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These light, fluffy and moist Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting transform the classic Christmas drink into a festive dessert. They take less than an hour to whip up, including cleanup time! And you can add alcohol, such as bourbon or rum, to spike them for the adults.

eggnog cupcake partially unwrapped with festive lights in background

There’s so much to love about eggnog. It is creamy, rich, and custardy, spiced with nutmeg, and laced with vanilla. And if you like this holiday beverage, I think you’ll love it transformed into soft, moist cupcakes!

Eggnog cupcakes are surprisingly light and fluffy, especially when you consider how thick and heavy eggnog is. They have a soft, moist crumb and wonderfully festive aroma and flavor. Eggnog buttercream frosting whips up in just a couple minutes and is the perfect topping.

hand reaching in to grab eggnog cupcake off wooden platter

Nutmeg is a warm spice with a subtly nutty flavor with notes of clove and citrus. It’s a traditional ingredient in eggnog, which makes it a perfect addition to eggnog-flavored baked goods. Here we use nutmeg in both the cake and the frosting to enhance the eggnog flavor.

This is a small batch recipe that makes just 8 cupcakes, which I love because I’m usually just baking for a couple people. But it’s easy to double (or triple) if you’re baking for a crowd.

You can easily whip up these Christmas cupcakes in the afternoon (preferably with snow softly falling and The Nutcracker music playing) before a holiday party, and bring a festive dessert (that’s not cookies, lol!) that’s the star of the show!

festive cupcake with decorative holiday bough in frame

The Best Eggnog Cupcakes Recipe with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

Eggnog Cupcakes Ingredients

eggnog cupcake ingredients
  • Unsalted butter – this is a traditional component of classic yellow cake; it adds richness and flavor
  • Granulated sugar – to sweeten our cake; sugar also lends moistness to baked goods
  • Egg – acts as a binder and helps make our cupcakes light and fluffy; make sure the egg is at room temperature for this recipe
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
  • Sour cream – helps make our cupcakes moist with a tender crumb; also adds richness
  • Eggnog – for festive Christmas flavor
  • All-purpose flour – this is the base of our cupcakes
  • Cornstarch – instead of using cake flour, we use a combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch to achieve a light, fluffy texture
  • Baking powder – a leavening agent
  • Nutmeg – the bright, festive flavor and aroma of nutmeg in the cupcakes enhances the flavor of eggnog
  • Baking soda – we use just a little bit of this leaving agent; here it’s a failsafe for us to make sure our cake is gorgeously fluffy
  • Salt – to enhance the flavor of everything else

Eggnog Frosting Ingredients

eggnog buttercream frosting ingredients
  • Unsalted butter – make sure it’s at room temperature so the frosting mixes properly into a super creamy texture
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
  • Nutmeg – this highlights the flavor of eggnog in this festive cake
  • Salt – to create a balanced flavor profile
  • Powdered sugar – this is our sweetener and the base of American buttercream frosting
  • Eggnog – to make the frosting creamy and add flavor

Step by Step Instructions

How to Make Eggnog Cupcakes:

how to make eggnog cupcakes
  1. Use a handheld electric mixer to cream together the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl.
  2. Beat in the egg, vanilla, sour cream, and eggnog until smooth.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  4. Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan.
baked eggnog cupcakes

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes at 350F. Cool completely.

How to Make Eggnog Buttercream Frosting:

how to make eggnog buttercream frosting
  1. Use a handheld electric mixer to combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well-mixed and creamy.
  2. If the frosting is too dry add a splash more eggnog, and if it’s too wet add a little more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.

Storage

You can store these cupcakes in an airtight container or wrapped well at room temperature for 1 day. The next day, move them to the fridge where they’ll stay fresh for up to 3 days more.

After being refrigerated, let the cupcakes sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to soften the frosting.

cupcakes with glass of eggnog in front

Eggnog Cupcakes FAQs

What Makes Cupcakes Light and Fluffy?

If you’re wondering what is the secret to fluffy cupcakes?, I have you covered! Here are a few tips to help make sure your cupcakes come out light and fluffy every time:

  • Eggs. Make sure your egg is at room temperature.
  • Leavening agent. Check your leavening agents (in this recipe we use baking powder and baking soda) to make sure they’re not expired.
  • Technique. Once you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, be careful not to over-mix or your cake can turn out gummy and dense.
  • Temperature. Check your oven to make sure it’s calibrated correctly (you can do this with an oven thermometer, which you can find reasonably priced on Amazon).
eggnog cupcake with bite showing inside

Can I Make Eggnog Cupcakes From Cake Mix?

Yes! You can absolutely make eggnog cupcakes from a box mix instead of from scratch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 (15.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (or vanilla cake mix)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract (optional; or vanilla extract)

Just follow the bake time indicated on the box to bake the cupcakes.

How Do You Pipe Buttercream Swirls on Cupcakes?

First I have to say, I’m not a professional baker or cake decorator by any means, and if even I can pipe pretty buttercream frosting swirls on cupcakes, then you definitely can!

Here are my best tips to help you pipe pretty buttercream swirls on cakes or cupcakes:

  • Make sure the buttercream is at room temperature; don’t chill it before piping.
  • Don’t overfill the piping bag.
  • Use the right tip to get the look you want. For these cupcakes, I used a Kayasco 9FT piping tip, which is 1.2 inches in diameter and 1.9 inches tall.
  • Do a practice run of a couple swirls on a plate before you pipe directly onto the cupcakes or cake.
piping tip for cupcakes
This is the Kayasco 9FT piping tip that I used to frost these cupcakes.

