19 Ways To Use Eggnog In Your Baking And Beyond

If you're an eggnog fan, you already love its rich texture and distinctive blend of spices. You don't have to drink a mug of eggnog, though, to enjoy its flavor. Incorporating eggnog into recipes brings a unique twist to traditional treats, infusing them with a taste that delightfully evokes the season. When you consider the main ingredients in eggnog (cream, eggs, nutmeg, and cinnamon), it's not surprising that the delicious drink lends itself well to baking. 

You can also easily use eggnog to make frostings or glazes for cakes and cookies. Take advantage of its delicious creaminess to add a velvety texture to custards, puddings, or cheesecake fillings, creating new warm and wintery desserts that are perfect for the holidays. Why stop with desserts? You can also use eggnog to jazz up your breakfast dishes or even your cocktails. Try one of these inventive ways to use eggnog this winter. 

Bake an eggnog cake

While some baking wizards make elaborately constructed and intricately decorated cakes for the holidays, many would agree that it's the simple cakes that are best. All that decor may look pretty, but it doesn't always deliver on taste. That's the beauty of an eggnog cake, which incorporates the seasonal drink into the batter for a rich texture and delicately-spiced flavor. It's sure to become a tradition, and it just might replace your gingerbread cake.

Because eggnog cake is simple, almost everyone will enjoy it. Serve a slice with a cup of coffee to the grownups, or pile on the whipped cream to treat the kids. Make a few extra for gift-giving or bake sales. You can also make eggnog cake in cupcake form, to make them even more shareable. Individually boxed and tied with pretty ribbon, cupcakes make great small gifts for co-workers, classmates, and service workers. 

Use eggnog to make French toast

The holiday spirit isn't just for desserts and family dinners. You can inject some seasonal cheer into breakfast time as well with eggnog french toast. If you already know how to make regular French toast, then all you have to do is swap out your milk for eggnog (either store-bought or homemade). Simply dredge your bread into eggnog and beaten eggs, and dust with cinnamon, nutmeg, and powdered sugar, if you like. 

You can use any sort of bread you have on hand, but fluffy, soft breads like challah are particularly good, or try making eggnog french toast with a cinnamon-raisin swirl bread. Top your French toast with a cinnamon-tinged whipped cream, maple syrup, or a gingery fruit compote. It's good enough to enjoy plain, though. This is a great breakfast to whip up on Christmas morning, or while hosting guests over the holidays. 

Swap milk with eggnog in a pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie is always the clear favorite for Thanksgiving, partly because it has such a decidedly autumnal vibe. It's often overlooked at Christmas in favor of more holiday-specific desserts and treats, but it doesn't have to be. Simply swapping out the milk in a pumpkin pie recipe for some tasty holiday eggnog gives the traditional pie a Christmassy makeover, making it worthy of winter celebrations. 

You can use eggnog in the same amount as your favorite pumpkin pie recipe calls for, but keep in mind that eggnog is already sweet. You may want to adjust the amount of sugar in your pie or consider using a low-sugar variety of eggnog for baking use. If you're using homemade eggnog of the boozy variety, your pie will be even better, as some chefs use bourbon as a secret ingredient for pumpkin pie

Try eggnog in a bread pudding

Few would deny that bread and butter pudding is one of the most perfect comfort foods. The richness of the fresh butter and milk, the sweetness of the sugar, and the filling heartiness of bread combine to make something special out of simple ingredients. To make bread pudding even more special (and more rich), try using eggnog in place of the milk for a breakfast or brunch dish that's worthy of the holidays. 

Some versions are known as French toast casserole, but the ingredients are the same. You can add your own twists to the dish by adding berries or other fruit, or add a dash of liqueur or rum for depth. Of course, if you're using a homemade eggnog with bourbon or rum in the recipe, you can automatically benefit from the flavor. Serve with bacon or ham for a salty, savory contrast.

Make a batch of eggnog fudge

Fudge is always a hit during the holidays, as the bite-size pieces allow for indulging without going too far overboard. Even folks who eschew desserts will sometimes allow themselves a small piece of fudge. There's always plenty of chocolate around during the holidays, so variations are welcome. Eggnog fudge is a festive way to add unique flavor to the traditional treat. It's also oh-so-giftable, so make plenty to hand out. 

Be aware that some recipes for eggnog fudge don't use eggnog, but are merely eggnog flavored. Look for a recipe that uses the real thing for the best eggnog taste. Cut your fudge into small pieces, so everyone can give it a try. You can put individual pieces in small paper baking cups for a festive look on the dessert table. Eggnog fudge is also a surefire hit at holiday bake sales!

Stir eggnog into waffles and pancakes

Nothing makes mornings more special than waking up to a batch of hot waffles or fluffy pancakes. You can treat your family to a holiday version of their favorite breakfast by adding eggnog to the waffle or pancake batter. It's a ridiculously simple substitute: Simply swap your milk for eggnog in the same amount as you would regularly use. The flavors of the eggnog add warmth and spice to the batter, without a lot of fuss.

