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Elegant Eggnog Dessert Recipe

Elegant Eggnog Dessert Recipe

This impressive dessert has become so popular that I have to make three every year—one for my husband to take to work, one for our family on Christmas Eve and one for his family Christmas Day! Any flavor of Pirouette cookies can be used, and vanilla can be substituted for the rum flavoring. —Lisa Scanio, Tampa, Florida
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. + chilling YIELD:12 servings


  • 1 can (13-1/2 ounces) Pirouette cookies
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups cold eggnog
  • 1-1/3 cups cold whole milk
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream


  • 1. Cut each cookie into two 2-1/2-in. sections; set aside. Crush remaining 1-inch pieces. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, cracker crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan.
  • 2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the eggnog, milk, dry pudding mixes, extract and nutmeg until smooth. Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pudding mixture. Spoon over crust. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
  • 3. Just before serving, remove sides of pan. Arrange reserved cookies around dessert and press gently into sides. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe Note

Editor's Note: This recipe was tested with commercially prepared eggnog. Reduced-fat eggnog is not recommended.

Reviews for Elegant Eggnog Dessert

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MeganNokes User ID: 6827460 258145
Reviewed Dec. 14, 2016

"This cheesecake has now become a Christmas tradition with everyone I make it for <3 shame that it's overall score has been lowered by people not following the directions to a "T"! You HAVE to have INSTANT pudding mix (NOT stove top/cooking pudding) and you HAVE to have WHOLE MILK or at the very least 2%, because it needs that fat to help it stand on its own, same goes for the heavy whipping cream (for those who do not know what that is, its 35% heavy whipping cream) you MUST whip it until stiff peaks form, then fold it in LIKE IT SAYS IN THE DIRECTIONS. Also, this recipe requires a lot of mixing! So DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MIX IT BY HAND. Also not a good recipe for those too impatient to let the stand mixer fully mix the ingredients. everything will incorporate if done properly!"

MarvinJr User ID: 4581226 240339
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2015

"I decided to read through the comments after making this. The recipe calls for cold milk and eggnog...Yes, when you add this to your cream cheese it will harden the cream cheese. I switched from the paddle attachment to the whisk. I started out slow and moved up the speed as it thickened up. I left it "whipping" for a few minutes until all clumps were gone. I did use whole milk instead of a lower fat milk. You must make sure you whip the heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks and that you do not use cooked pudding. I am pretty happy with the taste as I used traditional eggnog. Though I do prefer to have more of a spice "punch"."

regor2526 User ID: 8177658 215655
Reviewed Dec. 22, 2014

"I KNOW WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH THE RUNNY CONSISTENCY!!!! HERE’S THE DEAL. i was looking for an eggnog dessert and saw this one had high reviews, so i chose to make it. after a closer look at all the comments, i realized that numerous people gave it a bad review, because it came out runny. i chose to make it anyway, bc many more people said they had no problem making it and they have no idea what happened to all the nah-sayers. plus, many people who had the runny issue said it still tasted good despite the messiness. so i made the desert identical to the recipe, and i knew right away that it was too runny. I didn’t even pour it into the pan with the crust. i just knew it wasn’t going to work. i had enough left over ingredients to give it another shot, except for pudding, cream cheese and whipping cream, so i went to the store to get these supplies. while i was in the store, i decided that i should probably try something different, and i decided to try a different brand of pudding, and that’s when it hit me. i wondered if i had used the COOK pudding instead of the INSTANT. i thought to myself that there was just no way, but when i got back home i looked in the trash, and sure enough i had used COOK pudding. so i made the recipe again and it came out fine. to me it tastes like an instant/nobake cheesecake with an eggnog/vanilla flavor. i’m not crazy about it, but i still recommend making it, because people just go nuts about eggnog around Christmas, and this recipe was easy enough (IF YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE DETAILS.)"

pazzaj7777 User ID: 7557227 156632
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2013

"Messy. Fell apart all over tbe place. Crust too hard, could not scrape off bottom of pan. Too rich. Yes, I did follow directions. Children did not like it!"

Nubbikins User ID: 7556558 110117
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2013

"I have made this [cheesecake] every Christmas for 4 years now and it is a BIG hit with everyone in the family. I get asked every year if I'm making it like children asking if I'm getting them presents. For the ones complaining about it being "runny", you need to make sure you're following the directions. Either you've added too much milk, didn't use a hand-mixer to fully blend the ingredients or didn't "whip" the "heavy whipping cream into stiff peaks" (seriously?). As for the flour taste, that probably comes from not blending the ingredients (it's the dry pudding mix that you're tasting). Once properly mixed it will have the consistently of thick pudding that hasn't fully set yet, then after chilling overnight it will set almost to a cheesecake texture. And another tip. Make the crust thicker, that way you can push the pirouette cookies down into it like building a fort, then put in the filling. That way you don't have to put the cookies on right before serving. Thank you for this recipe!!!!!"

