It's called a "poke cake" because once the cake is baked you poke holes in it to allow the filling or frosting to seep into the holes. For this recipe, we took eggnog to a new level by mixing it with espresso for a deep-flavored frosting. Our poke cake worked as individual-sized mini cakes, mini loaves of dessert bread, and baked in ramekins. The recipe is forgiving and flexible, so you can use it for an after-dinner dessert or as an addition to your party table.
Eggnog Poke Cake With Espresso-Eggnog Glaze
• 1 package vanilla cake mix
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 1 cup eggnog
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 Tbsp. eggnog
• 1-3 tsp. espresso (instant espresso granules diluted into water work great!)
• Whipped cream
Preheat the oven according to the directions on the box.
Mix the cake mix, eggs, oil, eggnog, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Bake at 350 degrees in a 9x13-inch pan for 20-25 minutes. (We used a variety of pans with different shapes. Remember to adjust the cooking times accordingly. If you're using a smaller pan, you'll need to cook for less time.)
Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes; remove to a cooling rack.
Prepare glaze by whisking together powdered sugar, eggnog and espresso.
Add more powdered sugar 1 teaspoon at a time to get your desired consistency.
Poke holes in the cake using a fork and pour glaze over cake. (You can also wait to poke the cakes until just before serving and serve the glaze in a pitcher alongside the cakes so guests may pour as much as they like. The consistency will be a little different with this approach, but all of the flavors will be there!)
Top with whipped cream, if desired.