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Mint Julep Layer Cake

This Mint Julep Layer Cake is a delicious, moist chocolate bourbon cake with a mint swiss buttercream and chocolate ganache drip. Perfect for Derby Day or anyone that loves mint juleps!

a mint julep cake, chocolate bourbon cake with mint frosting, sitting on a white cake stand

Aside from the fabulous hats, what comes to mind when you think of the Kentucky Derby? Mint Juleps of course! Now regardless of your interest in the Kentucky Derby, this cake of chocolate minty bourbon deliciousness is still sure to please.

And if you’d rather just a mint chocolate cake, it’s easy to omit the bourbon!

close up photo of the side of a mint julep cake on a white cake stand

Mint Julep Layer Cake

a mint julep cake with a slice taken out and put on a plate

As with most cake recipes, I’ve found that having the right tools and equipment makes a huge difference. I used to be one of those bakers that would take a cake out of the oven and have no idea how I was going to make it look as awesome as it tastes. If you want to get results like the photos here, I highly suggest you invest in some items. With these, baking a cake doesn’t feel so much like hard work – and it can even help turn novice decorators into Pinterest-worthy cake artists!

close up photo of mint julep cake with a chocolate ganache

Items used in this recipe:

So this is what I used while making this cake: a stand mixer fitted with the paddle and whisk attachment, 3 8in round cake pans, parchment paper (or parchment rounds– huge time saver), a dough scraper, angled spatulas, pastry bags, turntable cake stand, #2D icing tip, and a condiment bottle. Most of these items are not a very large investment, and if you are going to bake and decorate cakes even semi-often, these will quickly become essentials. Give em a shot!

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mint julep cake with a slice removed and a fork cutting through it

So let me know what you think! Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give me a shoutout – I love seeing what you all are up to!

Psst – and if you like other boozy cakes, be sure to check out my Baileys Chocolate Mousse cake.

until next time. x

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a mint julep cake, chocolate bourbon cake with mint frosting, sitting on a white cake stand

Mint Julep Layer Cake

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5 from 2 reviews

This Mint Julep Layer Cake is a delicious, moist chocolate bourbon cake with a mint swiss buttercream and chocolate ganache drip. Perfect for Derby Day or anyone that loves mint juleps!

  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2024 servings 1x



Bourbon Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water

Chocolate Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 Tbsp (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 Tbsp instant espresso or ground coffee
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

Mint Swiss Buttercream:

  • 7 large egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, cubed and softened
  • 1 1/2 tsp mint extract
  • green food gel


  • 3 oz dark or semi sweet baking chocolate
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


Bourbon Simple Syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the bourbon and set aside to cool.

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease and line three 8 inch round cake pans with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate, smaller bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolk, sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Set a large saucepan on medium high heat and melt together the butter, oil, espresso or coffee and water.
  6. Stir in the cocoa, sugar and brown sugar until dissolved, then remove from heat.
  7. Add the sour cream mixture to the large saucepan and stir to combine.
  8. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth.
  9. Divide the mixture evenly among the prepared cake pans.
  10. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool completely, at least 20 minutes, before assembling.

Mint Swiss Buttercream:

  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg whites and sugar together until just combined.
  2. Place the bowl over a large pot of simmering water (double-boiler or bain marie) and whisk constantly 2-3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture looks clear.
  3. Return the bowl to the stand mixer and whip on medium-high 5-10 minutes until the mixture is glossy and white, and you have a stiff meringue (when you pull the whisk away from the mixture it should leave a stiff peak).
  4. Switch to the paddle attachment (or beaters if using a hand mixer) and beat on medium speed, slowly add the butter a few cubes at a time and the mint extract.
  5. Dip a toothpick into the green color gel and add to the buttercream, then mix on low speed until no streaks remain. Add more color until you reach the shade of green you desire.


  1. In a small bowl, microwave the chocolate and cream for 30 seconds, stir, then microwave for another 10-20 seconds.
  2. Stir slowly, making sure not incorporate too much air, until fully combined and smooth.
  3. Let cool slightly and transfer to a condiment bottle (optional).

To assemble:

  1. Slice off the tops of each cake (remove the dome) to achieve even layers and peel off the parchment paper and discard.
  2. Place 1 layer of cake on a cake stand or serving dish, brush or drizzle on 1/3 of the simple syrup.
  3. Pipe or spread on the buttercream (amounting to roughly a 1/2″ layer of frosting).
  4. Repeat with the remaining layers, then spread buttercream around the entire cake. Use an angled spatula or dough scraper to smooth the edges.
  5. Refrigerate, uncovered, for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  6. Pipe on the remaining buttercream and decorate however you’d like. To get results like the photos above, use a #2D tip to pipe on roses, then use condiment squeeze bottle filled with the ganache to drip it down the sides. Spread the rest of the ganache on the top (the narrow tip of the bottle will help get it into hard to reach areas, but use a small angled spatula for the rest)
  7. Store the cake for up to 10 days in the fridge, but let it come to room temperature before serving.



  • small saucepan
  • 3 8″ round cake pans
  • parchment paper
  • large mixing bowl
  • sifter or sieve
  • small mixing bowl
  • large saucepan
  • toothpicks
  • hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment and paddle attachment
  • saucepan (for double boiling)
  • whisk
  • condiment bottle (optional)
  • cake stand or serving dish
  • pastry brush
  • pastry bag
  • angled spatula
  • pastry tip #2D

To see some of the cake decorating techniques I mention above, check out the Preppy Kitchen facebook page.

  • Author: Sarah | AwayFromTheBox
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian

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  1. I have a question. After you melt the butter, oil, coffee, water and then dissolve the cocoa & sugars in it, the directions say to remove the saucepan from the heat. The next step says to add the sour cream mixture. Are you supposed to let the butter mixture cool some before adding the sour cream mixture so it doesn’t curdle?

    1. Hi Karen. I’d make sure your recipe is on 1x and not the 2x on the card. The cake only calls for 12TB. When the 2x is selected it changes the first number, the 12TB, and not the number inside the parentheses (3/4 cup).

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