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Mint Julep Cake

Mint Julep Cake is wonderfully flavored with bourbon and mint. It makes a great Derby day dessert!

Mint Julep Cake with mint glaze


Yes, a Derby Pie is the standard for Derby Day, but when you’re in the mood for cake, you can’t go wrong with Mint Julep Cake. It’s basically a pound cake batter baked in a tube pan. The texture is dense, moist and buttery and nicely flavoed with mint-infused bourbon.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, it’s brushed with a brown sugar and mint-infused bourbon syrup for added moistness and flavor.

Finally the cake is finished off with a simple mint glaze made from powdered sugar, bourbon and butter. If you wish, tint it green with a little green food coloring.

That’s a triple dose of bourbon and mint! Very fitting for a Triple Crown Race!

Mint Julep Cake

Tips for making Mint Julep Cake:

  • Be sure all your cake ingredients are at room temperature.
  • Use a good quality bourbon. Makers Mark is my favorite bourbon for coctails and cooking but there are lots of good ones out there.
  • Leftover cake can be stored at room temperature or frozen. Be sure to wrap it in plastic wrap so it does not dry out.

Mint Julep Cake

More Kentucky Derby Recipes

Mint Julep Cake with mint glaze

Mint Julep Cake

This Mint Julep Cakes is wonderfully flavored with bourbon and mint. Makes a great Derby Day dessert!
PREP: 20 minutes
COOK: 50 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

Cake Batter

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature

Brown Sugar Syrup

  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 drops green food coloring


  • Combine bourbon and mint in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
    After 15 minutes, pour trough strainer. Reserve the mint for the cake batter.
  • Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a glass measuring cup, combine buttermilk, vanilla, and 1/4 cup of the mint-infused bourbon, plus the reserved mint.
  • Using an electric stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, beating each one until mixed in and stopping a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • With mixer on low, add 1/3 of flour mixture. Once mixed in, add 1/2 of buttermilk mixture. Repeat with another 1/3 of flour, remaining buttermilk, and remaining flour. Stop to scrape down the sides a few times while mixing in the flour and buttermilk.
  • Pour batter into a 12-cup Bundt pan or tube pan that has been sprayed well with baking spray.
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes or until it feels firm when you press down on the top. Let cool 10 minutes in pan and then invert onto a cake stand.
  • To make Brown Sugar Syrup, heat brown sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the mint-infused bourbon. Brush syrup over top and sides of cake.
    Let cake completely cool before glazing.
  • To make glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, melted butter, food coloring and last 2 tablespoons of bourbon. Drizzle over cake.


Calories: 377kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Kentucky Derby

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Recipe adapted from Cook’s Country.

Mint Julep Cake

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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3 thoughts on “Mint Julep Cake”

  1. Tastes wonderful, but I was quite confused by the 1/4, strain out and add back the mint, etc., and the photo of the cake does not appear to have the chopped mint in it.

    SHOULD BE: Combine 1/2 cup bourbon and chopped mint in a small bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.*
    After 15 minutes, pour through strainer. Add 1/4 cup back to the chopped mint and set aside for the cake batter. Set aside the other 1/4 cup strained bourbon to use for the glaze and poke sauce. (2 tablespoons for each.)

    * Though I let it sit overnight and it was wonderfully mint-infused by morning.

  2. Teresa H-Ross

    We’ve lived in Kentuckiana (where the Ohio River separates Kentucky from Indiana at Louisville, KY) for the past 3 years. We enjoy Derby Day when all the locals celebrate the Kentucky Derby. This recipe is our go-to for one of the BEST tasting cakes ever, “Mint Julep” or not. Since we don’t have either a bundt or tube pan, we use a 13×9 cake pan & it comes out just fine. We especially enjoy this cake frozen! It’s almost like Bourbon mint ice cream, only better. One small suggestion: The beginning of the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of Bourbon with 3 Tbsp of mint but later in the recipe one is supposed to add all 1/4 cup of bourbon & the mint to the buttermilk, yet even later one is also supposed to add 2 Tbsp of the (apparently) leftover mint-infused Bourbon to the brown sugar poke sauce. Others have pointed this out. Can you PLEASE reword your recipe? It’s now been like this for years. Do “you” even read this comments? Thank you.

  3. Am I reading it wrong or should there be 1/2 cup of bourbon used for for the mint infused bourbon? through out the recipe you use a 1/4 cup than 2 tablespoons for the syrup and then 2 tablespoons for the glaze. according to the math that is 1/2 cup.

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