Eggnog is a seasonal favorite of mine, and I was determined to try to make it for myself this winter season. It took me some time, but I developed an eggnog recipe that I think is absolutely perfect. Below is what I came up with, and step-by-step instructions on how to achieve this delightful winter drink.
As I wrote about in my eggnog recipe development post, I aimed for a dairy-free-but-not-vegan version. I wanted to still use the eggs (hence egg-nog), but not use real cream or dairy milk. Here are the ingredients I went with, and what other substitutes may be used:
- Egg yolks
- Brown sugar (packed)—can be substituted with white sugar, honey, or maple or date syrup. I like brown sugar because it adds notes of caramel
- Milk—pretty much any dairy-free milk will work here. Just know it might leave a trace of flavor depending on what type you choose
- Cream—coconut cream is the best option I know of for dairy-free
- Cloves—can use ground cloves, but I prefer whole ones. They add a present but delicate flavor
- Cinnamon sticks—like cloves, ground cinnamon is a fine alternative. Depending on how many cinnamon sticks I use, I may need to add ground cinnamon to get the taste just right anyway
- Nutmeg—freshly ground is ideal
- Vanilla extract
Steps to making the perfect eggnog
1. Heat milk, cream and spices
In a pot, combine milk, cream, and spices. Heat on low-medium (3), stirring frequently. You don’t need to stir it constantly, but you don’t want to let the bottom burn. Also, you want it to be hot, but you don’t want it to fully come to a boil.
2. Whisk egg yolks and sugar
While the milk and cream are heating on the stove, whisk egg yolks and brown sugar until light. They should be lighter in color, as well as lighter in texture. Set aside.
3. Combine milk and cream with eggs and sugar
Once the milk and cream mixture is hot but not boiling, remove from the heat. Strain out any whole spices used. Add in ~1/4 cup into the eggs and sugar mixture and combine. This is to ensure the eggs don’t start cooking when you add in the rest of the hot liquid. Add the rest of the milk and cream into the eggs and sugar, whisking until fully incorporated. Return to pot, and heat over medium-low.
4. Heat again, remove from heat, and stir in vanilla
Once the entire mixture is hot but not boiling again, remove from the heat. Add in vanilla extract, and transfer to heat-proof container. Let cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours, then move to the fridge.
**NOTE**: this eggnog is best strained before serving or served at room temperature. The coconut milk solidifies when cold, resulting in unpleasant chunks.
Ways to switch up your eggnog
As I was doing my research, I came across a few ways to spice up the recipe. As of now, I’ve mostly stuck with the classic version, as that is what I know and love. However, you may be more adventurous than me, so here are some ideas:
- Try a salted caramel version
- Make it a latte (adding eggnog to your coffee—sooooo good!)
- Mix it with hot chocolate
- Add pumpkin puree
- Try a chocolate version
- Add rum, bourbon or amaretto to make a cocktail
- Use eggnog in your baked goods, like cookies, breads, and cheesecake
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 c. brown sugar (packed)
- 2 c. milk
- 1 c. cream
- 5 cloves (or 1/4 tsp. ground cloves)
- 5 cinnamon sticks (or 3/8 tsp. ground cinnamon)
- 1 tsp. grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a pot, combine milk, cream, and spices. Heat on low-medium (3), stirring frequently. In the meantime, whisk egg yolks and brown sugar until light. Set aside.
- Once milk and cream mixture is hot but not boiling, remove from heat. Add in ~1/4 cup into the eggs and sugar mixture and combine.
- Add the rest of the milk and cream into the eggs and sugar, whisking until fully incorporated. Return to pot, and heat over medium-low.
- Once the entire mixture is hot but not boiling again, remove from heat. Add in vanilla extract, and transfer to heat-proof container. Let cool at room temperature for 2-3 hours, then move to the fridge.
White sugar, honey, or date syrup can be substituted for brown sugar. However, it may alter the flavor
This can be made dairy-free by using dairy-free milk and coconut cream
Wondering how I came up with this eggnog? Read my eggnog recipe development post
I hope you enjoyed this eggnog recipe as much as I do. Eggnog is something I thought I never would be able to make myself, so I am excited to be able to make it in case the craving ever hits.
Do you like eggnog? Have you ever made it yourself? Let me know in the comments!