Episode 1: Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake


Can you say “Yum”? This Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake was my most popular recipe of 2011 and was featured on WordPress.com’s Freshly Pressed. Seems like people really like a boozy dessert, eh?

When I created this cake, I wanted to come up with a recipe that was so packed with flavor that it would have your shooting out of your shoes in happiness like in the old Warner Brothers cartoons. The get your socks flailing kind of happiness. And, of course, to include Brandy, because it has this flavor that is just infused with warmth. And I couldn’t stop eating these Brandy filled chocolate beans I’d been given…


Anyway, I digress. It turns out that this cake is pretty complicated, but so worth the effort, I promise! So when I decided to create a webisode series of The Pescetarian and the Pig as a cooking show, this was the recipe that popped into my head for the first episode. And it’s extra perfect because it’s a wonderfully seasonal cake and it’s absolutely perfect for Christmas.



Can you honestly resist the eggnog custard? Of course not! So without further ado, I welcome you to watch my first episode of The Pescetarian and the Pig The Show. This episode features my duck, Banana Sandwich, and of course, my pig, Cupcake!

And what’s a more perfect way to celebrate my first episode than by pairing it with my first giveaway? And it’s a HUGE giveaway!

Grand Prize…

IMG_6227I went all sorts of crazy on this grand prize! It includes:

  • Your choice of either The Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof Cookbook or The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook ( each a $35 value alone)
  • The Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook (full of amazing vegetarian slow-cooker recipes from around the world!)
  • An awesome selection of some of my Trader Joe’s favorites (all pictured here) including a Sea Salt gift pack featuring 4 different types of sea salt and herb mixes, Speculoos Cookie Butter (it’s all the rage), a cookie butter filled chocolate bar, and my absolute favorite, Pumpkin Butter. If you’re not located near a Trader Joe’s, this is an especially fantastic gift for you!
  • A Slipat Baking Mat (for the most perfect cookies)
  • A handy egg separator
  • A glass small liquid measuring cup (measures by tsp. up to 2 Tbsp. Genius!)
  • A piggy mini whisk
  • A dozen homemade cookies straight from my kitchen to you!

The Second Place Prize is…


Not as many things, but equally awesome, it includes:

  • The Vegetarian Slow Cooker Cookbook
  • A slightly smaller collection of my Trader Joe’s favorites, including all that is pictured here.
  • A handy egg separator
  • A glass small liquid measuring cup (measures by tsp. up to 2 Tbsp. Genius!)
  • A piggy mini whisk
  • A dozen homemade cookies straight from my kitchen to you!

Third prize…


  • A piggy whisk (everyone needs one!)
  • A dozen homemade cookies straight from my kitchen to you!

Now that you know the prizes, would you like to know the rules? Of course you do! πŸ˜‰

The winner of this giveaway will be determined by a random drawing. To enter into the drawing, all you need to do is:

  • Leave a comment on this post and let me know what you think of the new show! Also, please tell me what your favorite holiday dessert is (include a link to the recipe if you have one! That would be extra special, but not necessary)

Increase your chances! For EXTRA entries (each counts as 1 extra entry):

And a way to quickly to receive 5 EXTRA entries:

Share The First Episode of The Pescetarian and the Pig on your Facebook Page or blog (or both!) You can do this by directly embedding the video onto your FB page via the “Share” link on the top right of the video box, or by directly linking this post on your FB page (just copy and paste the URL into your status bar)

That’s up to 9 entries!

If you choose to participate in receiving extra entries, it’s important that you let me know! Please, in only one comment below, let me know what you have done to receive extra entries. If you are already a follower on Facebook and/or Twitter, that still counts! So just let me know you’re already following.

The giveaway will end on December 23rd, 2012. I will compile all of the entries and do the random drawing on December 24th and announce the winner on Christmas Day!

*Open to U.S. residents only– I apologize, but I looked into shipping rates outside the U.S. and they are extraordinary.

I’m in the giving spirit, so I hope you’re in the receiving one! Good luck!


