Homemade eggnog tastes so much better than store-bought, and it’s not hard to make either. This homemade eggnog recipe is creamy, thick, and delicious, and it’s also free of raw eggs. Simply omit the alcohol for a family friendly version.
Creamy, frothy, and thick eggnog recipe that everyone will love, and is simple to make.
I love eggnog. But it did take me a few years to truly appreciate it. While I don’t mind eating raw eggs in raw cake batter or raw cookie dough, the idea of drinking raw eggs isn’t as appealing (I lay blame for that squarely on the Footrot Flats movie from my childhood).
But ever since I tried Alton Brown’s eggnog recipe with the cooked option, I couldn’t keep away from the stuff. Homemade eggnog is just fun, and the fact that there are no raw eggs makes it safer to drink as well. Now it’s one of my favorite holiday drinks to make along with this rum and peppermint white hot chocolate, white chocolate liqueur, and a good ol’ peanut butter hot chocolate.
What is the classic eggnog recipe?
Classic eggnog is a mix of eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg, sugar, and alcohol (bourbon, rum, cognac).
The egg milk base and alcohol are mixed at a ratio of 2:1 or 1:1. The high alcohol content in the drink prevents the eggnog from going bad by acting as a preservative. But that much alcohol in a drink like this can also be a bit too strong.
You’d need to age the eggnog to help mellow out the strong alcohol flavor, and I don’t have the patience for that. To be fair, I don’t even have the patience to wait overnight to drink this homemade eggnog.
Cooked eggnog (homemade recipe)
In this version, the egg yolks are cooked in the milk base. And instead of raw egg whites, I use pasteurized egg whites from a carton.
The leftover egg whites can be stored away for a separate recipe.
I also use fresh nutmeg, which is ABSOLUTELY worth it for your eggnog.
A mixture of milk and cream (just like other recipes) to add extra creaminess. But I’ve also made this with half and half, or with evaporated milk – all giving excellent results!
I also use a mixture of bourbon and rum to spike my eggnog. This is optional, but highly recommended. Allow the eggnog to rest for at least 12 hours – it’ll make a huge difference.
If you prefer a non alcoholic homemade eggnog version, simply omit the alcohol. But if you can find rum extract or brandy extract, then you can still add the flavor of alcohol, WITHOUT actually adding alcohol.
The result is a,
- rich eggnog
- thick and frothy drink
- perfectly sweet
- holiday drink with an amazing flavor profile!
How to make cooked homemade eggnog (without raw egg)
Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium low heat, with the salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. The milk should be heated until steaming and just starting to simmer. Do NOT let it boil, so keep an eye on it.
While the milk is heating, beat the egg yolk and sugar with a whisk, in a medium bowl, until thick and pale. It should have a thick ribbon consistency.
Gradually add some of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking constantly. This is to temper the eggs and prevent the eggs from scrambling. When the egg mixture has warmed up with the milk, you can add the egg milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the hot milk.
Heat the milk egg mixture until it reaches 160 degrees (160 F / 71 C), while whisking frequently. The mixture should be steaming, but not boiling.
Stir in the whipping cream (35% fat), vanilla, bourbon, and rum, and then refrigerate until chilled (or at least room temperature). I prefer to refrigerate this homemade eggnog mixture for about 1 day (at least overnight).
I add the egg whites on the day I’m going to serve the eggnog. This is optional, but I do prefer the drink with the added egg white. It balances the thick creaminess of the drink with a light frothiness.
To do this, in a large bowl, whisk the pasteurized egg whites until soft peaks. Then mix the egg whites into the chilled eggnog mixture, and it’s ready to be served!
Why do you add the egg whites just before serving?
I love my eggnog with that delicious frothiness you get with the egg whites. It feels luscious and light at the same time.
So I add the egg whites just before serving.
However, I have added the egg whites much earlier and still enjoyed the drink for up to 4 days. The flavor is just as amazing!
Can I drink the eggnog right away?
