This stunning holiday cake is the next best thing to eggnog in a cup. The dense yet tender cake highlights the incomparable flavor of eggnog, while rum, nutmeg, and currants add a complementary dimension. Bake it in your favorite patterned Bundt pan or tube tube, and brush the cake with the rum glaze while it’s still warm. As the cake cools, the crystallized topping clings attractively to the crevices and them crinkles, creating a special effect. Originally published April 21, 2008.–Flo Braker
Center a rack in the oven and crank up the heat to 350°F (175°C) or, if the pan has a dark finish, 325°F (160°C). Butter a 10-by-3-inch Bundt pan or a 10-by-4 1/4-inch tube pan (with or without a removable bottom) and then flour it, tapping out any excess flour. (If your pan has an intricate design or detail, take the extra precaution of spreading it first with solid vegetable shortening, followed by a coating of nonstick spray, and then a dusting of flour to ensure the finished cake releases in one piece.)
Combine the currants and rum in a small bowl. Let them soak for 15 minutes.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-low speed until creamy and smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add the sugar in a steady stream and continue to beat on medium speed until light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, beating after each addition until incorporated and stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On the lowest speed, add the flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with the eggnog in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and mix just until combined. Detach the paddle and bowl from the mixer, and tap the paddle against the side of the bowl to free the excess batter. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the currants and any remaining rum. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the spatula.
Bake the cake just until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center and the sides are beginning to come away from the pan, 50 to 65 minutes. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes while you prepare the glaze.
Make the crystal rum glaze and glaze the cake
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rum, and water and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended.
Tilt and rotate the cake pan while gently tapping it on a counter to help release the cake. Invert a wire rack on top of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack, and carefully remove the pan. Slide a sheet of waxed paper under the rack.
Using a pastry brush, coat the top and sides of the warm cake with the glaze, using every last drop. Let the cake cool completely before serving. To serve, slide the base of a tart pan, a small rimless baking sheet, or a large offset spatula under the cake and carefully transfer it to a serving platter. Thinly slice the cake with a sharp or serrated knife.
This eggnog poundcake recipe earns a high rating because it's easy to make, attractive when glazed, studded with currants, and festive with the tastes of eggnog and nutmeg. It was a little too sweet for my taste, as I tend to think of pound cake as less sweet than many of its frosted cake relatives, but it was not so sweet that many would be turned off. Timings in the recipe were basically correct. I used rum instead of water for the currants.
Great cake! Good texture and aroma. Sourcing eggnog in England is tough, however, I bought some from Starbucks and it worked fine. I would probably add a touch more rum syrup and nutmeg to bump up the flavor. This would be a great cake for a brunch. Could easily swap any dried fruit for the currants or omit them.