretty pictures :)

The cake itself was amazing. Super moist and light, and very flavorful. It made me feel the same way I did when I first made and tasted the apple spice cake from the 2nd book. Wondering why on earth you would want to make plain jane "white" cake when you can make cakes that taste like this! Although the frosting wasn't as smooth as I would have liked it to be, the texture was fine on the tongue, and very yummy. I wonder if whipping it some more might have improved on the texture, but I was so afraid to mess it up, I didn't dare try. The day after I tasted this, I had a gingerbread cupcake from a fancy schmancy bakery here and it was nothing, nothing compared to this cake.

My kids' teachers, bus driver and babysitter all got cute cakes topped with holly instead of the penguin.

As I'm getting the house ready to host my in-laws tomorrow for Christmas Eve dinner, I would like to wish all my fellow Sunday Mornings bakers a very sweet Christmas. May the holiday season fill you with joy and happiness! I'll probably be skipping the shortbread recipe next week, so I will also wish you the best for 2013. Looking forward to baking with you some more in the new year!

And oh! Am I following you on Twitter? Do you have a FB page I can like? Are you on Instagram? Feel free to leave links in the comments!

Please visit the Baked Sunday Mornings blog for the recipe and to see how the other bakers did!


  1. Oh wow they look gorgeous! Nothing like the smell of Christmas spices wafting through the kitchen. I have a similar problem with my buttercream and I think I have too many air bubbles in - I think I just need to turn the mixer down a bit!

  2. Oh, thank you for this post. I did not have time to dream up a lovely topper/garnish for my cake when it gets used for our birthday party later made such beautiful cakes!!! And what special gifts. And, I also thought I'd be using eggnog and was actually disappointed when I actually read the recipe and it did not appear...I considered replacing the water in the cake with my eggnog, but I'm glad my brain kicked into gear and I did not because this is truly a lovely cake as is. Enjoyed your post.
    Merry Christmas!!!

  3. Those little cakes are adorable! Great work! :)

  4. Your cakes are just beautiful! Merry Christmas!

  5. Wow, I am in awe of your fondant decorations, they really take your cakes to a whole new level -- anyone would be thrilled to get such a beautiful treat! Merry Christmas, and thanks so much for all that you do to keep the Baked Sunday Mornings group going!

  6. Little cakes! They are so cute! I love your penquin and your holly. What a fabulous gift to give. And the cake really is good.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Looking forward to baking with everyone in the new year.

  7. Your cakes look absolutely gorgeous, I am sure all the recipients were thrilled. Your packaging is so nice too. Happy holidays to you as well!

  8. I am beyond excited to try out that gorgeous combination of eggnog buttercream and apple spice cake. My roommate it typically the baker in the house, but this seems like a worthy challenge! Ah the spirit of the season :)

  9. Amazing! I would love to receive such a thoughtful and beautiful gift!

    Wishing you all the blessings of Christmas & looking forward to baking with you next year! xoxo

  10. You must be the most favorite parent ever! Your cakes are gorgeous.

    I started out with no rum in the buttercream, but ended up putting a teaspoon or so - my husband was taking it to a meeting, and didn't want it to be too boozy. It was good both ways but I think I liked a bit of rum in it better.

    Happy holidays, and I'm so looking forward to baking with you in the coming year!

  11. Amazing looking cake! Eggnog buttercream sounds FANTASTIC!

  12. Those are adorable! Lucky teachers/bus driver/babysitter...

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