Winn family User ID: 1470518 101744
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2013

"Everyone at our small group party loved this dessert. Very easy, very nice presentation. I was leary about it not setting or the pudding mix not dissolving well, so I made sure to blend the cream cheese with the egg nog and milk very well before I added the pudding mix. I had nice, stiff peaks on my whipping cream before folding it in, and it was setting up before I had it all poured into the pan. I didn't have a problem with my cookies staying in place. I tied it with a ribbon to prevent a problem, but two hours after cutting it, the cookies were still in place. Several people thought they were stuffed cinnamon sticks though. I was probably the only person who didn't care for it, I don't like the taste or aftertaste of instant pudding mix. Several people asked for the recipe, kids enjoyed it as much as the adults. There was less than a quarter to bring home, and we somehow ended up with three times as many desserts as we needed at the party. People had lots of dessert choices, but kept going back to this one."

dgagnier User ID: 4714551 173353
Reviewed Oct. 22, 2013

"very soggy cookies, and runny!"

PatienceBentley User ID: 7054803 110114
Reviewed Dec. 24, 2012

"Delicious! I'm not sure why some of you mention it tastes like flour? Flour isn't even an ingredient! If it's runny it's very possible that you didn't whip it long enough. If you are mixing by hand then this is not the recipe for you! It requires lots of mixing and I can't imagine doing it without a kitchenaid or other mixer. If it's super runny when you're pouring it in the pan then that's a sign it probably needs more mixing. Also make sure you whip the heavy cream into a whipped cream like texture before you add it in. If you just pour in the heavy whipping cream then it's never going to thicken."

junglestar User ID: 4491805 101736
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2012

"This dessert is out of this world! I have made it twice and had great reviews. Will be making it again for a small party of 7. Thank you for sharing."

jaceyd User ID: 3228833 171903
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2012

"I've made this dessert several times - always with rave reviews wherever I take it! It's quite easy and tastes wonderful...even to folks who don't like eggnog! I've used 2% milk instead of whole and it's been fine. The only thing I've had to do is buy two cans of the Pirouettes to ensure there are enough to go around the cake."

junglestar User ID: 4491805 79181
Reviewed Nov. 19, 2012

"I did this for friends the other night and everybody love this dessert. Its so creamy and rich,so easy to make, just in time for the holidays. I am planning on making it again for my Christmas party. Thank you jb"

RFM User ID: 5003679 101733
Reviewed Sep. 21, 2012

"What a catastrophe! it never integrated was liquid.. it was a horrible taste of dry pudding with flour and a lot of eggnog 2 cups. Dont waste your ingredients. My husband must to put 6 sheets gelatine and then in the refrigerater in order to thicken and integrated the cake... Here they have a nice picture but it look not like this afterwards and tastes flour and dry pudding ahhh"

allison822 User ID: 3682548 99065
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2011

"What a catastrophe! The cold eggnog and milk hardened the cream cheese, so it never integrated. The whipped cream didn't fold in, so it was just giant lumps. After 9+ hours of chilling, it was the consistency of eggnog. A colossal waste of ingredients and time. Never again."

midge12 User ID: 4173506 99063
Reviewed Dec. 30, 2011

"AWESOME :) I how ever did not use the Piroutte cookies & it was fine with out them. Would make it again in a heart beat the whole family & friends really enjoyed it:)"

mg1 User ID: 527513 101728
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2011

"This dessert sounds delicious and looks beautiful. Before I make it, though, I 'd appreciate some advice. Since one reviewer said that the ribbon is needed to keep the Pirouette cookies in place, how do you cut or serve it?"

jennywrenn User ID: 6222896 170552
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2011

"I made this for my church's Christmas party, and it was a HUGE hit! Very easy to make. I will definitely make it again. Only issue is that two lengths of ribbon tied around the dessert were needed to stabilize the pirouette cookies. Otherwise, they would have collapsed outward."

Deucemanley User ID: 5777257 99610
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2011

"This dessert was very light and tasty. Had good reviews from my book club ladies. For the one comment about the heavy cream, the directions say to whip the cream until stiff and fold in. Will definately make again."

