Behold: the best eggnog recipes for Christmas, both for eggnog lovers and those who think they hate the stuff. Try our eggnog drink recipes and our dishes made with eggnog and we think you’ll be feeling merry indeed.
We get that eggnog, however fun to say, may not sound delicious to some—a creamy, thick concoction of raw eggs, whole milk, and heavy cream with copious amounts of liquor and sugar…it blurs the lines between cocktail and cake batter (which is the same reason so many love it!).
But done well, eggnog is rich, balanced, comforting, and delicious—and it can be made without alcohol, or even without eggs.
However you feel about it, eggnog is an indispensable part of the Christmas season, in cartons on grocery store shelves from Thanksgiving all the way through the following year, and immortalized in movies like “Christmas Vacation.” We can’t stand behind those store-bought eggnog cartons and their cloying, preservative-laden contents, but we can raise a moose glass to good homemade ‘nog.
National Lampoon Moose Mug, $19.99 at Target
Live the dream with your own moose mug.
We can also find creative ways to use leftover eggnog if there actually is any—better make a big batch just in case, because you’ll definitely want to try eggnog cheesecake and eggnog French toast too.
Including a classic eggnog, quick and easy eggnog variations, and eggnog without eggs (and without alcohol).
Our classic ‘nog recipe calls for aging the mixture in the fridge for at least one week, and preferably three. One reason to age eggnog is that it gives the alcohol time to kill any bacteria that may be lurking in the raw eggs, but it also allows the flavors to mellow and blend into a perfectly balanced drink. It even improves the color and texture; a sort of alchemy occurs and it becomes thicker and a little golden. Get our Best Eggnog recipe if you’re prepared to make it ahead. But if not, just keep reading…
Christmas is only days away, so you don’t have time to age your eggnog, but that’s okay. Our eggnog punch can be made just a few hours before your party, and a stand mixer makes it easy. You’ll just want to wait ’til the last minute to whip the egg whites and fold them in. Get our Easy Eggnog Punch recipe.
You’ll notice that the eggs here are still raw, and we’re not gonna lie—there is some risk in that (just as there’s risk in eating raw lettuce), but it’s relatively minor, as long as you’re absolutely sure to buy fresh, organic, pasteurized eggs and you have a healthy immune system. If you just can’t, you can find recipes for cooked eggnog that gently heat the eggs to kill any potentially harmful bacteria.
Order your eggnog, or the ingredients for homemade.
No stand mixer? Break out your blender for this eggnog, which can also be made right before the party starts. Another bonus if you have a small group, or you’re the only one that likes ‘nog: It makes a modest six drinks rather than multiple quarts of the stuff. Get our Blender Eggnog recipe.
This Midwest favorite is quite similar to eggnog, but slightly different in composition and method—and it’s served warm, perfect for a cold winter’s night. For the full effect, serve it in a Tom and Jerry punch bowl, which you can often track down on Etsy and similar sites. Get our Tom and Jerry recipe.
Eggless Eggnog: Vegan Eggnog and Coquito
Non-dairy eggnog seems like a newfangled invention to please vegans (and milk the plant-based dairy craze), but it’s existed at least as far back as 1899, when a coconut cream-based “Egg Nog” recipe appeared in Almeda Lambert’s “Guide for Nut Cookery.” Her version did include eggs (so wasn’t vegan), but she may well have been inspired by coquito, Puerto Rico’s egg-free, coconut milk-based answer to eggnog.
These days, you’ll find vegan eggnog recipes with various ingredient lists; coconut milk or coconut cream often show up, as does silken tofu at times, but this Vegan Eggnog recipe is made from blended cashews and almond milk for creaminess, plus water, spices, dates for sweetness, and an optional shot of bourbon. If you just want to avoid the eggs but still consume dairy, try this Coquito recipe. (Not a fan of coconut? Try Chile’s Cola de Mono for a similarly festive, rich drink.)
Related Reading: Puerto Rican Pernil Deserves to Be the Star of Christmas Dinner
If you love everything about traditional Christmas eggnog except the booze, you can find versions like this Non-Alcoholic Eggnog recipe that leave it out—but still keep the eggs (though in this case, they are very gently cooked to make sure any bacteria is neutralized).
What to Do With Leftover Eggnog
Save some in advance for making these celebration-worthy recipes, or make the most of any eggnog that’s left over after the Christmas party.
A fluffy frosting with eggnog mixed in is great on anything, from vanilla cupcakes to chocolate cake, or sandwiched between two ginger cookies—even slathered on a simple sugar cookie or a cinnamon roll for a decadent Christmas breakfast. Get our Eggnog Frosting recipe.
Speaking of Christmas breakfast, this one is perfect (though maybe not for the kids if you’re working with a boozy ‘nog). Just remember to set aside 1 1/2 cups of eggnog on Christmas Eve so you have enough for the custard in the morning. Get our Eggnog French Toast recipe.
Related Reading: 12 French Toast Recipes for Christmas Morning
If you didn’t get your fill of pumpkin pie in November but feel it’s lacking a certain festive factor, here’s how to dress it up in its Christmas best: Blend eggnog into the filling and top it with whipped cream that echoes those eggnog flavors with brandy and nutmeg. Get our Eggnog Pumpkin Pie recipe.
OK, these don’t include any actual eggnog, but if you’re ever craving those cozy flavors and aren’t up for whisking or blending up a batch of ‘nog, just toss popcorn with a vanilla-nutmeg caramel and pecans as a great, edible alternative. Get our Eggnog Popcorn Balls recipe.