Triple Layer Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Frosting and our annual Holiday Party

by Irvin on December 24, 2012 · 18 comments

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Triple Layer Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Frosting by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

“That one. That is my favorite of all the desserts!” proclaimed a friend of mine, waving his hand in the general vicinity of the table of desserts I had created for my annual holiday party. I laughed, as he seemed to be indicating ALL of my desserts, as opposed to singling one out. “No, no” he clarified, realizing my mistake “the one that is triple stacked with the holiday tasting frosting between the layers…” He meant the Triple Layer Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Frosting. Though I can’t pick just one out of all my desserts as a favorite (I baked 19 desserts this time for my party, they’re ALL my babies!) I can understand why one would pick that one out of the sea of sugar and butter. Just the smell alone screams CHRISTMAS to me, even while I was baking it.

AJ-Irvin-Christmas-Party-Invite-Inspired-By-Charles-Schulz-Irvin-Lin-Eat-The-Love

Our annual holiday party is one of those events where we pack roughly 100 to 150 people into our tiny little San Francisco one-bedroom apartment. I’ve had friends ask me why I don’t host the party somewhere else, at a café or a friend’s place that is larger, but really, the logistics of moving 15-20 desserts to a remote location that I’m not familiar with sounds daunting. Plus I sort of like the intimacy of squeezing through the party, bumping into old friends and new, some of whom I haven’t seen all year. It’s something I look forward to every year and it always makes me happy to see everyone eating my desserts.

The crowd at our Holiday Party was awesome. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

The crowd at our Holiday Party was awesome. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

The crowd at our Holiday Party was awesome. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

This year our savory spread was pretty awesome as well. AJ made his holiday ham (which everyone always asks about – trade secret, it’s from Costco, shhhh….don’t tell anyone). Kerrygold generously donated cheese for the party, aged Cheddar, aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey, Dubliner and Cashel Blue cheese which is a farmhouse blue cheese. AJ’s favorite was the aged Cheddar (claiming it was one of the best cheddars he’s ever had) while I was partial to their Cashel Blue cheese, which was creamy and slightly funky (but not too much) as blue cheese should be. My friend Peter showed up with a fabulous spread of homemade pate (chicken liver and vegetarian mushroom), homemade dill & fennel gravalax (homemade) and roasted pork. He had just had a party the other day and told me that it was impossible to make small amounts of any of that, so he thought he’d bring it over for my guests to enjoy. I love my friends!

The Kerrygold cheese spread at AJ and Irvin's holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

AJ enjoying the savory spread that my friend Peter brought to our annual holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Friends having a great time at our annual holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Friends having a great time at our annual holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

But it’s the desserts that really started the whole tradition for me. Way before I started this here bloggity blog, I needed an excuse for me to bake a lot. A holiday party seemed like the perfect reason to bake three days non-stop, and the tradition has continued even though I’m baking up a storm throughout the year for Eat the Love. I guess baking is just part of who I am. This year, as always, I was fearful that I wouldn’t have enough baked goods for everyone but it seems like there was plenty for all. Apparently 19 desserts is a lot of desserts. Those included the above spiced cake with eggnog frosting, a variant of my pomegranate chocolate tart, iced hermits, a sour cream cocoa filled bundt cake with Mascarpone frosting, a version of my citrus shaker pie, a dark chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, an apple slab pie, a coconut red velvet cake with whipped cream cheese frosting, a sweet potato dark chocolate bread pudding, an apple cranberry cake with brown sugar glaze, a pumpkin bourbon cheesecake and a blackberry pear & dried blueberry cobbler with hazelnut biscuits.

The Spread at our annual holiday dessert party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Holiday Dessert Party Spread by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Anita of Desserts First and her husband Mike deciding on what to take. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Holiday Dessert Party Spread by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Dang that seems like a lot of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Of course those friends of mine who were gluten free weren’t left wanting either. Every dessert I made and labeled with a “Charles Schulz inspired” illustration of me in the blue argyle shirt was gluten free as well. These included an adapted version of my almond triple chocolate congo bars, peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies based on my obscenely good crinkle cookies, extra virgin olive oil brownies, a gluten free version of my bourbon caramel bars, a Mediterranean extra virgin olive oil cake, and apple cranberry nut crumble and lemon & grape bars. You’d think that would be plenty, but sadly I was still paranoid that I hadn’t baked enough for the crowd. That’s just my lot in life.

