Cupcakes with shots? Yes, please! This embellished boxed cake mix recipe condenses the familiar flavor of spiced and spiked holiday eggnog into a boozy batch of Eggnog Cupcakes with Spiced Rum Whipped Frosting. Alcohol-free modification included.
The holidays are here! From peppermint chocolate cupcakes to walnut crescent cookies, and apricot tarts, I’ve been busy baking all of the things! You should save those holiday dessert recipes for later, but first, we need to talk about these alcohol-infused eggnog cupcakes. There’s a bit of dark rum in each layer, so let’s break down each.
The base cupcake is boxed yellow cake mix with added eggnog and rum. I used Immaculate cake mix, but the recipe is easy to adapt with any ready-made mix. For the frosting, however, we’re skipping store-bought and making fresh whipped cream frosting infused with a splash of dark rum!
For the final touch of holiday cheer, each eggnog cupcake is garnished with a gift -a sippable pipette of rum-spiked eggnog. The best part? The rum-free version is equally irresistible, capturing eggnog's cozy, custardy essence in a downright delicious Christmas cupcake. Cheers!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The cupcakes are semi-homemade. You’ll enlist the help of boxed cake mix and make the frosting from scratch.
- Eggnog! It’s not just a fantastic flavor for cupcakes. It also makes them extra thick and fluffy.
- You can make this recipe with or without alcohol for all your holiday guests to enjoy.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Yellow cake mix - I’ve included how to adapt this recipe for any mix (see FAQ). However, my pick goes to Immaculate yellow cake scratch baking mix. It’s made with no artificial flavors or preservatives and minimal natural ingredients. Win!
- Eggnog - I made these with Horizon organic low-fat eggnog, but feel free to use your favorite eggnog here.
- Butter & grapeseed oil - Cake mixes typically call for one or the other, but using both makes these cupcakes perfectly dense and buttery.
- Eggs - Adds moisture, flavor, and the protein needed to strengthen the batter so the cupcakes do not fall apart.
- Dark rum - A good spiced dark rum like Captain Morgan is ideal, but bourbon and brandy are also good options.
- Rum whipped cream frosting - The icing is made with heavy whipping cream, confectioners sugar, and a splash of dark rum. Super simple!
- Nutmeg - To garnish and finish with a touch of warming, wintry flavor.
- Eggnog shot toppers - One last splash of spiked eggnog presented on top in a sip-size pipette.
Restaurantware sponsors this Eggnog Cupcake with Rum Whipped Cream Frosting recipe, but all opinions are my own! That said, the quality of your equipment makes a difference, so I encourage you to check out Restaurantware for eco-friendly kitchen supplies, including muffin tins, cake pans, and mini serving utensils for easy holiday entertaining.
I used these clear food-grade pipettes. They’re just the right size for garnishing cupcakes with a shot of eggnog to sip on the side or squeeze into the cupcake. Let your holiday guests decide!
How To Make Eggnog Cupcakes
Step 1: Prepare for baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and line 24 muffin cups with paper or silicone cupcake liners.
Step 2: Mix cake batter. In a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat the cake mix, eggnog, butter, oil, eggs, and rum on low speed for 30 seconds. Then, increase the speed to high and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl a few times during the process.
Step 3: Bake and cool cupcakes. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, then bake until the cupcakes are set and pass the toothpick test (18-23 minutes). Let the cupcakes stand in the muffin pan for 5 minutes before removing and placing them on a wire rack to finish cooling.
Step 4: Make rum whipped cream frosting. Add cold heavy whipping cream to a chilled bowl and whip on high speed for 1½-2 minutes or until stiff peaks begin to form. Add rum and confectioners' sugar and mix for 1-2 minutes, starting on low speed and gradually increasing to high -this prevents the dreaded dust cloud of confectioners’ sugar when you turn on the mixer.
Step 5: Frost cupcakes. Once the cupcakes are cooled completely, use a piping bag fitted with a large star tip to swirl each cupcake with rum whipped cream frosting. No piping bag? Cut off the end from one corner of a zip-top bag to use as a piping bag.
Step 6: Garnish cupcakes with shots! Combine rum and eggnog in a small bowl and fill the pipettes. Top each frosted cupcake with a pipette and freshly grated nutmeg. Cheers!
- Combine the cake mix and wet ingredients without overmixing. Stop fussing with the cake batter once the ingredients are fully incorporated. Overworking can damage the density of cupcakes.
- If the cake batter seems thin, don’t panic! That’s exactly how it should be. The cupcakes will rise quite beautifully as they bake.
