Eggnog is one of my favorite holiday flavors. I love the custardy richness, hit of booze and touch of spice it brings. I like to imagine holiday parties with lots friends and family, laughter, and camaraderie all fueled by luscious punch bowls filled with eggnog…the thought alone just about sends me into a nostalgic holiday tizzy. The thing is, I am not a huge fan of drinking ‘nog. It’s a little too thick for my liking, but I find it makes an excellent ingredient in all manner of baked goods and confections.
So, when seasonal holiday goods begin to sprinkle the stores—a little too early for some, but never too early for me—I snag a carton or two and get to baking. The batter for these cupcakes bakes up so tender, gently spiced and fragrant with sweet eggnog flavor. The scent from the oven is enough to make you bust out those holiday records and string up the twinkly lights after just one sniff. The frosting takes a couple of steps, but the results are buttery, lush and melt the minute it hits your tongue. It’s made with eggnog, as well, and whips up to a consistency of softly whipped cream.
To make the cupcakes we start with the batter…many good things begin with creaming butter.
Then we add some eggs and beat it for about 1 minute, until light and a bit fluffy. We want to add some air to the mix, but not so much that these puff up in the oven and collapse.
After a bit of time in the oven the cupcakes come out tender, sponge-y and slightly bronzed. While they cool, we make that whipped buttercream.
Then butter gets creamed and the cooled eggnog mixture gets added to the butter…then we whip the heck out of it until a super light, yet ultra-buttery frosting forms. If the mixture looks a bit separated or curdled, persevere and continue to whip until it comes together into a smooth frosting.