You can top your pancakes or waffles with regular butter and maple syrup, or make them even more festive with a salted caramel topping. Grate some fresh ginger over fruit topping for a spicy addition that adult foodies will appreciate. Whipped cream is always welcome with children, and you can sprinkle a little nutmeg on top to continue the eggnog theme. Try serving them at your next brunch. 

Elevate homemade frosting with eggnog

Want an easy way to add a little extra holiday magic to your favorite tried-and-true recipes? Just add eggnog to your regular buttercream frosting. It's as simple as using eggnog instead of milk as you're mixing together the ingredients. Because frosting recipes only use a little bit of liquid, you might want to eggnog-ify the recipe just a little bit more with some rum extract and grated nutmeg, but it's not required. The eggnog alone makes a lovely difference.

Eggnog frosting can make even the simplest cakes suddenly ready for the holidays. It's like a Christmas sweater for desserts. For treats and cakes that are already celebration-ready, it adds an extra layer of something special. Spread eggnog frosting on gingerbread loaves, Christmas cookies, brownies, or Bundt cakes. Layer some between thin sugar cookies for eggnog sandwich cookies — they'll be a hit at the cookie swap.

Surprise guests with eggnog cookies

You can turn any of your favorite holiday cookies into eggnog cookies by topping them with eggnog frosting, but for the full eggnog experience, try making cookies with eggnog incorporated into the batter. Eggnog cookies made this way will give you eggnog flavor through and through. You can then frost the cookies with eggnog frosting, use a more traditional glaze, or just let the cookie do the talking for itself.

Eggnog cookies are the perfect cookies to make with your kids, who can then leave some out for Santa, and they're super for cookie swaps, too. If you've got leftover eggnog after Christmas, cookies are a useful way to use up the rest of the carton or jug. They freeze well, too, so you don't need to worry about having too many. You can unthaw them for a winter treat well after Christmas is over.

Serve eggnog cinnamon rolls for breakfast

Imagine your family waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of cinnamon rolls. Now imagine that those cinnamon rolls were made with real eggnog, mixed right into the batter for an extra boost of holiday flavor and goodness. That's a smell that's truly worthy of Christmas morning. Homemade eggnog cinnamon rolls can be frosted with traditional frosting or glaze, or you can make them even more indulgent with some eggnog frosting. 

You'll find that these cinnamon rolls are delicious even when plain. The cinnamon and eggnog add just the right amount of sweetness and flavor, so they're not too over-the-top for anyone who has gorged on holiday treats. Eggnog cinnamon rolls are good with hot coffee or a cold glass of milk. Serve with lots of fresh fruit and juice. Adding a big batch of scrambled eggs will fortify everyone for the day.

Add flavor to a sweet potato dish with eggnog

Everybody has a different opinion when it comes to sweet potatoes and how they're best prepared. Some people like their sweet potato casserole with a brown sugar streusel topping. Others swear by mini marshmallows, with just a bit of charring on the top from the broiler. If you want to try a sweet potato addition that just may convert every person on your guest list, try adding some eggnog to your next sweet potato dish.

The flavors of eggnog pair well with sweet potatoes, and many of its ingredients are things you might add to them anyway, like cinnamon and nutmeg. The milk adds a creamy texture, and the eggs help make the dish nice and fluffy. Sweet potatoes are extra good with real homemade eggnog, especially if it's laced with plenty of bourbon or rum, which adds a pleasant kick.

Mix some eggnog into your oatmeal

Oatmeal isn't what it used to be. There's no need to suffer through a lumpy bowl of tepid oatmeal with nothing but some granulated sugar on top to help you choke it down. Internet cooks and TV chefs have taught us that almost anything goes with this popular breakfast food, and folks now can enjoy oatmeal that tastes like pumpkin pie, carrot cake, or a banana split. At holiday time, you can add eggnog oatmeal to that list.

A generous splash of eggnog not only makes oatmeal perfectly creamy, but it adds all the delicious flavors of the holiday drink to the bowl. Overnight oats fans can mix oats with eggnog and refrigerate all night for a ready-to-eat breakfast that's perfect for the winter holiday season. Eggnog oatmeal is just as good when it's hot, and it's especially tasty with extra cinnamon and butter. 

Make rice pudding with eggnog

Rice pudding is one of those comforting, dishes that brings back pleasant nostalgic memories for a lot of people. It seems to have fallen out of favor in recent years (perhaps because of the raisins) but it's worth reviving as a holiday tradition. One way to breathe new life into rice pudding is to make it with eggnog instead of milk. The resulting dish is fragrant and filling, making it just as good for a midday snack as it is for dessert. 

If you plan on making eggnog rice pudding, this is a good time to break out the handy-dandy slow cooker. You can cook the dish in the crock and keep it warm for guests, who can serve themselves when they like. It reheats well, so you can make it ahead of time. If it seems dry, just stir in more eggnog. And for the averse, raisins are optional.