AJ and Irvin's Annual Holiday Party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Friends trying to decided what dessert to take at our annual holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Holiday Dessert Party Spread by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

In the end the holiday party was crazy fun. I got done early enough to actually enjoy myself, (though not early enough to take beauty shots of every item I made – the food blogger’s curse, always wanting to take hero shots of everything). Nevertheless my guests enjoyed themselves, people proclaimed all my desserts delicious and I was thrilled to be able to actually talk to people and for a moment, forget the world troubles and just be in the moment. If that’s not a holiday gift in this hectic season, I don’t know what is. Happy holidays everyone!

AJ and Irvin's annual holiday party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Friends enjoying desserts and festivities at our annual holiday dessert party. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

The crowd at our Holiday Party was awesome. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Triple Layer Holiday Spice Cake with Eggnog Frosting. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Special thanks to Kerrygold for generously providing me with cheese and butter to use for the our holiday party. Though they provided product for our party, they did not monetarily compensate me for this post and all opinions above are my own.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa December 24, 2012 at 6:32 am

Looks like a party for the ages!! Love the came – LOVE the invitation, happy holidays!!

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

Thanks Belinda! It was a great party. So much fun!

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alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] December 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

never more than now have I wanted to be besties with you + AJ. I mean, y’all seem like great people all on your own, but throw in an invite to this epic holiday party and – woah! happy holiday to you + those you love. can’t wait to follow along with your journey in 2013!

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

Happy holidays to you Alexandra! Let me know if you ever come to SF. I can’t guarantee that I’ll be throwing a dessert party when you come, but I usually have at least two or three things baked/baking at any given point and I ALWAYS need people to eat them!

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Jamie December 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

AJ – for the peppermint chocolate crinkle cookies, do you also use the mesquite flour as part of the GF recipe? I love using mesquite and/or chestnut flour in my GF chocolate baking (you’re right on, adds an incredible richness to the flavor), but I’m worried that mesquite + mint may not be the best combination.

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Irvin December 25, 2012 at 5:11 am

Actually I did use mesquite flour and it turned out great. I subbed in peppermint schnapps for the Kirschwasser liquor, added a teaspoon of peppermint extract and instead of the dried cherries, used Trader Joe’s Peppermint Bark chips which were a mix of dark & white chocolate chunks and peppermint candy shards. Everyone seemed to love it!

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Ryan December 24, 2012 at 10:10 am

That looks like a fabulous party! Merry Christmas to you and AJ.

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:18 am

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you Ryan!

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Yosef - This American Bite December 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Eggnog frosting sounds good no matter what time of year it is. This may have to go on my birthday wishlist for next year.

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:19 am

It was REALLY great. The guys at Baked know what they are doing! I’m actually not a huge eggnog fan, unless it’s homemade, but the frosting was fantastic.

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Lawyer Loves Lunch December 25, 2012 at 4:57 pm

What a fantastic looking spread! We’re bummed we missed it (especially the sour cream cocoa filled bundt). Next year for sure! Happy holidays to you and AJ!

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:16 am

The sour cream cocoa filled bundt cake was a new recipe for me and a bit of a bundt cake disaster when I unmolded it (as bundt cakes can be) BUT I was able to salvage it with some frosting. It was actually REALLY good and I can’t wait to make it again with some tweaks so it comes out of the pan in one piece!

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Faye December 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

I wouldn’t know what to do with myself at a party with all those desserts! I’m so impresssed you made them all. The Triple Layer Spice Cake sounds right up my alley. Definitely going to give it a try. Happy Holidays!!

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:21 am

Most of my friends (who have never been to my dessert parties) are pretty shell shocked too when they come to my party and don’t quite know what to do. But those who have experienced it know how to sample! Happy holidays to you!

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Gail December 27, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Irvin, what I wouldn’t give to live closer to you and AJ! What a fabulous party!
And that CAKE!
But it’s really the frosting that has me dying to eat spoonful after heavenly spoonful of it.
All the best to you in 2013.

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Irvin December 28, 2012 at 6:13 am

All the best to you in 2013 as well Gail! I hope to see you in the new year… Perhaps out here in San Francisco? Or I’ll just have to make it back to NY sometime soon…

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lapiubelladitutte January 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

I totally agree with your friend! All the best, happy new year!!!

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Patty January 1, 2014 at 8:15 am

I saw this on Pinterest and just had to make it for New Year’s Eve…..omg! It was delicious!

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