Mint Julep Scones

April 29, 2011
Mint Julep Scones | Fake Food Free | A classic Kentucky Derby cocktail turns breakfast pastry in this treat!

There is Derby fever in the air around here. Regardless of whether you care a thing about horse racing it’s difficult not to get sucked in. Store fronts display their fanciest hats and dresses, favorites and racing stats are being discussed at the water cooler, roses are the flower of choice and here comes the bourbon!

We celebrated a few Derby days in Brazil which was then followed by watching it in a hotel room last year since it was the same weekend as my husband’s marathon. Fortunately this year the Flying Pig is this weekend so we will have our big race done and we can adequately celebrate next weekend.

It’s likely no surprise that the food and drink are the best part of Derby for me. This time of year really brings out the culinary history throughout Kentucky. One of those things rich in Kentucky history is the Mint Julep.

I learned that if you ask Kentuckians if they like Mint Juleps, most will tell you no. However, they will drink them anyway on the first Saturday in May.

I don’t tend to follow the crowd, though, because I happen to love a good Mint Julep. I think the key is fresh mint from your own garden and high quality bourbon. It also doesn’t hurt if you have my husband as your bartender because his are, hands down, the best.

In case you are unfamiliar, a Mint Julep is a cocktail of bourbon and simple syrup that has been infused with mint served over finely crushed ice. You have to make your own simple syrup, though. Or find someone to do it from scratch for you. That’s the only way to drink them.

I have my mind on mint julep flavors and spring just wouldn’t be complete without my favorite breakfast pastry – the scone. So this is the first of Derby-inspired recipes I hope to post until the big day arrives.

Mint Julep Scones | Fake Food Free | A classic Kentucky Derby cocktail turns breakfast pastry in this treat!
These will win over anyone, Mint Julep fan or not. They also make a lovely addition to your Mother’s Day brunch menu. Not to mention they are going to taste so good after the Flying Pig Half Marathon on Sunday!
Mint Julep Scones | Fake Food Free | A classic Kentucky Derby cocktail turns breakfast pastry in this treat!

Mint Julep Scones

Makes: 6 scones


½ cup pecans, chopped
3 tbsp Kentucky bourbon
1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
3 tbsp mascavo sugar (or brown sugar)
½ tsp salt
5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup 2 % milk
Demerara sugar for topping


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Place the pecans in a small dish and cover with the bourbon. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, mascavo sugar, salt and mint. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or two knives to blend until the butter is pea-sized and well incorporated into the flour.

Stir in the vanilla, milk and pecans with the liquid. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently shape into a circle about ½ to ¾ inch in thickness. Gently press about 1 to 2 tbsp of Demerara sugar into the top. Cut into 6 equal pie-shaped wedges.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until the edges are browned and the center is firm. 


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  • Joyce @friendsdriftinn April 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Interesting idea! I just love mint….and it sure loves growing all over the yard! Giggles

    Thanks for sharing…and looking forward to a super Kentucky Derby Week. Pass the bourbon!

  • kate@ahealthypassion April 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I love that im not the only one who drinks mint juleps only because its classic tradition, I agree fresh mint makes them no elixir for me yuck. These scones sound amazing maybe a little better than the actual thing 🙂 I love this time of year in kentucky!

  • Vivienne May 1, 2011 at 5:49 am

    man i just chucked away my 2 pots of mints because i was getting so many bugs in the kitchen coz of them! no mint julep for me then >< your scones look so healthy and delicious…ive never made scones with whole wheat before so am looking fwd to try that soon 🙂

  • Danielle May 2, 2011 at 7:03 am

    What a festive recipe idea. I love it! I’m not a huge mint julep fan but I do love scones, so I’m sure I’d have no trouble downing one or 12 of these!

  • 5 Star Foodie May 2, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Such unique scones with mint julep flavors, very creative!

  • kat May 3, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Bourbon in scones! Ok, Matt would be all over this!

  • Tangled Noodle May 4, 2011 at 4:50 am

    I remember the last Derby party my husband and I attended – instead of buying a tricked-out hat, I decorated one myself! It wasn’t the most fancy but I was quite proud of it. That day was also memorable for the great Mint Juleps served in silver cups! These scones bring back such fun memories and are likely to create new ones, too. 😎

  • Shannon Marie May 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I adore Mint Juleps, contrary to what most Kentuckians say. Could be that I’m an import to KY. 🙂

    When do you add the nuts? After cutting in the butter? Are they tossed in with the bourbon or drained first?

    I have plenty of fresh mint (and bourbon…) so I’ll definitely be making these soon!

  • Lori May 5, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Joyce – Yeah, my mint has really taken off this year!

    kate – It really is such a great season. So many traditions and many that include bourbon. 🙂

    Vivienne – I’ve getting to where I like the whole wheat version. Hope you come across some more mint soon! 🙂

    Danielle – Fortunately it only makes 6. See, I’ve already cut your portion sizes in half so eat away! 🙂

    5 Star – Thanks!

    kat – Yeah, it’s a sneaky way to get in a cocktail at breakfast.

    Tangled Noodle – I bet that hat was fabulous!

    Shannon Marie – I’m an import too. 🙂 Thanks for pointing out my oversight. I added them with the milk and vanilla – pecans and liquid, no draining. I’ll change that in the recipe.

  • Peggy May 5, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    What a perfect Derby treat! I wish I had time to make a batch of these to bring to the track tomorrow! I guess I’ll just have to have a bunch of Mint Juleps instead! =)