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Homemade Eggnog

This homemade cooked eggnog recipe is made without alcohol or raw eggs, perfect for serving to kids or grown-ups that don’t drink!

Tow mugs of my cooked eggnog recipe without alcohol with whole nutmegs, greenery, and a tea towel.

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Our family has always enjoyed a good cup of eggnog during the Christmas season. Mom would carefully pour out a small portion and add a bit of milk to make it less rich. We kids would savor the little we got and agree that any more would be too much.

These days I prefer to make my own eggnog. I know exactly which ingredients go into it. And it is such fun to make.

This homemade eggnog recipe has you cook the eggs in a custard base. That way you don’t have to worry about making anyone sick with uncooked eggs!

I’m usually not too squeamish about eating raw eggs, but serving them to other people makes me a little more nervous about food safety. I’m especially warry with pregnant women and young children. 

Also, this recipe is alcohol free, so it’s completely kid-friendly! Trust me, kids will adore it.

Make some this holiday season and your family will be overjoyed. 

Okay, let me show you how to make this non-alcoholic eggnog recipe!

All of the ingredients needed to make cooked eggnog laid out on a counter.

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  • Eggs: Don’t be shocked when you learn that this recipe calls for 12 whole eggs! You’ll be using both the egg yolks and egg whites, so there’s no need to worry about using up extras of one or the other.
  • Maple Syrup: I like to sweeten this eggnog with maple syrup, but feel free to substitute granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Salt: Of course you need to add a little bit of salt to bring out all of the other flavors. 
  • Whole Milk: I like to use whole milk to ensure that the final product is nice and rich and creamy.
  • Vanilla Extract: If you use regular vanilla extract, there will be a tiny bit of alcohol from that. But it’s really not much alcohol, and you can always purchase alcohol-free vanilla extract!
  • Nutmeg: I really like to use freshly grated nutmeg. The flavor is just different than pre-ground nutmeg. But if that’s all you have on hand, go ahead and use that! It will still be yummy.
  • Heavy Cream: Here’s my secret ingredient for making homemade eggnog incredibly rich. You can use either heavy whipping cream or regular whipping cream. You’ll be whipping this to soft peaks and folding it in just before serving. Oh yes.

Whisking the eggs, syrup, and salt in a stock pot.

How to Make Eggnog Without Alcohol:

First, you’re going to make the custard base.

Place the eggs, maple syrup (or sugar), and salt in a large stock pot. Whisk well.

Adding half of the milk to the egg and maple syrup mixture in the pot.

Now gradually stir in half of the milk.

You’ll see why you only add half later…


Stirring the eggnog custard over low heat.

Transfer the pot to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly (or at least nearly constantly), for about 25 minutes.

Photo of the eggnog custard coating the back of a spoon.

To test for doneness, dip a spoon into the custard. If it coats the back of the spoon, you’re good to go! You can use a wooden spoon or a stainless steel one. It won’t be a super thick texture, but you’ll definitely be able to feel that it has thickened. 

The mixture should reach about 170 -175 degrees F (76-79 degrees C), but don’t go above that.

If you go over that temperature, you might have scrambled eggnog on your hands. 

Don’t ask me how I know that.

Straining the cooked eggnog custard to remove any lumps.


I like to pour the cooked custard through a fine strainer/sieve into a large heat-proof mixing bowl.

That way if you were a little lax on the stirring, the sieve with catch any lumps.

Adding the vanilla extract to the cooked eggnog custard.

Adding the Vanilla/Milk & Cooling:

Stir in the vanilla extract…

…and the remaining milk.

Pouring the remaining milk into the non-alcoholic eggnog custard mixture.

Adding half of the milk later helps the mixture to cool down faster.

Cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator until completely cold, about 3 hours.

I don’t find it necessary to press plastic wrap on the surface. 

Whipping the cream until soft peaks form.

Whipping the Cream:

Here’s where it gets good.

Just before serving the eggnog, beat 2 cups of whipping cream until soft peaks form.

Folding the whipped cream into the custard with a wire whisk.

Fold the lightly whipped cream into the cooled eggnog custard. I think using a flat whisk works best for this.