NancyinMT User ID: 4756999 101727
Reviewed Dec. 3, 2011

"Did you whip the cream?  I think the directions are somewhat misleading."

ruckyroses User ID: 1932832 168977
Reviewed Nov. 27, 2011

"The taste for this dessert is sooo good. However, the end result was very runny and did not take shape at all. Did anyone else have this problem? Maybe that is the way it is supposed to be?"

mjcmcook User ID: 2775072 101721
Reviewed Nov. 23, 2011

""Out of this World" (^_^)~"

eukent User ID: 4474217 99605
Reviewed Nov. 22, 2011

"I've made this the last 2 Thanksgivings and was requested to make it again at both Christmas's. It is AMAZING!!!!"

ccroy3 User ID: 1671239 101718
Reviewed Oct. 30, 2011

"By far one of the most impressive and tasty desserts I've ever made!!! LOTS of RAVE reviews!!!"

lauries User ID: 2534791 170551
Reviewed Jan. 14, 2011

"This is wonderful. Very rich so next time I make it I will cut it into smaller pieces. I knew we were only going to eat half the first time so I only put the Pirouline (that's the brand of those cookies here in Canada) cookies on half the dessert so I could freeze it. It froze great. And, actually I didn't find the cookies that were on the pieces that I froze went soggy or anything so I think next time I'll put all the cookies on and freeze like that. If you like eggnog this is amazing."

backburner User ID: 44779 135680
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2010

"When I bring this dessert to parties people will take a piece of this first to make sure they have some when they are done eating. I always bring home a clean plate!"

lisaacb User ID: 3313982 99060
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2009

"Receives lots of great comments everytime we serve this at a party"

eva_diva1 User ID: 4684255 171902
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2009

"Let me start off by saying that I would definately make the filling again, it was really tasty, but would reconsider the pirouette cookies border. I don't know if it's because of the firmness of the filling or what, but 'elegant' looking it was not. I used 1 1/2 cups milk and it was a bit firmer than pudding but not like a cheesecake. Anyway, when I was pressing in the cookies, the filling was oozing out and the cookies were tipping over. It was a mess! I would love to get suggestions on how other made this part work. If not, I'm thinking a traditional graham pie crust might be the answer."

JrBakerInON User ID: 4096150 171901
Reviewed Dec. 6, 2009

"I read all the reviews beforehand, and still chose to make this recipe. The only change I made was to bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350. Otherwise, I followed the recipe using 2 cups of milk, and 2 cups of eggnog. I used whole milk. I let the mixture (cream cheese, pudding & milk) thicken, while I whipped the whipping cream until stiff peaks formed. And I folded it in the main mixture. I was able to spoon the mixture into the pan. I refrigerated overnight, and the cake turned out great. It kept it's shape, and the cookies stuck right to it. It tasted great as well, and I received a lot of compliments on it. I'm not sure why others had such a bad experience with this cake, but mine was definetly a positive one and I would make this again."

angela pennock User ID: 2619358 209397
Reviewed Dec. 29, 2008

"I made this and it tastes so yummy, but the crust stuck to the pan and it made a terrible mess. Any tips on correcting that...ruined the presentation!!"

JeanInWa User ID: 1059678 82877
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2008

"I made this for Christma BEFORE I read the reviews, and was pretty upset thinking that it was going to ooze. I used 2 cups of milk and two of eggnog. I beat the whipping cream first, and kept it in the freeze staying very cold while I mixed the rest. It spooned into the pan very nicely.

When I took the side off the pan, it STAYED firm! I put the cookies around the outside, but didn't put a ribbon on and they stayed wonderfully!
I used sugar free pudding. One of vanilla and one of cheesecake flavor. I also used a couple splashes of rum because I didn't have rum extract. I will definately make this again!"

bbyeomans User ID: 2987233 99601
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2008

"I have made 3 of these now and each one has turned out just like the picture. Very firm and holds it shape, even while slicing. Those having problems should make sure to use instant pudding and whip the whipped cream very stiff before adding, thats when I notice it firms up quite nicely even before putting into the pan. Don't give up one this one ... it is worth trying again until you get it right!"

KIMBERLY18 User ID: 788691 110109
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2008

"I also had problems with the texture, I tried it twice thinking I had did something wrong or left something out and I got the same results. I was disappointed since It was pretty expensive to make using the pirouette cookies.


