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Homemade Eggnog Recipe

Known as an iconic Christmas drink, homemade eggnog is the epitome of holiday cheer. This classic recipe is how I have been making it for years with cinnamon, nutmeg, and heavy cream the topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick!

Eggnog in a glass cup.
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Traditional Eggnog Recipe

Everyone needs a homemade eggnog recipe that they can make over the holidays, and this is the perfect one. Might I say, it’ll be the best homemade eggnog you’ve ever tasted!

My favorite Christmas recipes don’t always come in the form of a tasty appetizer or dessert, sometimes it’s a traditional holiday drink!

Sip on a glass with some eggnog cupcakes while you watch your favorite Christmas movie and savor every minute of the holiday season.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Creamy texture. This eggnog recipe is delightfully creamy and glides over your tongue in the best way. 
  • Simple ingredients. The eggnog ingredients are pantry staples that you probably have in your refrigerator and cabinets.  Say goodbye to store-bought eggnog from now on.
  • Perfect for parties. Double the recipe and serve it with eggnog pie for your guests. 
  • Recognizable flavors. The eggs, milk, cream, and spices are perfectly portioned so they remind you of your favorite holiday drink.  
  • Versatile. Changing the spices and flavorings is a snap when you make this easy homemade eggnog.

What is Eggnog?

Before we learn how to make homemade eggnog, let’s take a look at what it actually is! 

Eggnog is a cold beverage that is traditionally served during the winter holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s. It is a thick, creamy drink with sweet flavors that are accentuated by the bold spice of cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg.

As the name suggests, the main ingredient in eggnog is usually egg yolks.

Recipe Ingredients

Eggnog ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Large egg yolks: Not to worry, these will be cooked so there is no risk of salmonella. It’s perfectly safe once the homemade eggnog is ready. Keep the egg whites aside for tomorrow’s egg white omelette!
  • Granulated sugar: This is a delightfully sweet drink so we need to add sugar to the mix.
  • Heavy whipping cream & whole milk: Using both adds a rich, creamy consistency to the drink.
  • Freshly grated nutmeg & ground cinnamon: Warm familiar fall spices that are signature in a tasty eggnog. You can substitute fresh nutmeg for 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
  • Salt: Just a pinch!
  • Vanilla extract: A beautiful warm flavor enhancer that pairs well with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cream!
  • For garnish: Whipped cream, cinnamon, nutmeg. A cinnamon stick is always fun!

Variations

  • Top with whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream is my favorite way to serve the eggnog. 
  • Make it thinner.  If it’s too thick, blend the eggnog with one or two tablespoons of milk until it is smooth. 
  • Additions.  I don’t drink alcohol, but some adults like to add a shot of brandy to homemade eggnog, but you can also add bourbon or rum. 
  • Sweeten with maple syrup. Instead of granulated sugar, sweeten the eggnog with maple syrup.    
  • Use a spice mixture. Instead of cinnamon and nutmeg, season the eggnog with either pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice.

How to Make Eggnog

Whisking eggnog in a pot.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until they are light and creamy. Set it aside.   
  • Heat the cream, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring it to a simmer. 
  • Add a spoonful of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture, one spoonful at a time, and whisk it vigorously. When most of the milk is in the egg mixture, pour it all back into the saucepan, keep whisking, and warm it up to 160°F. 
  • Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Chill it in the refrigerator. It will thicken as it cools.

Expert Tips

  • Tempering the eggs is important. The reason we add one spoonful at a time of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture is so that the eggs get accustomed to the change in temperature slowly, so they don’t start to cook and scramble.
  • To make this dairy-free, swap the heavy cream and milk for coconut cream and whatever your favorite non-dairy milk is.
  • Best served chilled. Although some people do like homemade eggnog warm, the flavor is the best once it has had a chance to chill and set.
Eggnog in a cup with a cinnamon stick.

Recipe FAQs

What other eggnog recipes can you make?

There are so many other things you can make with eggnog ingredients. For breakfast, make some eggnog French toast. For dessert, make eggnog cookies and eggnog fudge.

Is eggnog made with raw eggs?

No, homemade eggnog is not made with raw eggs. You heat the eggs on the stove until the mixture simmers. This makes the drink safe and delicious.

Storing

Keep the homemade eggnog in a sealed pitcher or jar in the refrigerator for up to one week. 

Eggnog in a cup with whipped cream.

More holiday drinks you’ll love include apple cider, crockpot hot chocolate, and non-alcoholic sangria!

More Holiday Drinks

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Eggnog in a glass cup.

Homemade Eggnog Recipe

5 from 4 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Known as an iconic Christmas drink, homemade eggnog is the epitome of holiday cheer. This classic recipe is how I have been making it for years with cinnamon, nutmeg, and heavy cream the topped with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Video

Ingredients 

  • 6 large egg yolks
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg , or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For serving: Whipped cream, Cinnamon, Nutmeg

    Instructions

    • In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until light and creamy.
    • In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt to a bare simmer. 
    • Add a spoon of hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. Repeat, adding a spoonful at a time, to temper the eggs. When most of the hot milk has been added to the eggs, pour the mixture back into the saucepan on the stove. 
    • Whisk constantly a few minutes until the mixture is just slightly thickened, or until it reaches 160℉ on a digital thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
    • Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled. It will thicken as it cools. If you want a thinner, completely smooth consistency, blend with 1 or 2 tablespoons milk until smooth.
    • Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.

    Notes

    Storage: Store homemade eggnog in the fridge up to 1 week.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 327kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 238mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 960IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 1mg

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

    Course: Drink
    Cuisine: American

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

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