Classic, creamy, and old-fashioned, this homemade non-alcoholic eggnog recipe tastes better than the store-bought stuff and will impress your friends and family throughout the fall and holiday season! The original recipe is non-alcoholic, but there are also instructions on how to make an adults-only version!
As I walk through the grocery stores during the holiday season, I am always struck by how much eggnog I see on the shelves. Carton after carton of this thick, creamy drink that people associate with the holidays.
Afterall, nothing says ‘the holiday season’ more than a glass of rich and creamy old-fashioned eggnog while you hang out with friends or sit by the crackling fire!
Unfortunately, when I look at the ingredients on all those store-bought versions, I feel like all I see is preservatives. Plus, those versions taste ONLY OK, but once you taste my homemade non-alcoholic eggnog recipe, you’ll never buy it from the store again!
Seriously, it’s THAT good.
Pull up a chair, friends, and let’s make a classic, old-fashioned, creamy, one-pan treat. Have a few copies of this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe on hand to share, because everyone will ask you for it. 😂
What is Eggnog?
It’s a thick drink that’s a mixture of beaten egg yolks, cream, and spices and is served chilled. While it tastes delicious without alcohol, it can include alcohol to make it boozy (adults-only version, that is!).
This holiday favorite is rich, creamy, smooth, and…well, egg-y. And it’s definitely one of those drinks that people either love or hate. Rarely do you find someone who is ambivalent about nog.
We have some very dedicated eggnog drinkers in my family!
How Do You Make A Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe?
If you’ve always purchased eggnog, you’re probably asking yourself “how is eggnog made?” Believe me…it’s way easier than you may think!
Store-bought versions are non-alcoholic, super thick, and (worse) only mildly spiced. They also contain a lot of additives and preservatives to create that thick texture and ensure long shelf life. Bleh – no, thank you!
In other words, the store-bought versions are just OK and will work in a real pinch.
But you can do better than that (and it’s easy). 😉
Essentially, you’ll make this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe and then adjust that if you want to make an adults-only version!
Make Your Own Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe At Home
I always feel that simple is better. Making things from scratch is almost always healthier, cheaper, and tastes way better because it’s fresher. Plus, you can flavor it exactly how you prefer (more cinnamon? no problem!).
That said, when I find products I can make myself that don’t take a lot of time and produce a healthier product, then I’m ALL in!
This recipe is a perfect example. 🙂 As are our Homemade Hot Chocolate and Peppermint Bark recipes!
Admittedly, I always thought with its depth of flavor, that eggnog had to be complicated to make, so I never tried. Oh, how wrong I was!
Searching online for recipes will give you tons of recipes. Remember…for me to make it, it has to be easy AND delicious!
Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe Ingredients
Classic, traditional eggnog is made with raw eggs. And alcohol. Not exactly family-friendly, right? (just in case you do want a boozy batch or two, check out my note below for making spiked eggnog)
Is there nutmeg in eggnog? Yep (it’s sooooo good)! It’s just one of the warm, comforting, cozy spices that give this recipe such an amazing flavor.
If you really love nutmeg, then I highly suggest buying whole nutmeg and grinding it yourself. So much more wonderful nutmeg flavor than store-bought ground nutmeg – yum!
Eggs are the driving force behind the thickness of eggnog. When you heat eggs in liquid and then cool it, the eggs help the entire recipe thicken up.
But you have to be VERY careful when heating eggs. If you heat them too quickly or forget to stir them – even for a minute or two – you can end up with scorched bits on the bottom of your pan or scrambled eggs in your eggnog. Neither one of those scenarios makes for a delicious, highly sought-after drink.
If the eggs are the thickening agent, the whole milk and heavy whipping cream are the creamy part of this homemade non-alcoholic eggnog recipe.
Just like with the eggs, however, it’s crucial to heat this drink slowly and stir constantly to keep it from scorching on the bottom of your pan.
