A lighter take on traditional eggnog made with almond and coconut milk and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It’s rich and creamy, dairy-free and can be served with or without alcohol for a delicious holiday treat!
Eggnog is one of those things people tend to absolutely love or hate. I didn’t grow up drinking eggnog as a holiday tradition, but Isaac likes it so he introduced me to it a few years ago. As I’m typing this I’m realizing that it’s kind of funny that my Jewish husband is the one who introduced ME to eggnog.
Anyhow, once I tried eggnog I realized that while I adore the taste of it, I’m not so fond of its heaviness. Plus, there are a ton of ingredients in the packaged stuff that aren’t so EBF-friendly. Heavy cream, corn syrup, thickening agents and preservatives to name a few.
With that in mind I was inspired to create a lightened-up, clean-eating eggnog recipe that’s dairy-free, but still rich, thick and loaded with festive holiday spices. I ended up with a deliciously creamy, dairy-free eggnog that’s made with a blend of almond and coconut milk and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. No heavy cream or refined sugar here!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Lower in calories and fat compared to traditional eggnog.
Can be made with or without alcohol!
Delicious and festive drink to enjoy during the holidays!
It’s made with simple, real-food ingredients.
What is Eggnog
Eggnog is a classic chilled holiday drink made from milk, cream, sugar and eggs, often with a splash of rum or brandy. It’s thought to have originated in medieval England, where it was known as “posset.” Posset was a hot drink made from milk and wine or ale, thickened with eggs. Eggnog may have evolved from posset, or it may be a completely separate drink with a similar name and origin. These days, eggnog is a holiday staple and it can be found in stores and homes across the country during the Christmas season.
almond milk – I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but you can use your favorite non-dairy milk. You can also make your own almond milk!
coconut milk – I love the combo of almond milk + coconut milk. The coconut milk also helps to make this eggnog super creamy! Either light or regular full-fat coconut milk will work, whatever your preference.
egg yolks – can’t have eggnog without eggs! This is what gives this drink its rich and creamy texture.
maple syrup – I really like the light and sweet flavor that the maple syrup adds, but feel free to experiment with your favorite sweetener. I have a feeling that honey would work really well. You could also try a sugar-free version with stevia. The texture might change a little bit, but I think the eggnog would still taste great.
vanillaextract – a flavor enhancer.
cinnamon, ground nutmeg and ground clove – the perfect spice blend!
rum or whiskey – totally optional, but if you want classic eggnog be sure to add a splash of rum or whiskey for a nice warming effect.
How to Make Dairy-Free Eggnog
Simmer: Add the almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to a small pot and heat over medium heat until simmering. Do not bring it to a boil!
Blend: Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and maple syrup in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds, until light and fluffy.
Combine: Once the milk is simmering, turn the blender on low and slowly add the milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture a little at a time. This step is important because if you pour it in all at once the egg yolks will likely curdle.
Heat: Add the eggnog mixture back to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until thick, about 10-15 minutes. At this point the eggnog should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Chill: Transfer to a jar (I used a 32 oz mason jar), cover and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until chilled.
Serve: Serve chilled over a cube or two of ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and a cinnamon stick. Add a splash of rum or whiskey if using, and enjoy!
How to Serve
With alcohol – eggnog is commonly served with a splash of alcohol for an extra kick. Great options include whiskey, rum, bourbon or brandy. About 2-3 ounces of alcohol per serving should do the trick.
With a cinnamon stick – add in a cinnamon stick for an extra boost of flavor, and to stir in your alcohol of course.
Warm or chilled – I prefer my eggnog chilled with some ice, but you can also serve it warm and it’s equally delicious! It’s all up to your preference.
With whipped cream – add a dollop of whip cream on top! You could try coconut whipped cream to keep this recipe dairy-free.
Make breakfast – you can use this eggnog recipe for breakfast recipes like French toast or make this eggnog overnight oats recipe.
Storing Dairy-Free Eggnog
You can store your eggnog in a jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. I prefer to use a 32 oz mason jar for storage. If you add alcohol to the eggnog it will be good for up to one week in the fridge.
Why does eggnog curdle?
This dairy-free eggnog can curdle quite easily if you’re not careful! It’s very important to add the warm milk mixture to the egg mixture slowly while in the blender and to keep your stovetop at a medium-low temp when heating. If the saucepan gets too hot or is left on the heat too long your eggnog will curdle. It’s also important to constantly stir your eggnog while it’s on the heat. If you skip this step it can cause the eggnog to curdle.
Does eggnog have raw egg?
Yes, eggnog has raw egg in it. There are some risks associated with drinking raw eggs, but these can be minimized by using fresh eggs from a reputable source, and by taking care to avoid cross-contamination.
What alcohol goes best in eggnog?
There is no definitive answer to this question as different people have different preferences. Some people might prefer lighter alcohol such as vodka or rum, while others might prefer heavier alcohol such as whiskey, bourbon or brandy. Others might enjoy a coffee liqueur! Ultimately, it is up to your personal preference.
Do you serve eggnog hot or cold?
Some people prefer their eggnog piping hot while others prefer it ice cold. There are even some people who like to enjoy their eggnog at room temperature. No matter how you like your eggnog, it is sure to be delicious.
A lighter take on traditional eggnog made with almond and coconut milk and naturally sweetened with maple syrup. It's rich and creamy, dairy-free and can be served with or without alcohol for a delicious holiday treat!
Add almond milk, coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until simmering (not boiling).
Meanwhile, place egg yolks and maple syrup in a blender and blend on low-medium speed for about 30 seconds minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.
Once milk is simmering, turn blender on low and slowly add milk mixture a little at a time. It’s important to add the milk slowly to temper the eggs so they don’t curdle!
Add eggnog mixture back to saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until mixture thickens, about 10-15 minutes. At this point the eggnog should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat and let eggnog cool to room temperature. Transfer to a jar (I used a 32 oz mason jar), cover and refrigerate overnight or for a few hours until chilled.
Serve chilled over a cube or two of ice with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top and a cinnamon stick. Add a splash of rum, whiskey or bourbon, if using.