Boozy Eggnog Ice Cream recipe

This Christmas, creamy eggnog ice cream is spiked with your choice of bourbon, rum or brandy for an adults-only dessert that tastes just like the festive drink. Get the recipe and tips for making ice cream!

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How to make Eggnog Ice Cream

This recipe is a Christmas favourite, especially in Australia, where a refreshing scoop of ice cream is just the antidote for the midsummer heat. Infused with festive cinnamon, clove and nutmeg, it still brings that Christmas feel in spades. Learn how to get ultra creamy eggnog ice cream with the recipe below!

Boozy Eggnog Ice Cream recipe


600ml thickened cream
1 cup (250ml) full cream milk
2 tbsp bourbon, rum, or brandy (optional)
1 cinnamon quill
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
6 large egg yolks
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
Chopped pecan, waffle cone shards and ground cinnamon to serve


  1. Heat cream, milk, bourbon and spices together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until mixture just comes to the boil, stirring occasionally. Set aside for 10 minutes to infuse the flavours. Remove and discard cinnamon quill
  2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolks, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl with electric beaters until pale in colour and thickened. Mixture should fall in thick ribbons when lifted with the beaters. Slowly whisk in 1 cup of the warmed cream mixture
  3. Pour egg yolk mixture into the saucepan containing the warmed cream and heat over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Ensure that it doesn’t boil
  4. Remove pan from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight until very cold
  5. Churn cold custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Spoon into a clean container and cover the surface with cling film. Freeze 3-4 hours or for best results overnight
  6. Remove ice cream from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving. Scoop with a heated spoon or ice cream scoop and serve topped with chopped pecans and ground cinnamon. Arrange cone shards into bowls and serve immediately

Get the recipe you can save to your myfoodbook cookbooks here: Creamy Eggnog Ice Cream

Print the recipe creamy eggnog ice cream

How to get the creamiest ice cream

Using the right cream to milk ratio for your custard is essential for achieving a rich and creamy mouthfeel. The more cream, the richer your ice cream will taste and the thicker it will feel. Changing the ratio in the recipe can lead to an icy rather than creamy finished product.
Using an ice cream machine to churn your ice cream is also important for this recipe. The churner continuously breaks down ice crystals as the custard freezes. Smaller ice crystals means a smoother ice cream.

How to make ice cream without an ice cream machine

If you don't have an ice cream machine, place the cold custard mixture into a deep stainless steel baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 45 minutes. As it begins to freeze near the edges, remove it from the freezer and whisk vigorously with a sturdy balloon whisk or hand held mixer to break down the ice crystals and get a smooth texture. Return to the freezer. Continue to check the mixture every 30 minutes, whisking vigorously as it’s freezing. Repeat this process for 2 to 3 hours, or until it forms a soft serve consistency. Use immediately or freeze overnight.

Can I add more alcohol?

Brandy, rum or bourbon are all interchangeable and add to that distinct eggnog flavour. However, don’t be tempted to add more than the recipe states, as alcohol will slow down and even stop your ice cream from freezing. If you want to add more, it's best to drizzle it on top before serving.
You can also omit the alcohol to make it kid-friendly.

How to infuse the milk with flavour

Add spices and alcohol to a stainless steel saucepan with milk and cream and warm over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally so that the mixture doesn’t catch on the base of the pan. Don’t walk away, as it can easily boil over. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes to infuse. This step is important as it allows the flavours to bloom in the milk and gives it time to cool before tempering the eggs.
Extra tip: Dry spices add traditional Christmas flavour, but make sure they're still in date. Spices (especially ground ones) can quickly lose their aroma and flavour. Anything over a year old should be replaced by new spices for the best aroma and flavour.


How to temper the eggs for the custard

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar together until pale and creamy. If you don’t have an electric whisk, you can do it by hand but it will take longer. The egg mixture will turn pale in colour and the sugar should be mostly dissolved. Don’t rush this step. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture forms ribbons when lifted with the beaters.
Do not add the cream mixture to the eggs while it’s still hot, the eggs will scramble. Slowly pour in one cup of the warm cream mixture while constantly whisking to loosen and warm the eggs. The eggs are now tempered, so you can add them into the remaining cream and milk in the saucepan. Stir until completely incorporated.

How to avoid overcooking your custard

Cook over medium to low heat. Keep stirring constantly with a spatula or spoon, scraping the bottom to avoid lumps as the mixture begins to warm and thicken. This can take up to 15 minutes. If you have a thermometer, the temperature should not get above 85°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, dip a spoon into the custard and drag your finger through the it. If the mixture clings to the spoon and the line remains, then it's cooked and your custard ready for churning. It will not be very thick at this stage. Don’t worry, it will thicken on cooling. 

Why do you need to cool custard before churning it?

The faster the custard freezes in the churner, the creamier your ice cream will be. Starting with nice and cold custard helps it to freeze faster. Warm custards produce large ice crystals that make your ice cream icy instead of smooth. Give yourself plenty of time to cool the custard down. Ideally, chill the custard overnight in the fridge. Cover it with cling film, pushing the cling film onto the surface of the custard to stop a skin forming. Any skin on your custard will form lumps in your finished ice cream.

How to cool the custard quickly

Straining the custard gets rid of any lumps and also helps to cool the custard quickly. Stand your bowl of custard in a larger bowl of ice. Keep stirring until the custard is cold. You want it to be at least 5°C. 

Soft-serve vs scooping ice cream

Just-churned ice cream will have the consistency of soft serve. You can serve it as-is, or for ice cream that you can scoop, spoon the churned ice cream into a container and cover the surface with cling film and a sealable lid. Freeze overnight or for at least 4 hours to get the best results.
Homemade ice cream freezes harder than commercial ice cream. Remove from freezer 5 minutes before scooping to allow it to soften slightly. Warm your ice cream scoop in warm water before scooping out the ice cream.

How long does this ice cream keep?

Homemade ice cream is best eaten within 4-5 days and must be stored at minus 18°C or in the coldest section of the freezer. After this time, it may form ice crystals and the texture won't be as creamy, although it will still be safe to eat.

What to serve with eggnog ice cream

This recipe is served with crushed waffle cones, toasted pecans and ground cinnamon, but you can also try these topping ideas:

  • Crushed shortbread and freshly grated nutmeg
  • Crushed candycanes
  • Crumbled up mince pies
  • Butterscotch schnapps, Baileys or more of your chosen liquor
  • Salted caramel sauce
  • Broken up gingerbread or gingernuts
  • Serve on top of hot Christmas pudding

More Christmas desserts

Get more festive desserts made with eggs below! From a towering tiramisu meringue to a simple custard to enjoy with pudding.

Get the recipe: Meringue-Amisu

Tiramisu meets meringue in this impressive layered dessert! Hazelnut meringue, whipped coffee ganache and lashings of cream - irresistible.

Get the recipe: Epic Raspberry Trifle with Meringue Top

Top your trifle this year with toasty meringue and fill it with fresh homemade custard, only the best for Chistmas!


DISCLAIMER: Australian Eggs is a contributing recipe partner at This feature includes a mix of content sourced from Australian Eggs and our own opinions. Find out more about Australian Eggs.

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