Mint Julep Cupcakes

Are you a Kentucky Derby Fan? Do you like to put on your biggest hat and cheer along as the horses trot around at full speed? Truth is- I’m really not. It’s not that I don’t LOVE large hats- (I do, ) or even the thought of cheering on my favorite horse, (that sounds fun too,) I’ve just never seen the Derby. But- I do love love love me a good Mint Julep. (It may be one of my favorite cocktails ever.) And the thought of a day where a Mint Julep is the traditional drink seemed worthy of it’s own cupcake. (Don’t you think?)

The recipe for these is pretty simple. It starts with cupcake batter spiked with bourbon and pure mint extract. Once the cupcakes are cooled, I pricked the tops with a fork and brushed on some extra bourbon for good measure. The fluffy frosting was also infused with bourbon and mint, giving the whole cupcake a perfectly boozy quality. These would be perfect for a Derby Day party this Saturday or just a day you want a really delicious cupcake!

Update- I shot a video making these cupcakes for ABC news! Check it out here! 

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure mint extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of bourbon (or whiskey) (plus extra for tops of the cakes.)
  • frosting:
  • 2 sticks of butter (softened)
  • 4-6 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp mint extract
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/4 cup of milk or cream
  • Mint leaves for garnishing


Preheat the oven to 350º F, line 24 cupcake tins with liners and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine salt, baking powder, and 1 3/4 cups of the flour.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, eggs, and extracts in a large mixing bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Add the milk and bourbon to the batter, and then the remaining flour (1 cup). Don't over-mix!

Divide batter equally amongst the 24 tins. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool.

Once cool, prick the tops of each cake with a fork and brush tops with bourbon.)

For Frosting:

Whip the butter until creamy and pale. Add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until thick and paste-like. (You may not need all 6 cups.)

Add the extract and bourbon and then the milk- 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting is thick and creamy. Add additional powdered sugar or milk if the frosting is too wet or dry.

Swirl or pipe frosting onto cupcakes and garnish with a mint leaf or straw. (Optional.)

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Cupcake recipe adapted from Hostess with the Mostess.

Mint Julep Cupcakes- perfect for #DerbyDay!


  1. These are so cute! I do watch the Derby, but mostly because I live in Maryland not too far from Pimlico, so it’s a big deal around here.

  2. Whitneymardis says:

    Being from Kentucky – I totally appreciate you posting this cupcake recipe. I am going to send the link to all my KY friends. If you ever get the chance, you should come to the Derby, if for no other reason that just to see the hats. They are incredible in person!

  3. Anything involving bourbon and big hats is perfect in my book. And I love the straws!

  4. Peter Block says:

    those look wonderful and you are certainly timely with the mint julip

  5. These look so pretty! The flavors sound wonderful. I am not sure I have ever had a Mint Julep before, I might have to change that!

  6. Bakermomma says:

    I wish you could bake for me. Need to make a dessert tomorrow. Ugh.

  7. Made these for a Derby Party yesterday. They were the hit of the party!

  8. was looking for a “bourbon” cupcake…found this recipe…replaced all the mint extract with vanilla extract…my oh my! this recipe is fantastic! the cupcake texture was exactly what i was looking for. the icing was really easy to work with (it seemed to work better piped than spread). i used four roses bourbon and the kick was there. i have taste tested one that was slightly above room temperature and another that was just out of the fridge. you could taste more flavors in the warmer one…so definitely bring them to room temp before serving! thanks for such a great idea!

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  10. I made these last year and this year for our local steeplechase. They are phenomenal! This year I used all vanilla in the cupcake recipe instead of mint extract, but left the mint in the icing. I think they came out better this way – the mint was a tad overwhelming (for me) in the cake last year. The brushed bourbon on top of the cupcake adds such a great dimension, and the icing is sooooo good, even on it’s own! I used heavy cream in the icing and added a pinch of salt to cut down the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Thanks, Audra, for one the most requested cupcake recipes I’ve ever made!

  11. I am obsessed with desserts! Definitely mint julep cupcakes will be yummy! I’m seriously so inspired right now. I need to add honey instead of sugar to recipe and it would be perfect. Thx for sharing Audra!

  12. Wow! This is gorgeous. I bet they would be scrumptious mint julep cupcakes amazing for kids. Will definitely try this for my son. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sure you can share the recipe with credit or the photo with a link, but not both please :)

  13. Now this is a recipe I thoroughly enjoyed, the bourbon and mint complement each other quite nicely.

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