Mint Julep Cupcakes with Buttercream Rose Frosting


*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you!) if you make a purchase using any of these links.*

Mint julep cupcakes baked by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

I’m far from a seasoned baker, but ever since my sister-in-law got me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you can’t get me out of the kitchen. I’ve been testing out lots of new recipes, and one of my favorites (by far) has been these mint julep cupcakes! I found the recipe on Food.com a while back and have had a lot of fun tweaking it, specifically the frosting. I also learned how to pipe buttercream rose petals, and now I’m obsessed with cupcake design. It’s seriously so much easier than I ever would’ve thought, thanks primarily to books like Hello, Cupcake and What’s New, Cupcake?. Anyway, keep reading for the mint julep cupcakes recipe! I’ve also listed some alcohol-free substitutions down below, too. 

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares one of her favorite Kentucky Derby desserts on Diary of a Debutante

This fun Derby Day dessert recipe was adapted from Food.com and contains just enough bourbon to provide flavor without overpowering the cupcakes. The mint extract and creme de menthe add the perfect amount of mint, too. Keep reading for the recipe card and click play on the Instagram Reel below for a short little video!
 


 

Ingredients

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shares one of her favorite desserts for a Kentucky Derby party on Diary of a Debutante

Here’s everything you need for the mint julep cupcake batter–

  • 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter (equivalent to 8 tbsp or 1 full stick), cut into 1-inch pieces and softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1⁄4 cup bourbon
  • 1⁄4 cup creme de menthe

In addition to a petal piping tip and pastry bag, here’s everything you need to make the buttercream rose frosting–

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened
  • 1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 tbsp milk (added in 1 tsp at a time)
  • 7-8 drops red food coloring

Of course, you’ll also need a cupcake tin and cupcake liners (I found these at Walmart), as well. 

Mint julep cupcake recipe by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Substitutions

Bourbon– If you’d like to make non-alcoholic cupcakes, substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract for every 2 tablespoons of bourbon. You can use an alcohol-free vanilla extract to eliminate alcohol altogether.

Creme de Menthe– You can substitute Torani creme de menthe syrup or peppermint syrup in equal parts to eliminate the alcohol. If you prefer more natural syrups, this homemade mint simple syrup is a good alternative. Peppermint extract works, too, although it’s pretty strong. For reference, the rule of thumb is 1/2 tsp peppermint or mint extract per 3 tablespoons of creme de menthe.

Mint Julep Cupcake Recipe

One of the prettiest Kentucky Derby dessert recipes from blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Make the Cupcakes

First, preheat the oven to 350F.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Then, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl (ideally with a scraper bowl attachment if you have one). If you aren’t familiar, “creaming” essentially means mixing the butter and sugar together at a moderately high speed until blended and fluffy. You’ll know it’s done when the color has lightened and the consistency is creamy.

Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add in the eggs one at a time until combined. Next, add in the mint and vanilla extracts, followed by half of the flour mixture. Add the milk, bourbon, and creme de menthe to the batter, then the rest of the flour. Mix until your batter has a creamy consistency. If there’s still any graininess, continue to mix until smooth. 

Mint julep cupcake batter recipe from blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

Next, pop a paper cupcake liner into each muffin cup and divide the batter evenly among the cupcake cups.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make mint julep flavored cupcakes on Diary of a Debutante

Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, preferably in the refrigerator, before icing. 

Step 2: Make the Icing

While the cupcakes are cooling, whip the butter with a whisk or a whisk attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Next, slowly add in half the sifted powdered sugar and salt. The butter and powdered sugar will fly all over the bowl, so be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add in the mint and vanilla extracts and bourbon, followed by the rest of the powdered sugar. Then, slowly add in milk (I like to do a teaspoon at a time) and food coloring until the buttercream frosting is light and fluffy.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to make pink buttercream frosting on Diary of a Debutante

Step 3: Decorate Your Cupcakes

Once you’re happy with your buttercream icing, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a tip or a plastic bag with the tip cut off. Be sure to keep the frosting at room temperature–  it’ll be much easier to frost with. If it warms up too much, re-whip it to bring it back to a smooth and fluffy consistency.

Blogger Stephanie Ziajka shows how to pipe buttercream roses onto mint julep cupcakes on Diary of a Debutante

Also, for reference, I used Wilton’s petal piping tip #104. I’m by no means an expert in piping roses, so I followed this tutorial. They didn’t come out quite as perfect as hers, but for a cupcake novice, I’m pretty happy with the result!

