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This rich nutmeg-scented cake can be made ahead, frozen, then thawed when you need it.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon eggnog flavor
1 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
3 3/4 cups (1 pound) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) eggnog or half and half
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (21/4 ounces) brown sugar
1/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) light corn syrup
pinch of salt
2 drops butter-rum flavor or 1 tablespoon rum
1/2 cup (2 ounces) toasted chopped nuts (pecans, almonds, or walnuts)
Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease the pan(s) of your choice: a large (10") tube or bundt-style pan; six small loaf pans (about 3 1/2" x 7"); or two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pans.
Batter: Beat the butter, sugar, nutmeg, eggnog flavor and salt until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk the flour and baking powder together, and add to batter alternately with the eggnog, 1/3 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour the batter into the pans.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes for the small loaf pans, or 60 to 65 minutes for the large loaves or tube pan, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack set atop parchment, to catch any drips.
Topping: Melt the butter, then stir in the brown sugar, corn syrup and salt, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil for several minutes, until it reaches 240°F (soft ball stage) on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Add the flavor and nuts, and pour the toffee topping over the cake. Cool completely before serving.