Somehow, we ended up with more eggnog than we could drink this Christmas. Really, it’s because we made a batch of this homemade aged eggnog that we’ve been slowly savoring for the past week. So a carton of store-bought eggnog has been sitting untouched in the refrigerator. Enter this Eggnog Cheesecake. It’s incredibly creamy and smooth, full of delicious eggnog flavor that’s enhanced with vanilla bean paste and freshly grated nutmeg. And a buttery salted graham cracker crust that’s to die for.
This is a no-bake recipe (except for the crust), as all of my cheesecakes are, and the filling is wonderfully light, creamy and mousse-like. It’s already quite rich, and doesn’t need a whipped cream topping. Personally, I felt that a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top was all it needed, but you could perhaps sprinkle a few chopped toasted pecans over top if you like a little crunch. A drizzle of chocolate sauce or salted caramel would be great, too. Or this toffee butter sauce with bourbon.
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Start with Good Eggnog
The eggnog you use in this eggnog cheesecake is the star, so quality matters. Don’t use an off-brand that just tastes like vanilla-flavored milk; go for the good stuff that is rich, eggy and heavy on the nutmeg. It can be boozy, if you like, but alcohol isn’t necessary. Now, “good eggnog” is completely subjective. The brand I like may not be one that you like. So try a few, see what tastes the best to you, and make a cheesecake that you’ll love.
There are so many delicious ways to use up leftover eggnog if you don’t want to drink all of it. Besides adding a splash to my coffee instead of cream, a couple of my favorite uses are eggnog buttercream and eggnog coffeecake. If you have an ice cream maker, you can even churn it up into a creamy homemade ice cream.
Make the Crust.
So, first things first. To make a cheesecake, you need to use a springform pan. This is a pan that has sides that can be removed from the base of the pan. The design of the pan allows you to fill it with the crust and cream cheese filling, chill the cheesecake to set it, and then remove the sides later to present and serve your cheesecake.
I use a food processor to grind up the graham cracker crumbs very finely, because I don’t like any big pieces of crackers in my crust. You could use cinnamon, honey or chocolate graham crackers for this eggnog cheesecake. Add coarse kosher salt to the crumbs, and then melted butter, stirring until moistened.
Press the crumbs into the bottom of your pan, and bake briefly, just to toast the crumbs and set the crust.
Dissolve the Gelatin in Cream.
Since this is a no-bake cheesecake, you’ll be using unflavored powdered gelatin to thicken and set your cheesecake. In the US, we can buy boxes of powdered gelatin that contain 4 packets or envelopes of powder, each packet weighing 1/4 ounce or 7 grams. The powder is easy to use, and just needs to be dissolved in a liquid.
To dissolve the gelatin, stir it into heavy whipping cream. Let stand for a few minutes, and then heat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds until dissolved.
Whip the Cream Cheese Filling.
With an electric mixer, beat softened cream cheese with powdered sugar. Then beat in your eggnog, along with vanilla bean paste and nutmeg. The vanilla bean paste adds such rich vanilla flavor. And the nutmeg enhances the flavor of the eggnog, since every glass of eggnog should be served with a sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg.
Now you can beat in the gelatin/cream mixture until smooth.
Chill until Set.
Once you mix in the gelatin, the filling will start to set. So immediately spread it over the crust, and smooth out the top. Now all you need to do is chill it in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or overnight, until completely set.
Be sure to read all of my BAKING FAQs where I discuss ingredients, substitutions and common baking questions, so that you can be successful in your own baking!
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All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.
- Stand Mixer
- 8-inch Springform Pan
- 1 ½ cups finely crushed graham crackers
- 1 tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 envelope (1/4 oz or 7 grams) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1 lb cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 cup eggnog
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 325. In a bowl, combine the crushed graham crackers and salt. Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until moistened.
- Press against the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with removeable sides. Bake for 8 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant; set aside to cool completely.
- Pour the cream into a microwave-safe dish. Add the gelatin and whisk with a fork to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes; it will be thick and clumpy. Microwave on high for 30-60 seconds to completely dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar until smooth.
- Gradually beat in the eggnog, then the vanilla bean paste, nutmeg and cream/gelatin mixture.
- Immediately spread over the cooled crust and smooth out the top. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
- Run a sharp knife around the sides before opening the pan to remove the sides. Garnish the top of the cheesecake with more nutmeg.