Once you add alcohol, the eggnog tends to taste MUCH better the following day, in my experience. A minimum of 12 hours in the fridge allows the strong alcohol notes to mellow out and mix in well with the eggnog flavor.
If you’re making the non alcoholic version, then feel free to drink it as soon as the eggnog has cooled down. Just add some ice to your glass to chill it further.
Some prefer to pour the homemade eggnog through a sieve to get rid of the extra spices, but I prefer to keep ’em in there. But feel free to filter out the spices before adding the egg whites if you prefer.
To serve, simply pour the eggnog into glasses. Or over ice.
I also like to add a dollop of whipped cream sometimes.
And a sprinkle some ground nutmeg and cinnamon on top is absolutely essential for me.
My husband sometimes pours a shot of espresso into his eggnog to make an iced eggnog latte. Tastes absolutely delish.
And why not serve this with a slice of this eggnog pound cake? I could never have enough cozy eggnog flavor during the holidays!
Tips for making the best homemade eggnog
This is a super easy recipe that makes an incredibly delicious eggnog. Here are some tips to help you make the best eggnog drink, that is also safe to consume.
- For a richer version, use 6 egg yolks (and 4 for a less rich version).
- Cook the egg yolks in the milk mixture, which will make the eggnog base thicker and safer to drink.
- Add the alcohol, and allow the eggnog to chill for at least 12 hours for the best flavor.
- If you’re making the non alcoholic version, add some alcohol free extract (rum extract / brandy extract) for the flavor of alcohol, without actually adding alcohol.
- Adding egg white is optional. Use pasteurized egg whites to make this drink safer to consume. The egg white adds more body to the drink and makes it light and frothy.
Homemade Eggnog Recipe
- 2 ½ cups whole milk 600 mL
- 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of salt ⅛ tsp
- 6 egg yolks from large eggs (or 4 egg yolks for a less rich eggnog)
- 100 g sugar ½ cup (or 150 g / ¾ cup for a sweeter version)
- 1 cup whipping cream 35% fat (240 mL)
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 fl oz bourbon 90 mL (see recipe notes)
- 3 fl oz dark rum 90 mL (see recipe notes)
- ½ cup pasteurized egg whites (optional)
- Extra ground nutmeg and cinnamon optional – for topping
- Whipped cream optional – for topping
- Place the milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the milk just starts to simmer.
- While the milk is heating, place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Using a hand mixer, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale, thick, and forms ribbons. You can do this manually with a hand whisk as well, but it'll take longer.
- When the milk starts to simmer, remove the pan from the heat.
- To temper the egg mixture – slowly pour about a cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, while whisking the egg mixture constantly (add enough milk mixture to warm the eggs).
- Pour the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan with the hot milk. Whisk to combine.
- Return the saucepan to the stove and heat over medium heat. Whisk frequently until the milk mixture reaches 160°F. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil, as this can cause the eggs to scramble.
- When the mixture reaches 160°F, remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Add the cream, vanilla, bourbon, and rum. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 12 hours or up to 1 day.
- OPTIONAL – When the mixture has chilled for at least 12 hours, you can choose to pass the mixture through a sieve to remove the spices.
Once chilled (or before serving)
- Place the pasteurized egg whites in a large bowl or your mixer bowl.
- With the whisk attachment, or a hand held electric whisk, whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks.
- Mix the egg whites into the chilled eggnog mixture.
- Serve immediately, or chill further until you’re ready to serve. Make sure to mix the eggnog well before pouring into glasses.
- Top with a sprinkling of nutmeg and cinnamon and/or a dollop of whipped cream.
Tips & Tricks
For a non alcoholic versionOmit the alcohol, and add extra milk instead, along with some rum and cognac (or bourbon) extract if you prefer.
StorageThis will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge. If you add at least 2 – 2.5 cups (480 – 600 mL) of alcohol, you can keep it for longer. In fact, with the alcohol, it’ll taste better if aged for at least a week in the fridge.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”