Eggnog Layer Cake

This Eggnog Layer Cake is super moist, fluffy and FULL of eggnog flavor! It has more than one cup of eggnog between the cake and frosting, with a touch of rum flavoring in the frosting too. It’s so yummy and perfect for Christmas!

Can’t get enough eggnog? You’ll love my recipe for Homemade Eggnog, this Eggnog Cheesecake and these Eggnog Cupcakes too!

Decorated eggnog layer cake on a cake stand.

Slice of layer cake on a plate next to a glass of eggnog.

Eggnog Layer Cake

Speaking of Christmas, can you believe it’s a week from Friday?! The hubs and I finally started our Christmas shopping this weekend and it was crazy out there. Everything is super busy and people are generally a little nutty. 🙂 We actually got a lot done though, which was a relief.

Soon, I’ll hopefully get around to planning meals for the days around Christmas. The hubs is actually going to be getting his wisdom teeth pulled (yes, at the age of 30 🙁 ) so I imagine I’ll need to plan some softer foods as well. I have no doubt eggnog will be in the mix.

Eggnog is easily a favorite for us and there is no mistaking it’s presence in this cake. If you’re wondering which one I used in this cake, it’s the Souther Comfort regular eggnog. It’s our favorite and we pretty much stick to that one.

How to Make an Eggnog Layer Cake

To put the cake together, start by creaming the butter and sugar. This step is very important. Creaming the butter and sugar actually creates bubbles which will expand as the cake bakes, resulting in a light and fluffy cake. If you don’t cream them enough, you will end up with a denser cake than intended. And that would be sad.

The other important thing about creaming is that the butter needs to be room temperature. If it’s too cold, the sugar won’t incorporate well. If it’s too warm, the air bubbles will collapse.

So basically what I’m telling you is don’t underestimate this step. I often hear that cakes turned out denser than intended and this very well could be the reason. So use room temperature butter and cream it with the sugar for at about 3-4 minutes.

Decorated eggnog layer cake with a slice taken out.
Frosted layer cake on a stand.

The next step is adding a little vanilla and some sour cream. Sour cream adds wonderful moisture and flavor. Then add the egg whites two at a time. Don’t be lazy and add them all at once – they won’t incorporate into the batter well if you do. 🙂

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and combine the eggnog and water in another bowl or measuring cup. You’ll add about 1/2 of the dry ingredients, then the eggnog/water mixture, then the remaining dry ingredients. Alternating the ingredients helps preserve those precious air bubbles we added when creaming the butter and sugar. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients helps to keep the batter from curdling.

Once everything is combined, divide it evenly between three 8 inch pans. I measure to make sure their even, but feel free to just eyeball it. I’m just a perfectionist. 🙂

The cake is covered with a wonderful eggnog frosting spiced with nutmeg and a little bit of rum extract. If you’d like a little guidance on creating that smooth finish, check out my tutorial on how to frost a smooth cake. Be sure to store the cake in the fridge before serving. I like to take mine out of the fridge at least 20 minutes before serving to let it come back to room temperature a little bit. I find all cake to be moister and tastier that way.

This Eggnog Layer Cake will definitely be a hit with all your eggnog-loving family and friends! We loved it – pretty much irresistible!

Frosted eggnog cake on a wooden stand.
Eggnog layer cake decorated with swirls of frosting.

You might also like

Eggnog Latte Cupcakes
Eggnog Cheesecake
No Bake Eggnog Icebox Cake
Eggnog Crumb Cake
Eggnog Cupcakes
Eggnog Fudge

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Eggnog Layer Cake on wooden stand close up

Eggnog Layer Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 21 minutes
  • Total Time: 46 minutes
  • Yield: 14-18 Slices
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This Eggnog Layer Cake is super moist, fluffy and FULL of eggnog flavor! It has more than one cup of eggnog between the cake and frosting, with a touch of rum flavoring in the frosting too. It’s so yummy and perfect for Christmas!



  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temp
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 1 1/4 cups shortening
  • 10 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup eggnog
  • 1 tbsp rum extract
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line three 8 inch cake pans with parchment paper and grease the sides.
2. Beat butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
3. Add vanilla extract and sour cream and mix until combined.
4. Add egg whites two at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure all is incorporated and smooth.
5. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl or measuring cup, combine eggnog and water.
6. Had half of the dry ingredients to the batter and mix until combined. Add eggnog/water mixture and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add remaining dry ingredients and mix until smooth.
7. Divide batter evenly between the three 8 inch pans and bake for 21-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.
8. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
9. While cakes cool, make the frosting. Beat the butter and shortening together until smooth.
8. Add half of the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
9. Add eggnog, rum extract and nutmeg and beat until smooth.
10. Add remaining powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
11. When the cakes are cool, remove the tops of the cakes with a large serrated knife so they are flat.
12. Place the first layer of cake on cake stand. Top with one cup of eggnog buttercream and spread into an even layer.
17. Add second layer of cake and add one cup of eggnog buttercream and smooth into a smooth layer.
18. Top cake with remaining cake layer.
19. Ice the outside of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Here’s a [tutorial|] for getting a smooth finish and piping on the edges.
20. Store cake in fridge until ready to serve. Allow cake to sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.


This can be made as cupcakes. Fill liners just over half way with batter and bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs. Should make about 24 cupcakes. You should only need about half of the frosting recipe.


