Eggnog Ice Cream

DessertEggnogIce Cream

Homemade eggnog ice cream, with egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, and eggnog spices.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Admission, I love eggnog. When I was a kid my parents would get a couple cartons at a time, which they still had to ration, because I, like my 5 siblings, could easily drink a carton apiece. These days I make my own eggnog, and sadly must submit again to rationing, self-imposed this time, for the sake of my not-so-girlish-anymore figure. A reader suggested that eggnog would make a good ice cream, and once that idea lodged in my brain it never let go until the ice cream was made. Three cheers for all things eggnog! This recipe is similar to the eggnog recipe, but with a couple more egg yolks, and a slightly different milk to cream ratio. You could probably easily use already prepared eggnog, even the store-bought stuff. But if you’ve happened to spike it to the point of tasting the alcohol, it won’t churn into ice cream because the alcohol won’t freeze.

Eggnog Ice Cream Recipe

  • Yield: Makes about 1 quart.

Adding a couple of tablespoons of a spirit like rum, bourbon, or brandy to the eggnog ice cream base will help the ice cream from getting too icy if you store it for more than a day. You can skip the alcohol, but if you do, you should eat up the ice cream the day you make it.


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp rum, bourbon, or brandy


1 Put the 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of the cream into a heavy saucepan (2 quart). Add the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and heat until steamy, but not boiling. Lower the heat to warm, cover, and let spices steep for at least a half hour. Pick out the whole cloves and discard. Add the sugar and stir until it is dissolved.

2 Put remaining 1 cup cream in a metal bowl, resting in a larger bowl of ice water. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl of cream.

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3 Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour about half of the heated cream milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm mixture, but not cooked by it. Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

4 Return the saucepan to the stove on medium heat, stirring the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. You should be able to run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes. The second this happens the mixture should be removed from heat immediately, and poured through the sieve over the ice bath to stop the cooking (step 5).

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If the custard base doesn't coat the back of the spoon, it's not ready.

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The custard base coats the back of the spoon.

5 Pour the custard through the strainer (from step 2) and stir into the cold cream to stop the cooking. Once initially chilled in the ice bath, chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least a couple of hours).

6 When it comes time to churn the ice cream, stir in the vanilla extract and the rum, bourbon, or brandy. Then process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

7 Remove ice cream from the ice cream maker and transfer it to an airtight container; store in your freezer for several hours before eating. Note that the ice cream will be quite soft coming out of the ice cream maker. It will continue harden in your freezer. If stored for more than a day, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before attempting to scoop it.

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How to make ice cream without a machine - tips by David Lebovitz.

Showing 4 of 14 Comments / Reviews

  • KissTheChef

    This is awesome. I add the bourbon or rum to a caramel sauce for the top so no worries about it not freezing. Best of both worlds..

    Oooo, love that idea. ~Elise

  • Amanda

    I worked at an ice cream store in Boston that makes eggnog ice cream as a December flavor. They also make coquito ice cream. (Coquito is a Puerto Rican drink with egg yolks, coconut and rum.) These are both very popular flavors. Yum!

    Egg yolks, coconut, and rum? Sign me up! ~Elise

  • Matt

    This sounds delicious…for years now I had been stopping myself from buying this $20 Panasonic Ice Cream Maker that looked absolutely perfect. No freezing of parts and salting ice or anything like that. Just pop in batteries and toss it in the freezer. Come back in a few hours and it’s spun and frozen to perfection according to all the reviews on Amazon. You just breifly put me back on to the idea as my diet back in the day said Absolutely NOT! However it doesn’t look like they sell it and I’m not buying the other style I’ve used in the past. Maybe it’s for the best I can’t make this ice cream. Or maybe I’m just ranting to see if another poster knows of a similar unit. Damn subconscious.

  • Andrea

    This looks and sounds so good. Every year I say I’m going to make eggnog ice cream, then I get sucked into buying our favorite Turkey Hill eggnog ice cream, which is still very good. The ice cream is all gone, but we still have nog in the frig, so I might be tempted!

  • thekevinmonster

    I have made eggnog ice cream several years in a row and it’s always a hit. One tip is not to use a double boiler or else the custard step takes forever.

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Eggnog Ice Cream