And please enjoy the recipe for my Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake!




5.0 from 9 reviews
Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake and a Giveaway!
For Cake:
  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1ΒΎ Cups White Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1Β½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1ΒΎ Cups Whole Milk
  • 1Β½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 2Β½ Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 6 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • Β½ Cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
Eggnog Filling
  • 4 Cups Regular Non-alcoholic Eggnog
  • Β½ Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • ΒΌ tsp Ground Nutmeg
Brandy Glaze
  • Β½ Cup Hot Water
  • 2 Tbsp Brandy
  • ΒΌ Cup Powdered Sugar
Brandy Buttercream Frosting
  • Β½ Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 4-6 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • ΒΌ Cup Brandy
  • Β½ Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • Β½ tsp Sea Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350Β°.
  2. Butter and flour three 9-inch cake rounds. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla and salt.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and cinnamon.
  6. Slowly pour flour mixture into butter mixture and blend, alternating with the whole milk. Add chocolate chips.
  7. Pour the cake batter equally between the 3 cake rounds.
  8. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven, pat the cakes down to make the tops flat.
  9. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes and remove from pans. Set aside.
Eggnog Custard and Brandy Glaze:
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together eggnog, sugar, butter, and whisk in flour. Continue to heat and stir constantly.
  2. When mixture comes to a boil, continue to stir until reduced, about 15 minutes. A good test is to take a teaspoon full of the mixture and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If it thickens in the fridge, it is finished.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg. Continue to stir occasionally as custard cools.
  4. Place one layer of cake onto a cake plate and spoon Β½ custard mixture on top.
  5. Using a knife, spread the custard out leaving about a half in rim all around. Place in fridge for 10 minutes.
  6. Put 2nd layer on top and create the Brandy glaze by mixing the hot water, powdered sugar, and Brandy.
  7. Use ΒΌ-1/2 cup of the mixture and slowly pour onto the 2nd layer of cake allowing it to soak in.
  8. Repeat the custard step, place in fridge for 10 minutes, then place the final layer on top.
Brandy Buttercream Frosting:
  1. In a large bowl, blend butter until creamy.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, salt, vanilla, then Brandy.
  3. Very slowly add milk until it reaches the right consistency. You may not need all of the milk. To thicken, add more powdered sugar.
  4. Spread on cake with a cake knife or spatula. Reserve some to color if you want to decorate the cake.
  5. Place in fridge to set.

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70 Responses to “Episode 1: Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake”

  1. December 14, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Hi Rachel,

    CONGRATULATIONS *throws confetti* with the first episode of your show!
    It was wonderfully instructive! Banana Sandwich is adorable! (Is there a big difference between duck and chicken-eggs?)

    Merry Christmas and have a wonderful festive season!

    I would love to enter your competition, but I suspect it is for US only.
    (Remember to specify!)

    Thank you for all the wonderful recipes this year, you have really inspired me.

    Lots of blog-love,

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

      Thank you so much! Funny you mention the specification: I actually woke up in the middle of the night and wondered if I had specified, but decided to check in the morning. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the e-mail newsletters would already go out without that particular edit! Silly lesson learned πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for your kind words and for checking out the video πŸ™‚

  2. Gail
    December 14, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    Well done! Generally I don’t like instructional videos but this first episode is so friendly and
    fun to watch that it really draws me in and keeps me watching until the end. I appreciate the fact that you don’t move through the recipe too quickly. The half hour format is perfect and feels like a real cooking show and not just a “how to” video. (Great photography, editing and production!) The show mascots, Banana Sandwich and Cupcake, also give the show a kind of down home quality and your use of regular kitchen tools demonstrates that a cook doesn’t need a high tech kitchen to create a beautiful cake. After watching your first show I am no longer intimidated by the long recipe and ready to try it for myself! (By the way, do you ever flour your pans after buttering them? It really helps to release the cake.)

    Love and Happy Holidays to you and your family,

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm #

      Thank you, Gail! Yes, I do sometimes flour the pans, usually when I’m making things like banana bread and pumpkin bread. These particular cake pans work well without the flour, but that is certainly a good tip!

