Archive for December, 2012

Pipe Dream #161: To Solve Problems That Aren’t Problems – Eggnog Cake with Pecan Butter Rum Sauce

rum cake 1

I know I said I was taking a couple weeks off, but I figured it would be a major blogging faux pas to post an eggnog cake after it stops being sold in stores. Have some left over in your fridge from the holidays? Looking for a New Year’s dessert for the ball drop? Do you feel unloved and underappreciated? This cake solves all of those problems that are not really problems.

eggnog cake 1

First of all, eggnog cake. I felt good about this cake. It was really simple to whip together, and the result was a really tender, light crumb, perfect for soaking up all the rum butter goodness with which I doused it.

rum cake 4

With which. I doused it. The only thing I can really compare this cake to is sticky toffee pudding. It’s a date-filled British cake, served warm with this brown sugar  glaze sauce soaked through. To die for. To mimic the dying effect, I poked holes all over the cake before adding the sauce so that the sauce would soak in.

Were you obsessed with those packs of Christmas LifeSavers as a kid? It was the only time of year I ate them, and the butter rum ones were so good. This sauce is kind of like those, except more rummy and less crunchy, so I added in pecans for some textural flair.

rum cake 3

And as if that weren’t enough, I busted out the “You are special today” plate. Typically reserved for birthdays and bad hair days, the “You are special today” plate is the best combination of affirming language and Tolkien-esque font. In combination with this cake,  it is sure to bring you up from the depths of despair.

rum cake 2

You are special today, dear Reader! Happy New Year,


Eggnog Cake with Pecan Butter Rum Sauce
For the cake:
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup prepared eggnog
1/2 pecans, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round cake pans, set aside. I actually used one 9-inch pan and then two 6-inch pans. I froze the 6-inch layers double wrapped in plastic wrap for another use.
Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt.  Whisk well to combine.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture alternately with the eggnog in three additions (flour-eggnog-flour-eggnog-flour), mixing each addition until just incorporated.
Pour batter into the two (or three) round baking pans.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pans, and then run a sharp knife around the edge of the cakes in the pans. Turn the cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely.
For the butter rum sauce:
1/2 cup light-brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup dark rum
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped
In a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir brown sugar and heavy cream until sugar is melted. Pour in rum, and simmer, stirring until the sauce is smooth, thickened, and reduced. This will take a while. I let mine simmer for a half hour, but I definitely could have gone longer. Stir in butter until melted.

The sauce can be prepared ahead, cooled, covered, and set aside at room temperature for several hours or refrigerated overnight.

To assemble the cake:

Place cake on a serving platter with edges. Choose one that won’t let the sauce run off. Smart cookie. Poke a bunch of holes in the cake with a skewer. Sprinkle with pecans, then pour the buttered rum sauce over the cake. Serve.

Merry Christmas!

merry christmas

Favorite Shots: Christmas Upon Us

thanks table 4

thanks table 3

thanks table 1

Warning: The following verse is so good. Better than that steaming turkey from Thanksgiving (or Christmas, if you buck trends. You trend-bucker, you). CHRISTMAS IS UPON US.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

Goodbye ’til next year. I’m taking a couple weeks off. Be well!


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