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This eggnog frosting puts a happy holiday spin on a classic buttercream frosting and comes together in just 10 minutes. The perfect finishing touch for your favorite holiday desserts!

Eggnog cupcakes on a white cake platter.
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Simple and Santa-Approved Eggnog Frosting

Ok, I don’t know for sure that Santa would love this eggnog frosting, but I really believe he would. It screams Christmas, with its warming spices, eggnog flavor, and creamy texture.

Best part? I took my classic buttercream and simply swapped the heavy cream for eggnog (and added a little nutmeg, because eggnog!) so I know it is super pipeable and delicious.

This easy eggnog buttercream frosting is a perfect match for my eggnog cupcakes, but it also tastes divine on eggnog cookies, vanilla cupcakes, or Christmas sugar cookies. I love dipping gingerbread man cookies in it, but it would also be amazing on gingerbread bars or gingerbread whoopie pies.

It’s not just for cupcakes and cookies though! Go ahead and use it to spread over layer cakes, sandwich between cookies, and swirl over cinnamon rolls. This fluffy eggnog buttercream is so versatile!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Ready in just 10 minutes. Making homemade eggnog frosting from start to finish takes so little time.
  • Texture and flavor. A creamy and smooth consistency with the beloved flavor of the holidays whipped in.
  • No additivities. Not only does it taste better than store-bought, but making your own frosting recipes from scratch means there are no extra preservatives or additivities included.
  • Versatile. It’s wonderful on all types of holiday desserts! Cake, cookies, cupcakes, bars and brownies all taste delicious with this creamy eggnog frosting.

Recipe Ingredients

Eggnog adds a festive twist to a classic buttercream.

Eggnog frosting ingredients on counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Unsalted Butter: The butter needs to be at room temperature, so be sure to set it out ahead of time or see my tips on how to soften butter.
  • Powdered sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar, this is finely powdered sugar that is responsible for making this recipe pipeable.
  • Eggnog: It’s important to use your favorite eggnog as it imparts its distinctive flavor.
  • Vanilla: I love a little to help highlight the eggnog flavors.
  • Nutmeg: Eggnog always needs a dash of nutmeg, and so does this eggnog frosting.
  • Salt: I add just a bit to elevate the flavors, but you can omit if using salted butter.

How to Make Eggnog Frosting

Before you start this recipe, let the butter and eggnog come to room temperature. This will help you get that super creamy texture.

Showing how to make eggnog frosting in a 4 step collage.
  • Mix. Beat the butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, nutmeg, and salt until very light and fluffy. Mix in the eggnog and vanilla. Add remaining powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, until the frosting is thick but still pipeable.
  • Pipe. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, if desired.

How to Pipe Eggnog Buttercream

  • Using different piping tips is a great way to present a variety of decorative frostings. It’s way easier than you might think but even if you don’t get it perfect the first time, it just means you can eat your mistakes!
  • Use a reusable or disposable piping bag. If you don’t have one a Ziploc bag will do. 16 inches is a great size to use as it holds quite a bit of icing before the need to refill.
  • Using a large glass or cup to keep the piping bag sturdy as you fill it is helpful. Place the empty bag into the glass, tip side down. Fold the piping bag over the sides of the glass. Use a spatula to fill the bag with frosting.
  • Twist the open end of the piping bag closed, gently pressing the frosting into the corner. Now you can decorate to your heart’s content!
  • For all the details on what tips to use, and the best frosting choice, along with pictures, simple instructions for beginners, and more, check out my post on how to frost the perfect cupcakes.

Decorating Tips

If I’m frosting cookies, I like my buttercream a little thinner. For cupcakes, I like it to be pretty thick so that it holds a point.

I use a 1m tip to frost my cupcakes. If using a tip, the recipe will frost between 12-15 cupcakes. If spreading with a knife, it will frost about 24 cupcakes.

  • Add sprinkles immediately after frosting so that they stick.
  • Feel free to add in a few drops of food coloring if desired.
  • If you have any leftover buttercream and cake/cupcakes, try making my easy cake pop recipe.

Expert Tips

Follow these tips for the creamiest results:

  • Room temperature butter and eggnog. Leave the butter and eggnog out of the fridge for one hour before you start mixing. You want it to be soft but not runny. If you forget this step, check out these tips for how to soften butter quickly.
  • Use a mixer. A hand mixer or stand mixer will whip in lots of air to give you a soft and creamy consistency. While you could try mixing it by hand, it will take you a very long time, and you might not be able to achieve the same fluffy texture.
  • Scrape the bowl. Make sure you periodically scrape down the sides of the large bowl with a spatula while you’re mixing. You want everything to get fully combined.
  • Adjust consistency. If it is too thick, add a splash of eggnog or cream. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Keep in mind that it will thicken slightly if you plan on storing it in the fridge.

Recipe FAQs

Can this eggnog frosting be made ahead of time?

This recipe is great for making up to 24 hours ahead of time. Store it in an airtight container and use it when you’re ready!

Can I use margarine instead of butter?

Yes, you can! Simply use the same amounts and then add powdered sugar or heavy cream to get the desired consistency.

What can I use if I don’t have a piping bag and nozzle?

If you still want to pipe, simply fill a zip-top bag with frosting and cut the tip of the corner the size tip you want. This works in a pinch and can produce some pretty neat results.

Storing

Storage: Since there is eggnog, store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. 

Piping eggnog frosting on a cupcake.

Want more frosting inspiration? Try vanilla frosting, cinnamon cream cheese frosting, or coconut frosting.

Other Festive Holiday Treats

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Eggnog frosting on a cupcake.

Eggnog Frosting

5 from 4 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
This eggnog frosting puts a happy holiday spin on a classic buttercream frosting and comes together in just 10 minutes. The perfect finishing touch for your favorite holiday desserts!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 or cookies. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick, if desired.

Notes

Storage: Since there is eggnog, store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 4 days. 

Nutrition

Calories: 279kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 488IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.04mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian

Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

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