How to Thicken Eggnog? 5 Ideas

How to Thicken Eggnog

Hot or cold, homemade or store-bought, thicker or thinner, eggnog is still a delicious Christmas drink. Although it is a matter of preference, many like their eggnogs more on the thicker side; nevertheless, the thickness does not determine the eggnog quality. However, if you prefer your eggnog thicker, there are things you can do. So, how to thicken eggnog? 

Adding heavy cream, buttermilk, dairy or nondairy topping, and whipped pasteurized egg whites are the best ways to thicken your eggnog. You can also warm up the eggnog, but you mustn’t go too far.

Though eggnog is delicious in all shapes and forms, everyone has their preference, and we all deserve to enjoy our Christmas eggnog as we want to. If you like thicker eggnog, you should have it, but eggnog is a bit specific in terms of thickening, so there are things to know. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss how to thicken eggnog and what to do with a failed eggnog. 

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is known to be an excellent thickener, and it works with eggnog as well. Depending on the thickness you want to achieve, add the heavy cream slowly and little by little. Stir the eggnog after each time you add heavy cream and wait a minute before adding more. 

The eggnog won’t thicken the exact second you add the heavy cream, so you need to wait for the mixture to settle. 

Buttermilk 

Heavy cream and buttermilk are nearly the same, with the buttermilk being fattier. Therefore, if you add buttermilk to thicken your eggnog, know that you will make the drink significantly more fatty and caloric. Stir the eggnog while adding buttermilk, and after you add it. 

The mixture will need some time to settle, so be patient and keep an eye on the eggnog at all times. 

Dairy or Nondairy Topping 

Have some dairy or nondairy topping ready to go when making eggnog, as they may come in handy if you want to thicken it. Whip the topping well and slowly add it to the eggnog, stirring the mixture to ensure you don’t have lumps. 

How to Thicken Eggnog

Whipped Pasteurized Egg Whites 

You can buy ready-made pasteurized egg whites or make them yourself. I recommend buying them as it makes things much easier. Pasteurizing the egg whites on your own may not be successful. 

Whip the pasteurized egg whites and then add them to the eggnog pitcher to thicken them. Make sure you stir at all times and leave enough time for the mixture to settle. Don’t add too much in the beginning, but monitor the changes in the thickness. 

Warm up the Eggnog 

Warming up the eggnog can thicken it, but this is a tricky business, as it may easily boil, and if that happens, your eggnog will be ruined; the milk will curdle, and the eggs will cook. 

RELATED: Can You Warm up Eggnog? Here’s How!

Therefore to thicken your eggnog by warming it up on the stove, you should set the temperature at low (for homemade eggnog) and at medium (for store-bought eggnog) and warm it up in short intervals without allowing the eggnog to boil. 

If you use the microwave, set the temperature at low or medium, respectively, and set the timer at 30 seconds for store-bought eggnog and at 20 seconds for homemade eggnog. After each cycle, take the eggnog out of the microwave and stir. 

The oven is also an option, but only for store-bought eggnog, as homemade eggnog will get ruined in the oven. Set the temperature at medium and check the eggnog every two to three minutes. 

Use large pans with thick bottoms. 

Does Eggnog Thicken in the Fridge?

Yes, eggnog thickens in the fridge; however, it doesn’t stay that way for long. Refrigerating your eggnog is a great, painless, and risk-free solution to make it thicker, but it doesn’t change its consistency. 

To explain this better, I will compare eggnog with water. So, when you put water in the freezer, it freezes and turns to ice, but when you take it out, it becomes liquid again after a while. The same happens to the eggnog. 

The refrigeration thickens the eggnog, but it returns to its original consistency after you take it out of the fridge. So, if the eggnog was thin when you refrigerated it, it would thin again. Still, if you are a quick drinker, you can enjoy your cup of thick eggnog straight from the fridge. 

How Long Does Eggnog Take to Thicken? 

Depending on how you thicken your eggnog, it can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour or two to thicken. 

Adding some kind of a thickener to your eggnog can take up to ten to 15 minutes for the mixture to thicken. Whether you add heavy cream, buttermilk, pasteurized egg whites, or whipped topping, the eggnog will need some time to bond with the thickener, which is usually ten to 15 minutes. 

If you thicken your eggnog by warming it up, you will notice the difference after only a few minutes, five minutes or so. 

If you thicken your eggnog by refrigerating it, it will take at least an hour for it to become thicker. 

What to Do With Failed Eggnog? 

A failed eggnog is usually curdled eggnog, and do not despair if this happens, as you can still put failed eggnog to good use. 

You can turn your failed eggnog into eggnog ice cream or use it to make mini cakes. For example, the eggnog trilece is an excellent use of your eggnog. You can thin the egg nog and turn it into a pancake or crepe topping or make a cinnamon cake. 

The only thing you need to look out for is that your eggnog hasn’t gone bad, as it offers countless combinations as long as it is safe.

  • Laura is the owner of Julie's Cafe Bakery. She started this blog with her grandma Julie who introduced her to the amazing world of cooking. She likes to experiment with different flavors, and her favorite flavors combo is chicken with coconut milk, curry and peanuts!