- Fill the cupcake liners ⅔ full. If overfilled, the batter will spill over the sides of the muffin cups. A 3-tablespoon ice cream scoop is just the right amount of batter for each cup.
- Chill your frosting mixing bowl. Doing so makes it much easier to whip the cream, sugar, and rum into a thick, fluffy frosting.
- The cupcakes MUST be cool. To keep the frosting from melting (especially whipped cream frosting!), the cupcakes must be cooled to room temperature.
For rum-free eggnog cupcakes, you can infuse the cake batter, whipped cream frosting, and eggnog topper with quality rum extract instead of dark rum. If you don’t have rum extract, vanilla extract works as well. Remember, flavoring extracts have intense, concentrated flavor, so don’t add too much. I would start with ¼-½ teaspoon and go from there.
Customize the base eggnog cupcake with other festive frostings and decor:
- Frosting - Switch things up and ice with peppermint buttercream, peanut butter frosting, Nutella frosting, mocha frosting, or maple cream cheese frosting.
- Decoration - Garnish cupcakes with crushed graham crackers, brown sugar, holiday-themed sprinkle, candy canes, gingerbread cookies -anything goes!
Storing & Freezing
Storing: These cupcakes are best the same day you bake them. Refrigerate any extra cupcakes in an airtight container for 3-4 days, and bring them to room temperature before enjoying.
Freezing: If you’d like a headstart on your holiday baking, freezing unfrosted eggnog cupcakes is a great option. Refrigerating can quickly dry them out, but freezing before frosting keeps the cake moist and fluffy. Let thaw at room temperature before frosting.
Sure! You can enhance any ready-made classic buttercream, whipped cream, or cream cheese frosting with rum or rum extract. Fold in a teaspoon, adding more to taste.
If you can’t find Immaculate brand, feel free to use other ready-made golden or vanilla cake mixes. Replace the amount of water on the package instructions with eggnog. Substitute equal parts melted butter and grapeseed oil with the listed vegetable oil amount. Also, you will want to use the number of whole eggs your mix calls for (Immaculate uses 4 eggs but most call for 3). Finally, add 1 tablespoon of rum to the batter, and you’re ready to bake!
More Holiday Cupcakes You'll Love
- S’mores Cupcakes
- Bailey’s Cupcakes with Mocha Frosting
- Pumpkin Frosting with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- Orange Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
- Mint Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream
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Egg Nog Cupcakes
- For the cake:
- 1 box of Immaculate Yellow Cake Scratch Baking Mix *see notes for using a different cake mix
- ¾ cup egg nog
- ½ cup butter softened
- ¼ cup grapeseed oil
- 4 eggs
- 1 tablespoon dark rum can also use bourbon
- For the frosting:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ½ cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark rum can also use bourbon or vanilla or rum extract
- For the pipettes:
- 2 tablespoon dark rum or bourbon
- ½ cup egg nog
- Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line 24 muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
- Beat cake mix, egg nog, butter, oil and eggs on low for 30 seconds.
- Switch to high speed and blend for 2 minutes, scraping down bowl a few times.
- Pour batter into cupcake liners, filling ⅔ full.
- Bake 18-23 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes completely.
- To prepare whipped cream frosting:
- Chill mixing bowl and beaters for 5 minutes in the freezer while you gather your ingredients.
- Pour whipping cream into cold bowl and whip on high for about 1 ½ minutes, it should be pretty thick.
- Add rum (or bourbon or vanilla) and confectioners sugar and beat another 1-2 minutes until cream is thick for frosting.
- For pipettes:
- Stir rum and egg nog together and fill pipettes.
- Frost cupcakes with whipped cream.
- Place a pipette into the side of each cupcake to be enjoyed as a shot or to inject into cupcakes for an added kick.
- Garnish cupcakes with a little freshly grated nutmeg.
- If you can’t find Immaculate brand, feel free to use other ready-made golden or vanilla cake mixes. Replace the amount of water on the package instructions with eggnog. Substitute equal parts melted butter and grapeseed oil with the listed vegetable oil amount. Also, you will want to use the number of whole eggs your mix calls for (Immaculate uses 4 eggs but most call for 3). Finally, add 1 tablespoon of rum to the batter, and you’re ready to bake!
- Alcohol-free: For rum-free eggnog cupcakes, you can infuse the cake batter, whipped cream frosting, and eggnog topper with quality rum extract instead of dark rum. If you don’t have rum extract, vanilla extract works as well. Remember, flavoring extracts have intense, concentrated flavor, so don’t add too much. I would start with ¼-½ teaspoon and go from there.
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