Gift your friends with eggnog loaves

Move over, lemon loaf. In fact, gingerbread loaf can move over, too. If you want a holiday-themed snacking loaf that's just right for gift-giving, eggnog loaf is here to change the game. It's cakey, sweet, and has all the required flavors of the season. Most recipes for eggnog loaf are simple, so it's a cinch to make, doesn't take a lot of time, and you can bake them using store-bought or homemade eggnog. 

Eggnog loaf is delicious on its own, but you can glaze it if you like, or slather it with some eggnog frosting. Be on the lookout for pretty paper or cardboard disposable loaf pans, which make it easy to transport, and look nice when tied with ribbon or string. Make plenty of loaves, and if you have any extra, you can cube them later for use in a layered trifle. 

Bake a holiday eggnog cheesecake

Cheesecake is known for being rich, creamy, and decadent. Eggnog is also known for being rich, creamy, and decadent. So, what happens when eggnog and cheesecake collide? The result is a dessert that is twice as rich, twice as creamy, and twice as decadent as anything else on the holiday dessert table. Serve up an eggnog cheesecake to guests and watch them try to find the adjectives to describe it. It's one of those desserts that seems almost sinful.

Eggnog cheesecake uses both cream cheese and a generous amount of eggnog for flavor and texture, so it's nothing short of indulgent. It's good with a graham cracker crust, but you can make it even more suited to the holidays with a gingerbread crust. It's your choice whether to serve it with a topping or not. No one will miss it, with a cheesecake this good. 

Try a silky eggnog pie

Those who love both pie and eggnog can rejoice at the fact that there are two different ways to make an eggnog pie. The first is a baked pie that uses eggnog as the base for a custardy filling that's just like your favorite custard pie, only amped up for the holidays with eggnog flavor. The other version of eggnog pie is a no-bake variety, made with pudding mix and cold eggnog, then refrigerated until set. How is an eggnog lover to choose?

The eggnog custard pie has the extra benefit of making the house smell like eggnog spices while it's baking, but it's hard to beat the silky-smooth texture of the no-bake eggnog pie. You just may have to make one of each this winter. An eggnog pie, decorated with gingerbread cookies or frosted berries, would be a welcome addition to a Christmas potluck.

Layer a trifle with eggnog custard

Eggnog makes a great custard ingredient, as you know if you've ever made eggnog pie, but there are other uses for an eggnog-based custard (besides just eating it by itself with a spoon). Eggnog custard is perfect for layering into a holiday trifle, instead of a vanilla custard or pudding. Having an eggnog-flavored layer makes for a special trifle that suits the spirit of the season and is a welcome twist on the traditional trifle.

Layer eggnog custard into a pretty glass bowl or trifle dish with ladyfingers, cookies, or cubes of cake. Trifle is a handy way to revive stale bread or cake, and just as with bread pudding or savory stuffings, stale or toasted breads are better for soaking up flavors. To keep things themed for the holidays, layer your eggnog trifle with pieces of gingerbread, fruitcake, or red velvet cake. 

Turn eggnog custard into crème brûlée

Crème brûlée is always seen as an ultra-fancy dessert, and while it does take more time than some simpler fare, it's not really that much harder than making a traditional custard. If you can make custard, you can make crème brûlée. An eggnog crème brûlée will seem extra special to dinner guests, and it's a beautiful way to end a seasonal dinner party. 

If you really want to impress guests, you can flame and caramelize the tops of the custard with a blowtorch, but it's not a task for novices. (You don't want to try it in front of guests for the first time.) Eggnog crème brûlée will be just as good if you caramelize it under the broiler. Serve in your best ramekins with some pretty berries on top. 

Warm up with an eggnog latte

Eggnog is certainly delicious when enjoyed cold, but there's something about having it hot that makes the winter feel extra cozy. The aromatic spices and the warmth of the mug are like a hug from a friend. For those who prefer their eggnog hot and could also use a kick from caffeine, an eggnog latte will truly hit the spot. It's as easy as making a traditional latte. 

Simply combine espresso with hot eggnog for a seasonally appropriate coffee drink that can be topped with whipped cream and nutmeg for extra appeal. Add extra rum or bourbon for a hot cocktail that will definitely warm your insides. You can combine the ingredients in a slow cooker to let guests enjoy hot eggnog lattes throughout the evening as they wish. If you're planning an eggnog bar for a holiday party, espresso makes for a fun addition. 

Splash some eggnog into a winter martini

Part of the fun of holiday parties is tasting unique cocktails. If you're looking for Christmas drinks, New Year's Eve cocktails, or fun mixed drinks for an office party, consider making eggnog martinis. They're an unexpected twist on the classic cocktail, combining the creaminess of eggnog with the sophistication of the classic martini. All you need are vodka, eggnog, and a cocktail shaker, but a sugar and nutmeg rim makes things look visually appealing.

Eggnog martinis don't have to wait for parties. You can use them as a starter for a dinner party, or make some for a cozy night in while watching movies in your pajamas with a loved one. Mix up a pitcher of eggnog martinis for a game night with all of your besties. There's no better way to relax and take some of the stress out of the holidays.