Eggnog Ice Cream

DessertChristmasEggnogIce 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!

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Turning Eggnog into Ice Cream

This recipe is similar to the eggnog recipe, but with a couple more egg yolks, and a slightly different milk to cream ratio. And then, of course, churned into ice cream.

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.

Best Mix-Ins for Eggnog Ice Cream

Want to make an extra-special batch of eggnog ice cream? Consider adding one of these mix-ins to the ice cream at the end of churning.

Can’t Get Enough Eggnog?

Eggnog Ice Cream Recipe

  • Prep time: 1 hour
  • Chilling and Freezing time: 12 hours
  • 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 Infuse milk and cream with spices: 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.

2 Add sugar: Stir the sugar into the milk cream base until the sugar dissolves.

3 Put remaining cream in bowl over ice bath: 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.

mesh strainer over the bowl of eggnog cream

4 Temper the eggs with the heated cream milk mixture: 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.

5 Heat mixture to make custard base: 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 the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, it should be removed from heat immediately, and poured through the sieve over the ice bath to stop the cooking (see the next step).

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

The custard coats the back of the spoon.

6 Strain custard into cream over ice bath, then chill: Pour the custard through the strainer you set up over an ice bath in step 3, and stir it 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).

7 Stir in vanilla extract and rum/bourbon/brandy: When it comes time to churn the ice cream, stir in the vanilla extract and the rum, bourbon, or brandy.

8 Process in ice cream maker: Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

9 Transfer to container, store in freezer: 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 to 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

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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14 Comments / Reviews

No ImageEggnog Ice Cream

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. ~Josh

    Haha my mom just mentioned this a few minutes ago. I could just hear the Egg Nog Ice Cream calling my name right now
    ~ Josh

  2. marie

    I think I may try this with ready bought eggnog and just follow my regular vanilla ice cream recipe but with eggnog instead of whole milk. And rum flavour instead of vanilla. Think that should work?

  3. ch1d3th

    pst…freezing ice cream with liquid nitrogen
    would allow you to add alcohol during this step, if you are so inclined

  4. Andrew

    If you want to add more spirit but scared it won’t freeze, just heat the spirit beforehand so the alcohol evaporates away leaving the spirit flavour only.

    Also, if the ice cream is too hard, increase the sugar. I also suspect that if you added corn syrup instead of extra sugar that would decrease the excess ice. I’ll test this theory once I get my ice cream machine back off my mother!

  5. Gordon

    Is there something I could add that’s non-alcoholic that would server the same purpose (IE.. anti-freeze)?

    Perhaps, corn syrup. Try 2 Tbsp. No idea how it will taste with ice cream, but it works with sorbet. ~Elise

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