Eggnog lovers, rejoice! Your favorite festive drink is now in cupcake form and so easy to make. Your holidays just got a little merrier with these delicious eggnog cupcakes.
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Easy Eggnog Cupcakes
I’ve found there are two kinds of people in the world: eggnog lovers vs. eggnog haters. If you are on Team Eggnog than this recipe may change your life. If you are a hater, shame on you (kidding… though you might get some grinch cookies), but this is a perfect gift to give any eggnog lover. Seriously, nothing says love like an eggnog cupcake. Make these for the eggnog lover in your life and you’ll be sure to get something extra special in return.
It’s always had a special place in my heart and I even hear Santa is on Team Eggnog. He may appreciate these instead of the normal cookies on Christmas Eve. They also make a great addition to any Christmas party, served alongside Christmas Sugar Cookies, peppermint bark, and sugar cookie truffles.
The flavor of these only improves with a little time. Make them a day in advance and let them sit, iced, overnight if you can. Just keep them in the fridge and not on the counter.
Use your favorite eggnog to elevate the flavors of this fairly straightforward cupcake recipe.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Traditional baking staples. To start, the base of these cupcakes uses all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, fine sea salt, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, eggs, vanilla, butter.
- Eggnog: The key ingredient in the batter and the frosting that gives these cupcakes their festive flavor.
- Eggnog buttercream frosting: A traditional mix of butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla with the added pop of flavor from nutmeg and eggnog.
How to Decorate Cupcakes
Now here comes the fun part! Before you begin decorating, make sure your eggnog cupcakes are at room temperature. If they’re too warm, the frosting will slide right off the top.
- Piping: I like to pipe my frosting using a piping bag and either a 1M or 1A pastry tip. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can easily put the frosting into a zip-top plastic bag and snip the corner off to pipe directly onto the cupcakes.
- Spreading: If piping isn’t your thing, then simply spread the frosting on the vanilla cupcakes with an offset spatula or knife.
Check out how to frost the perfect cupcakes for more tips and tricks when decorating.
How to Make Eggnog Cupcakes
It’s as easy as mixing dry and wet ingredients together to the create the perfect holiday dessert.
- Combine dry ingredients. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt together in a small or medium bowl and set it aside.
- Then the wet ingredients. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and creamy. Mix in eggs until combined. With the mixer on low, add vanilla, eggnog, and flour mixture just until combined.
- Fill cupcake liners. Divide batter into each of the paper liners into the muffin cups to about 2/3 full.
- Bake cupcakes. Transfer the pan to a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the cupcakes spring back when touched. You can also test with a toothpick. If it comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cupcake, it’s clean. Let cool completely.
- Make the frosting. Beat the butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a mixer until very light and fluffy. Mix in the eggnog and vanilla. Add the remaining powdered sugar until the frosting is thick but still pipeable.
- Decorate. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon and add a cinnamon stick, if desired.
Baking Tips for Eggnog Cupcakes
- Measuring flour. It’s important to know how to measure flour accurately so that your cupcakes aren’t too dry or dense. I find that the spoon and level technique gives the best results.
- Room temperature ingredients. Before getting started, make sure the butter, eggs, and eggnog (for the frosting) have all come to room temperature. Learn how to soften butter easily and quickly.
- Don’t overfill. Do not fill your paper liners all the way to the top with batter. You want to fill them about 3/4 of the way full, so the tops have room to rise. Using an ice cream scoop or medium cookie scoop will give you the perfect amount in each liner.
- No piping bag? Use a Ziploc bag instead. Cut the tip with scissors and carefully pipe the frosting through the hole. It probably won’t be as neat, but it will still be as yummy!
- If using an electric mixer for the batter, make sure it’s on low speed. If you’re using it for the frosting, then a higher speed is fine.
- Unsalted butter. I use unsalted because there is added salt in the eggnog cupcake ingredients. If salted butter is all you have, consider eliminating the extra salt or using less.
- Let cool. As with any cupcake recipe, make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before adding the frosting. If they are still warm, the frosting won’t hold it’s shape.
Too much flour in your batter will cause dry cupcakes. Make sure you always properly measure flour! Accurate measuring is so important in baking.
This is usually due to the condensation that happens when cupcakes have been stored before having been completely cooled. The heat gets trapped and has nowhere to go, but right back on top—just another reason to let them cool completely.
Your baking powder could be expired. Test to see if it still fizzes when you add it to some hot water. If it doesn’t, you know it’s time to buy new powder.
While I think these are perfect as is, a splash of rum extract which can be found in the baking aisle can give it additional Christmas flavor. Freshly ground nutmeg vs. dried is also a great way to add some variety.
Storing + Freezing
Freeze. Once completely cooled and frosted, freeze on a baking sheet 1 hour. Once the frosting is hard, wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in the freezer up to 3 months. Unwrap and thaw in the fridge before eating.
Storage. Since there is eggnog in the frosting, store the cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. Bring them to room temperature before serving.
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Delicious Eggnog Cupcakes
- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup eggnog
- 1 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar , divided
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg , plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons eggnog , at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract , or vanilla bean seeds
Optional toppings: Ground cinnamon or Cinnamon sticks
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and creamy. Mix in eggs, 1 at a time, until combined. With the mixer on low, add vanilla, eggnog, and flour mixture just until combined.
- Pour the batter into the liners, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the tin a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, nutmeg, and salt on medium-high speed 3 minutes, or until very light and fluffy. Mix in the eggnog and vanilla. Add the remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, scraping the bowl in-between each addition, until the frosting is thick but still pipeable.
- Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
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