Traditionally, you would use sugar in this drink. However, if you want to make a sugar-free version, I suggest replacing the sugar with Lakanto Monk Fruit sweetener at a 1:1 ratio
There isn’t much salt in this recipe at all, but it’s important for adding another dimension to the overall flavor of the non-alcoholic eggnog recipe. Don’t leave it out – it makes a difference.
Alcohol acts as a preservative and a sterilizer so that it kills any salmonella (just in case you love the traditional version and are freaked out to learn it contains raw eggs).
I strongly prefer this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe to the traditional stuff for several reasons:
- The thought of drinking raw eggs – I personally can’t stomach it. I Just. Can’t.
- Plus, we are non-alcohol drinkers at my house.
- And, finally, I want my kids to be able to partake but don’t want to give them a raw egg-filled, boozy drink.
If you love the rich, creamy taste of classic eggnog, but don’t like the idea of using raw eggs, this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe is for you!
Tips For Making The Best Homemade Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe
This recipe is very simple to make. But for anyone not familiar with cooking milk or eggs, there are a few small things to know.
Heat up Slowly
In this eggnog recipe, you need to SLOWLY (and I really mean slowly) heat the eggs to avoid scrambling, scorching, or curdling them. Even medium heat risks creating lumps you don’t want.
I’ve had several people who have told me that they’ve stirred constantly but end up with lumpy or chunky homemade eggnog. That’s definitely NOT the texture you want for eggnog, right?!
And I’ve had a couple of people who say that they stirred constantly and it took FOREVER for the eggnog to heat up – but they didn’t have lumps.
The point of stirring is to keep the milk on the bottom from scorching on the hot pan and the eggs from scrambling.
Here’s what I do with regards to stirring in exact detail and I’ve NEVER had lumpy eggnog with this recipe.
- I put the mixture into my pan and let it start to heat up on its own. I’m not stirring it while it’s cold.
- After 3-5 minutes, when I can feel that pan starting to heat up, that’s when I begin stirring.
- I stir for a minute or two and pause for about 5-10 seconds. Then I repeat.
- As my eggnog gets warmer, I reduce how much I pause. It’s closer to 5 seconds as it gets even hotter, and I don’t pause AT ALL when it’s really hot.
I hesitate to say it’s ok to pause because some people will interpret that not as “give your arm a quick rest while your mixture heats up” but instead they’ll hear it as “it’s ok to change the laundry and come back to start stirring again.”
A BRIEF pause is ok. A “go change the laundry” kind of break will result in scrambled eggs, lumpy eggnog, or scorched milk. Yuk!
ALSO, I use a whisk as I stir. I don’t beat the mixture with my whisk, only stir as I would with a spoon. I just feel that using a whisk helps to break up any lumps that might try to form.
Automatic Pot Stirrers
I have had multiple readers who have problems with stirring for extended periods of time reach out and ask about automatic stirrers. I have never used one of these, but I’ve been doing some research and can (fairly) confidently recommend these.
This StirMATE automatic pot stirrer is the cheaper option and seems to work pretty well. If you do a lot of cooking that involves constant stirring, consider trying out this LAMPCOOK automatic pot stirrer and pot combo because everything was designed to go together!
Give it Time to Chill
Ok, here’s the thing: eggnog is one of those drinks that benefits from having time to settle. If you drink it right away, when it’s hot and very fresh, it will be delicious, I promise. (we can’t usually wait for it to cool down, so we often drink it right away)
However, if you can give it at least 2 hours (ideally about 5-6) to chill and let the flavors marry and intensify, well, then it’s phenomenal.
So with that in mind, if you can, make it the night before. Let it sit in the fridge until you are ready for it. I promise – the wait (and the suspense) will be worth it!
Now, I also know all too well how sometimes life can just get away from you, and suddenly it’s Friday afternoon and you have guests coming for dinner in an hour.
Well, in that case, just go for it. This non-alcoholic eggnog recipe is terrific enough to still shine in more-rushed situations.
How To Make This Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe Boozy
If you would like to add alcohol, choose one with a high alcohol concentration to help counterbalance the sweetness of the eggnog. For an adults-only version of eggnog, I recommend adding some brandy, rum, bourbon, or whiskey to taste.
