Eggnog is one of those controversial Christmas flavors, but it's one of my favorites! These bourbon eggnog cupcakes are rich, creamy, perfectly spiced, and topped with adorable mini snowflake cookies! These cupcakes are fun, festive, and perfect for the winter holidays! The bourbon is optional, so just leave it out for classic eggnog cupcakes.
What is Eggnog?
Eggnog is a classic Christmas drink that's made with cream, eggs, and nutmeg and usually a bit of alcohol! It's slightly sweet, creamy, and full of wintery spices. Eggnog is usually served cold but is also delicious warm. Most of the eggnog sold in stores is alcohol free so you can add your own bourbon or rum if desired!
One of the best things about using eggnog in baking, is that it's a simple 1:1 swap for milk!
Why You'll Love These Eggnog Cupcakes!
These bourbon eggnog cupcakes are a simple, but elegant Christmas dessert! They're perfect for serving at any wintery holiday party!
- Moist eggnog cupcake base - The cupcakes are made with eggnog instead of milk for a rich, slightly spiced flavor!
- Boozy cupcake soak - These cupcakes are brushed with eggnog and bourbon right after baking to add extra flavor and keep the cupcakes moist!
- Bourbon eggnog frosting - The light, fluffy frosting is made with spiked eggnog for the perfect Christmasy flavor.
- Topped with Christmas cookies - I like to use little Christmas cookies to top these cookies! They're easy to make and the cutest little garnish!
- Super easy to decorate - All you need to make these cupcakes beautiful are some fun Christmas cookies and a sprinkle of nutmeg! The perfect holiday dessert!
You just need a few ingredients to make these bourbon eggnog cupcakes!
Cake Flour - I always use cake flour in my cupcakes because it makes them super soft and tender, but all purpose flour also works great!
Spices - Nutmeg is one of the classic spices used in eggnog, but you can replace with cinnamon if desired.
Eggnog - You can use your favorite store-bought eggnog or make your own!
Bourbon - This is optional, but I love adding a little bit of bourbon to the cupcakes and frosting for extra rich flavor! You can also use spiced rum, or about 1 teaspoon of rum extract instead.
Snowflake Cookies - I like to top these cupcakes mini snowflake cookies! They're an adorable garnish and the flavor is perfect with the eggnog cupcakes!
The complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
How to Make Eggnog Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until combined.
Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the eggnog and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The batter will be thick.
Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full).
Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
In a small bowl whisk together the eggnog and bourbon.
While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops of the cupcakes with the eggnog soak.
Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
Frost the bourbon eggnog cupcakes with the eggnog buttercream and then garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and snowflake cookies!
Tips for the Best Baked Goods
Use room temperature ingredients! Always make sure ingredients like butter, eggs, milk, yogurt, etc. are at room temperature before baking (unless the recipe indicates otherwise)! This ensures they'll incorporate into the batter more easily and leads to overall better texture. Remove all ingredients from the fridge 30 minutes to an hour before baking for best results.
Measure your flour correctly! It's most accurate to use a kitchen scale, but if you're measuring by volume you want to spoon and level! Fluff up the flour a bit with a spoon, and then spoon flour into the measuring cup. Once it's overflowing, use the back of a knife to level it off. Don't ever pack flour into the measuring cup or you'll end up with way too much! Improperly measured flour can lead to dry, dense baked goods. [Measure cocoa powder the same way!]
Use an oven thermometer! Just because your oven says it's 350, doesn't mean it is! If you oven hasn't been calibrated recently, it can be as much as 30 degrees off, which will negatively affect all baked goods from cakes to macarons! An oven thermometer is the easiest/cheapest way to ensure your oven is always at the proper temperature.
Make sure you baking powder is fresh! Baking powder is important for helping baked goods rise properly, but it has a relatively short shelf life once opened, so it's one of the few items I never buy in bulk! To test if your baking powder is still fresh, add a small amount to boiling water. If it bubbles it's still good to use, but if not it's time to toss it!
Cupcake Decorating Tips
Make sure you let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting!!
I also like to just lightly brush the tops of the cupcakes with an eggnog and bourbon mixture for extra flavor and to help keep the cupcakes moist, but it's totally optional.
For these big beautiful frosting swirls on these eggnog cupcakes, I use the 9FT tip from this decorating kit. The tips are much larger than standard sizes and so fun for decorating cupcakes!
Garnish the cupcakes with mini snowflake sugar cookies and a sprinkle of nutmeg!
These cupcakes will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, they taste best when served at room temperature! I like to let them sit at room temperature for about an hour before serving. Wait to top with snowflake cookies until right before serving.
Just a little, but yes! The alcohol in the cupcakes does cook off, but there is bourbon in the frosting too so these cupcakes should only be served to people over 21. But they are just as delicious without the bourbon, so leave it out if you prefer!
Tips for Success!
For best results I always recommend using weight measurements (especially when baking) because it's the most accurate. Kitchen scales are super affordable and also reduce the number of dishes you have to do! However, all my recipes also include US customary measurements for convince. Use this chart to convert measurements for common ingredients!
Substitutions: In all my recipes, I've included substitutions that I know will work, but I cannot guarantee results if you substitute ingredients that I have not recommended. [For example, granulated sugar and honey are indeed both sweeteners but they have very different properties so they can not always be swapped 1:1. Using honey in a cookie recipe that calls for granulated sugar will yield a giant mess.] In the recipe card you'll find links to the specific ingredients/brands that I use.
A note on salt: I almost exclusively use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt because it's the best all-purpose salt for cooking and baking. If you're not using kosher salt, consult this handy guide for a conversion chart! When in doubt, if you're using table salt just reduce the amount by half for baked goods. When cooking, I prefer to under-salt because you can always add more! If you've over-salted, adding a little bit of acid (like lemon juice) can help.
More Christmas Recipes You Might Like!
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Optional Cake Soak
- 2 tablespoons eggnog
- 2 teaspoons bourbon, optional
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup eggnog
- 1 tablespoon bourbon, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
- Whisk the cake flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and bourbon (if desired) together until combined.
- Stir in about half of the flour mixture. Then stir in the eggnog and the rest of the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. The batter will be thick.
- Pour about ¼ cup of batter into each cupcake liner (they should be about halfway full). Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack.
- In a small bowl whisk together the eggnog and bourbon for the cupcake soak.
- While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops of the cupcakes with the eggnog soak.
- Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time until fully combined and smooth.
- Slowly drizzle in the eggnog until fully incorporated, then add in the bourbon if desired. Beat on high for 3-4 minutes or until the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- Frost the bourbon eggnog cupcakes with the eggnog buttercream and then garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg and snowflake cookies!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.