Mint Julep Cupcakes

Inspired by the bourbon-based cocktail popular in the South, these boozy and minty cupcakes are a perfect way to celebrate derby day. For[ an extra punch of bourbon, brush some on the tops of the freshly baked cupcakes.]

Total Time:
1 hr 40 min
35 min
45 min
20 min

12 cupcakes

  • Vanilla-Bourbon Cupcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup bourbon; plus 2 tablespoons more for brushing, optional
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Minty Frosting:
  • 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • Pinch fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon mint-flavored liqueur, such as creme de menthe
  • A few drops pure peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Brown sanding sugar, for garnish
  • Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
  • Special equipment: a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip or a resealable plastic bag, 12 paper cupcake liners

  • For the vanilla-bourbon cupcakes: Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise with a paring knife, and scrape down the length with the back of the knife to remove the seeds. Add the seeds and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer, and beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the butter, and beat until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. While continuing to beat, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as needed. Add the bourbon, and reduce the mixer speed to medium-low (the mixture will look curdled, but that's OK). Beating after each addition until just combined, add in 1/3 of the flour mixture, 1/2 the milk, 1/2 the remaining flour mixture, the remaining milk, then the remaining flour mixture. Divide the batter evenly among the liners in the prepared tin. Clean the mixer bowl and paddle attachment.

  • Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a wire rack for 5 minutes. While they are still warm, brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons bourbon if desired. Transfer them to the rack to cool completely.

  • For the minty frosting: Mix the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low speed until the sugar has been incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the liqueur and peppermint extract, and mix on medium-high until smooth. Add the half-and-half, and beat until incorporated. Refrigerate the frosting for about 15 minutes to firm up.

  • Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes with a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch plain round tip or a plastic bag with a tip cut off, using all the frosting. Decorate with mint sprigs and sanding sugar.

  • Copyright 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

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