  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 903
  • Sugar: 129.2 g
  • Sodium: 99.1 mg
  • Fat: 36.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 144.2 g
  • Protein: 4.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 66.9 mg

Keywords: eggnog cake, christmas cake recipe, rum cake recipe, layer cake, layer cake recipe, christmas dessert recipe


Eggnog Layer Cake collage

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Recipe rating

  1. Laurel

    Made this last year with a friend.  It was the best cake that has every crossed my lips!  Going to try to make it this year on my own.  Hope it turns out just as good, my friend is really the better baker.

  2. Olwyn Fleury

    Do you ever use cake strips around your pans so you don’t have to cut off the domes? 
    I find that after smoothing the sides of the cake as you demonstrated, my cakes are always wider at the bottom. Drives me crazy. How can I keep cake sides straight? 
    Finally after smoothing the cake endlessly to make it look decent there is hardly any frosting left on the sides. How can I smooth but ensure I have at least 1/4″ of frosting on the sides of the cake? 
    Thanks so much!

  3. Amanda

    IT being so close to Christmas, I can’t find eggnog anywhere! Do you think homemade eggnog would change the textures too much? 

  4. Marsha

    Can I sub two square cake pans 9”?  I plan on cutting in half to make two cakes. Will the frosting cover both cakes?

    1. Lindsay

      That should be fine, you’d just need to adjust baking times. For the frosting, it depends a bit on how much frosting you like. I would think it should be enough for thinner coats of frosting on both.

  5. Cathy

    Well WAY TO MUCH FROSTING! I had enough for 2 cakes!  Not a great cake, will not waste my time making it again????

  6. Melissa

    I’m making the cake right now and I put it in for the full time you said but at the 24 minute period it was still wet in the middle. Any advice on what happened or how much longer i should leave it in?

    Thanks!!! Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Lindsay

      Hmm, perhaps there’s a difference in our ovens? I don’t usually need to bake for longer than that. Did you use three pans, or maybe reduce it to two? If so, the layers would be thicker and take longer to bake.

  7. Carolyn

    I just made your eggnog cake for Christmas Eve dessert. So far it looks and smells lovely! We look forward to enjoying it tomorrow night

  8. Elena

    Hi ! I made some of your cakes and they were always amazing!! Thank you for sharing !!
    Could you give me an advice? I live in Moscow – Russia. And we don’t have a shortening. How can I change it? What will work?

  9. Regina

    Would it be ok to make this cake a day in advance or would it get soggy stored in the fridge? Having a Holiday Party and want to do most things in advance…

  10. Veronik

    Hello Lindsay,

    I made this cake last weekend, Mine did not turn very moist 🙁 I was very disappointment. Personally, I like moist cakes, most of my guests said the cake was good. But, I will like to know why my did not turn moist? Do you have any tricks for that? I hear if you put the cakes into the freezer for 30 minutes make it keep the moist. I would like to know your advice. 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      There are lots of possibilities, it’d be hard to know for sure. This is definitely a moist cake though. A common issue with dry cakes is adding a little too much flour when measuring with cup scoops. Sometimes people scoop cups differently – be sure not to pack the flour into the scoop. I typically loosen up the flour, then scoop and level. If you have a scale, weighing in grams would be more accurate.

  11. Samantha Gallatin

    How much frosting does this recipe make? Would you say that all the frosting this recipe makes is absolutely necessary, or would it be okay to cut down the recipe some?

  12. Liz

    I appreciate how you explain the “why” of an instruction, the actual food chemistry and physics that makes for a better cake. It’s not just a bossy instruction!!! Thank you – a wonderful cake and beautifully presented and photographed.

  13. Carrie

    I made this cake and it was truly fantastic!! Everyone loved it and it really tastes like a creamy drink of egg nog! The only changes I made were that I substituted spiced rum for the water in the cake batter and I added an extra 1/4 cup eggnog in frosting. Spectacular! Will be a new tradition for sure!! Thanks!!

  14. Catherine Smith

    I just made this cake and it’s amazing. Love your frosting recipe!! I must know where you got your poinsettia plates!! I love them! 🙂

  15. Catherine Smith

    Oh my gosh. This cake!! I’ve fallen head over heels in love with EggNog. I buy Pennslyvania Dutch brand which has run, whiskey, and bourbon in it. Can I use it for the cake and icing? I much prefer the alcohol! 😉

  16. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    What a gorgeous layer cake! Eggnog is one of my seasonal favorites, so I’d be all over this 🙂

  17. Julianne @ Beyond Frosting

    Umm yea, I am gooing to need a slice of cake. I also have note started Christmas shopping at all. So maybe you will get your gift before New Years.

  18. Marilyn Fields

    Oh, Lindsay, what a beautifully decorated cake! Just speaks Christmas Eve! You mentioned both 8″ and 9″ pans in the recipe. Which do you prefer? Definitely making this!


      I’m sorry Marilyn! That was an error in the blog post, which I have now fixed. The recipe was correct with the 8 inch pans. Thanks!

  19. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness

    Just stick with ice creams and smoothies with the hubs. Hope all goes well! This cake on the other hand is outstanding and BRILLIANT! Eggnog is a holiday staple and I love the idea of it in cake! 🙂

  20. Mir

    Good luck to your husband! Just keep him on schedule with his meds. He’ll be loopy, but it really helps!
    This is gorgeous, of course. I know some people do frosting with cold butter, but I’ve never understood how that doesn’t totally backfire. Yours is beautiful and smooth!

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12