Homemade Eggnog

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Luxuriously rich, this Eggnog recipe creates a drink like nothing you’ve ever had before. Made completely from scratch, fresh eggs are mixed with hot milk and warm spices for a unique taste of the holiday season.

Adults will love this hard eggnog version to sip on or as a spiked eggnog latte (although it can be made without alcohol too).

Homemade eggnog into glasses with cinnamon sticks and a pitcher in the background

What is in Eggnog?

It’s hard to believe you can make something taste so amazing with everyday staples and a few common spices. Here’s the lineup:

    • Egg Yolks – This is the foundation ingredient, which is carefully cooked with hot milk to thicken. Eggbeaters are an option.
    • Milk/Cream – The best eggnog uses whole milk. Eggnog, after all, is one of those no-holds-barred treats! Cream adds some buttery richness.
    • Sweetener – Ordinary white sugar will do the trick. For a sugar-free version, use the sweetener of your choice. Stevia is one option.
    • Spices – Here’s where you can exercise some creativity and alter to your taste. Cinnamon, clove, vanilla, and nutmeg are commonly used. Pick and choose and alter the amounts according to your preference.
    • Holiday Cheer – Add some alcohol spirits according to your preference. Rum is the traditional spike for eggnog.

How to Make Homemade Eggnog

These are the basic steps for making delicious homemade eggnog. Get out your wire whisk, it’s easier than you think!

  1. Whisk egg yolks until pale in color.
  2. Heat milk and spices. Add a bit of the heated milk to the egg yolks to temper them (more on tempering below).

Egg mixture in a pot in an ice bath

  1. Heat mixture until thickened and move to an ice bath (I do this in my kitchen sink).
  2. Add flavors/spirits and refrigerate overnight.

Tip: Tempering Eggs

Tempering eggs is a way to add eggs to a hot mixture without having them scramble or get lumpy.

To temper eggs, whisk eggs until they become a pale yellow color. Add about 1/2 cup of hot liquid while whisking to slowly increase the temperature of the eggs.

Now add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot mixture and cook until thickened.

The Best Rum Alternatives

Other spirits will enhance your eggnog equally well. Bourbon, brandy or Southern Comfort are tasty alternatives.

Or, you could get really fancy and festive and add dollops of liquor, if your budget allows. B&B is scrumptious in eggnog, as is Amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream or nutty Frangelico. Try adding Irish Cream Liquor and making a spiked eggnog latte!

To Make This Alcohol Free Simply skip the rum or add in a bit of rum extract (1 teaspoon should do).

Homemade eggnog in two glasses with cinnamon sticks

How to Store Homemade Eggnog

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that homemade eggnog should not linger for hours at room temperature. If you’re serving it in a punchbowl, put it in an ice bath, or just return the pitcher to the fridge after an hour.

Every winter celebration will be complete when you serve eggnog. Now let’s raise a cup of eggnog, dear, for Auld Lang Syne!

Homemade eggnog into glasses with cinnamon sticks and a pitcher in the background
5 from 4 votes
Review Recipe

Homemade Eggnog

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 1 day
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
A quick and easy holiday classic.


  • 10 egg yolks
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

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  • Prepare an ice bath big enough to put the bottom of the saucepan in (I use the kitchen sink).
  • Whisk egg yolks until light in color and slightly foamy.
  • Combine milk, sugar, cloves and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  • Scoop about 2 cups of the hot milk mixture into the eggs a little bit at a time whisking after each addition.
  • Pour the warm egg mixture into the milk and whisk over medium heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, place in ice bath and whisk 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in cream, rum and vanilla. Chill at least 24 hours.
  • Serve over ice with a dash of nutmeg.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 447, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 317mg, Sodium: 81mg, Potassium: 219mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 1178IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 200mg, Iron: 1mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword homemade eggnog
Course Beverage
Cuisine American

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About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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Recipe Rating


  1. My husband loves eggnog and I’m going to try making it for him. As I was reading over your list of ingredients and directions I couldn’t find where or when to add the 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Does it go in with the milk and spices?5 stars

  2. Is it possible to make a lactose free version of this recipe? I’m thinking of replacing oat milk for the whole milk, but i’m Not sure what to use to replace the heavy cream… any suggestions?

    1. I haven’t tried it with lactose free but I do think it would work well. As for the heavy cream, some stores do sell lactose free cream. You could also leave it out, the mixture is nice and thick without it. Let us know how it goes!

    1. I most often use them for breakfasts and make egg muffins which freeze and reheat well. Believe it or not, they can be cooked and chilled and then served in an egg salad (or added to salads in place of hard boiled eggs).

      They can be scrambled or made into egg white omelettes and raw egg whites freeze well too!! Hope that helps!