The best vegan eggnog, bought or homemade! Thick and custardy, not watery or coconutty, and with no medicinal taste. Convinces eggnog lovers!
Eggnog is one of the greatest joys of my life. Or.. was, rather. Because once I gave up eggs and dairy I couldn’t find a vegan option that scratched the itch.
They’re all very thin – and I want my eggnog to be thicker. Much thicker!
They all have weird spices like cinnamon and clove, end end up tasting like medicine in their particular formulations instead of eggnog. Or they are made with coconut milk and cream to give it thickness, which tastes like a tropical coquito (which is delicious in its own right!) instead of a cozy ‘Murican holiday hug.
So I made my own.
And I never call my recipes the best, because I haven’t tried every single recipe out there. But this one, y’all… This one is the best. It cannot get any better. It convinced even the staunchest eggy eggnog lovers in my family, and I’ve gotten requests for bottles of it for Christmas!
The best eggnog formula:
Eggnog was originally a recipe to make a custard pie filling. Imagine pudding before it sets? It was poured into the pie crust and baked, solidifying when the eggs firmed up from the heat.
And the ingredients were very simple! Eggs, cream, nutmeg, and sugar. Alcohol was added to extend the shelf life once it was decided the custard would be a delicious drink in addition to a pie.
My favorite eggnog recipe ever in the history of the world was the one by Alton Brown. His is simple and utterly enjoyable in every way. Except… The eggs and dairy.
So this recipe is modeled after that one – emulating the taste, texture, mixability, and drinkability of my favorite recipe but in vegan and allergy-friendly form!
It’s pretty similar to the one George Washington had, too!
One quart cream, one quart milk, one dozen tablespoons sugar, one pint brandy, 1/2 pint rye whiskey, 1/2 pint Jamaica rum, 1/4 pint sherry—mix liquor first, then separate yolks and whites of eggs, add sugar to beaten yolks, mix well. Add milk and cream, slowly beating. Beat whites of eggs until stiff and fold slowly into mixture. Let set in cool place for several days. Taste frequently.
Ingredients to make the best vegan eggnog
YOU WILL NOT FREAK OUT.
YOU WILL TRUST ME AND TRUST THE PROCESS.
Let’s take a deep breath before looking….
Ok. Here you go.
Unfortunately, right after developing and testing this recipe, my grandpa fell ill and we had to leave state urgently to go support my Grammy (the author of my chocolate wacky cake!) and extended family. I forgot all of my process photos at home and only have the finished photos with me. I will update this post with them as soon as I get back, but I would love some prayers for my Papa in the meantime. <3
Yes. It says mayonnaise.
I’ll give you a minute. But you promised! You promised you’d trust me!!
Emulating the dairy:
Alton’s recipe uses both whole milk and heavy cream. And the closest match I’ve found to whole milk is Planet Oat’s extra creamy oatmilk. It’s good and thick for a plant based milk, and doesn’t have any weird tastes.
And for cream, we have vegan heavy cream in the world but not everyone has access, so we are going to use sweetened condensed milk (whatever is safe for you – just not coconut!) instead. This will give us both the “cream” and the sugar in one shot.
If you don’t have access to ready-made condensed milk, you can easily make your own! Just dissolve one part sugar into two parts of your favorite unsweetened milk, hot. Simmer it very gently for an hour until it’s thick and reduced by at least half. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use.
Emulating the eggs:
In the version from Alton brown, he whips up the egg whites to soft peaks and the yolks to ribbons, and mixes it all together. I considered trying this with aquafaba, but I know the meringue will not hold when mixed into the main batch – or over time.
So instead of trying to copy the process, I copied the results: thick, viscous, eggy cream.
To replicate the texture of the egg custard, I’ve used tapioca starch and xanthan gum.. and… vegan mayonnaise. Yes. Mayonnaise. We’ve been through this already. Just breathe and trust me!
Mayo has the texture of the egg custard, y’all!! And when we add in the tapioca and xanthan gum, it extends that texture to a bunch of the “dairy” portion, and I PROMISE it all works out!!
Think about it: What is traditional mayonnaise made from? EGGS!!! And the vegan mayonnaises today are nearly indistinguishable from eggy mayo. It brings the flavor, the texture, and the richness to the party without a bunch of extra work!
Emulating the eggy flavor:
The dairy in the original recipe doesn’t really offer a lot in terms of flavor – mostly texture and a little sweetness – so I didn’t worry too much about that.
The eggs were the biggy!
To bring in the classic egg flavor, we are (of course) going to use Indian black salt. As soon as you open the jar, you smell eggs. It’s surreal. That’s because it’s full of sulfur!
Have you ever been somewhere where the water coming from the tap smelled like eggs? That’s why – there’s sulfur in it!
So the black salt adds that convincing egg-ness to the flavor. Beyond that, there’s a bit of a grassy, farmy flavor that comes with eggs too – and that gets overlooked a lot! To get that and add in the yellow we are missing from the yolks, I am using saffron.
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, but we don’t need a lot at all. Literally only ten threads! That’s all it takes! It imparts a grassy, hay-like flavor that is present in farm fresh eggs. Be careful not to use too much or it could start to taste plasticky or metallic, though.