  3. Elise
    December 14, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    This is great Rachel! Congrats on your first show. I thought is was great….easy to follow and I LOVE that you do troubleshooting throughout the process so people know what may happen if they aren’t a pro…

    It looks delicious and sounds delicious too,

    Ps…who knew you could train a pig…..and your decor is wonderful and your animations are so cute…

    Congrats : )

  4. December 14, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Great video! It was very fun to watch πŸ™‚ I liked seeing the steps to making this cake. It will definitely help me make it the right way lol.
    My favorite holiday dessert is panettone.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      Thank you, Raelena πŸ™‚ Pannettone is lovely. I used to work at Trader Joe’s and there’d be quite a bit left over after the Christmas season in the store. We’d make bread pudding out of it that was absolutely amazing!

  5. Elise
    December 14, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    Rachel this looks so yummy! I love this first show. Very easy to follow and I love that you do troubleshooting throughout the show….ya know in case it doesn’t go perfect for the follower. That’s great to do for those of us who aren’t pros.

    You are so adorable with your pink heels. And who knew you could train a pig!!!

    I love your site, love the animations and love your decor…

    Cheers to you!!!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm #

      Thank you so much, Elise πŸ™‚ Cupcake is actually quite well trained, and you wouldn’t believe what you can teach pigs to do! She’s probably smart enough to bake the cake herself, but she doesn’t have the self-control to not eat all of the ingredients along the way πŸ˜‰

  6. December 14, 2012 at 11:10 am #

    I follow on twitter @raelena85

  7. December 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm #

    RACHEL, this is awesome! I shared on Twitter and Facebook πŸ™‚
    My fave holiday recipe…actually my favorite thing to bake any time of year is my vegan molasses cookies! We gave them as favors at our wedding, and they are especially tasty this time of year.

    Molasses cookies

    Makes about 30 cookies
    3/4 cup margarine – I used earth balance sticks
    1 cup organic sugar (1/2 brown)
    1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp (this is instead of 1 egg)
    1/4 cup organic molasses
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 tsp organic ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp organic ground cloves
    1/2 tsp organic ground ginger
    1/2 cup organic sugar to roll cookies in before baking

    In a medium bowl, mix together the melted margarine, 1 cup sugar, and flax+water mixture until smooth. Stir in the molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; blend into the molasses mixture. Cover, and chill dough for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Roll dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart onto nongrea baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until tops are cracked. Leave cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

      Thank you, Jessica! And thank you for sharing this recipe! I loooooooooved those cookies!

  8. Rachel Ackley
    December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Great show! Tara Burns pointed me to your blog!! Love your pig!!

    My favorite holiday dessert – sugar cookies!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

      Thank you, Rachel! And look, we have the same name πŸ˜‰ Sugar cookies are always a wonderful treat! Do you decorate yours with royal icing? I long for the patience to do more with a sugar cookie than put sprinkles on it!

  9. Debbi Bracelin
    December 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Great show! I will share with everyone in your “old Hood”.
    Love making your recipes, always a hit, I will be making your Peppermint Hot Chocolate cookies and my own favorite recipe for the holiday treat exchange.
    My own favorite is Almond Roca~requested every year (you may have even had some)! Easy but a bit time consuming!
    Keep up the fantastic work.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

      Thank you so much, Debbi! I wouldn’t mind finding some almond roca under my tree each year! I do recall getting some from you in Issaquah. I probably ate the entire lot of it!

  10. Patrick Elliott
    December 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    She’s a rock star, folks. She can do it all. Consequently, I may have to make this just so I can try it.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      Thank you, Patrick, Composer Extraordinaire!

  11. Mr. Tumnus
    December 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    The best part was the fact that your duck can lay eggs on cue…who knew? However, I am going to need a specific explanation as to what a schploop of frosting is by the time you do another show.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

      Banana Sandwich the magical duck πŸ˜‰ A schploop of frosting is that thing I made with the frosting and put it around the cake. That’s the best I can do πŸ˜‰

  12. Helen
    December 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    I already liked you on facebook and follow you on twitter! I pasted the link into my facebook status to share with my friends.

