Holiday Eggnog (dairy free)

You don’t need dairy to make a delicious eggnog, but eggs should be on the ingredient list!

      When we were growing up, my mother had many holiday rituals. Among them, she improvised a most delicious and budget friendly eggnog using canned milk. She made it every Thanksgiving and Christmas, placed it in her punch bowl surrounded by pretty little glass cups. I still have the bowl, and have added to her collection of cups over the years.

Our kitchen, 1962. I still have Mom’s punch bowl, but I don’t know what happened to the Santa mugs (perhaps my daughter knows…)

Pasteurizing eggs is quick and easy!

We never worried about salmonella then, but if you have concerns, you can substitute pasteurized eggs in any nog recipe. Of course, she always made this eggnog with a more than ample addition of spirits, sometimes dark rum, but usually whiskey, or a combination of both, and there are those who say the spirits do a good job of killing off the pathogens! But pasteurizing takes only a few moments, and is worth the peace of mind.

I’ve made eggnog using various methods from cooked to raw eggs, and using any number of combinations of milk, light, and heavy cream, as well as non-dairy substitutes. I made a no-egg version once, but don’t recommend it at all! It was a nice beverage, but not eggnog!

A simple formula

However, dairy-free is easy and tasty for those who cannot or do not consume milk products. In general, the method is simple –– use about 1 egg per cup of liquid and a tablespoon of sugar, but the sugar is all to taste, as is the optional addition of spirits. Most servings of eggnog are about a half cup.

I’ve used vanilla bean paste rather than vanilla extract, but you can use what you have. Soy, rice, or almond milk work great here, and oat milk is tasty but will probably separate when rested so you’ll have to stir it up. This is not a thick and gloppy eggnog, but light and refreshing! Cheers!

Dairy Free Holiday Eggnog

Serves 10

  • 4 fresh organic eggs, *pasteurized
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 4 cups plant milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Rum

After pasteurizing eggs, place in a bowl with the sugar. Beat on high with your hand mixer until the eggs are light and thick, and the sugar dissolved.

For some reason, using a hand mixer is essential to me when making this recipe because that is what we had when I was a little kid! I sort of feel like June Cleaver when I use it!

Add the coconut milk, followed by the vanilla and plant milk, drizzling it in.

Grate a quarter teaspoon of fresh nutmeg and taste. You may want a lot more, or this could be exactly enough. Add rum, or other spirits.

Serve with a fresh grate of nutmeg on top.

*To pasteurize eggs:

Always use fresh, local organic eggs where possible, especially if you are concerned about food-borne bacteria. 

Have the eggs at room temperature, then place in a saucepan of room temperature water. Slowly bring the water to 140 degrees F. (60 C.) over medium/low heat and let the eggs rest in this bath for there to five minutes, depending on the size of your eggs. Keep a close watch on the temperature the water, you don’t want it to go much higher than the 140 degrees (60 degrees C.). After the time is finished, plunge in cold water to stop the cooking process.

Sylvia’s Holiday Eggnog

  • 3 cans evaporated milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can water
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • Liberal grating of nutmeg for garnish

            Beat the eggs with an electric mixer until light in a large bowl. Add all ingredients and beat until well blended. Grate nutmeg over top. Add whiskey, rum, or brandy if desired or use plain.

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30 Comments Add yours

  1. Yay! I’ve been looking for a dairy free eggnog! Thank you!

    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  2. Sarah Davis says:

    Love the photo and how you have kept your Mom’s tradition; updating is allowed.

    1. Thanks! We have folks in the family who don’t tolerate dairy, so this is a great alternative.

  3. Coconut milk and rum pair so well, so I’m sure this version is ultra delicious! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! It’s really tasty, and not far from my Mom’s!

  4. Believe it or not I have never tried an eggnog 🙈🙈
    Sweet memories though 😍

  5. Love the photos especially the TV. I remember when you got up to change the channel to maybe one of three that came in and when you called a repair man to fix it instead of tossing it out. I’m showing my age, but that’s okay. 🙂 I like eggnog but must admit with my head hanging that I buy it at the store so as always I applaud your culinary efforts. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Judy! We had to go outside to turn the antenna when we changed one of our three or four channels: sometimes Poland Springs, ME, WMUR Manchester, N.H., and sometimes WWLP in Springfield, Ma. We got a Boston channel, don’t remember which one, so we kids could watch Boomtown and Capt. Bob, who taught unto draw! This, of course, all depended on the time of year, and whether the wind was blowing the antenna around! I also remember my mom had a box of tubes for the tv and sometimes she was lucky and had the right one!

  6. I have been looking for a dairy free eggnogg!! Amazing, sounds delicious!!

    1. It’s really good, and you can use whatever plant milk you like. It’s also good with the coconut beverage, just use the unflavored one and add what you like best.

  7. Goodness, you’re impressive. 👏

    1. Ah gee, thanks! I just try to keep folks happy and enjoying their food and treats, especially right now!

  8. Perfect for tomorrow night. Merry Christmas, Dorothy.

    1. Merry Christmas to you too!

  9. Karen says:

    Love the old photos…I can remember going to parties where there would be the punch bowl with the cups that would hang from it. Merry Christmas Dorothy.

    1. My mom used those for a time, but after a while the little hooks started disappearing! Thanks for reminding me of that!

  10. Merry Christmas Dorothy, your energy in the kitchen knows no bounds, of course you make your own eggnog!! Yummmmmm…

    1. I must confess that I’ve bought the ready made, even the one from our local dairy, and they are just too thick for my taste! We ended up lightening them up with milk, so it’s really not that much work to make our own. Plus, I get to use my hand mixer!

  11. This looks dairy! I sure would love a taste. 🍮🍮🍂🍂🫖🍂🍂🍽

    1. I’ll save you a cup!

    1. It’s really good! I’m not sure why we don’t think about it at other times of the year, but we don’t.

  12. That looks so good except I dont drink/eat anything alcohol remotely. lovely recipe as always.

    1. Thank you! The alcohol is always optional in this!

  13. Julia says:

    I really enjoyed the pictures! Since Bruce has problems with dairy, this sounds like a great recipe to try for him.

    1. Thank you so much! A lot of folks have trouble with dairy, but there are lots of alternatives available now.

  14. Great recipe! Love the pics!

    1. Thank you! Need to remember this other times of the year!

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