Old-Fashioned Egg Cream Recipe

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Made with just three ingredients (syrup, milk, and soda) this egg cream is an old-fashioned milkshake recipe that doesn’t actually include egg or cream.

Chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla egg creams in a row.

This past weekend my in-laws came from Georgia to visit with us over the holiday weekend. My mother-in-law brought me several recipes she’d printed out for old-fashioned fountain-style drinks and I couldn’t resist playing around with them! My son and I instantly fell in love with a wonderful concoction known as a New York egg cream. Until this past weekend, I’d never had one before. But as I’m writing this I can honestly say I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had!

What does egg cream taste like?

Many of you may be wondering, “What is an egg cream?”, so I’m gonna tell ya! The thing is, it doesn’t include eggs or cream. Its three ingredients are syrup, milk, and soda. Taste-wise, it’s kind of like a milkshake, only not as thick. So it actually quenches your thirst rather than induces it.

It can easily be made lighter in terms of sugar content too and it only includes a small bit of milk, although it tastes much milkier than it is. When you taste it after seeing the ingredients you’ll be surprised there isn’t more involved. Or that egg or cream isn’t in it, because of the light richness.

Why do they call it an egg cream?

Many people have speculated about the title. The reason that makes the most sense to me is that during the height of soda fountains, it was popular to add raw egg and cream to drinks for flavor, thickness, and richness. But during the onset of World War II, they became cost prohibitive. Since this miraculously tastes as if it may indeed have an egg and cream in it, the name was sort of a marketing ploy to help sell an inexpensive drink.

I am just glad that this old-fashioned egg cream recipe exists! And I’m drinking one right now as I type this because they take less than five minutes to whip up. So don’t blink or you’ll miss the recipe!

Who doesn’t love a good drink, make sure you check out some of our other delicious drink recipes like Dirty Dr PepperCaramel Apple MilkshakeTropical Pink Mocktail (Fun Fruity Summer Drink), and Sweet Tea Recipe.

Old Fashioned Egg Cream Ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Syrup of your choice, including strawberry syrup, chocolate syrup, vanilla syrup, or caramel syrup.
  • Club soda (or seltzer)
  • Whole milk

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How to Make an Egg Cream

Pour about two tablespoons of syrup into a glass.

 To begin with, pour about two tablespoons of syrup into a tall glass.

I’m using pretty little soda fountain glasses here. But most times I make these in a plastic generic solo cup (I live large like that).

Add 1/3 a cup of milk.

Now add 1/3 a cup of cold milk.

I am using exact measurements to get you started here. But once you play with this recipe, you may find you prefer more or less milk. I like less milk, but my son likes more.

There is no right or wrong way to make this drink written in the Constitution of the United States of America. So don’t let anyone try to convince you there is.

Mix ingredients together.

Stir that up really well.

Syrup and milk mixed together.

Like this!

Pictured are the bases for: chocolate, strawberry, and sugar-free caramel egg creams.

But we’re not done yet!

Fill glass with soda.

Fill each glass the rest of the way with cold club soda or seltzer water.

Take it slow as it will froth. But in the end, you’ll have the prerequisite foamy head.

Line of different-flavored old-fashioned egg creams.

Add a straw and enjoy your egg creams!

Which flavor are you choosing?


This is one of those recipes that’s best served immediately, mainly because it’s made with carbonated soda. Luckily, it’s so quick and easy to make.

Recipe Variations

  • It is important for your ingredients to be cold. So put your club soda and syrup in the fridge for a while before making these. You can always add ice later if you like too.
  • For extra richness, swap the milk for half and half.
  • For the most traditional chocolate syrup, use Fox’s U-Bet or Hershey’s.

Recipe FAQs

What is an egg cream?

An egg cream is an old-fashioned cold drink made from milk, carbonated water, and flavored syrup. Yep, it doesn’t include egg or cream. The most common flavor is chocolate egg cream. Back in the day, it was enjoyed as a substitute for the more expensive ice cream float. 

How do you make a vegan egg cream?

Ensure the syrup is vegan, then substitute the milk for almond milk or soy milk. 

Is egg cream the same as eggnog?

Eggnog is a very different drink, as you’ll see from this recipe. The main difference is that eggnog is actually made with milk/cream, sugar, and eggs.

Can we tempt you with these other homemade drink recipes?

Easy Eggnog Recipe (Without Eggs)

Deep Fried Ice Cream Milkshakes

Sweet Tea Recipe

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Mocha Coffee Floats

Caramel Apple Milkshake

Egg Cream

Made with just three ingredients, this egg cream is an old-fashioned milkshake recipe that doesn't actually include egg or cream.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 114kcal


  • 2 tablespoons syrup of your choice
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3/4-1 cup cold club soda or seltzer water


  • Pour syrup into the bottom of a tall glass.
    2 tablespoons syrup of your choice
  • Add milk and stir vigorously.
    1/3 cup whole milk
  • Add in club soda slowly, leaving room for it to fizz at the top.
    3/4-1 cup cold club soda or seltzer water
  • Insert a straw and enjoy!


Calories: 114kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

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Submitted by Val.

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  1. Actually, pour the milk first, then the seltzer or club soda. That way you’ll get the traditional white froth on the top. Then drizzle the chocolate through while gently stirring with a long spoon. And NEVER serve an egg cream with a straw! How can you get that frothy and carbonated chocolate feelng together on your lips and tongue if you’re drinking it through a straw?!!! (Brooklyn boy here)

  2. Have made these using powdered malt the kind you use when making malts ( thick shakes) no syrup . mix powder with the milk then add the club soda.

  3. Love your blog, I was always told that egg creams were made by combining milk with eggs and sugar over heat to make a custard consistency similar to gelato,cool or freeze in cubes then whip with your soda and flavorings/syrups etc. This is also homemade ice cream floats!

  4. Hmmmm, I have a few cans of evaporated skim milk in my garage/pantry so I wonder if that would work for the whole milk? I betcha it would!

  5. This is how I would make an egg cream: Make a creme brulee, let it cool, sitr in some cream and flavoring, sweeten, add a small amount of seltzer, sitr well, and top off with seltzer to make it fizzy. That is my idea of an egg cream and probably how it started in my mind anyway : )

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