KathieM User ID: 3698687 79180
Reviewed Dec. 16, 2008

"After reading all the reviews, I decided to try this for Christmas dinner (2008) I'm glad I read reviews because this recipe still says 2 cups of milk instead of 1. I'll give it a try with 1 cup."

yooper38 User ID: 3047774 170191
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2008

"I too had problems with the texture. I was expecting the consistency of cheesecake, but it came out like a pudding, even after refrigerating for 8 hours!"

o.blonde1 User ID: 745946 99039
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2008


I added an extra packet of pudding mix to the liquidy batch, and it's set up. It is a much more pudding-like consistency, but servable.
My 2nd attempt at the cake, with less milk, worked beautifully!"

o.blonde1 User ID: 745946 173351
Reviewed Nov. 26, 2008

"I really wish I would have read the reviews here BEFORE making this dessert. There is TOO MUCH LIQUID in the above recipe. I didn't "spoon" in the batter as much as I poured it. And there was no "folding" in of the whipped cream as much as it was plopping cream into milk & eggnog.

I'm writing before heading to the store to get more ingredients for a 2nd attempt. Am I glutton for punishment? Maybe. It does taste great, but is the wrong consistency. I really hope try #2 works out better than the first try. In the mean time, TOH may want to adjust the recipe, cause what is above just can't be right! Grrrr."

suestarre User ID: 2051726 171898
Reviewed Oct. 24, 2008

"Re: Elegant Eggnog dessert

I made this for our Heart Sister's Christmas party, last December and it tasted great. It was a little too soft though, I think next time I make it I will cut back on the milk. It could be because I used 2% and maybe it should say whole milk. Even though once the ribbon came off the presentation kind of went out the window or should I say it just collapsed...everyone loved the taste. I will try again this year.

ChantelG User ID: 3486810 170548
Reviewed Oct. 17, 2008

"I used the one cup of milk recommended by Carol Koff (even though looking at the recipe on the site it says two) and it worked! My cake/dessert thing turned out great. I made it for a church fund raiser and it sold for $20 ($2 a slice), I'll have to make one for me because I didn't get to taste and my little sister almost cried because I wouldn't give her any. The people who got slices are all clamoring for the recipe, thanks."

ccroy3 User ID: 1671239 135672
Reviewed Aug. 10, 2008 Edited Oct. 30, 2011

"This recipe was such a hit during our family Christmas dinner that I have been asked to make it every year!!! It's a beautiful dessert and such a luscious flavor! Lots of raves!


Danswife_OR User ID: 27977 82874
Reviewed Feb. 27, 2008

"Well now! That is interesting! I copied the recipe from the link provided here, the website one. At that time it called for 2 cups of milk (I just checked my copy to be sure). Now it says 1 cup milk.

Thank you for your review, and for mentioning the discrepencies in the recipe, Carolkoff! I'll go back and amend the recipe in my file, and am looking forward to trying it next Thanksgiving or Christmas "

CarolKoff User ID: 2695359 154876
Reviewed Feb. 26, 2008

"If you made this dessert using the Dec. & Jan Taste of Home Magazine Recipe, like I did and had pudding for dessert, the reason is simple. Recipe in the Magazine calls for 2 cups of milk. Website calls for 1 cup of milk. I just could not figure out why some made this and it turned out fine, while others had a soupy mess. I really enjoyed the taste and will make it again, this time using only 1 cup of milk and not baking the crust as it was awfully hard. Carolkoff"

nettiebakes User ID: 2664456 171897
Reviewed Jan. 12, 2008

"I am wonderind if the varied results might have something to do with the different types of Egg Nog there is. I wonder if some companies use thickening agents in their Nogs which in turn helps to thicken the finished product. Very curious, I feel bad that some people had bad experiences. Ours was great. Annette"

thewisecook User ID: 1691961 82859
Reviewed Jan. 11, 2008

"I recently made this exactly as the recipe stated. The appearance was spectacular and was one of the prettiest desserts I've ever made BUT when we went to cut it it was the consistency of pudding and the crust had set up like concrete. It went from a work of art to a big mess in a hurry. We ended up scraping the pudding off the crust and eating it in bowls with a spoon. Also I filled the 9" spring pan up to the brim and still had a ton of the filling left over. I could have made a 5" spring pan along with the 9".

I will not be making this again but I will use the idea of decorating with the cookies on a regular cheesecake."

Danswife_OR User ID: 27977 170520
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2008

I copied this recipe to try at a later date because it looks and sounds so good. However, after reading the various comments I'm planning to adjust the ingredients.
One thing I'm wondering is if perhaps it should read eggnog OR milk.."

montanasredsun User ID: 1274381 154873
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2008

"Can anyone on staff clear up the mystery of why so many posters had the same experience...runny filling that did not firm up or resemble the picture? It looks so elegant I'd love to try it, but wonder if the recipe needs revised first.  "

tetleysmom User ID: 1606100 173349
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2008

"What a disappointment this recipe was! I made it for Christmas Day dessert and it just was not good. I made it two days ahead, so there would be plenty of time for it to chill and set up, but when I loosened the springform pan, everything just seemed to start collapsing and turned mushy. Didn't like the pirouette cooky crust either; texture and taste was weird. I'm just sorry I wasted all the good ingredients on something like this. Never will I make this again - ever!"

