Eggnog vs. Custard: Differences & Which Is Better?

eggnog vs custard
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When the holidays start approaching, your main focus is on the things you need to buy and prepare to stick to the tradition. Therefore, when it comes to drinks, you probably face the dilemma of whether you should opt for eggnog or custard. But, what are the main differences between eggnog and custard, and which one is the better option?

The main difference between eggnog and custard is that custard has to be cooked, and eggnog doesn’t. They both contain the same ingredients, but eggnog also includes spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Also, eggnog is creamier and quite fluid, while the custard is thicker and is usually eaten with a spoon. 

If you have tried both custard and eggnog, you are aware that these two mixtures are heavenly delicious. They are quite similar due to the same key ingredients included in their structure. However, they are not the same thing. So, in this article, I have provided some of the key differences between these dessert drinks. After reading, you will know exactly in what ways they are distinguished from one another. 

Eggnog vs. Custard: Differences

Some of the main ingredients in eggnog and custard are indeed the same. Therefore, some people believe that the drinks in question are actually the same. However, if you pay close attention, you will notice slight differences in texture and taste. Therefore, you need to make a precise comparison of the taste, texture, and the ways in which eggnog and custard are prepared, so you would be able to see the actual differences. 


At the first sip, you might believe that eggnog and custard taste the same; therefore, you will be confused why there is a different name for the same drink. Nonetheless, if you focus strongly on the taste, you will be able to notice the difference. In addition, if you drink either eggnog or custard for a longer time, you will definitely notice something different about the taste. 

Although the ingredients are pretty much the same, they are not prepared in the same way. This means that the way of preparation determines the taste; therefore, you should expect distinctions in the flavors and ingredients of your drink. To be more precise, I have made a clear comparison between the tastes of eggnog and custard. 

Therefore, eggnog is usually sweeter than custard, and it can remind you of ice cream in a melted condition. However, if you decide to add some alcohol to the drink, then the taste will definitely change. In other words, by adding alcohol to eggnog, you will obtain a more exotic flavor, which will accent the spiciness and complexity. 

For instance, you might add vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg in your eggnog and expect your drink to be quite sweet. However, when alcohol is added, everything changes, even if the alcohol is generally sweet, for example, rum. Alcohol changes the taste of eggnog in a unique way due to its ingredients. 

On the other hand, custard is characterized by a lighter taste than eggnog. If you want a particular comparison, you should imagine a vanilla milkshake’s taste, but with a thicker texture. It is also sweet, but not as much as eggnog. 

Way of Preparation 

The biggest difference between eggnog and custard comes from how these drinks are prepared. Namely, one of them is prepared with the use of heat, and the whole process of cooking. The other one can be prepared with the use of heat, but most commonly is prepared by using the raw method, i.e., the ingredients are prepared cold without any heating.

Therefore, when you prepare eggnog you use all of the ingredients in one bowl and you mix them until you get the thickness you need for this drink. The main ingredients needed for eggnog are eggs, milk, heavy cream, sugar, and spices, such as nutmeg, cinnamon, or vanilla. So, you might mix all of the ingredients and get the thickness you want, but you may also want to cook the eggs since not everyone is a fan of raw eggs. 

Custard is usually prepared by cooking. For this technique, you will need to use a large pan suitable for heat, and of course, your stove. The ingredients you need are eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla, hot milk, and cornstarch or flour. You usually achieve the thickness in custard by adding extra flour.


If you look at eggnog and custard from a particular distance, you will not actually notice any visible difference. However, if you look at their texture really closely, you will be able to see that they are not actually the same. Again, they might have the same main ingredients, but they are prepared differently, and due to this, they create a different kind of texture. 

For instance, the texture of eggnog is known to be lighter and more fluid. Thus, it is way creamier than custard. That is why earlier I compared its texture to the one of melted ice cream. Some people prefer the lightness of this drink. Therefore, they opt for eggnog. 

On the other hand, the custard texture is way thicker than the one of eggnog, and it is usually compared with the texture of a pudding. Therefore, sometimes you need to eat the custard with a spoon instead of drinking it. This is preferred by some people, while others prefer creamy drinks that actually offer you the chance to drink them. 

eggnog vs custard

Eggnog Vs. Custard: Which Is Better? 

When it comes to comparing two quite similar drinks, it is very difficult to determine which of them is considered better. In the case of eggnog and custard, it is even harder because most of their main ingredients are the same. When there are no big differences in ingredients, people have a hard time choosing the better option since they cannot really see or taste the difference. 

On the other hand, some people care about the texture and how a certain drink is prepared, meaning they would like to take their time and think about the more suitable option for their needs and preferences. Therefore, these people really appreciate the precise comparison, so they can see what is better. 

However, since the differences are not in ingredients, i.e., they do not change anything in the nutritional values or the healthiness of the drinks, so the choice would be mainly made based on preferences. Therefore, if you prefer something lighter and creamier, then eggnog would be the drink for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for something not so thick, and if you are looking for a dessert, then custard would be the perfect option for your needs. 

How to Make Eggnog? 

To make some delicious eggnog and make your holidays even tastier, then you first need to obtain the right ingredients. Make sure that you always have your ingredients ready first, and then start your process because you do not want to end up with half-made eggnog, and then be forced to waste all of your ingredients. Remember that all of your ingredients need to be fresh, so your eggnog will turn out delicious as expected. 

Therefore, make sure that you have the following ingredients at your disposal:

  • 1-pint whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ⅓ teaspoon grated nutmeg 
  • ⅓ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 egg whites 
  • 2 ounces bourbon (optional)

Once you have obtained the ingredients, you may start with the process of making your eggnog. 

Mix the Egg Yolks With Sugar and Milk

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in their color. Add sugar to the mixture. You should beat the eggs until the sugar has dissolved completely, and once this has happened, you may add the milk. Also, in this step, you need to add the heavy cream, nutmeg, and bourbon (if using), and stir them until they combine in a perfect mixture.

Beat the Egg Whites

In another bowl, place the egg whites and beat them to soft peaks.

Complete the Mixture 

Add the egg whites mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir until they combine absolutely. 


After achieving the perfect mixture of your eggs and other ingredients, let the mixture cool and chill completely. After that, you can serve your drink with a cinnamon stick inside, and a pinch of spices on the top for decoration.

How to Make Custard?

Even though you use a whole cooking process for custard, the procedure is still very simple. You do not need any special ingredients, and you can prepare them in about 10 minutes. The cooking time is about 15 minutes, so basically, you will spend around half an hour preparing this delicious dessert. 

Before you start make sure that you have the following ingredients.  

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon cornflour
  • ⅓ cup sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

Once you obtain all of the ingredients, you may start the process of preparing your delicious dessert. 

eggnog vs custard

Bring the Milk And the Cream to the Boiling Point 

In a large pan, put the milk and heavy cream to combine, and bring them to a boiling point. Set the mixture aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks along with sugar, cornflour, and vanilla. 

Combine the Mixtures 

Pour the sugar mixture into the milk mixture and stir gradually until they combine completely. Make sure that you are constantly whisking so your mixture will come out smooth. 

Expose Your Mixture to Heat 

Once your mixture is combined, put it in a pan over medium heat. Stir gently with a spoon. Make sure that you continue the process until the mixture thickens, but make sure that there are no lumps. After that, serve you dessert, either hot or cold. 

Eggnog and custard do not have any significant and visible differences. However, when you taste them, you can notice some changes in texture and taste. According to your preferences, you will be able to discover which one would be better for you.