The first thing that came to mind as I topped these cupcakes with their frizzy hats of mint was that I’d obviously just baked an edible version of the Truffula Tress from The Lorax. Which makes these appear child-friendly but since they’re doused in booze it’s probably best if you save this recipe for a more age appropriate crowd.
Granted, the cupcakes should be a bit more polished in look and less Dr. Seuss-like but since these cupcakes also share a strong resemblance to the lovely fascinators sported by many of the well-heeled ladies who attend events like the Kentucky Derby, where it appears that the bourbon laden Mint Juleps flow like water, I think I’ve managed to find a common denominator. So you see, even when things don’t come out perfectly you can always spin a creative back-story to work them into the here and now.
Here’s a tip for you to keep in mind when you’re baking the cupcakes. Don’t use baking cups! You’ll end up with a much smoother cake edge if you abstain from paper linings and just liberally lube you’re muffin tin with cooking spray. After all, a Mint Julep consumer would probably never want to be thought of as rustic. The horror!
This recipe and the accompany pieces may seem like a lot of steps but it’s actually quite quick to whip up and assemble. The payoff is an extremely tasty combination of rich cake spiked with mint, filled with a creamy savory filling, and covered in a velvety chocolate syrup that ties the whole plate together. Under general circumstances I would never say this, but perhaps on occasion it’s better to eat your booze with a fork rather than sip it in a pretty glass.
Mint Julep Cupcakes
Originally published in Booze Cakes by Krystina Castella and Terry Lee Stone
Chocolate Mint Julep Cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons mint extract
1 tablespoon bourbon
Minty Whipped Cream
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
Spiked Chocolate Sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon bourbon
Sprigs of fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour one 12-cup cupcake pan.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar 3 to 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in melted chocolate, flour, vanilla, and mint extract. Stir in bourbon. Spoon into the pan and bake 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool completely.
For the whipped cream: Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in heavy cream and mint extract. Refrigerate.
For the spiked chocolate sauce: In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together cream, sugar, chocolate, and butter until combined. remove from heat and stir in bourbon. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
Split the cupcakes in half and place bottom halves on individual serving plates. Top with cream. Replace the tops and spoon spiked chocolate sauce overtop. garnish with sprigs of fresh mint.