Eggnog (Dairy Free, Paleo, Primal)

Dairy-Free Eggnog | (Paleo)

As a kid, I looked forward to the eggnog my mom would buy at our local grocery store. My brothers and I would sprinkle it with nutmeg and drink the thick sweet liquid while listening to Christmas music. My parents would add a little Baileys or Kahlua – I never understood how good that combination was until I grew up a bit.

I hadn’t actually made homemade eggnog until a few days ago. It’s not difficult, but takes a bit of patience to whisk the liquid until it gets thick. All the effort is worth it, though. I mulled over different recipes for several days beforehand and predicted my “perfect” eggnog would include raw yolks. Boy, was I wrong! The cooked eggs create a caramel-custard flavor I couldn’t match with raw yolks. I prefer my eggnog spiked with a little brandy and sprinkled with a bit of nutmeg. Now that’s something I can look forward to.

Dairy-Free Eggnog | (Paleo)

Eggnog (Dairy Free, Paleo, Primal)

Serving Size: Serves 12

Eggnog (Dairy Free, Paleo, Primal)

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.


    For the eggnog:

  • 6 large eggs
2 large egg yolks

  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (I prefer Grade B)

  • 4 cups coconut milk or whole milk (if you can tolerate dairy)
  • 1/2 cup brandy (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, whipped into soft peaks (if using coconut milk, use this method to whip)
 (or heavy cream whipped into peaks if you can tolerate dairy)
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg


Whisk eggs, yolks and maple syrup in a large saucepan until combined. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, blending well after each addition. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard registers 160ºF on a candy or instant-read thermometer and thickens, about 25 minutes. (It should coat the back of a spoon.) Pour custard through a sieve into a large bowl. Stir in liquor (if using), vanilla, and nutmeg. Cover tightly and refrigerate until well chilled, at least three hours and up to three days.

Pour eggnog into a punch bowl and top with whipped cream (it will float on top) and sprinkle with nutmeg. Or, pour eggnog into a pitcher and serve in individual glasses. Dollop with a bit of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

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  1. karen

    This sounds terrific! I can’t wait to whip some up, forget about cooling it down, I’m going to use it as creamer in my coffee :) I love a ‘real’ eggnog latte’, not so much into the liquor. Eggnog always brings back memories of going to a great aunts house every Christmas Eve for Aunt Diddie’s famous eggnog. I could never understand why there were too different punch bowls. I learned when I was older, too…One was always “spiked”. Thanks, again!

  2. Nina Suggs

    I’m trying to go as dairy free as possible. Do have a recommendation for any other type of milk? Do you think. Coconut or almond milk would work as well. I’m new to clean eating and have not experimented with substitutions. Thanks

  3. melissa


    Thank you so much for this recipe. I thought I would have to miss egg nog terribly. What kind of coconut milk do you mean? The kind in the refrigerator in a carton or the thick stuff in a can?

  4. Justine

    Hi I’m making this right now. I’m putting it through the sieve and am surprised how much thick custard isn’t going through. Is that normal? I feel like I’m not gonna have that much eggnog!

  5. Jolene

    This is seriously good!!! For some reason, the eggs curdled, but I just blitzed it all up in a blender and drank it that way. It was quite thick and smooth and lovely!!!! I think I’ll be drinking this all year round. Maybe even try freezing it in Popsicle molds for the hot months.


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