Homemade Eggnog

After making homemade eggnog, you’ll never go back to store-bought.


That sickeningly sweet, corn syrupy, gloppy yellow stuff they call eggnog can’t hold a candle to this stuff. Even professed eggnog haters (like I was, formerly), will love it. We make it in big batches so we have enough to share when friends stop by, or so there’s plenty for us.

adapted from The Joy of Cooking 

3 cups whole milk, divided
3 cups heavy cream, divided
12 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. freshly grated or ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

In a bowl, stir together 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of cream.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and nutmeg until well combined.  Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 cups cream and 2 cups milk until very hot.  Gradually add to the egg yolks/sugar mixture to temper the eggs.  Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook until the temperature reaches 170 degrees F.  Strain into a clean bowl and add reserved milk/cream.  Pour into storage containers.  (I use quart canning jars.  It will take 2 jars.)  Let chill until ready to serve.

Keeps refrigerated up to 2 weeks.  But it’s probably best to use it within a week.


If it suits your fancy, you could add spirits to the egg nog.  The original recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups.  Or you could use rum or brandy extract–2 tsp. should do nicely.

You can use low-fat milk and light cream, just be extra careful that it doesn’t boil when you are heating it, or it will curdle and separate.

For a fun fizzy drink, mix half egg nog and half lemon-lime soda or sparkling water.

If you like your egg nog less sweet, leave out 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the sugar.  Be extra careful while you are cooking the eggnog that it doesn’t curdle.  Sugar helps prevent that.

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  1. Thanks for this great recipe! This was our first Christmas living in Germany where you can’t find Eggnog on the shelves of the stores. We were happy to try the homemade variety. And I (who have never been a fan of store-bought eggnog) loved it too. Even our 4 year old, who claimed not to have liked eggnog loved this recipe. Definitely a keeper. We will be including homemade eggnog in our future holiday traditions for years to come!

  2. Thank you so much for all your recipes! I cannot consume milk. How could I make this by using, almond, rice, or some other alternative? Also, what could I substitute for the cream?
    I’ve purchased the, “Silk” brand eggnog. Taste is okay however your recipe sounds awesome!
    Thank you,
    Penny Hesse

    1. Hi Penny! That’s a great question. I don’t do a lot of dairy myself these days. But I haven’t made this particular recipe with dairy-free modifications yet. BUT I can tell you what I would do and what would probably work the best.

      If you still want to do the eggs, I think it will turn out just as creamy and delicious using a non-dairy milk. My go-to substitutions for heavy cream are coconut cream or milk (full-fat) or a thin cashew cream. The cashew cream is raw cashews that have been soaked for a few hours in water, then drained, and blended with fresh water in a high speed blender until creamy and smooth. For this I would lean towards the coconut cream. If you weren’t going to use eggs, I would do a combination of coconut cream and cashew cream. It would still be thick and delicious.
      For the milk, you could honestly use just about any non-dairy milk, I think. For sure the lighter flavored milks like almond and cashew will let the eggy flavor shine through. But combining light and full-fat coconut cream would be really tasty, especially if you added some rum. :)

      I have more ideas for non-dairy and even egg-free eggnog, if you need any. Feel free to email me! ca***********@gm***.com

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