How Can I Make Boozy Eggnog Cupcakes?

There are a few different ways you can spike these cupcakes with liquor for the adults!

The first option is to add alcohol, such as bourbon or rum, to the batter. To do so, add 1/4 cup bourbon or rum to the batter at the same time as the eggnog, and add an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

You could also add a little bit of alcohol to the eggnog frosting. I think eggnog cupcakes with spiced rum buttercream sound pretty amazing! To make them, reduce the eggnog in the buttercream to 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon of spiced rum (or go with bourbon).

Another option is to make a boozy simple syrup to soak the cupcakes before topping with buttercream. Simple syrup is nothing more than water and sugar that are cooked together to form a viscous syrup. As a bonus, this will make the cupcakes even more moist and flavorful!

To make alcoholic simple syrup, add 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of bourbon or rum (or try spiced rum!) to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature, and then brush on the cupcakes right after they come out of the oven.

top view of eggnog cupcakes on wooden table with holiday decoration

More Eggnog Treats to Make

christmas cupcakes on dark wooden table

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Eggnog Cupcakes Recipe with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Other Time15 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
These light, fluffy and moist Eggnog Cupcakes with Eggnog Buttercream Frosting transform the classic Christmas drink into a festive dessert. They take less than an hour to whip up, including cleanup time! And you can add alcohol, such as bourbon or rum, to spike them for the adults.

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Ingredients
 

Cupcakes:

Frosting:

Instructions
 

For the Cupcakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a cupcake pan with 8 paper liners.
  • Use a handheld electric mixer to cream together the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the egg, vanilla, sour cream, and eggnog until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and beat to combine.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake pan.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.

For the Frosting:

  • Use a handheld electric mixer to combine all ingredients in a large bowl until well-mixed and creamy. If the frosting is too dry add a splash more eggnog, and if it’s too wet add a little more powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency.

To Frost the Cupcakes:

  • Frost the cupcakes once they’re completely cool. I used a Kayasco 9FT piping tip, which is 1.2 inches in diameter and 1.9 inches tall.

Notes

  • Storage: You can store these cupcakes in an airtight container or wrapped well at room temperature for 1 day. The next day, move them to the fridge where they’ll stay fresh for up to 3 days more. After being refrigerated, let the cupcakes sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving to soften the frosting.

How Can I Make Boozy Eggnog Cupcakes?

There are a few different ways you can spike these cupcakes with liquor for the adults!
  1. The first option is to add alcohol, such as bourbon or rum, to the batter. To do so, add 1/4 cup bourbon or rum to the batter at the same time as the eggnog, and add an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.
  2. You could also add a little bit of alcohol to the frosting. I think eggnog cupcakes with spiced rum buttercream sound pretty amazing! To make them, reduce the eggnog in the buttercream to 1 tablespoon and add 1 tablespoon of spiced rum (or go with bourbon).
  3. Another option is to make a boozy simple syrup to soak the cupcakes before topping with buttercream. Simple syrup is nothing more than water and sugar that are cooked together to form a viscous syrup. As a bonus, this will make the cupcakes even more moist and flavorful! To make an alcoholic simple syrup, add 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of bourbon or rum (try spiced rum!) to a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and then cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Cool to room temperature, and then brush on the cupcakes right after they come out of the oven.

Nutrition

Serving: 1frosted cupcake | Calories: 398kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 75mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 618IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Eggnog Buttercream, Eggnog Cupcakes, Eggnog Cupcakes Recipe, Eggnog Frosting

Share it with me on Instagram and leave a comment to let me know your thoughts!

eggnog cupcakes recipe with eggnog frosting pin

This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on December 20, 2009. I updated it with more information on December 21, 2022.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. Well, darn! During the whole month of December I yearned for eggnog cake but never tripped over a recipe that appealed to me. I didn’t have much time so I never really checked around. I should have!
    ~ingrid

  2. 5 stars
    These were a hit in my family! I plan on reducing the sugar in the frosting next time though, and I only cooked them for 16 minutes on the 2nd batch. I think they turned out more fluffy on less time

  3. marla {Family Fresh Cooking} says:

    AWESOME PHOTOS!!!! These cupcakes are beautiful and I can only imagine how very tasty they are. Great job here.

  4. Your photos are stunning – these cupcakes look so beautiful! I love the thick swirls of buttercream.

  5. theUngourmet says:

    I just love using eggnog in my baking. I recently made cuppies similar to these. I love your fresh grated nutmeg on top! These are beautiful!

  6. wow. this makes me wish i enjoyed the taste of eggnog. i can still appreciate their beauty!

  7. What lovely cupcakes! Great flavor, mmhhhh!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  8. Blond Duck says:

    They’re gorgeous!

  9. Eggnog cupcakes – I love the idea! The fresh nutmeg looks so good on top!

  10. Natasha - 5 Star Foodie says:

    These eggnog cupcakes sound fantastic! As soon as I can go to the store, I’m getting the eggnog and making these, yum!

  11. Those look amazing. I can’t wait to try them out!

  12. Wow these look so good. I have eggnog in my fridge right now, and I might just have to make these. :)

  13. The cupcakes look lovely and I really think it’s great to use grated nutmeg as the garnish :)

  14. lostpastremembered says:

    Beautiful cupcakes!!! They must be insanely good… I’m seeing them in my future!!! Great frosting swirl!

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