The Best Eggnog Recipe and 5 Desserts Featuring the Flavor

It’s December and that means it’s finally time to drink eggnog. When else can you indulge in the creamy beverage that’s commonly laced with rum, bourbon, and/or brandy? Revelers arrive at holiday parties expecting to enjoy the frothy drink, but one social faux pas you should never commit is serving the good stuff out of a carton. When it comes to eggnog, making it fresh and homemade is key.

If you’re intimidated to whip it up on your own, follow this classic eggnog recipe from Bon Appétit that never fails to impress. As long as you’re ready to separate your eggs, pull out your heavy cream, and whisk, whisk, whisk, you’re good to go, and you’ll never go back to cartons again.

What’s more, once you’re in the eggnog spirit, check out these 5 other recipes that star the iconic holiday flavor. These desserts will appease all of your guests this season, and make everyone embrace the magic that is the ‘nog.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

Classic Eggnog

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups dark rum
  • Whole nutmeg and cinnamon stick 

Directions: Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt in a large punch bowl just until sugar is dissolved, then whisk in milk, cream, and rum. Cover and chill egg nog base at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Gently fold into egg nog base. Finely grate nutmeg and cinnamon over as desired.

Sugar Cookie Dough

Source: iStock

1. Eggnog Cookies

Even if you don’t want to drink your eggnog this season, you should at least eat it via these Eggnog Cookies from Cooking ClassyThese soft cookies topped with a fluffy, buttery frosting taste just like Christmas and only take 30 minutes to make. Requiring only baking staples, you can make dessert in no time with little or no advanced planning. Even better, they can be served to kids and/or adults, as they’re only rated PG with the rum extract containing trace amounts of alcohol. If you want to make them G, just leave out the extract.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for topping
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • ½ cup eggnog

Frosting

  • ½ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons eggnog
  • ½ teaspoon rum extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, rum extract, and egg nog. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Scoop dough out by the heaping tablespoonfuls and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 11 to 13 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Eggnog Frosting and sprinkle tops lightly with nutmeg.

For the Eggnog Frosting: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Add in rum extract and 3 tablespoons eggnog, and mix in powdered sugar. Add additional eggnog to reach desired consistency.

Lemon Pound Cake, Loaf, Quick Bread

Source: iStock

2. Eggnog Pound Cake

Rich pound cake is always ridiculously good, and when it’s eggnog-flavored, you have an excuse to eat it during the holiday season. Prepare this Eggnog Pound Cake from Chocolate, Chocolate and More and see for yourself how well butter pairs with the seasonal drink. Eggnog is incorporated in both the cake’s base layer and frosting, so the decadent flavor is definitely there, but not over-bearing.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1¼ cup eggnog

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons eggnog

Directions: Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter until smooth, slowly add in sugar until all combined. Beat butter on medium speed until light and cream and color pales. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in vanilla. Alternating the flour mixture and eggnog, starting and ending with the flour add in both. Mix until smooth.

Spoon batter into 2 greased and floured 9-inch loaf pans or a Bundt pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 to 55 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cake rest in pan for 20 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely.
For the glaze, whisk together eggnog and powdered sugar, adding eggnog until desired consistency. Spoon over cooled cake. Let glaze set up for a few hours before serving or storing.

Chocolate Layer Cake with caramel, nuts

Source: iStock

3. Salted Caramel Eggnog Brownies

If you want to take things up a notch, you also have the option of making these Salted Caramel Eggnog Brownies from A Spicy Perspective. Salted caramel anything is pretty much bound to be good, and these brownies are no exception. They have three layers — one brownie tier, one fudge tier, and one frosting tier — and they’re surprisingly easy to bake. Pull out your stretchy pants and preheat your oven!

Ingredients:

Brownies

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted (1 cup)
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 11 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Eggnog Fudge

  • 2¾ cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Salted Caramel Fudge

  • 2¾ cups white chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can dulce de leche
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1-3 tablespoons milk
  • Course sea salt

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar until well-combined. Then add the cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Finally add the chocolate chips and mix in. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before moving on.

For the Eggnog Fudge Layer: Place all the ingredients for the eggnog fudge in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until everything is melted together and the mixture comes to a boil. Stir well, then pour the mixture over the brownies and smooth. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove large air bubbles. Then place in the freezer for 20 minutes to bring the fudge temperature down, before adding the next layer.

For the Salted Caramel Fudge Layer: Place the white chocolate chips, dulce de leche, and butter in the microwave. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until everything is melted together and the mixture comes to a boil. The caramel mixture will appear thicker than the previous mixture. Add 1 to 3 tablespoons of milk and stir well until the mixture is smooth and pourable. Pour over the Eggnog Fudge and gently tap the pan on the counter to remove large air bubbles. Place the pan in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours until the fudge is really firm. Sprinkle the top with course sea salt.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

4. Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes

If you’re worried about over-indulging during the holiday season, this next dessert is for you. These Mini Eggnog Cheesecakes from Baked by Rachel have built-in portion control, allowing you to have your cheesecake, but stay fit, too. Yielding 12 mini cheesecakes, they’re the perfect mini treats to serve at parties this December, and your guests will thank you for not testing their will power.

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, roughly 6 full sheets store-bought graham crackers
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Cheesecake

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teasoon salt
  • 1 egg

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the cavities of a 12-cup mini cheesecake pan. In a food processor or large bowl, combine crust ingredients. Divide evenly between prepared cheesecake cavities. Firmly press down to create and even crust. Bake for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile in a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together sugar and cream cheese. Add eggnog, flour, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Mix until well-blended. Add egg, mixing only until just combined. Fill cavities ¾ full. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until centers are only slightly jiggly. Remove to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Transfer to refrigerator to chill 4 hours or overnight.

Serve with fresh sweetened cranberry purée, sweetened whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

5. Cooked Custard Eggnog

This Cooked Custard Eggnog from Martha Stewart couldn’t be more mouth-watering, and it’s a sophisticated treat to serve to those you’re trying to impress. Many bakers shy away from custards, leaving it to the experts, but the rich, creamy dessert is actually easy to perfect, and only requires 6 ingredients. Follow Martha’s lead and incorporate your favorite seasonal drink into this rich and silky treat.

Ingredients:

  • 3½ cups milk
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • Grated nutmeg

Directions: Prepare an ice-water bath. In a medium saucepan, scald 2 cups milk. Meanwhile, with an electric mixer on medium-high, whisk 5 large egg yolks and the sugar until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add half the scalded milk to the yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Stir into remaining milk, and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, and immediately stir in 1 cup heavy cream. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a medium mixing bowl and set in the ice-water bath. Let stand, stirring from time to time, until chilled.

Stir in another 1½ cups milk and the dark rum. Transfer eggnog to a punch bowl or to individual glasses. Whip 1 cup heavy cream to soft peaks. Top each serving of eggnog with a dollop of whipped cream, and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

More from Life Cheat Sheet: