EGGNOG. Love or hate?
I know most people feel strongly one way or the other. I’m actually not passionately pro- or anti-eggnog, but I do like it at Christmastime.
I might not drink a single sip of it, but it’s fun to smuggle into cookies and other baked goodies to break out of my obsessive peppermint cycle.
One thing I don’t love is nutmeg. I don’t know if it’s the texture, the flavor, or the sound of the word on my tongue; I’m just not a fan.
And yet you will notice these Christmas-y cupcakes are rather generously speckled with nutmeg.
Normally I completely omit nutmeg in any recipe that calls for it. I’m all for cinnamon, spice, and everything nice, but nutmeg is just one of those random ingredients that I don’t care for. Not even a little bit.
Nutmeg and onions. Call me five years old.
This recipe, though, needed a little extra holiday pixie dust.
I flooded the batter with as much eggnog as I could get away with, and I drizzled a generous taste into the frosting, but the eggnog flavor still didn’t pack enough punch. I needed more! Something was missing.
I hesitantly tossed a few light shakes of nutmeg into the frosting, expecting to grimace at the strong flavor.
Instead, it was surprisingly delightful! The nutmeg added just the right amount of spice to amp up the eggnog taste without overpowering the other ingredients. I was going for eggnog cupcakes, and eggnog cupcakes is what I got.
Sometimes what you’re looking for comes in unexpected packages. Tis the season! Nutmeg was just what these cupcakes needed.
These are super easy to mix together because they are almost identical to my traditional vanilla cupcakes. Just swap out the milk for eggnog, and you’re basically good to go! If you’ve ever made my go-to Georgetown Cupcake recipe from The Cupcake Diaries cookbook, you’ll have no trouble jazzing them up for Christmas using the instructions below.
If you’re looking for an impressive holiday dessert, these cupcakes should do the trick! They would also be quite lovely displayed next to a batch of gingerbread cupcakes or something pepperminty.
Cupcakes are always a hit when they’re this easy on the eyes…not to mention the taste buds. :)
Well, that’s it, friends: my final recipe of 2014!
I’m looking forward to sharing a fun new selection of recipes in 2015, but until then, I’ll be taking a week-long break to celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. I wish you all a most blessed and memorable holiday season–enjoy every moment!
I’m looking forward to all the Christmas goodies I’ll be consuming this week and the fresh hope that a new year bursting with possibility brings.
Most of all, I’m thankful, as always, for the reason Christmas exists in the first place. That 2,000 years ago, a baby born in a barn, surrounded by straw, stench, and scandal, came into this world only to later give his life for me. For you. For us.
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.'” Luke 2:10-11
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 8 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups eggnog, at room temperature
- SPICED EGGNOG BUTTERCREAM
- 1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp. eggnog
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- Additional nutmeg for garnish, if desired
- FOR CUPCAKES: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
- In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Slowly add eggs one at a time until combined.
- Add vanilla extract to eggnog.
- Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and beat with stand mixer until well combined. Add 1/3 of the eggnog and mix thoroughly. Repeat with remaining flour and eggnog, scraping bowl as needed.
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool pans completely on a wire rack.
- FOR FROSTING: In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter, powdered sugar, eggnog, vanilla, salt and nutmeg on high speed until light and fluffy, at least three minutes.
- Lightly sprinkle additional nutmeg over cupcakes for garnish, if desired. Shake off excess before serving.
- Keep cupcakes stored in a covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
I used nonfat eggnog here, but any kind will do!
Recipe adapted from Georgetown Cupcake's The Cupcake Diaries (linked above).