Mint Julep Cupcake

In honor of the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I bring you this festive recipe for Mint Julep Cupcakes!!  I had never really celebrated the Derby prior to last year when my husband and I attended a party hosted by our friends.  The party was a benefit for Boston Cares, complete with door prizes (a trip to Aruba and tickets to a Red Sox game to name a few), tons of great silent auction items to bid on, and of course placing fast-paced bets on the horses as an auctioneer announced the celebrities of the day!  We had an absolute blast celebrating in our seersucker and huge fancy hats…all the while sipping on mint juleps.  With the event approaching this year, I pulled out my craft supplies and began decorating my oversized, floppy white beach hat with ribbons, bows, feathers, and glitter.  And then I got thirsty for a mint julep…cupcake!  I devised this recipe and boy is it a winner!  The cake is super moist and has a fabulous hint of honey thanks to the Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey.  You may want to make a batch of these to celebrate the Kentucky Derby this weekend.  Enjoy one as you cheer on the winning horse!

Mint Julep Cupcakes
Yield:  about 12 cupcakes (or 40 mini cupcakes)
Time:  40 minutes active;  60 minutes total

Bourbon Cupcakes:
1½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey (or Wild Turkey American Honey)
1½ cups skim milk
1 large sprig of fresh mint (roughly 15-20 leaves), rinsed thoroughly

Mint-Bourbon Frosting:
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
4 to 4½ cups confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
2-3 drops of pure mint extract
2 tbsp. Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey (or Wild Turkey American Honey)
¼ cup of mint-infused milk (see step 1 of cupcake recipe)
fresh mint leaves, for garnishing

1.  Place the milk and mint sprig into a medium sized saucepan.  Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This will infuse the milk with the flavor of the mint.  Set aside and allow to cool.  (Note:  This step can be done a day or two in advance.  Store the mint-infused milk in the refrigerator.)  [You will need use 1/3 of a cup of this infused milk for the cupcakes and another ¼ cup for the frosting.  Enjoy any leftovers!  It’s a great base for hot chocolate!]

2.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Line cupcake pans with liners (12 wells for regular sized cupcakes or roughly 40 wells for mini cupcakes).

3.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

4.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars.  Add the vanilla and eggs.  Slowly drizzle in the bourbon.  Whisk together.  Add 1/3 of a cup of the mint-infused milk.  Mix thoroughly to combine all wet ingredients.

5.  Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients.  Whisk to break up any lumps.

6.  Fill prepared cupcake wells ¾ full with batter.  Lightly tap the pans to release any trapped air bubbles.  Bake at 350°F for 11-12 minutes for mini cupcakes or 17-18 minutes for regular sized cupcakes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Cool completely before frosting.

7.  To make the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, mint extract, and bourbon.  Slowly drizzle in mint-infused milk.  Slowly add 1 cup of additional confectioner’s sugar.  Beat together.  Add up to ½ cup more of confectioner’s sugar until desired consistency is achieved.  Frost cupcakes and garnish with fresh mint leaves!

PDF to Print Recipe for Mint Julep Cupcakes

Mint Julep Cupcake









If this gets you in the mood to drink a classic mint julep, go right ahead!  For your convenience, here’s the recipe for the classic Kentucky Derby cocktail:

Classic Mint Julep
yield:  1 cocktail

6-8 mint leaves (plus a few more for garnish)
½ oz. simple syrup
2½ oz. bourbon
4 ice cubes

Muddle together the mint leaves and simple syrup in a double old-fashioned glass.  (Muddle well to release the oils and aroma from the mint.)  Top with bourbon.  Gently stir.  Drop in ice cubes and garnish with a few fresh mint leaves.