How to Make Vegan Eggnog

December 11, 2014

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: An eggnog for vegans and eggnog skeptics alike. 

Shop the Story

When I told my boyfriend that I was whipping up a vegan eggnog for The New Veganism, he scrunched up his nose and was silent -- hardly his typical response when I announce that I’m about to test a new recipe. Further inquiry revealed that he despises eggnog -- can’t even stand the smell of it -- mostly because he finds the egg flavor impossible to escape. I assured him that an egg-free version would change the way he thought about eggnog forever.

More: Here are 13 recipes to accommodate any guest and any diet.

Sure, egg-free eggnog may sound like an oxymoron. But is it really the egg we all love about eggnog, or is it the thick texture, the hints of baking spices, and the sweet, irresistible richness? That’s what I remember fondly about traditional eggnog, anyway, and it’s exactly what is captured in this version. A mixture of coconut milk and cashews creates creamy texture -- the kind that will result in a nice, thick moustache after you take your first sip -- while maple syrup, dates, and a traditional spice combination create authentic flavor. You can spike it with some bourbon or rum, or you can simply enjoy it as a sweet treat.

When I handed my boyfriend a small glass of the nog, he looked skeptical, but upon realizing that the characteristic eggnog odor was nowhere to be found, he intrepidly took a sip. His eyes lit up, and before he could say a word, he’d gone back for another long gulp. “Yeah, this is really delicious,” he said, before proceeding to polish off his glass. It was all the eggnog affirmation I needed to hear.

Vegan Eggnog

Makes 6 cups

3/4 cup dry cashews, soaked overnight and drained (they'll plump up to about 1 cup as they soak)
2 Medjool dates, pitted, soaked overnight and drained
1 can full fat coconut milk 
2 cups water
1/3 teaspoon (or 1/4 heaping teaspoon) salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 to 1/2 cup bourbon or rum to taste (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Choosing RawGena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.



Order now

The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

Order now

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • bonnie rose
    bonnie rose
  • Madelyn Rodriguez
    Madelyn Rodriguez
  • Amy
  • Gary
  • SDMfoodie
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


bonnie R. December 5, 2022
oops! didn't see the post below about coquito.
bonnie R. December 5, 2022
or just make coquito using coconut evaporated milk and coconut sweetened condensed milk.
Madelyn R. December 12, 2015
Amy, my version keeps for at least a week. It might separate, but you just shake it and it'll be ok. In my house, this usually goes completely in one party. So It does not last long after making a batch. Hope you like it...
Amy December 11, 2015
How long does this keep in the fridge?
Madelyn R. December 16, 2014
Here is a version of a vegan Coquito, the Puerto Rican version of eggnog. No eggs or dairy involved. and for those concerned with calories or fat content, you only sip a little at a time... this is served in a shot glass, but sipped slowly.
Gary December 15, 2014
May try it but.... why coconu milk? It's loaded with saturated fat! I don't want my lipids to go up again.

maybe we'll just omit that stuff.. or is there a healthier way?
SDMfoodie December 14, 2014
So this is NOT eggnog but VEGnog...probably alot healthier than all those eggs anyway...will give it a try...thanks!
nat December 14, 2014
Arg... Allergic to eggs and sunflower seeds too! :) I guess I'll have to skip this one :)
nzinga December 14, 2014
This sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it. Nat, I've seen some folks post about using sunflower seeds (raw, untoasted, unsalted) for cashews in vegan recipes where the nuts are soaked first. I've never tried it myself, but it it might be worth a try? Good luck!
softpunk December 14, 2014
Nat, maybe eggs?
Mike C. December 14, 2014
So, why not call it Cashew Nog or Coconut Nog? No EGG, No EGG Nog!
nat December 12, 2014
allergic to cashews - substitute?
nzinga December 14, 2014
I meant to reply directly to your comment and replied in the main thread instead (that's what I get for commenting before I've had my coffee). I think raw/untoasted would be the same thing, so I've corrected that here:
This sounds delicious! I can't wait to try it. Nat, I've seen some folks post about using sunflower seeds (raw, unsalted) for cashews in vegan recipes where the nuts are soaked first. I've never tried it myself, but it it might be worth a try? Good luck!
Gena H. December 15, 2014
Nat, sunflower seeds, macadamias, and pine nuts are all good substitutes! Or you can use coconut cream from another can of coconut milk (the thick part that settles at the top if you keep the can in the fridge).