    Cute video! I did see this recipe beofre from your old post and thought it would taste good but it sounded very hard. the video helps, maybe I will make it now!

    My favorite holiday dessert is pumpkin pie. I have it for thanksgiving AND Christmas. It’s too good not to!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      Thank you, Helen! Pumpkin pie is WONDERFUL!

  13. rachel
    December 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    Nicely done! How fun that you’re doing your own show

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚ Hey look! We share the same name πŸ˜‰

  14. Ttrockwood
    December 16, 2012 at 1:10 am #

    Great show!! I love that it was instructional yet not serious πŸ™‚
    My favorite holiday recipe is my mom’s “secret” fudge that she will “one day” tell me how to make….

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚ Ah, my mom has a “secret” dessert that I’m not allowed to know the recipe of, as well! Crazy ladies and their secrets!

  15. December 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Congrats on the first show! Love the apron you’re wearing too…so sassy!

    My favorite holiday dessert – so hard to choose!!! My mom always made toffee bars and I could never get enough of them…

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚ My friend made the apron for me. And WONDERFUL choice of dessert! Toffee things are awesome!

  16. Lisa
    December 16, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    I loved your show especially the appearances of Banana Sandwich and Cupcake…too cute and very original. Watching your show made me realize how very hard it is to actually complete a cooking video. You did a great job & I’m looking forward to seeing more.

    My favorite holiday dessert is now the cake you showcased! It looks delicious & I’m wondering if I can make it with my little hand mixer…it’s definitely worth a try. I also love any desert with peanut butter and chocolate.

    I commented on YouTube as Mistyfuji. πŸ˜€

    I follow you on Twitter.

    I follow your page on Facebook.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you, Lisa! Congratulations on winning!

  17. Lisa
    December 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm #

    I shared your video on my Facebook page so my friends can see this lovely recipe and hopefully get inspired too. (I’m sorry – but just now noticed your one comment request for extra entries…opps!)

  18. Cherie Klein
    December 16, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    Favorite holiday sweet is pumpkin bread with chocolate chips.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Ah yes, the classic pumpkin with chocolate πŸ™‚ Love it!

    December 17, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    I think the show is great, my favorite holiday dessert is Black Forest Gateau

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚ I will have to look up that dessert, sounds interesting!

    December 17, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    Commented on the youtube as mummytotwoboys

  21. Melcher
    December 17, 2012 at 3:16 am #

    Wow! Loved this episode and loved Banana Sandwich and Cupcake! This cake looks amazing! Like you said…what can be better than alcohol flavored cakes for the holidays! My favorite holiday dessert would have to be Rum raisin banana cinnamon nut bread!!!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚ OK, that rum raisin banana cinnamon nut bread sounds like something I MUST try! You wouldn’t happen to have the recipe anywhere, would you?

  22. Meryl
    December 17, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Congratulations on your first show!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  23. Louis
    December 17, 2012 at 3:58 am #

    Congratulations! One of my favorites is Ina Garten’s Jam Thumbprints.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

      Jam thumbprints are always so great. I used to eat a million of them at the church Christmas party as a kid! Ohhhh memories πŸ™‚

  24. Brittany
    December 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Very charming! Love it! And the cake was delish!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Thank you Brittany πŸ™‚ It was definitely a hit in class, wasn’t it? πŸ˜‰

  25. Pat
    December 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm #

    I am soooo impressed! The cake is fabulous, the blog is fantastic, and the video is entertaining and well done! Congrats! I love the animations. By the way, is it hot in that kitchen or is it just you? Sorry that was too easy… My favorite Christmas dessert really isn’t a dessert, its my mother’s sour cream coffee cake. We always have it on Christmas day. Best of luck, and bravo!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:39 pm #

      Thank you, Pat! Haha, wonderful comment! I appreciate it πŸ˜‰

  26. Julie
    December 18, 2012 at 6:18 am #

    Looks delicious! This may become my holiday favorite (and sanity with the brandy provided). I have a Doughnut cake I love as well as deepest that serve as both breakfast and dessert. You can have the brandy on the side in your coffee πŸ™‚

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

      Oh wow, a doughnut coke! I wonder what that tastes like!

