Mint Julep Cake Roll

Is there a lovelier cake to serve on Derby Day? This Mint Julep Cake Roll has mint simple syrup brushed on a sponge cake – the same homemade syrup used in my Mint Julep Recipe – and bourbon whipped cream. As far as sponge cakes go, this is a very easy recipe – no separating eggs involved!

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

The cake itself takes about five minutes to make and twenty minutes in the oven. The trickiest part is flipping it out onto a towel, but if you’ve ever made a cake roll before, you’re already used to that. I like to run my knife along the cake, hover the cake right above the towel, then quickly flip the jelly roll over. (Just like with horses, the key to baking is never show your baked goods fear!) It should come right out of the pan. Be careful (and patient!) removing the parchment paper. Roll the cake right up with the towel. You can technically roll either side but I always roll the shorter side for a fatter, shorter cake.

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Homemade Mint Simple Syrup

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

The flavor here is subtle – just a kiss of mint and bourbon in an otherwise vanilla cake. With a bit (okay, a lot!) of powered sugar on top and garnished with a few mint sprigs, this is a fast and easy cake to please a crowd. This is a pretty dainty cake that can be enjoyed even after the heaviest of southern foods. (I’m looking at you, Chicken and Waffles with Pimento Cheese and Bourbon Maple Syrup!) Since the filling is whipped cream, you will need to store this cake in the fridge.

Mint Julep Cake Roll | Kentucky Derby Dessert

Mint Julep Cake Roll
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mint Simple Syrup, recipe follows
Bourbon Whipped Cream, recipe follows

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 15×10” jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray, line with parchment paper, and spray the paper with nonstick spray.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla extract at high speed until thick and lemon-colored, about 5 minutes.
  3. While eggs are beating, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle one-third of the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and gently fold the dry ingredients in with a spatula, taking care not to deflate the batter. Repeat twice more with the remaining dry ingredients, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 18-22 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched with a finger. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the pan while still warm. Place a clean dish towel on the counter and sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar. Flip the cake pan onto the prepared towel so that the cake falls onto the powdered sugar. Remove the parchment paper and roll the cake up with the towel.
  6. When cake is cool, carefully unroll the cake, brush with mint simple syrup, then spread with bourbon whipped cream and roll the cake back up. Dust powdered sugar on top and garnish with mint sprigs.

Mint Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves

  1. Bring sugar, water, and mint leaves to a boil in a small sauce pan until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and strain to remove the mint leaves. Store in a jar in the fridge for a week.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 Tbsp Bourbon
1 tsp vanilla

  1. Beat heavy cream with a metal whisk in a metal bowl until it starts to thicken.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not over mix. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.

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Mint Julep Cake Roll

Happy Derby Day,

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