Make This Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe Yourself!
This recipe yields a drink that is thick, sweet, creamy, and smooth, with the perfect flavor! Remember, as is, it doesn’t contain alcohol, but you can always add some in if you want.
So go ahead, pour yourself a glass. Top it with some of my irresistible whipped cream, and some extra cinnamon and nutmeg. Then sit back and enjoy this treat by the crackling fire! Or serve it to your guests during the holidays for a luscious treat along with some Mini Cheesecake Bites or Fruitcake Cookies!
Related Holiday Drinks:
This is the best homemade eggnog, and it’s wonderfully delicious and easy to make! Impress your family and holiday guests by making your own this year!
How to Store This Homemade Non-Alcoholic Eggnog Recipe
Store leftovers (if you have any!) in an airtight container in the fridge. It will be safe for 3-4 days and possibly up to 7 days, although you’ll likely have quite a bit of separation by that point.
Skip the store-bought versions of eggnog and enjoy a batch of this easy homemade non-alcoholic eggnog recipe this holiday season!
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If you love this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe, don’t leave without checking out these other ideas too!
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Pin for Later!
|12 servings||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||Passive Time|
|25-30 minutes||6+ hours|
Eggs, cream, and spices combine to create this decadent, smooth, yet creamy homemade non-alcoholic eggnog. Enjoy a batch (or many) this holiday season!
- 12 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 cup whole milk
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- pinch of salt
- dash of cinnamon for topping
- Combine eggs and sugar in a medium glass bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Transfer to a saucepan and stir in whole milk, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg.
- Heat egg mixture over medium-low heat while stirring constantly with a whisk (IMPORTANT! and it does a take a little patience - see notes about stirring) to prevent the milk from scorching or the eggs from scrambling. As the mixture heats up, it will thicken slightly.
- When mixture reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer, remove from heat and slowly whisk in the heavy whipping cream, salt, and vanilla extract.
- Cool slightly before tasting. Add more sugar or spices, if desired, before transferring to an airtight container.
- Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled.
- Serve in mugs and garnish with whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, or a dash of nutmeg.
- If your eggnog is thicker than you prefer, simply thin it out by adding more whole milk. I recommend adding about 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your preferred thickness.
- For an adults-only version of eggnog, add some brandy, rum, bourbon or whiskey to taste.
- NOTE: this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe CAN separate. If it does, just throw it in the blender before serving for a quick pulse to mix it all up OR use an immersion blender to combine everything before serving if it separates.
- It should be smooth. If it's not, what might have happened was that either the milk scorched or the eggs scrambled a bit. When heating the mixture, it's crucial to stir constantly so that both of those things don't happen. It's also easy to forget or get busy doing something else while you're waiting for it to heat up 🙂 When in doubt, stir!
- ALTERNATIVE METHOD: If you have found your eggnog to be lumpy in the past, you can try this. While we've had mixed results with it, and it requires carefully tempering the eggs, it might work better for others. Cook the milk with the spices first then slowly pour it onto the eggs-sugar mixture while stirring constantly. Then put the entire mixture back in the saucepan and heat slowly until it reaches 160 degrees following the recipe.
- To break up the lumps, try stirring with a whisk as you heat up the eggnog. If that doesn't work, you can try an immersion blender OR run your eggnog through a strainer/collander to pull the lumps out.
I’m so sad! I stirred for an hour and it still came out with tiny lumps! What an expensive mistake. We can’t get eggnog here for love nor money so I thought I’d try my own, never again…….
Hi Becky! I’m so sorry to hear that! I’ve made this recipe dozens of time and the only times I’ve ever gotten lumps (only 2-3 times) was when I had the heat too high or I got distracted (even for just a couple of minutes). Some things that help me not get lumps are to stir with a wisk instead of a spoon and delegate other tasks to other people so you aren’t distracted.
