Eggnog Pound Cake

Last week I attended a holiday memory event at the hospice where mother spent her last day on earth. The hospice volunteers are clearly experts at hosting finger food receptions. Among the many treats served was an eggnog pound cake that knocked my socks off. I love eggnog and I love pound cake, so the combination was a home run for me. I came home and promptly started looking for a recipe. There were a couple of different ones online, but the best recipe was sitting on my shelf in the 1990 Southern Living Annual Recipes book. Southern Living, of course! I had all the ingredients in the house so I made one up this afternoon. I'm going to post the original recipe, which I did not totally follow, and then tell you what I did.

Eggnog Pound Cake
Yield:  one 10-inch cake
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup shortening
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup commercial dairy eggnog (non-boozy kind)
1 cup flaked coconut
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coconut extract
1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2.  Cream butter and shortening; gradually add sugar, beating well at medium speed of an electric mixer.
3.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4.  Add flour to creamed mixture alternately with eggnog, beginning and ending with flour.  Mix just until blended after each addition.
5.  Stir in coconut and extracts.
6.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan (I used a bundt pan the first time I made this and had no problems).  Bake for one hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
7.  Cool in pan for ten minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Source:  Southern Living, November 1990

So it's a classic from-scratch pound cake with a twist. I followed the directions until I got to the flaked coconut. Not everyone likes coconut and I wasn't into the tropical eggnog vibe, so I eliminated the flaked coconut and the coconut extract from my version. I kept the lemon extract, though, as I adore lemon pound cake. In the end you don't really taste the lemon, only the brightness lemon offers a rich cake recipe. When I tasted the batter it didn't seem eggnoggy enough so I added 1/8 tsp. of grated nutmeg. I didn't want to get too much nutmeg and if I were using fresh-grated nutmeg 1/8 tsp. would have been enough. Since I was using grated nutmeg from a jar I could have used a tiny bit more.
The recipe calls for a 10 inch tube pan. I used a beautiful 10 inch kugelhopf pan which, despite careful buttering and flour-dusting, the cake still stuck in a few spots and did not unmold perfectly (hence no photos). But worse than that, the rising cake overflowed my pan and spilled over onto the baking sheet below. I have learned to put this cake pan on a jellyroll pan before baking. Anyway, there was simply too much batter for this pan, so use a tube pan or a really big bundt pan if you make the cake. The top crust is crispy and sugary, so a tube pan is better since it doesn't require inverting and you can showcase that crunchy top.
The recipe said bake for 1.5 hours but my cake wasn't done in that time frame. I baked mine for at least 10 minutes longer. After unmolding and cooling almost to room temperature, I transferred the cake to a plate. You could really tell the fat content from the butter and the shortening. I'm not convinced the recipe needed the shortening, but you be the judge. It seemed like a lot to me, but I'd need to reference my favorite (never-fail) pound cake to compare the ingredients. One thing is certain, it's a moist cake and very yummy.  I love eggnog!


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