Eggnog Poke Cake

November 13, 2018
8 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 6-8
Author Notes

A poke cake is a dessert made with a light, springy, absorbent sponge drowned in a sweet, milky custard. There’s plenty of versions, but the one you're probably most familiar with is a tres leches cake, which is typically soaked in three milks: sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and heavy cream. But for this show-stopping dessert, I’ve replaced the creamy mixture with a festive holiday spirit, eggnog. —Grant Melton

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for topping
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups store-bought eggnog (or a recipe of your own)
  • 1/3 cup whiskey
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on a high speed. While whipping, slowly sprinkle in the sugar. Continue to whip until all of the sugar has been incorporated and the whites are glossy and frothy, about 2 minutes. Turn down to the lowest speed and add in the egg yolks. Slowly add in the dry ingredients until they’ve all been incorporated. Pour the batter into a shallow 3-quart baking dish.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Remove the cake and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  5. While the cake is cooling, whisk together the eggnog and whiskey. Set aside.
  6. After the cake has cooled for 10 minutes, poke holes in the top of the cake using a wooden skewer or a fork. Pour half of the eggnog mixture onto the cake. Let the cake soak for 15 minutes and then add the rest of the eggnog. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight.
  7. When you’re ready to serve the cake, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Whisk in the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Spread the whipped cream over top of the soaked cake and grate nutmeg over the top. Serve with a nip of whiskey!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Iowa_Pie_Lady
  • kathleen Ballanfant
    kathleen Ballanfant
  • James Oligney
    James Oligney

3 Reviews

Iowa_Pie_Lady December 23, 2020
I saved this when it first came out but just now got around to making it. Mine turned out great! The casserole dish that I used, which is exactly 3 quart size, is 8.5" by 11" (slightly oval) and 3" tall. The cake came about half way up the sides - with the whipped cream the dish is about 3/4 full. It tastes very much like a tres leches cake only with eggnog flavor. I was nervous about putting that much eggnog over it so I started with 1 & 1/2 cups but I think the full 2 cups would be just fine - the cake is supposed to be 'soaked' the way a tres leches cake is.
kathleen B. January 5, 2019
I have the same problem, James. There is something wrong with this recipe! May be the use of a 3 qt pan, which is waaaay too big for the amount of batter. 2 cups of eggnog drowns it! Come on, Food52 folks, help us out! I have a 12th Night party tomorrow I want to serve it to! I can make it again if you tell me what to change!
James O. December 25, 2018
hi! I just made this cake last night. I baked it in a 3 quart pyrex pan and after sitting overnight there are pools of eggnog on top of the cake. I poked it, and followed all directions to a T. The cake is only about an inch high up the side of the pan. Any idea what went wrong? I dont think I can serve it. :(