Swap Out Milk With Eggnog For More Decadent Pumpkin Pie

The end of each year is filled with so many spiced fall treats and festive holiday desserts that it can be hard to choose between Thanksgiving and Christmas delicacies. But what if you didn't have to? Swap out milk for eggnog in your classic pumpkin pie recipe this holiday season to make a tasty treat that will round out any festive meal — and give you the best of both worlds.

Since pumpkin pie is full of spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and since an easy eggnog recipe calls for seasonings like vanilla, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, the flavors in both of these treats complement each other well. Plus, the added ingredient gives pumpkin pie a texture upgrade. The filling's consistency will be lighter, fluffier, and creamier than in your typical pumpkin dessert, which may leave you going back for seconds after Thanksgiving dinner. And because milk and heavy cream are some of eggnog's main ingredients, it's fairly simple to substitute it for plain milk in a baking recipe.

How to swap out your milk for eggnog

If you want to use eggnog in your pumpkin pie, there are a few things to keep in mind. Most store-bought eggnog contains a good amount of sugar (i.e., 20 grams per serving of Lucerne Eggnog and 18 grams per serving of Darigold Classic Eggnog), so look for an unsweetened carton, if available. Also, opt for a carton over a can, as the canned stuff typically isn't dense enough.

If the no-sugar options prove impossible to find, just pay attention to the sweetness in your pie recipe — some recipes glean it from condensed milk (in which case, eggnog would be a suitable flavor swap), while others use granulated sugar, which you may want to scale back on. The eggnog swap may be easier to make in the former type of recipe, as cutting back on too much sugar when the recipe calls for it may affect your pie's overall texture. As an alternative, you can make your eggnog at home and leave the sugar out.

Typically, you can make a 1:1 swap of eggnog for milk, or you can start with half eggnog and half milk if you'd rather test the waters. You'll want to add in the festive beverage when you're making the filling with pumpkin puree, eggs, and spices.