Pink buttercream roses piped onto a mint julep cupcake baked by blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a DebutanteBlogger Stephanie Ziajka shares one of the best Derby Day desserts on Diary of a Debutante

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes

If you enjoy mint juleps, you'll love these mint julep cupcakes! This mint julep cupcake recipe was adapted from Food.com and contains just enough bourbon to give the batter and frosting a subtle kick without overpowering them. The mint extract and creme de menthe add the perfect amount of refreshing minty flavor, too. Decorate them with pink buttercream rose petals for a festive Derby Day touch!

Ingredients

Mint Julep Cupcake Batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1⁄2 cup milk
  • 1⁄4 cup bourbon
  • 1⁄4 cup creme de menthe

Buttercream Frosting

  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces and softened
  • 1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon mint extract
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 7-8 drops red food coloring

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Then, cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl (ideally with a rubber scraper attachment if you have one).
    2. Once the butter and sugar are creamed, add in the eggs one at a time until combined. Next, add in the mint and vanilla extracts, followed by half of the flour mixture. Add the milk, bourbon, and creme de menthe to the batter, and once blended, pour in the rest of the flour. Mix until your batter has a creamy consistency. If there’s still any graininess, continue to mix until smooth. 
    3. Pop a paper cupcake liner into each muffin cup and divide the batter evenly among them. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, preferably in the refrigerator, before icing. 
    4. While the cupcakes are cooling, whip the butter with a whisk or a whisk attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy. Next, slowly add in half the sifted powdered sugar and salt. The powdered sugar will fly all over the bowl, so be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you go. Add in the mint and vanilla extracts and bourbon, followed by the rest of the powdered sugar. Then, slowly add in the milk, ideally one teaspoon at a time, and food coloring until the buttercream frosting is light and fluffy.
    5. Transfer all the buttercream icing to a piping bag fitted with a tip or a plastic bag with the tip cut off and pipe petals on top of each cupcake.

Notes

Substitutions

Bourbon- If you'd like to make non-alcoholic cupcakes, substitute 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract for every 2 tablespoons of bourbon. You can use an alcohol-free vanilla extract to eliminate alcohol altogether.

Creme de Menthe- You can substitute Torani's creme de menthe syrup or peppermint syrup in equal parts to eliminate the alcohol. If you prefer more natural syrups, this homemade mint simple syrup is a good alternative. Peppermint extract works, too, although it's pretty strong. For reference, the rule of thumb is 1/2 tsp peppermint or mint extract per 3 tablespoons of creme de menthe.

Frosting Tips

Keep the frosting at room temperature before using. It'll be smoother and much easier to frost with. If it warms up too much, re-whip it to bring it back to a smooth and fluffy consistency.

For reference, I used Wilton’s petal piping tip #104 to create this pink rose petal design. I’m by no means an expert in piping buttercream roses, so I followed this tutorial. They didn’t come out quite as perfect as hers, but for a cupcake decorating novice, I’m pretty happy with the result!

Nutrition Information
Yield 12Serving Size 1 cupcake
Amount Per ServingCalories 336Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 5gCholesterol 65mgSodium 213mgCarbohydrates 46gFiber 0gSugar 33gProtein 3g

Nutritional information isn't always accurate and can vary based on a number of factors, including but not limited to discrepancies among brands, precision of measurements, and freshness of ingredients.

More Kentucky Derby Desserts

Here are a few other Kentucky Derby desserts I think you’ll love just as much as this one–

  • Mini Bourbon Pecan PiesMade with bourbon and baked in a muffin tin, these mini bourbon pecan pies are a delicious twist on the traditional southern classic. Serve them warm and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!
  • Mini Peach PiesFilled with homemade peach pie filling and baked in a muffin tin, these adorable little mini peach pies are a sweet, simple, and perfectly-portioned spring or summer dessert. Serve them warm with a side of ice cream– and use any leftover peach pie filling as a compote! 

Kentucky Derby dessert idea from blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante
 


 
If you made these mint julep cupcakes at home, I’d love to know your thoughts! Also, as always, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any trouble with this Derby Day dessert recipe or any of my others! I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help!

Also, if you’re looking for more Kentucky Derby party ideas, check out last year’s Kentucky Derby party spread, It features two of my all-time favorite Derby Day (or anytime, really) appetizers, pimento cheese deviled eggs and bourbon pulled pork sliders!

Click below to shop the post!
 

Share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.