Also, if you do end up with lumps, you can still save your eggnog! Just take a fine strainer and strain the liquid through it. It will pull our the lumps and leave you with creamy eggnog!
Not seeing when to out salt in?
Hi Danielle! Sorry about that – I think it may be been missing. Add in the salt at the same time you add the vanilla extract.
LORI MCNAUGHTON says
Mines is very thick and a little lumpy..is there a way to fix it. I can’t just let all the eggs and milk go to waste..it smells delicious!
Hi Lori! No, you can’t let them go to waste! Here’s what I would do to fix it.
1) I would try reheating it and using a whisk to get the lumps out. You could also use a spoon and basically “smash” the lumps against the side of the pan, but if they’re small you won’t be able to get them. A whisk can often break lumps apart as you stir.
To thin it out, simply add a little more whole milk as you stir.
Heating, using a whisk, and thinning it out may solve your problem. If it doesn’t, do this:
2) Pour your eggnog through a strainer into a bowl, etc. The strainer will catch the lumps and let the best part pass through.
I hope this helps!
Hello! How long does the eggnog keep?
Hey Brittany! I would say 3-4 days is safe. Possibly up to 7 days, although you’re likely to have lots of separation at that point (but it shouldn’t spoiled).
HI Heather, I’m planning to make your recipe this evening. Do you think using a double boiler would help keep it from scorching or getting lumpy?
Hi Dana! I think if you feel the most comfortable with that (and realize going into it that a double boiler will take more time), then go for it. It can’t hurt!
Could you do this in a high power blender instead of on the stove top? Since they heat up while they blend, I’m wondering if it would achieve the same results.
Hey Amber! I really don’t know the answer to that. My first thought would be no – unless you are planning to add alcohol. If you want this eggnog to be non-alcoholic, it really needs to heat up to 160 degrees which is the safe temperature for eggs to prevent salmonella poisoning. I don’t think a high power blender would get it that hot, but I could definitely be wrong about that (clearly I don’t have one!).
My blender cooks so does get up to 160.+ Can’t wait to try it with your recipe!
That’s so cool, Tina! Please come back and let me know how it worked out – I’d be happy to add it to the post as a note if it works well for you!
After reading the comments I was so paranoid that my eggs would scramble, so I diligently stirred the mix with a whisk.. well, a word from the now wise, don’t mix this too much. I think I stirred it so much that it took FOREVER to reach 160 degrees. Like, an hour. Not very helpful I know.. mix it a lot, it not too much 🥴
Hey Monica! LOL, it can be hard to find that balance! Your arm must have been tired! So sorry it took you so long! Maybe a compromise would be don’t stir much AT FIRST. Then as it starts to warm up, begin stirring regularly – even if it’s just a good swirl, pause, swirl. The basic goal is that you don’t want the milk mixture sitting still or it will scorch and your eggs will scramble. A pause is fine (it’s what I do), but some people interpret “pause” as not a 3-5 second break but rather a “go switch out the laundry” kind of a break which will ruin your eggnog.
You can buy an electric silicone stir bot on Amazon for less than $20. It vibrates and swivels around the pot so you don’t have to do a thing. It takes a while to cook but I can set up my thermometer and leave the kitchen to do other things and not worry about the nog. I even use my man’s meat thermometer that beeps when it reaches 160. It’s literally the easiest thing to make ever like this and so yummy! Hope this helps!
I seriously make this every single Christmas, and for our Christmas in July. It’s perfect without the alcohol but my favorite addition is to add TX whiskey for the ones that want it spiked.
Catryna C. says
Electric silicone stir bot. I looked for this and couldn’t find. Please gimme a link
Hi Catryna! I have added a few links to stirrers in the post to try to help with this. I don’t recommend the electric stir bot but there are other great options.
Do you have a link to the electric stir that you bought?
Hi Cee! I found a few options and added links to the post!
Can you half the recipe to get just 6 servings?
Hi Rebecca! I’ve never made half as I’ve always made it for more people. However, I don’t see why you can’t, and as we’re not celebrating with family this year, I’ll be trying it myself!
