My mother in law used to make a birthday cake for Jesus Christ every Christmas. At first I was confused by this, I’d never heard of anyone doing it before. But it actually makes perfect sense. We have an entire season dedicated to the guy and go all out to plan these elaborate gatherings. There are even gifts for Christ’s sake, literally. So why shouldn’t there be an Eggnog Birthday Sheet Cake at the party?
For as many years as I can remember I’ve been making different iterations of a HBD JHC cake. One year I went a little over the top and made a towering, multi-layered, sprinkle encrusted situation. This thing was godawful. It, and my entire kitchen, were completely covered in red, white and green sprinkles for months. I still found Christmas confections lurking in corners of my kitchen that 4th of July. The weight of the sprinkles nearly toppled the whole thing over before we could even slice into it. I redeemed myself another year with an Eggnog Layer Cake with an angelic Meringue Frosting. It was a sight to behold and tasted like heaven. But honestly, who has time for that during the busy crush of the holiday season?
So this year, I settled on something more attainable and realistic, this easy Eggnog Sheet Cake. It is similar in flavor to the layer cake I made a few years ago but without all of the pomp and circumstance. I didn’t have much time this year to develop a whole new recipe so I adapted the tried and true, crowd pleasing recipe for Easy Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting by Bon Appetit. I’ve made this cake a few times in the past and it always a solid party move. So I shook it up a bit by subbing in eggnog for buttermilk and topped it with the eggnog cream cheese frosting from my Cardamom Spiced Cookie Bars with Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. The simple changes really make this cake shine. I know I’m not turning water in to wine here, but Christ on a cracker this Eggnog Sheet Cake turned out devilishly delicious!
The simple Eggnog Sheet Cake batter mixes up in a single bowl and is honestly as easy as a boxed cake mix, I swear to God. This recipe uses the reverse creaming method, and as a purist, I was skeptical of the change. But it works like a Christmas miracle and the cake bakes up tender and moist. Which basically just means this cake is hella easy to make. Once that cake cools down, it gets slathered in a rich and creamy eggnog cream cheese frosting with swirling swoops of spice. The frosting mixes up quick and easy in minutes and then you just schmear it on with a the back of an offset spatula. No fancy piping or cake decorating stands required. Just like a frothy mug of eggnog, I finish the Eggnog Sheet Cake with a fresh grate of fragrant nutmeg. And because we are celebrating the birth of our homeboy, JC, sprinkles are very necessary.
We all know that Jesus was a humble dude and I think he’d appreciate the low-key, yet holy golden goodness that is this Eggnog Sheet Cake. Like JC, this cake is symbolic of all that is good about the holidays. This Eggnog Sheet Cake brings people together for the greater good, a moment of solace and peace among family and friends. And holy sheet, this Eggnog Sheet Cake is GD delicious!
Catch the spirit and celebrate the real reason for the season with this Eggnog Sheet Cake. I promise your whole fam damily will love this easy baking cake, hand to god. HDB JHC!Print
Eggnog Sheet Cake
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings
This Eggnog Sheet Cake captures the spirit & celebrates the true reason for the season with a tender, eggnog birthday cake topped with swooping swirls of eggnog cream cheese frosting & festive sprinkles.
EGGNOG SHEET CAKE
- 1 cup unsalted butter (- at room temperature, plus more for pan)
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (- plus more for pan)
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 large eggs plus 5 large egg yolks
- 1 1/4 cups eggnog (- at room temperature)
- 2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 6 ounces cream cheese (- softened)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (- at room temperature)
- 1/4 cup eggnog (- at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 4 cups powdered sugar (- sifted)
- freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
EGGNOG SHEET CAKE
- Place a rack in center of oven; preheat to 325° F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 13×9″ baking dish (metal or glass is okay) with room temperature butter. Sprinkle a light dusting of flour into pan, then shake pan to coat all over; tap out excess flour.
- Whisk granulated sugar, baking powder, fine sea salt, baking soda, and flour together in a large bowl.
- Whisk 2 eggs, 5 egg yolks, eggnog, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Cut room temperature (not cold, not melted) butter into 1″ pieces and add to bowl with dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer on low speed , slowly increasing speed to medium, beat until butter is worked into dry ingredients and mixture looks like coarse meal, about 4–5 minutes. There shouldn’t be any dry flour or visible chunks of butter at this point.
- Make a well in center of flour mixture and pour in half of eggnog mixture. Starting on low speed and slowly increasing to medium, beat until all of flour mixture is hydrated.
- Add remaining eggnog mixture and beat on low speed until liquid is incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until mixture is smooth, airy, and thick, about 1 minute.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into corners in an even layer.
- Bake cake until top is golden brown, firm to the touch, and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, 45–55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
EGGNOG CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract at medium speed until creamy. With mixer on low speed, gradually add eggnog, beating until combined. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. You may need to add more powdered sugar if the frosting seems too runny, it should be thick and creamy.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread the eggnog cream cheese frosting into swooping swirls. Garnish with a grate of fresh nutmeg. Top cake with sprinkles, if desired. Slice and serve!
This recipe was inspired by and adapted from the brilliant Easy Sheet Cake with Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting by Bon Appetit.
This Eggnog Sheet Cake can be baked and frosted 2 days ahead. Chill until icing is solid, then cover with plastic wrap and keep chilled. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: cake
Keywords: Birthday Cake, Cake, Christmas Cake, Eggnog Sheet Cake, Sheet Cake