Grating fresh nutmeg over the mugs of my homemade cooked eggnog recipe without alcohol.

Serving Eggnog Without Alcohol:

You can serve this either in a pitcher, or in a large bowl with a ladle.

You’ll probably want to use a small cup since this is so rich.

I highly recommending grating extra nutmeg on top. 

If you’re feeling extra decadent, you can also top this off with extra whipped cream.

This recipe makes about 16 cups of eggnog, or 32 half-cup servings. It’s quite rich, so the half-cup serving seems reasonable to me. But if you or your guests are avid eggnog fans, you may need plan for fewer servings per recipe.

Also, feel free to half or quarter the ingredients if you plan on serving fewer people.


Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

You can make this a few days in advance to save time later.


You can add a little bit of rum flavoring/extract if you’d like it taste more like the ones you get from grocery stores.

You can also add other spices such as cinnamon and cloves.

Two mugs of my homemade cooked eggnog recipe without alcohol with a tea towel, greenery, and fresh nutmeg around them.

What Does Eggnog Taste Like?

Eggnog tastes kind of like drinkable vanilla pudding with the lovely spiciness from the nutmeg.

It’s rich and flavorful. Such a treat!

How Long Does Eggnog Last?

Homemade eggnog will last about 3 days in the refrigerator. You could stretch it to 4-5 days, but that’s pushing it. For store-bought eggnog, you’ll just have to go by the expiration dates on the cartons.

Is Eggnog Gluten Free?

This homemade eggnog recipe is completely gluten free. Most store-bought eggnog should be gluten free as well, but you’ll want to check the ingredients for each brand. Gluten-containing ingredients can sometimes hide in a long list, so make sure to read carefully!

By the way, it is VERY important, if you have an instant read thermometer, that you make sure it is set to Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. I once bumped the button by accident and made “scrambled eggnog.” Oops. Reuben at it anyway – he’s crazy about eggnog (and not wasting ingredients).

Video Tutorial

Here’s a video tutorial in case you learn better that way!

More Eggnog Recipes:

More Homemade Drink Recipes:

More Holiday Treats:

Recipe Card:

Homemade Eggnog

Homemade eggnog with cooked eggs!

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword Christmas, Eggnog, Nutmeg
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 16 cups
Calories 85 kcal
Author Erica Lea


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups maple syrup or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg + more for garnish
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream


  1. 1) In heavy 4 quart saucepan, off heat, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, and salt until well blended. Gradually stir in half of the milk.
  2. 2) Cook over low hear, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 25 minutes
    Photo of the eggnog custard coating the back of a spoon.
  3. (mixture should be about 170 – 175 degrees F). Do not boil.
  4. 3) Pour custard in a large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract, 1 Tsp. ground nutmeg and remaining milk. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.
    Straining the cooked eggnog custard to remove any lumps.
  5. 4) Just before serving, in a medium bowl, beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. With wire whisk, gently fold whipped cream into custard mixture.

    Serve with extra whipped cream on top (optional) and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg (not optional).

  6. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
    Two mugs of homemade eggnog with a tea towel, greenery, and fresh nutmeg around them.
  7. Makes about 16 cups or 32 – 1/2 cup servings

Recipe Notes

Adapted from a recipe from a friend.


Recipe Rating


Wednesday 25th of October 2023

You have written 2 quarts 8 cups milk, but those measurements are equal. Is it a full gallon of milk or just the 2 quarts?

Erica Kastner

Thursday 26th of October 2023

It's 8 cups total. The 8 cups was meant to be in parentheses.


Monday 26th of December 2022

This is lovely to have Handy for easy cooking tips home made thank u


Wednesday 7th of December 2022

Do you think this could work with almond or oat milk!?!?

Erica Kastner

Thursday 8th of December 2022

It's totally possible! I don't particularly like almond milk, so I would try for the oat milk instead.


Friday 3rd of December 2021

Thank you! This is such an excellent recipe and tutorial! I can’t wait to try it this weekend and maybe use it for an eggnog latte! I love eggnog and the homemade eggnog is sure to be sooo good!


Friday 3rd of December 2021

Oh this looks so good!!!