You want every drop of this yummy drink. Do yourself a favor, make the whole recipe. It won’t last long.
So i just made your eggnog and it is really delicious!! I had never tried it in my life! If I may be so bold I would like to give you some advice, from one chef to another 😉 if you first cook the milk with the spices (i also used whole vanilla) then slowly pour it on to the eggs-sugar en then put it back in the saucepan until 160 following recipe its easier and safer for the eggs not to scrabble.
Kind regards Chaveli
Hi Chaveli! Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll add it to the tips. When using this method the eggs definitely need to be tempered so they don’t scramble, which in testing we had more trouble with. However, for some people, it might work better, so I’ll add it. Thanks!
I really wish I read this before I tried it. I did everything as described, continuously stirring, had the thermometer in, never left it for a second and took it off heat as soon as it hit 160 and it’s all chunky. 🙁 I think it might be best to have done this from the start. I have strained it and there are still chunks forming while it cools 🙁
PS it does taste delish tho! Even with the chunks lol
Hey Christy! I’m sorry you ended up with chunky eggnog! Definitely NOT the texture you want, right?! What if you try stirring with a whisk as your eggnog heats up? That’s what I do and it might help prevent chunks as they start to form. I’ll update the recipe to make sure it says that clearly.
Edrea Kemp says
Soooo I’m pregnant in the middle of summer and have been wanting eggnog since early on. Finally got to make this and it has hit the spot! So much better than store bought! I added a dash of cloves for an extra spice kick. Will be making this again for Christmas. Baby girl will be here by then.
Hi Edrea! Your comment just made my day! I’m so glad you liked the eggnog 💗 Congratulations – a little girl! So sweet!
Made this for Christmas and served the whiskey on the side. SO good!! SO much better than store bought. Would highly recommend this recipe! I even left out the nutmeg bc the store was out. But I’m sure it’s be even better with but we didn’t even miss it!
Hi Lisa! I’m so glad you enjoyed the eggnog! The nutmeg does add a whole different level of depth to the flavor – if you make it again, try adding the nutmeg (plus I’m biased because I LOVE nutmeg)!!
Does it have to cool for a passive 6 hours? Say I spiked it, could you drink it warm immediately?
Hi Liz, Yes, I would think you could if you prefer it warm. As it cools, it thickens and the flavors “marry” more. But if you want to go ahead and drink it, go for it!
I followed your recipe and made sure to stir constantly while over medium low heat. I even used a thermometer the whole time and took it right off when it reached the temp you suggested. It has all these chunks in it even still. I tried straining them out the best I could because it’s a lot of eggs, milk etc to waste! 🙁 I’m so disappointed!
Don’t you think it’d be better to try this over a double boiler or something?
Hey Kelsey, I’m so sorry you had trouble with the recipe! Thanks for coming back to let me know. It sounds like your stove was either too hot or you briefly stopped stirring. The temp and constant stirring are the most important elements with this because milk can scorch so quickly and eggs can scramble.
I know sometimes people will try to speed recipes like this up but turning the stove on higher heat until it gets warm, but that’s a recipe for disaster with this recipe. You could try a double boiler – maybe for your stove that would be a better fit, but I’ve never had trouble with the recipe or tried a double boiler with it.
I Love this recipe. This is the 2nd time I made homemade eggnog. The first recipe I used did not turn out well. This recipe how ever was simple and just down right awesome. I doubled the batch for a family gathering and it was a hit. Even those who say they don’t like eggnog, loved it. You just can’t compare store bought eggnog and the homemade version., they aren’t remotely the same taste. I gave everyone the option of adding rum to their individual cups rather than spiking the whole batch. I may tweak the sugar just a bit. It was on the sweet side but overall this recipe is a keeper.
Hi Amy! I am so happy to hear this and am totally stoked that your family loved it too! I do have a bit of a sweet tooth, but that’s the beauty of making it yourself – you can tailor it to your preference!!! Thanks for letting me know how it turned out, Amy!