Nutmeg. Nutmeg nutmeg nutmeg nutmeg.
THATS IT Y’ALL.
GRATE THE NUTMEG AND WALK AWAY!!!!!
No cinnamon, no clove, no allspice, no pumpkin pie spice, no chai, no ginger, nada!!!!! NUTMEG. This isn’t a tea. This isn’t horchata. It’s not a latte. Not coquito or rompope. It’s eggnog, y’all.
And quite a bit of it. Lol.
Fresh is absolutely best, but if you can’t find it I won’t be super mad if you use ground.
I also snuck in about 1/8 tsp of Mexican vanilla at the end (which is why it’s not on the Post It!). Eggnog shouldn’t have a vanilla flavor, but the 1/8 tsp seems to be small enough to not be detectible as vanilla, but melds and elevates the flavors like dairy heavy cream does.
How to make the world’s best vegan eggnog:
You need to mix the things in a particular order to avoid clumps or clots in the finished products.
The full list of ingredients, measurements, and the process are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post!
- Take about 1/4 cup of your plant milk and in a small bowl, whisk in the mayonnaise, tapioca, and xanthan gum. Make sure everything is dissolved 100% and smooth. Set it aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, stir together the condensed milk with the rest of the plant milk, nutmeg, black salt and saffron.
- Once the milk mixture begins to simmer, slowly pour in the mayo mix while whisking continuously.
- Let it come to a boil as you stir continuously for about a minute, and then turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer.
- Simmer the mixture for 5-10 minutes, or longer to reduce it if you want it thicker.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the Mexican vanilla. You can also add a couple of drops of yellow food coloring or a pinch of turmeric if you want it to have more of a convincing yellow hue.
- Lay plastic wrap on the top of the nog to prevent it from forming a skin, and allow it to cool for about 20 minutes before putting in your preferred sealable storage vessel and into the fridge to chill.
- You can drink this stuff warm, but it’s best cold! Allow it to get nice and chilly before serving for optimum results. I love serving it with a dusting of fresh nutmeg on top. 🙂
How to store the eggnog:
I store mine in a glass bottle in the fridge. It’ll keep for at least 3 days, but mine never lasts longer than one before my family fights over the last serving!
I’ve never tried freezing this because we always want it right away and drink it as soon as it’s ready, so I can’t speak to whether it’s freezer friendly or not. If you do it, please let me know the results!
Please, can I leave out the mayonnaise? That’s freaking weird.
I beg you not to. 🙁
I mean, if you like thin, watery, not eggy eggnog then I guess so. But I’ll be sad.
Honestly, you can leave out anything but the milk, sugar, and nutmeg. But it won’t be the best vegan eggnog ever.
Can I use this vegan eggnog as a coffee creamer?
I would not call this recipe a success if you could not. Eggnog in my coffee was the thing I most looked forward to during the holiday season before, and none of the commercial vegan eggnogs did it for me.
FINALLY! Eggnog in my coffee again!!
What about.. alcohol?
I have small kids in my house that chug this stuff down, so I don’t add alcohol to the main batch – but I do enjoy a couple of ounces in my own glass!
Traditionally, brandy, bourbon or whisky are used. Sherry is also a common addition, but I love it with white rum!
They won’t integrate right away when you add the alcohol because this nog is thicc, but if you give it a gentle stir they will marry eventually.
Whatever you add though, please drink responsibly. 🙂
Thanks for stopping by!
I hope you aren’t too freaked out by the mayonnaise and give this recipe a try in its entirety! And I hope you’ll agree it’s the best vegan eggnog EVER!
As a bonus, since it’s not made with heavy cream and tons of eggs, you can drink an awful lot of it before feeling heavy and icky. Haha. Which is its own problem since I can’t make myself stop drinking it.
Cheers, happy holidays, and may you, your eggnog and your coffee be strong! 😉
- 3 cups (750ml) + 1 (250ml) cup extra creamy oat milk (or your milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup (120ml) sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 10 saffron threads
- 1/4 teaspoon black salt
- 1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract
- Optional, two drops of yellow food coloring or a pinch of turmeric for color
- In a small bowl, mix 1 cup of the milk with the mayonnaise, tapioca starch, xanthan gum until very smooth with no clumps
- In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, combine the remaining milk with the condensed milk, nutmeg, saffron, and black salt.
- Once the mixture begins to simmer, slowly whisk in the mayonnaise mix.
- Stir continually until it comes to a boil, and for one minute after.
- Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer.
- Allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes until thick, or longer until it reaches your desired consistency. Keep in mind it'll thicken as it chills.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and food coloring/turmeric.
- Cover the mix with plastic wrap, pressing it into the hot custard to prevent a skin from forming on top.
- Allow it to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes before transferring to bottle or jar and into the fridge to chill.
- If you can wait, allow it to chill completely before enjoying.
- Shake well and serve. Give it a try with more nutmeg grated on top!
If you don't have fresh nutmeg, you can use ground. You'll need to add more to match the intensity of fresh, but I can't tell you how much because it depends on the age of the ground nutmeg.
You can use regular vanilla instead of Mexican if it's what you have available.
For more notes on the recipe and storage, as well as alcohols, please see the blog post!