Get Kentucky Derby ready with these cocktail-inspired cupcakes. Mint julep cupcakes are one tasty dessert for the Kentucky Derby. Make the recipe using Bourbon and crème de menthe liquor for a kick of flavor. The cupcakes taste just like the cocktail! 

So place your bets on the yummiest dessert for the Kentucky Derby! I’ll have pennies on mint julep cupcakes. They’re spiked with honey bourbon and crème de menthe for a boozy treat. If you’re throwing a derby party, or simply in the mood for a boozy dessert, bake some mint julep cupcakes. I can bet you’ll love this recipe!

Be sure to grab the full recipe & check out the full video tutorial in the recipe card below. And if you try this recipe (I mean you totally should be), tag me on Instagram @imancake and use the hashtag #BakingWithMANCAKE.


Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Cold ingredients do not mix well with room temperature ingredients. As with any recipe that calls for dairy products, always be sure to take the time to bring ingredients to room temperature because it will result in a lighter, fluffier bake. 

Proper Measurements

Proper measuring of ingredients is key to perfectly baked cakes & cupcakes, especially when you are making them from scratch. Take a moment to kneel down, get face to face with your measuring cup, and measure liquids at eye level in standard liquid measuring cups.

When it comes to dry ingredients, measure by spooning the ingredient into a measuring cup or spoon, then leveling off the top with a knife or straight edge spatula.

Don’t Overmix the Batter

No matter what you will be placing into your oven, over-mixing the batter can lead to over-developing the gluten, which means your cake or cupcakes will come out dense and heavy.

The same can be pretty much said for under-mixing, making it just as bad, causing your bake to be flaky and crumbly. To ensure proper mixing, set your stand or hand mixer to the lowest setting, and only mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. Don’t forget, some clumps are more than okay.

Use the Appropriate Amount of Batter in Each Cavity

To ensure your cupcakes are baked to perfection, it’s important to use the right amount of batter in each cupcake cavity. This helps prevent over-baking and under-baking and ensures batches are consistent. A general rule of thumb for standard cupcakes is to fill the pan cavities about 2/3 full, which leaves enough space for the batter to expand. 

Bake Immediately

Bake your cupcakes immediately after mixing the batter. Letting batter stand for too long can cause some of the air you’ve beaten in to escape, making for a denser cupcake.

No Peeking!

While it can be tempting, resist the urge to peek in on your cupcakes’ progress. Opening or closing the oven door before the baking time is complete can cause fragile air bubbles in the batter to burst, preventing the cupcakes from rising. Even if you are gentle with the oven door, a rush of cold air can affect the cupcakes while they are trying to set up, resulting in dense, deflated cupcakes. Try to resist the urge to peek until your cupcakes are at least 2/3 through their baking time.

How to Test if Your Cupcakes are Done

Test your cupcakes for doneness while they’re still in the oven by inserting a cake tester or wooden toothpick into the center of a few cupcakes. Your cupcakes are done when the tester or toothpick comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs clinging to it; you should see no wet batter. You can also gently press down on the cupcake and, if the cupcake bounces back leaving no dent, then they are done. If removed too early, the cupcakes will sink in the center as they cool and, if over baked, they will be dry.


  • You can substitute whole milk yogurt for the sour cream if desired, I do it all the time and can’t really tell the difference.
  • You can make these cupcakes a day ahead. Leave covered at room temp and serve when ready. If you refrigerate the cupcakes make sure to bring bake to room temp before serving. Butter-based batters are not amazing cold.
  • If you like a less sweet buttercream try whipping up a batch of Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream! They’re both quite silky and pipe beautifully. 

Be sure to enter the MANCAKE KitchenAid giveaway.

I have 20 KitchenAid Stand Mixers to giveaway & one of them could be yours!

Cupcake Troubleshooting

Why are the Baking Cups Sticking to the Cupcake?

While paper baking cups make it easy to get the cupcakes out of the pan with minimal cleanup, they can sometimes stick to the cupcake. A high sugar content recipe can cause the batter to caramelize against the baking cup (or even the pan), and a lower fat recipe tends to stick more than a batter higher in fat.

If you notice your cupcakes are sticking to the baking cups, try placing a deep baking pan filled with water on the bottom rack of your oven. This added moisture my help prevent sticking.  A cupcake is also more likely to stick to the baking cup if it has not cooled completely before trying to unwrap it.

Why are the Baking Cups Pulling Away from the Cupcake?

Baking cups tend to pull away when the cupcake is super-moist or under-baked. They may also start to detach if the cupcakes are not cooled completely before transferring them to a storage container.

