This eggnog without cream happens to be completely dairy-free, but you wouldn’t even know it.
Though I usually don’t care for the store versions, I cannot pass up a delicious glass of creamy eggnog once the holiday season rolls around. However, I married a lactose-intolerant so I’m always looking for dairy-free alternatives to my favourites so we can enjoy things together.
This eggnog recipe makes some plant-based swaps for the dairy products but it leaves absolutely nothing to be desired. It turns out frothy and creamy and is perfect for anyone in your life who can’t have dairy.
How to Make Dairy-Free Eggnog
For this recipe, I call for using almond milk in place of regular whole milk and canned (full-fat!) coconut milk in place of heavy cream. Use full-fat coconut milk – the recipe will not turn out well if you try to reduce the fat content. It’s the holidays – no better time than to be a little bit decadent!
I tested this recipe using almond milk and I was really happy with the results. Just make sure that it’s unsweetened as the final product could get a bit too sweet otherwise. Though I haven’t personally tested it, you can swap out the almond milk to any other unsweetened nut milk of your choice.
Combine both the almond milk and the coconut milk in a small saucepan. Don’t worry if the coconut milk is a bit separated – it will come together once it heats up.
To the milks, also add in a vanilla bean pod that you’ve split in two and scraped the seeds. If you don’t want to do this, add a bit of vanilla bean paste. In a pinch, you can also use vanilla extract, however, don’t add that until the very end, when you whisk in the nutmeg.
Set the pot over medium heat and cook, whisking occasionally, until the mixture just begins to simmer. Then, remove it from the heat.
Meanwhile, add your eggs and some demerara sugar to a large mixing bowl. I like using demerara sugar because I think it adds a complexity of flavour that you don’t get with plain white sugar.
Whisk the eggs and sugar vigorously for about 2 whole minutes. You want the mixture to be incredibly frothy and pale.
Once your milk mixture has heated, it’s time to temper the eggs. This is to prevent any curdling and to ensure you have a smooth and creamy eggnog once you’re through.
Whisking the eggs constantly, slowly stream in the hot milk mixture. Once all of the milk is mixed in, return it to the saucepan and set it over medium heat.
Ensuring that you are still whisking constantly to prevent scorching, heat the eggnog until it reaches 80-85°C (175-185°F) on an instant-read thermometer. Be very careful not to overheat this because, if you do, your mixture will break and become very grainy and not delicious.
As soon as your custard comes to temperature, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. If you want to be extra cautious, it’s a great idea to pour it through a fine mesh sieve to ensure there are no bits of curdled egg.
Then, top your eggnog with a bunch of freshly grated nutmeg (please don’t use pre-ground, it has very little flavour).
This is also when I like to add some brandy – you could use whisky or rum if you’d prefer – but you can also leave it alcohol-free.
All you need now is a bit of patience! Allow the eggnog to cool to room temperature on the countertop before refrigerating until it’s completely chilled – at least 1.5-2 hours. You can also keep it in the fridge for up to a week.
When it’s chilled, all you need to do is serve and enjoy! Have it as an aperitivo at a holiday party or alongside dessert – such as sticky toffee pudding!
- 750ml (3 cups) unsweetened almond milk
- 1 (400ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 100g (1/2 cup) demerara sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 120ml (1/2 cup) brandy (optional) (see note 1)
- Add the almond milk and coconut milk to a small saucepan along with a generous pinch of salt. Don't worry if the fat has separated from the liquid of the coconut milk - it will all come together when it heats up.
- Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean open long ways. Using the back of the knife, run the knife along the split to scrape up the seeds. Add the seeds and bean pod to the saucepan.
- Set the saucepan over medium heat and, whisking frequently, gently bring the mixture up to a bare simmer. Remove from the heat once it comes to a simmer.
- While heating up the milk mixture, combine the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk vigorously for 1-2 minutes, until the mixture is pale and very frothy.
- Once the milk mixture has come to a simmer, it's time to temper the egg mixture. Whisking the egg mixture constantly, very slowly stream in the hot milk mixture. Continue whisking until all of the milk has been incorporated. Return the custard to the saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and, whisking constantly, slowly heat the custard until it reaches a temperature of 80-85°C (175-185°F) on an instant-read thermometer. Do not exceed this temperature as anything higher can cause the custard to break. (see note 2)
- Remove the custard from the heat and pour through a fine mesh sieve set over a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the nutmeg and the brandy, if using. Allow to cool to room temperature on the countertop before moving to the refrigerator and allowing to chill thoroughly, around 2 hours, before serving (see note 3)
- If you don't have/don't like brandy, feel free to use whiskey or light rum in its place. The eggnog is also delicious when alcohol-free.
- If you don't have a thermometer, remove the custard from the stovetop when it is very steamy but has yet to come to a boil.
- You can make the eggnog a few days in advance to serving. It will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to a week.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 148mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 6g
Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
And that’s how you make an incredible eggnog without heavy cream! This recipe is super simple and it tastes just as good as all of the dairy-loaded nogs I’ve sampled.
Are you looking for a dairy-free eggnog? Have any questions about this recipe? Let me know in the comments!