I must admit, my favorite winter/holiday beverage is hot chocolate. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise if you know me and my recipes. I am fully obsessed with chocolate and don’t shy away from that fact.
That said, the holidays are my favorite time to whip up warming beverages, and a girl can drink only so many hot chocolates.
Enter this Creamy Vegan Eggnog! I can’t say I was a fan of traditional eggnog in my pre-vegan days. The idea of gulping down egg yolks never appealed to me. Plus, eggnog typically contains a lot of heavy cream and full-fat milk, and did I mention I was/am highly lactose intolerant?
Luckily, this plant-based version of eggnog requires no runny yolks or lactose, but it’s just as creamy, thick, and indulgent as the original!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Thanks to a mixture of raw cashews + coconut cream, this eggnog is just as thick and creamy as classic eggnog. Paired with warming spices and some sweetness, it’s the perfect decadent drink for the season (especially when you splash in some bourbon).
PS: If you’re more of a chocolate person, this classic, super creamy Vegan Hot Chocolate is a holiday must-make!
Easy and Fuss-Free.
All you need to do is soak your cashews + blend all the ingredients in a blender. And you can serve this beverage cold or hot, and leftovers stay good in the fridge for several days.
Eggnog typically only contains nutmeg, but I’m a stickler for boosting flavor in all my recipes. My version contains freshly grated nutmeg, along with cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The heat of the spices pairs beautifully with the creamy rich texture and sweetness from the sugar.
Raw cashews & coconut milk: The combination of soaked raw cashews and full-fat coconut milk creates the rich, creamy base that is essential for this vegan eggnog. While the cashews offer a smooth, subtly nutty flavor, the coconut milk enhances the creaminess without adding a distinct flavor, making them a perfect pair for mimicking the luxurious texture of traditional eggnog.
Creamy plant-based milk (oat milk recommended): Oat milk is preferred for its naturally sweet and mild flavor, which complements the other ingredients without overpowering them. Its creamy texture helps to create a smooth and velvety mouthfeel.
Freshly grated nutmeg: Fresh nutmeg is a game changer in this recipe. It offers a warm, spicy aroma and a distinctive taste that is much more pronounced than pre-ground versions, making it a key spice in achieving the classic eggnog flavor.
Ground cinnamon and cardamom: These spices add warmth and complexity to the eggnog. Cinnamon contributes a sweet, woody flavor, while cardamom brings a unique, slightly sweet and spicy note that enhances the overall spice profile.
Bourbon (optional): Adding bourbon introduces a smoky, rich flavor that contrasts beautifully with the sweetness of the eggnog. It’s an optional addition for those who enjoy a boozy kick in their holiday beverages.
First, soak the raw cashews in water overnight or for 1 hour in boiling water. If you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix, you can soak for just 30 minutes in boiling water. And if you don’t have a high-powered blender, I recommend soaking the cashews overnight.
Drain the cashews and rinse. Add them to a blender with the coconut milk, plant-based milk, coconut or brown sugar, freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, vanilla, and salt.
Blend until smooth and creamy, and the cashews have all been completely blended.
Transfer to the fridge to store chilled. Or to serve warm, transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes.
To make boozy, pour 1/2 to 1 ounce of bourbon in each mug. Pour the eggnog on top and stir to combine. Top with vegan whipped topping, if desired, and dust freshly grated nutmeg on top.
Tips for making this recipe
Sweeten to taste. Start with a lesser amount of sugar, blend, and taste. If not sweet enough for your taste, add more sugar.
Use freshly grated nutmeg. Nutmeg is a key ingredient in eggnog, so you want to use the best nutmeg available to you. Freshly grated nutmeg is sweeter and has more depth of flavor than pre-ground nutmeg. It makes a *big* difference.
Use a creamy plant-based milk (my favorite is oat milk).
Start slowly with the bourbon. If you’re making this into a boozy version, pour ½ ounce of bourbon into each mug with the eggnog. Stir and taste. Then add more bourbon as desired.
Frequently Asked Questions and Substitutes
You can omit the cashews and substitute with the cream from one (13.5-ounce) can of full-fat coconut milk. Strain out the liquid part and reserve for another use, like smoothies or oatmeal.
If you want a lighter version that’s less indulgent, you can use “lite” coconut milk or just use more of the creamy plant-based milk, such as oat milk. If you do that, I would use a lesser quantity of the creamy plant-based milk, so that the eggnog is not too thin.
You can still make this recipe! Neither ingredient is traditional in eggnog, but I love using them because they bring more depth of flavor.
If you give this Creamy Vegan Eggnog recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!
- 1 cup (140g) raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour*
- 1 (13.5 ounce) (400 ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups (360 ml) creamy plant-based milk (I use oat milk)
- 6 – 8 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch fine sea salt
- 2 to 4 ounces bourbon (optional)
- Vegan whipped topping or coconut whipped cream (optional)
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for dusting
- Ground cinnamon, for dusting
- Drain the soaked cashews and rinse well. Add to a blender with the coconut milk, plant-based milk, 6 tablespoons of the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, vanilla, and salt.
- Blend on medium-high or high speed, until creamy and smooth and all cashews have been pulverized, scraping down the sides as you go. This should take 1-3 minutes.
- If you want to serve the eggnog hot, transfer it to a saucepan and heat over medium heat for a few minutes until warm.
- To serve chilled, transfer the eggnog to the fridge until chilled.
- To make boozy eggnog, add 1/2 to 1 ounce of bourbon to each of 4 mugs. Divide the eggnog and pour into each of the four mugs, stir well to combine.
- If desired, top with vegan whipped topping or coconut whipped cream. Dust with a bit more cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.