How to Store Cupcakes

Cupcakes are at their best within the first 2 days of baking. While they can last up to 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container, they will start to dry out after 3-4 days.

Be sure to let the cupcakes cool completely. Packing un-iced cupcakes while still warm can create sticky tops, making it more difficult to get the icing to stick when you are ready to frost them. This can also cause the baking cup to start peeling away from the side of the cupcake.

Choose an airtight container that is tall enough, so the container lid doesn’t touch the icing. Typically, the container can be left out at room temperature; however, if you are experiencing hot and humid weather that is causing the icing to melt or if the cupcakes are filled or decorated with something that requires refrigeration (like lemon curd or a meringue buttercream), you can store them in the refrigerator. If you must refrigerate your cupcakes, bring them back to room temperature before serving.

Freezing Baked Cupcakes

Un-iced cupcakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Be sure the cupcakes are completely cooled to room temperature before freezing to avoid condensation forming, which can result in soggy cupcakes when it’s time to defrost them.

While simply placing the cupcakes in an airtight container is enough, individually wrapping each cupcake before placing them in the airtight container will better help preserve the freshness and taste. After removing them from the freezer, let them defrost uncovered to prevent the tops from getting sticky.

What I Use To Make Oreo Crumble Cupcakes

If you’ve tried this tasty treat then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Mint Julep Cupcakes

Yield: 1 Dozen
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 1 & 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons creme de menthe
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons mint extract
  • Pink food gel color
  • Orange food gel color
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted (see notes)
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream at room temperature (see notes)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and set aside
  2. In a larger mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar together for 2 minutes on a medium speed until light and creamy.
  3. Add butter and vanilla and mix on a low speed for an additional minute.
  4. Incorporate dry ingredients on that same low speed until just combined.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together your sour cream, bourbon, and creme de menthe.
  6. Add sour cream mixture into batter and blend until smooth.
  7. Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 of the way full with cupcake batter.
  8. Bake for 18 - 20 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean.

Mint Buttercream

  1. If not already done prior, sift 4 cups of powdered sugar. When finished, measure out 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar and put away what’s left.
  2. Beat butter and shortening together until both are well combined, light, and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and mint extracts.
  4. Place your stand mixer, or hand mixer, on the lowest possible setting. Begin to slowly and gradually add in your powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. (see notes)
  5. Add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, while beating buttercream at a medium speed until light & fluffy. (see notes)
  6. Divide buttercream between two bowls.
  7. Add a few drops of pink food gel color into one bowl and orange food gel in the other.
  8. Whip until color is fully incorporated.


  1. Once your cupcakes have fully cooled, transfer your pink buttercream and orange buttercream to piping bags with your preferred tip and top each cupcake with a generous amount of buttercream while alternating between colors.
  2. Garnish with a pink striped straw and ENJOY!


  • If you’d prefer to skip the shortening, simply swap it out with 1 additional stick of room temperature butter.
  • If you’d prefer a more white, stiffer, buttercream then simply omit the butter & replace with 1 additional cup of shortening. Also be sure to swap out the vanilla extract for clear vanilla extract.
  • Make sure you sift your powdered sugar. This will help the sugar mix into the butter & shortening smoothly.
  • When all your powdered sugar has been added in, the buttercream will appear dry. Don’t raise the alarms. When adding in your milk or heavy cream, your buttercream will start to have the fluffy texture it‘s known for.
  • Keep in mind that your heavy cream should be added in 1 tablespoon at a time. I do this way to make sure I am not drowning my buttercream to the point of a soupy mess.
  • Also worth mentioning, if desired, you can easily swap out the heavy cream for equal parts of your preferred milk.
  • Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to allow your dairy ingredients to reach room temperature. Room temperature ingredients not only combine more effortlessly (no over-mixing needed) but they also trap air so much better. This trap air will expand and produce a fluffy texture during your baking process.
  • Prepared Pan: There will always be the "next best way to prepare your pan" article. Simply put however, the most effective way i find in my kitchen is a light rub of shortening around the sides, parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (for majority of baking pans), & a very light dusting of flour (cocoa powder for chocolate baked goods) all throughout.

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More Cake Theme Tutorials👉’s have a Llama Party! I had so much fun working with fondant though more practice will definitely be needed😅 Also been enjoying learning new techniques to share with everyone here so keep sending those comments over on the MANCAKE channel with what you'd like to see make next. I'll see you all very soon with another yummy tutorial so be sure to ring the bell when you subscribe 👉

Posted by Man Cake on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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