teflach User ID: 2635101 101716
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2008

"I saw this recipe and I love eggnog and boiled custard. Also the Walmart close to me had pirouette cookies by Pepperidge Farms. Then I saw this comment so Im afraid to try it. teflach"

Tricia122 User ID: 2722725 171896
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2008

"I so wish I had read these reviews before trying to make this for Christmas dessert. What a mistake! I took it out of the fridge after it had chilled overnight, virtually 24 hours, and it was nothing but mush. There was no way I was going to unhook the springform pan for fear of letting loose an avalanche of pudding all over the floor! I followed the recipe exactly. I thought I'd freeze it, maybe turn it into an "ice cream cake" type thing, but as I suspected might happen, it just crystallized like freezer burned ice cream and that was not successful either., My mom suggested I try making this again with less liquid, but I'm not going to waste my time. I would like Taste of Home to recognize all of our complaints and test it themselves to see if perhaps this recipe is just plain wrong. I do realize other people have been having success, but so many of us with failures? Something must be wrong with it. My children have been enjoying the cut up pirouette cookies that are left over, however."

tessmoore User ID: 1900580 154795
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2008

"I'm not into eggnog, what can be used in place of eggnog? It seems like a lot of milk already.

tess moore"

CarolKoff User ID: 2695359 209396
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2007

"I made this dessert for Christmas and after releasing the pan tried to place the cookies on the side. After getting about one fourth of the cookies to stick on the side they all fell off. Eventully the dessert collapsed. Fortunately, I placed the dessert in a large round container and placed the cookies on top and we all ate it with bowls and spoons. It was very good tasting but there is something wrong with the ingredients. Too much liquid for only 2 pkgs. of vanilla pudding. I can't believe this receipe was tested!! CMohr"

anonymous User ID: 5520322 170518
Reviewed Dec. 28, 2007

"I made this dessert for Christmas for my family & friends it turned out gorgousand looked just like the pictre and the tast was heavenly.Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe.Marty Stimac Laurie Mo."

kaltec User ID: 2230209 168974
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2007

"Re: Elegant Eggnog dessert

I'm glad to read others had a problem with this recipe. I made it for Christmas dinner and was shocked when I removed the sides of the pan and the whole dessert just fell down into a liquid puddle. Fortunately, our relatives that were here for dinner have a great sense of humor and we all had a good laugh. It did taste very good but did NOT look like the picture. I would really like to find out what went wrong. Was there a printing mistake in the ingredients or the instructions? As printed, it was a simple enough dessert with not very many ingredients so I can't imagine messing it up if all is correct.

HDMac_WA User ID: 226085 173334
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2007

" I am trying this on the weekend. sooooooo, I am going to go easy on the liquid.  This just sounds terrific and it has been getting GREAT reviews!!


talbotcolleen User ID: 1975133 173332
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2007

"I too tried this recipe exactly as stated and although I received compliments on the taste, found the dessert very soft. It never did firm up as I expected it to. The presentation was ruined because of the softness of the dessert. I don't know if freezing it a little beforehand would have helped. I won't be making this dessert again."

cbkaulins User ID: 2714661 158139
Reviewed Dec. 27, 2007

"Made this last evening and I followed the recipe exactly. Not sure what happened or what I did wrong, but did not turn out and was extremely runny. It never got thick. I thought maybe the recipe listed was wrong and there was too much liquid. Maybe the cream cheese wasn't soft enough. I couldn't fold the whipped cream into it. It was like just dropping whipped cream into egg nog and milk. Too runny. Anyone else have this problem?"

gretchenD User ID: 1620613 101715
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2007

"We had this on Christmas Day and it was a big hit, a very light texture. Yummy!!


gevette66 User ID: 1129605 101688
Reviewed Dec. 26, 2007

"I made this for our Christmas dinner. Flavor was great but was disappointed - when took out of the pan the dessert did not hold its form and was more pudding consistancy. Next time I will try with 1/2 the liquid."

mackie User ID: 37154 79178
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2007

"This is so beautiful! I can't wait to make it. Thank you. Colleen"

ruthiebear User ID: 1959327 99036
Reviewed Dec. 23, 2007

"I made this for my work Christmas party. It was easy and it looked like I knew what I was doing. Thanks RuthAnn"

anonymous User ID: 5520322 154790
Reviewed Dec. 20, 2007

"I made this for my workplace at the hospital and everyone loved it! It wasn't hard to make and it was so beautiful.."

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