  27. Julie
    December 18, 2012 at 6:26 am #


  28. Catherine
    December 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    This is super charming. My favorite holiday dessert is almond crescent cookies. πŸ™‚


    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

      Thank you, Catherine πŸ™‚ Ooh yum, I know what kind of cookies you’re talking about! They are fabulous!

  29. December 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    What a truly beautiful cake! The show was great too, it looks very professional. πŸ™‚

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you very much πŸ™‚ More to come soon! And hey! I follow your blog!

  30. just val
    December 18, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Loved your video on Youtube. The cake look amazing, look forward to seeing more videos.
    Have a wonderful Christmas. My favorite desserts are gingerbread and egg custard pie

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you Val! Gingerbread and custard pie sounds to die for!

  31. Joanne Gregory
    December 19, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Liked the show! My favorite dessert over the holidays is a cherry pound cake. But made a rum pineapple upside down cake last night that might take over that spot!
    Liked The Pescetarian and the Pig on fb
    I follow The Pescetarian and the Pig on twitter

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      Thank you, Joanne πŸ™‚ I would love to try cherry pound cake! And that rum upside down cake sounds wonderful. Boozy desserts have a special place in my heart πŸ˜‰

  32. karen
    December 20, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    The show is delightful!
    My favorite holiday dessert is sticky toffee pudding – I make it for New Year’s Eve. Recipe is from epicurious:


    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

      Thank you, Karen πŸ™‚ And thank you so much for the recipe link. I had sticky toffee pudding once with my cousin in Australia. I thought I was going to melt in my seat, it was so good!

  33. Marley
    December 20, 2012 at 11:41 pm #

    Rachel! Love the show and that cake looks amazing! πŸ™‚ Give cupcake a treat for me and keep the videos coming! Any good recipe ideas for a semi- broke college student?

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Thank you Marley πŸ™‚ I thought college students lived off pizza and ramen noodles (or in my case, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and put on the freshman 35).

  34. Emily
    December 21, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    yumm! And this giveaway looks pretty sweet too!
    My favorite holiday treat is Saltine toffee:

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Toffee is one of my favorites. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  35. jessica
    December 23, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    Loved the first episode and that apron looks very familiar πŸ˜‰ hope you have a Merry Christmas and that I win some fabulous prizes!!!

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Thank you, Jessica πŸ™‚ And thank you so much for the apron! <3

  36. Barbara Walker
    December 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    I have printed this and will make it tomorrow for Christmas day. Loved your first episode.
    My favorite Holiday dessert is a bitter hot chocolate sauce over peepermint ice cream. I can’t leave out another favorite
    … a really moist gingerbread pound cake with butter cream frosting , Soo yummy.

    • Rachel
      December 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Hi Barbara! Thank you for checking it out. Please let me know what you thought of the cake, I love hearing feedback πŸ™‚ And I’d love to try that ice cream you speak of. It sounds AMAZING!

  37. January 8, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

    I’ve just found your blog and I love it so far! I’m also a pescetarian and love pot bellied pigs so this was adorable and fun for me. I love that you showed your duck. She’s gorgeous! As is the cake. It looks amazing. πŸ™‚

    • Rachel
      January 10, 2013 at 10:58 am #

      Well thank you for checking it out πŸ™‚ Yes, Banana Sandwich is a beautiful duck and she was born right there in my kitchen! She’s extremely tame and friendly, too. A perfect little TV star πŸ˜‰


  1. Holiday Favorites | Just Your Average Athlete - December 21, 2012

    […] Brandy Spiked Chocolate Eggnog Cake and a Giveaway! (thepescetarianandthepig.com) […]

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