Hello there! I can’t wait to try out the recipe. …. since I live on Germany and it’s not sold at the grocery stores out here I have to give it a shot. Wish me luck! One question though. The recipe ask’s for heavy whipping cream. Just the liquid or does it have to be whipped before I put it in the saucepan?
Thank you in advance,
Hi Anja! Yay! I’m so excited for you to try it! No need to whip the heavy whipping cream prior to adding it to the saucepan. Once you add it to the saucepan, you’ll be whisking it then to keep it from scorching. Good luck but I’m sure you don’t need it 🙂
Is this 12 whole eggs or just the yolks?
Hi Kaylie! It’s 12 whole eggs! I hope you love it!
I had my students make this yesterday so they could drink it today and it was so slimey from the egg whites. It’s that normal?
Hey Ana! Oh no, how disappointing! Honestly, I’m not sure why it would be slimy. I’ve never had that happen. Did you use whole eggs (instead of just egg whites) and cook them to 160 degrees? My first thought is that the eggnog didn’t get hot enough when cooking, you only used egg whites, or that it cooled too quickly?
I even researched it and couldn’t find a reason for slimy cooked eggnog. I’m sorry – I just don’t know, but I will keep searching to see if I can find out.
Excited to try! How long will this keep in the fridge please?
Hi Kelli! I would say 7 days is safe. You *might* be able to keep it a day or two longer, but if you try to do that, be sure to check that it hasn’t spoiled before you drink it!
The only eggnog I’ll ever make. I made this for my husband because he loves eggnog but I don’t. Turns out I just loathe store bought egg nog. I found this recipe to be delicious.
Bree!! Woohoo! I am ecstatic to hear this! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know – so happy you love it 🙂
I just made this. Yummmmmm. I have always purchased eggnog. However,I always thought that the store bought versions were too sweet. Making this was sooooo easy. I could also adjust the sugar content to my taste. I would suggest freshly ground nutmeg for the best flavor.
Hey! Yay!! I am SO HAPPY to hear that you love the recipe! I also completely agree about adjusting the sugar content – that’s what I LOVE about making things from scratch. I can make them exactly the way I like them (and feel better about knowing what the ingredients are). Good point about the freshly ground nutmeg – you’re right, that would be an even better flavor!
Just made your recipe. Hope my family loves it. Having it for thanksgiving treat
Hi Kim! I am so glad you tried it! I hope your family loves it too!! Please come back and let me know what everyone thinks (or email me at [email protected])! Happy Thanksgiving!
How much heavy cream is used
Hi Judy! You’ll want to use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream for this recipe 😊
Angie Crenshaw says
Would this be good with almond milk instead of whole milk?
Hey Angie! Honestly, I’ve never tried making it with almond milk. I think it could be really good with almond milk. The thing to keep in mind, though is that almond milk has way less fat and creaminess than whole milk. I suggest giving it a try. If it’s not as thick or creamy as you would prefer, consider using coconut milk instead. It has a higher fat content/creaminess that could substitute well if you don’t mind the flavor.
Made it today with almond milk. Flavor is great but it’s much thinner than a traditional recipe.
Hey Heather! So glad it tasted great! What if you tried adding another egg or two or cooking it down just a little longer to let it thicken a little more?
So I have a couple of questions.
1.) Is it supposed to separate?? I checked on it about 2 hrs after putting it in the fridge & it had separated.
2.) Is it supposed to be super smooth? Because mine isn’t…
Hey Storm! Good questions!
1. Yes, it CAN separate. Just throw it in the blender before serving for a quick pulse to mix it all up OR use an immersion blender to combine everything before serving if it separates.
2. It should be smooth. Without knowing more, what might have happened was that either the milk scorched or the eggs scrambled a bit. When heating the mixture, it’s crucial to stir constantly so that both of those things don’t happen. It’s also easy to forget or get busy doing something else while you’re waiting for it to heat up 🙂
I love the questions! I’ll update the recipe to include this info so others be sure to see it too.