Individual Holiday Eggnog Custards are a delicious, easy to make, silky egg custard dessert that comes together quickly, and is filled with the wonderful festive flavors of the season.
This is a holiday favorite in my family. The custard, which is based off of my eggnog custard pie, is soft and yummy! If you like eggnog you need to give these crustless naturally gluten-free custards a try!
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Please let me know if you have any questions about this recipe. I read all the comments myself and I try to help as soon as I can. I have readers from all levels of comfort and experience in the kitchen on my site, and I’ve tried to answer some of your questions already in the post. But if I’ve missed anything, please feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Bain Marie or water bath
These custards come out best if you use the water bath method. The bain marie or water bath, makes for a more gentle cooking and a silkier custard.
Though, I will admit, that I regularly pop these custards in the oven without doing a water bath. So, it is possible, as long as you don’t mind that they are a little less than perfectly cooked (they are still delicious!). If you skip the bain marie, place the 6 ramekins on a baking sheet, making it easier to carry all 6 at a time.
To make a water bath, fill a large roasting pan or baking dish with about 1-inch of water.
Place the filled ramekin dishes into the water filled roasting pan. Add more water if necessary to reach halfway up the sides of the custard cups.
Pro tip: add the water to the roasting pan once the pan is already resting on your oven rack. That way you’re not carrying a heavy water filled pan all around your kitchen.
How to make delicious eggnog custards
With just a few ingredients and a little time in the oven, these individual eggnog custards are creamy and taste exactly like the holidays.
Be sure to scroll down to the printable recipe card with all the ingredient amounts and instructions.
Mix the eggnog, eggs, rum, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, and nutmeg, and mix well until all the sugar is dissolved, and you don’t feel any more sugar at the bottom of the bowl.
Pour the filling into the ramekins, and bake either using a water bath or without the water bath if you choose.
Allow custards to cool on a wire rack.
Individual custards can be served warm, fresh from the oven. Or serve them cold from the fridge.
Top the custards with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired. What to make the best and easiest whipped cream? Check out my instructions for delicious mason jar whipped cream!
Store any leftovers, tightly covered, in the refrigerator.
What can I use instead of brandy or rum?
If you don’t drink alcohol, or don’t have any brandy or rum around, just substitute 2 tablespoons more eggnog for the liquor.
Eggnog Crème Brulee
Want to fancy them up? These are so easy to brulee and make Christmas Creme Brulee!
Make the custards in advance and brûlée the tops just prior to serving.
Simply sprinkle about 1-2 tablespoons of granulated sugar over the top of each chilled custard.
You can place the custards under the broiler to caramelize. But, be advised, that the broiler may produce inconsistent results, with some dark spots and some lighter spots.
I do recommend the kitchen torch here, but to broil them, set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the broiler.
Brown the sugar under the broiler until golden and caramelized, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
To use a kitchen torch (the easier and more consistently good method), hold the flame of the kitchen torch close enough for the flame to touch the dessert, but not smothering the flame. Keep the flame constantly moving across the top of the sugar.
And brulee the tops with the kitchen torch until the sugar is caramelized. If the sugar flames up, blow it out before it burns too much.
How do I store the custards?
These custards will keep covered in the fridge for about 3 days. Cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
They can also be stored in the freezer for about 3 months.
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- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Mix the eggnog, eggs, rum, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add sugar, salt, and nutmeg, and mix well until all the sugar is dissolved, and you don’t feel any more sugar at the bottom of the bowl.
- Transfer the filling to 6 ramekins.
- To make a water bath, fill a large roasting pan or baking dish with about 1-inch of water.
- Place the filled ramekin dishes into the water filled roasting pan. Add more water if necessary to reach halfway up the sides of the custard cups.
- Bake about 25 minutes in the bain marie, rotate tray and cover the custards with foil, and continue to bake about another 10-15 minutes more.
- To bake without a water bath, place filled custard ramekins of a baking sheet, and bake 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through cooking.
- Bake until just set, when the custard is slightly golden on the outside and slightly jiggles in the center when you gently shake the pan. To check for doneness, poke a knife in the center of the custards, if it comes out clean, they are done.
- The hot custards will continue to bake after you have removed them from the oven.
- Remove ramekins from water bath. Allow custards to cool on a wire rack.
- Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of nutmeg if desired.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.